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UK Budget updates centred around public service spending increases and tackling the impact of Coronavirus
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £30bn plan to fight Coronavirus
BUSINESS RATES CUT FOR RETAIL AND HOSPITALITY SECTORS
As a direct response to the impact of COVID-19, an already planned increase in the discount rate from 33% to 50% for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £51,000 will be increased to 100%, and will also cover music venues and cinemas. Alongside this the rates discount for most pubs will be increased from £1,000 to £5,000 for one year only from April 2020.
£3,000 GRANT FOR BUSINESSES THAT QUALIFY FOR SMALL BUSINESS RATES RELIEF
Rishi Sunak also announced that the government recognised that measures to reduce business rates to help alleviate the business impact of COVID-19 do not benefit smaller businesses that already qualify for small business rates relief. In recognition of this, those businesses will be eligible for a local authority grant of £3,000 to help meet their ongoing business costs.
EMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE INCREASED TO £4,000 FROM APRIL 2020
The Employment Allowance which exempts part of the Employers NIC cost for most businesses received a welcome boost in the UK budget updates, increasing from £3,000 to £4,000 per annum from April 2020. A one-year Employers NIC holiday for those employing veterans was also announced.
R&D TAX CREDITS RAISED FROM 12% TO 13% FROM APRIL 2020
The Chancellor announced that those businesses that surrender R&D losses for a repayable tax credit will be boosted by an increase in the RDEC rate from 12% to 13% from 1 April 2020. In addition, the planned PAYE cap for SME claims will be delayed until 1 April 2021.
ENTREPRENEURS RELIEF LIFETIME LIMIT CUT FROM £10M TO £1M FROM TODAY
Entrepreneurs Relief, which gives individuals selling qualifying shares and business assets a low Capital Gains Tax rate of 10%, has been under the spotlight with many fearing it might be abolished completely. We’re pleased to report that it is here to stay but with the lifetime limit for qualifying gains dramatically cut from £10 million to £1 million, effective immediately.
INCOME THRESHOLDS FOR TAPERED PENSIONS ANNUAL ALLOWANCE INCREASED
It was announced that the thresholds for the current tapered annual allowance (which reduces the amount that high earners can put into a pension with tax relief) will be increased by £90,000, so that it only affects those earning over £240,000 (previously £150,000). Alongside this the minimum tapered annual allowance will be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 for those earning over £300,000.
STRUCTURES AND BUILDINGS ALLOWANCE INCREASED FROM 2% TO 3%
Rishi Sunak announced that the annual rate of capital allowances available for qualifying investments to construct new, or renovate old, non-residential structures and buildings will increase from 2% to 3% from 1 April 2020.
100% FIRST YEAR ALLOWANCE FOR ZERO EMISSION CARS ONLY FROM APRIL 2021
The Chancellor announced that the current 100% first year capital allowance for business cars with emissions of up to 50g/km will be extended beyond April 2021, but only for zero emission vehicles. This means anyone purchasing a hybrid vehicle will lose out on this valuable relief after that date.
JUNIOR ISA ALLOWANCE INCREASED TO £9,000 PER ANNUM FROM APRIL 2020
The annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds will be increased from £4,368 to £9,000 from April 2020. Meanwhile the adult ISA allowance remains unchanged at £20,000.
2% NON-UK RESIDENT STAMP DUTY LAND TAX SURCHARGE FROM APRIL 2021
The government will introduce an SDLT surcharge of 2% for non-UK residents that purchase residential property situated in England and Northern Ireland from 1 April 2021.
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