Thursday, February 16, 2023

Business tax in 2023/24

 Like personal taxes, the planned business tax changes for 23/24 have been revised on several occasions and we could still see further alterations in the forthcoming budget. Fortunately we are only dealing with UK wide taxes for the most part which makes it a bit easier. Here's where we seem to be today.

The rate of Corporation tax for 23/24 will rise to 25% for companies earning over £250,000. Companies earning up to £50,000 pay 19% and a marginal rate will apply between £50,000 and £250,000. The effective rate of tax within this band is 26.5%.

The secondary threshold for National Insurance, like the primary threshold, has been frozen for the foreseeable future. This will result in significant real increases in NI payments from employers. Fortunately the primary threshold has been re-aligned with the income tax personal allowance which may allow for some increase in salaries for owner-directors. Sadly the amount of dividend these individuals can take tax free is dropping significantly.

Careful consideration of the remuneration packages for owner-directors will be needed especially for those companies close to, or within, the marginal rate of corporation tax where capital allowances may also be important to assist the maximisation of tax allowances and the minimisation of effective tax rates.

Personal tax in 2023/24

 You may well be confused about the likely tax changes which will have an effect in the new tax year - you are not alone. In the following paragraphs we'll try to summarise the main changes which are likely to occur - not with absolute certainty because we still have another UK budget to come and a Scottish budget to be confirmed!

Income tax bands and allowances have mostly been frozen for the foreseeable future in both Scotland and the UK. The only major change is the reduction in the amount of income you can earn before paying the top rate of tax - 45% in the UK and 47% in Scotland. This rate will come into play for taxable income above £125,140. Looks like a silly number but it has been set to coincide with the point at which the personal allowance has disappeared. No change in the main UK rates of tax but the Scottish higher rate should rise from 41% to 42% and the top rate from 46% to 47%.

Allowances and rate bands have also been frozen for National Insurance and for Inheritance tax but the annual allowances for dividends and capital gains will be cut. The CGT allowance drops in April from £12,300 to £6,000 then to £3,000 in April 2024. The dividend allowance drops from £2,000 to £1,000 in April then to £500 the following year. Don't be surprised if the tax free allowances for interest and others fall in April 2024 as well. The changes in CGT are likely to prove expensive and it may be beneficial to trigger some gains in the current tax year to utilise the current level of allowance.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Emergency Financial Statement

The Chancellor made a statement to Parliament containing a number of tax measures some of which were almost immediately effective with others planned for future dates. Subsequently he abandoned some of the future plans. Many of the proposals would, in any event, have had no immediate impact on the position in Scotland.

Income tax

The basic rate of income tax in will be reduced to 19% from April 2023. This will not affect Scotland where the starting rate is already 19% although the Scottish rates will be set later in the year and may also be altered. The proposal to abolish the 45% highest rate of tax has been abandoned for the moment. Again, this would not, of itself, have had any effect in Scotland.

Corporation tax

The proposal made by the previous Chancellor to increase the main rate of corporation tax to 25% has been abandoned. CT rates are set UK wide.

National Insurance

The increase of 1.25% in the NI rates for employees and employers which came into effect in April will be eliminated from 6 November 2022. The position regarding the rates to apply at various dates in the year along with the relevant thresholds are complicated. An average rate will be applied for directors who are subject to an annual basis of charge to NI and a similar proportionate rate applied for Class 4 NI.

Annual Investment Allowance

The AIA will, contrary to previous announcements, remain at £1m from April 2023 to April 2024.


The threshold for SDLT has been doubled. This only applies to transactions in England and Wales. No changes have yet been announced for Scotland.


The rate of tax on dividends was increased by 1.25% in April 2022. This will be removed from April 2023. It may be beneficial, where possible, to delay payment of dividends to avoid the additional rate.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Capital allowances

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) of 100% has now been retained until at least 31 March 2023. Up to £1m per year of capital expenditure can benefit from the allowance. This figure could well fall again in 2023 but much will depend on the economic growth in the coming year. At least we are no longer constrained by EU rules which prevented the AIA from being sustained at this high level of expenditure for a long period.

It is worth noting the the current "Super Deduction" of 130% is also available until March 2023 on main rate assets (plant and machinery, commercial vehicles etc) and a 50% deduction available for special rate assets. Do keep in mind that expenditure on cars does not qualify for any of these allowances.

Thursday, February 3, 2022


Extended carry back

If your business has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a loss, you may be able to benefit from the extended carry-back provisions to generate a tax repayment.

For income tax purposes, losses for 2020/21 and 2021/22 can be carried back for up to three years (to the extent that the loss has not been relieved against other income of the same or the previous accounting period).

For corporation tax purposes, a loss for accounting periods ending between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022 can be carried back three years, rather than the usual one.

We can help ensure that you obtain the best possible relief for any losses that you have incurred.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Covid 19 Support

Late in 2021 both the UK and Scottish governments announced additional support for certain business sectors to counteract the impact of the latest coronavirus restrictions. Full details of much of the support has yet to be clarified but should be available mainly to businesses in the hospitality related sectors. Many small businesses will also, once again, be able to take advantage of the SSP refunds available during much of last year.

Budget 2022

In many areas of taxation it was very much "as you were" after the Budget announcements. In UK terms there were no changes to any of the main tax rates or allowances although in Scotland starter and basic rate bands are due to increase in line with inflation. The changes to national insurance and dividend taxes to fund the social care levy had already been announced and these will result in the a substantial tax increase over the coming year. On the positive side, the Annual Investment Allowance which should have been reduced to £250,000 from 1 January 2022 has been maintained at its current level of £1m until at least 31 March 2023.