On Wednesday 22 November 2023 the chancellor Jeremy Hunt stood up and delivered his Autumn Statement. Here are some of the main “highlights”.

There were many changes made to National Insurance contributions (NICs) which will affect many people and included: –

  • The abolition of compulsory payment of Class 2 NIC from 6 April 2024. However people will still continue to receive access to contributory benefits including the state pension.
  • From 6 April 2024, Class 4 NIC on business profits between £12,570 and £50,270 is to be reduced from 9% to 8%.
  • From 1 January 2024 (yes, part way through the tax year) the main rate of employee Class 1 NICs will reduce from 12% to 10%. No change to the employer rate of NICs.
  • Class 3 NIC rates will be frozen at £17.45 a week for 2024–25

In addition, for individual taxpayers, from 2024–25 if you have income of more than £150,000 which is taxed through PAYE you will not be required to submit a self-assessment return, unless you fulfil the criteria for needing to complete a tax return.  Currently if you have income above £100,000 you have to complete a tax return even if you do not have a further tax liability because all your income is taxed at source.

For businesses: –

  • Full expensing, which only applies to company’s and allows them to write of the full cost of new plant and machinery, is to be made permanent, rather than ceasing on 31 March 2026.
  • Further reforms will be made to the research and development (R&D) reliefs which will come into effect in April 2024.
  • Business rates relief at 75% for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will continue for another year, until 31 March 2025.
  • Small changes have been made to the cash basis, which allows businesses to calculate their profits by recognising expenses when they are paid or including income when it is received.  The main change is the way that losses can be used. You will be able to claim the loss against your other taxable income in the same tax year that the loss arises and be able to carry back losses against previous year’s profits from 6 April 2024.
  • Changes are being made to Making Tax Digital (MTD) to make the system easier to use.

So as you can see nothing major, just tinkering around the edges – maybe we can expect major changes next year once we have had a general election!!!!