Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his Spring Statement on Wednesday 23 March 2022.
The statement was delivered against a backdrop of rising inflation and a burgeoning cost of living crisis. Inflation is forecast to peak at 8.7% by the end of 2022 only dropping back to the target level of 2% in 2024. After 7.5% GDP growth in 2021 this is expected to fall back to 3.8% in 2022 which is less than originally forecast.
In the Statement, the Chancellor announced a cut in fuel duty for petrol and diesel as he sought to ease the impact of rising prices for households and businesses. He will lift the starting thresholds for National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pledged a cut to income tax in 2024. However, the Health and Social Care Levy will still be implemented in April 2022.
The pension annual allowance remains the same for 2022-23 and the lifetime allowance will remain at its current level of £1,073,100 until April 2026.
For businesses, there is an increase to the Employment Allowance, as well as relief from business rates on a range of green technologies and help with training and the adoption of digital technology.
Increase in the National Insurance threshold and Lower Profit Limit
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an increase in the annual National Insurance Primary Threshold and the Lower Profits Limit in his 2022 Spring Statement.
Primary Class 1 contributions are paid by employees. To align the starting thresholds for income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) the threshold will increase from 6 July 2022 from £9,880 to £12,570.
Temporary increase in National Insurance rates
From April 2022, there will be a temporary increase in the rates of NICs payable for employees, employers and the self-employed as a transitional provision in readiness for the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy of 1.25% from April 2023.
With the increase to the thresholds announced in the Spring Statement, from 6 July 2022 employees earning between £242 (£190 from 6 April to 5 July 2022) and £967 per week will pay NICs at 13.25%. Earnings over £967 will attract a 3.25% charge. Employers will pay 15.05% on their employees’ earnings over £175 per week.
Income tax reduction
The Chancellor announced the reduction in the basic rate of income tax for non-savings, non-dividend income for taxpayers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to 19% from April 2024. This reduction will not apply for Scottish taxpayers because the power to set these rates is devolved to the Scottish Government.
The change will be implemented in a future Finance Bill.
In a measure announced in the Spring Statement to help all motorists – individuals, small businesses and hauliers – fuel duty for petrol and diesel is cut by 5 pence per litre across the whole of the UK. This measure took effect from 6pm on 23 March 2022 and is in place for 12 months.
Increased Employment Allowance
Employers are able to claim the Employment Allowance which reduces their employer Class 1 NICs each year.
In the Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced an increase from April 2022 of £1,000 for eligible employers to reduce their employer NICs by up to £5,000 per year.
VAT on energy saving materials
The Chancellor announced a UK wide, time-limited zero rate of VAT from April 2022 for the installation of energy saving materials. This will apply to installations such as rooftop solar panels.
This is in addition to the extension of the VAT relief to include additional technologies and the removal of complex eligibility conditions.
Green reliefs for business rates
The government is introducing targeted business rates exemptions for eligible plant and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage, and a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks with their own rates bill. It was announced in the Spring Statement, that these measures will now take effect from April 2022, a year earlier than previously planned.
The UK personal allowance, tax rates and bands for the tax year 2022/23 were announced by the Chancellor in the October 2021 Budget.
The personal allowance
The personal allowance is currently £12,570 and will be frozen at £12,570 for the tax years to 2025/26.
There is a reduction in the personal allowance for those with ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000. The reduction is £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. So there is no personal allowance where adjusted net income exceeds £125,140.
Tax bands and rates
The basic rate of tax is 20%. In 2022/23 the band of income taxable at this rate is £37,700 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £50,270 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The bands of tax are also frozen for the tax years to 2025/26.
Individuals pay tax at 45% on their income over £150,000.
The tax on income (other than savings and dividend income) is different for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland to taxpayers resident elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish income tax rates and bands apply to income such as employment income, self-employed trade profits and property income.
In 2022/23 there are five income tax rates which range between the starter rate of 19% and the top rate of 46%. The basic rate of tax is 20% and there is an additional intermediate rate of 21%. Scottish taxpayers are entitled to the same personal allowance as individuals in the rest of the UK. The two higher rates are 41% and 46% rather than the 40% and 45% rates that apply to such income for other UK residents. For 2022/23 the threshold at which the 41% band applies is £43,663 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance.
Savings and dividend income are taxed using UK rates and bands.
From April 2019, the Welsh Government has the right to vary the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers. The UK government has reduced each of the three rates of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers by 10 pence. The Welsh Government has set the Welsh rate of income tax at 10 pence which will be added to the reduced rates. This means the tax payable by Welsh taxpayers continues to be the same as that payable by English and Northern Irish taxpayers.
