Autumn Statement Summary November 2023

Jeremy Hunt’s second Autumn Statement was set against a much less financially turbulent background than his first. Yet again the rumours predicting inheritance tax allowances being halved, business relief on AIM shares being abolished and higher rate tax relief on pension contributions disappearing, were wrong on all counts.  As always, it’s best to plan your finances on facts rather than the conjecture of the mythical bloke down the pub…

If you pay National Insurance, you’ll pay a bit less soon.  If you receive a state pension, you’ll get a bit more soon.  On the downside, with tax allowances being frozen, more people will have to pay income tax and more will have to pay a higher rate of income tax.

For RB clients and their investments, there’s not much to report:

How much you can pay into a pension and ISA is unchanged.

There’s some extra flexibility with ISAs on the way in April but for most of you, we deal with that for you anyway.

The very useful tax relief on VCTs and EISs will continue until 2035.

Here’s a more in-depth summary.  As always, if you have any questions, please let us know.

Highlights

The main rate of class 1 employee national insurance contributions (NICs) will be reduced from 12% to 10% with effect from 6 January 2024.

The main rate of class 4 self-employed NICs will be cut from 9% to 8% from 6 April 2024 and class 2 will no longer be required.

Full expensing of investments made by companies in qualifying plant and machinery will be made permanent and will therefore continue after April 2026.

The main income tax allowances and thresholds, the main NICs thresholds plus the inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate bands will stay at their current levels for 2024/25.

The new and old state pension as well as pension credit will rise by the full triple lock increase of 8.5% for 2024/25. Universal credit and most other benefits will increase by 6.7%.

Investors will be allowed to make multiple subscriptions to ISAs of the same type each year from April 2024, when partial transfers of ISAs between providers will also be permitted.

The national living wage will increase to £11.44 an hour.

All alcohol duties have been frozen until August 2024.

The government is seeking to persuade people with health conditions to find work. There is extra funding, as well as new sanctions for those who are found to be able to work but refuse to look for employment.

A Bit More Detail on The Key Points:

Income Tax

The personal allowance will remain at £12,570 for 2024/25 and the higher rate threshold will stay at £50,270, both levels that first took effect in 2021/22. The blind person’s allowance will be increased to £3,070 for 2024/25.

The 45% additional rate threshold will stay at £125,140. In Scotland, the intermediate, higher and top (additional) rate thresholds for non-savings, non-dividend income will be announced in the Scottish Budget, to be published on 19 December.

Dividend Tax

The dividend allowance will be halved to £500 for 2024/25 as already announced.

Income Tax for Trusts and Estates

The standard rate band for trusts will no longer apply in 2024/25, as previously announced and legislated. Instead, trusts with income of £500 or less will have no tax to pay. Where a settlor has created more than one trust, the threshold amount will be £500 divided by the total number of existing trusts, subject to a £100 minimum. If the threshold is exceeded, trust tax rates apply to all income.

There will be no tax for estates where the income does not exceed £500. In such circumstances, estate income paid to beneficiaries will also be free of tax.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

The class 1 primary threshold and class 4 lower profits limit will remain aligned with the personal allowance (£12,570). The upper earnings limit and class 4 upper profits limit will remain aligned with the higher rate threshold at £50,270 through to April 2028. The lower earnings limit (£6,396) and the small profits threshold (£6,725) will remain unchanged in 2024/25.

From 6 January 2024 the class 1 primary (employee) contributions rate on earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 will be cut by 2% to 10%. The 2% rate on earnings above £50,270 will remain unchanged.

From 6 April 2024, class 2 contributions will no longer be required from the self-employed. However, those with profits below £6,725 (unchanged) who wish to retain access to contributory benefits (e.g. state pension) will continue to have the option to make voluntary contributions.

From the same date, the class 4 contribution rate on earnings between £12,570 and £50,270 will be reduced by 1% to 8%. The 2% rate on earnings above the upper limit will be unchanged.

The voluntary class 3 rate will be unchanged at £17.45 a week for 2024/25.

