Budget – Key Points

The main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed to increase from 9% to 10% in April 2018 to 11% in April 2019. This is intended to reduce the gap between employed and self-employed.

Class 2 National Insurance, a separate flat rate contribution paid by self-employed works making a profit of more than £5965 a year,  is to be scrapped as planned in April 2018 – THIS DECISION HAS NOW BEEN REVERSED

No changes to National Insurance paid by the employed and employers or to income tax or VAT

Personal tax-free allowance to rise as planned to £11,500 this year and to £12,500 by 2020.

Business

£435m for firms affected by increases in business rates, including £300m hardship fund for worst hit

Rate rises for businesses losing existing relief will be capped at £50 a month

£820m tax avoidance clampdown, including action to stop businesses converting capital losses into trading losses and introduction of UK VAT on roaming telecoms services outside the EU

Privately owned SMEs with turnover below the VAT registration threshold to get extra year, until April 2019 to prepare for tax digitisation and quarterly reporting

Fuel

Fuel duty frozen for a further year

Vehicle excise duty rates for hauliers and the HGV Road User Levy frozen for another year

Pensions & Savings

Reduction in tax-free allowance on share dividends from £5000 to £2000 from 2018. This measure is aimed at director shareholders.

The measure, affecting small business owners and investors will come into force in April 2018

Dividend income paid on shares held in stocks and shares ISA will remain tax free

Measures to tackle abuse of overseas pension schemes. Measures will be published in Finance Bill 2017 (but effective from 9 March 2017 to apply at 25% tax charge on pension transfers to QROPS.

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