Tax on savings income
Savings income is income such as bank and building society interest.
The Savings Allowance applies to savings income and the available allowance in a tax year depends on the individual’s marginal rate of income tax. Broadly, individuals taxed at up to the basic rate of tax have an allowance of £1,000. For higher rate taxpayers the allowance is £500. No allowance is due to additional rate taxpayers.
Some individuals qualify for a 0% starting rate of tax on savings income up to £5,000. However, the rate is not available if taxable non-savings income exceeds £5,000.
Tax on dividends
The first £2,000 of dividends are chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). For 2022/23 and subsequent tax years the rate at which dividends received above the Dividend Allowance are taxed has increased across all rates by 1.25% to the following rates:
- 75% for basic rate taxpayers
- 75% for higher rate taxpayers
- 35% for additional rate taxpayers.
Dividends within the allowance still count towards an individual’s basic or higher rate band and so may affect the rate of tax paid on dividends above the Dividend Allowance.
To determine which tax band dividends fall into, dividends are treated as the last type of income to be taxed.
Corporation Tax rates
The main rate of CT is 19% for the Financial Year (FY) beginning 1 April 2022. This rate will increase to 25% for the FY beginning on 1 April 2023.
If a company’s accounting period straddles more than one FY, the amount of profits for that accounting period must be apportioned to arrive at the tax rate charged.
A small profits rate will be introduced for qualifying companies with no associated companies in the accounting period and profits of £50,000 or less so that they will continue to pay CT at 19%. Companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate reduced by a marginal relief providing a gradual increase in the effective CT rate.
Employer provided cars
The scale of charges for working out the taxable benefit for an employee who has use of an employer provided car are normally announced well in advance. Most cars are taxed by reference to bands of CO2 emissions multiplied by the original list price of the vehicle. The list price is reduced for capital contributions made by the employee up to £5,000.
For fully diesel cars generally add a 4% supplement unless the car is registered on or after 1 September 2017 and meets the Euro 6d emissions standard.
The maximum charge irrespective of the fuel, is capped at 37% of the list price of the car.
The rates announced for 2022/23 will remain frozen until 2024/25.
Employer provided fuel benefit
From 6 April 2022 the figure used as the basis for calculating the benefit for employees who receive free private fuel from their employers for company cars is increased to £25,300.
Employer provided vans and fuel
For 2022/23 the benefit increases to £3,600 per van and the van fuel benefit charge where fuel is provided for private use increases to £688.
Changes to the van benefit charge from April 2021 means that if the van cannot in any circumstances emit CO2 by being driven the cash equivalent is nil.
Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
The current rates of CGT are 10%, to the extent that any income tax basic rate band is available, and 20% thereafter. Higher rates of 18% and 28% apply for certain gains; mainly chargeable gains on residential properties with the exception of any element that qualifies for private residence relief.
There are two specific types of disposal which potentially qualify for a 10% rate:
- Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR) which was formerly known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief. This is targeted at working directors and employees of companies who own at least 5% of the ordinary share capital in the company and the owners of unincorporated businesses. BADR has a lifetime limit of £1 million for each individual.
- Investors’ Relief. The main beneficiaries of this relief are external investors in unquoted trading companies who have newly-subscribed shares. This has a lifetime limit of £10 million for each individual.
CGT annual exemption
The CGT annual exemption is £12,300 for 2022/23 and will remain frozen until April 2026.
New reporting and payment on account obligations for chargeable gains on residential property were introduced in April 2020. From 27 October 2021 the deadline to report and pay CGT after selling UK residential property was increased from 30 days after the completion date to 60 days.
Inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate bands
The nil rate band has remained at £325,000 since April 2009 and is set to remain frozen at this amount until April 2026.
IHT residence nil rate band
The residence nil rate band (RNRB) was introduced in 2017, meaning that the family home can be passed more easily to direct descendants on death.
The rate of the RNRB is £175,000 for 2022/23.
There are a number of conditions that must be met in order to obtain the RNRB.
For many married couples and registered civil partnerships the relief which is available following the second death can effectively be doubled as each individual has a main nil rate band and a residence nil rate band which passes on the death of the surviving spouse.
A reduced rate of IHT applies where broadly 10% or more of a deceased’s net estate (after deducting IHT exemptions, reliefs and the nil rate band) is left to charity. In those cases the 40% rate will be reduced to 36%.
This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.
This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any security for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed.
Past performance is not indicative of future results and the value of investments can fall as well as rise. No representation is made that the stated results will be replicated.