Pay as you earn (PAYE) – Self-Assessment

Individuals with income taxed only through PAYE will no longer be required to file a self-assessment return from 2024/25.

Capital Gains Tax

The annual exempt amount for individuals and personal representatives will be halved to £3,000 in 2024/25, as previously announced. The annual exempt amount for most trusts will be cut to £1,500 (minimum £300).

Inheritance Tax

The nil rate band for 2024/25 will remain at £325,000, which was the level first set in 2009/10. The residence nil rate band (RNRB) will likewise stay at £175,000 and the RNRB taper will continue to apply where the value of the deceased’s estate is greater than £2 million.

State Pensions

The basic state pension, new state pension and pension credit standard minimum guarantee will be increased by 8.5% in April 2024, in line with May to July earnings growth under the triple lock provisions. All other UK-wide benefits will increase by 6.7% from April 2024.

Pensions

Nine documents were published relating to the pensions framework. These included calls for evidence on a lifetime provider model to allow individuals to move towards having one pension pot for life and also on the creation of a ‘public consolidator’ for defined benefit schemes, to be run by the Pension Protection Fund.

Additional tax-related papers were issued about amending the relief at source arrangements, as previously proposed, and clarifying the impact of the abolition of the lifetime allowance from 6 April 2024.

Individual savings accounts (ISAs)

Various reforms were announced for ISAs.

From April 2024: Investors will be allowed to make multiple subscriptions each year to ISAs of the same type.

Partial transfers of ISA funds in-year between providers will be allowed.

There will no longer be a requirement to reapply annually for an existing dormant ISA.

The Innovative ISA will be expanded to allow investment in Long-Term Asset Funds and open-ended property funds with extended notice periods.

The minimum account-opening age for adult ISAs will be harmonised at 18, removing the current cash only adult ISA for 16 to 17-year-olds.

Contribution limits will be unchanged. The government will engage with providers about permitting certain fractional shares contracts as eligible ISA investments.

Venture Capital Schemes

The sunset clauses for the enterprise investment scheme (EIS) and venture capital trusts (VCTs) will be extended from 6 April 2025 to 6 April 2035.

 

With best regards

The Robertson Baxter Team

Newsletter

    More stories

    16 Oct 2023

    RBulletin – Autumn 2023

    Read more

    08 Aug 2023

    Why Invest Money on the Stock Market?

    Read more

    Awards we’ve received along the way

    2024 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Financial Adviser Team of the Year

    2024 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Director of the Year - Antony Barton

    2024 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Independent Financial Adviser of the Year

    Antony Barton & Gillian Shirt

    2024 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Trainee of the Year - Luci Tinsley

    2023 – Professional Adviser Women in Finance Awards

    Finalist - Team Leader of the Year (small/medium firms)

    2023 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalists - Financial Adviser Team of the Year, Financial Adviser of the Year and Director of the Year

    2022 – Professional Adviser Women in Finance Awards

    Finalists - Role Model of the Year (small/medium firms) and Team Leader of the Year

    2022 – Professional Adviser Awards

    Finalist - Best Adviser Website

    2022 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Independent Financial Adviser of the Year

    2021 – Professional Adviser Women in Finance Awards

    Finalist in 3 categories - Team Leader of the Year, Role Model of the Year (small / medium firms), Woman of the Year - In-house Adviser Support

    2021 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Winner - Rising Star of the Year

    2021 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Financial Adviser Team of the Year

    2020 – Professional Adviser Women in Finance Awards

    Finalist - Financial Adviser of the Year - North

    2020 – Professional Adviser Women in Finance Awards

    Finalist - Woman of the Year - In-House Adviser Support

    2020 – Professional Paraplanner Awards

    Finalist - Paraplanner of the Year (In-house)

    2020 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Customer Service Award

    2020 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Financial Adviser Team of the Year

    2020 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Rising Star Award

    2019 – Yorkshire Financial Awards

    Finalist - Financial Adviser Team of the Year