Are you and your spouse using your personal allowance and lower rate bands in full? The higher rate threshold increases to £37,500 from 6 April 2019 meaning that people can earn £50,000 before paying tax at higher rates. Transfers of assets between spouses and civil partners are tax free and can help to reduce the overall tax burden by making the most of the available allowances and bands. Consider organising your income producing assets to use the personal savings allowance which is available to basic and higher rate taxpayers but not to additional rate taxpayers. The allowance is £1,000 per year for basic rate taxpayers and £500 per year for higher rate taxpayers. Therefore, it is important to ensure that taxable income does not fall into the next tax band as the £1,000 allowance could be reduced to £500 or the £500 allowance to nil if income falls into the next tax bracket by just £1. The 0% ‘starting rate band’ remains at £5,000, and a £2,000 ‘dividend allowance’ is also available.
|Savings starting rate limit||£5,000||£5,000|
|Savings starting rate||0%||0%|
|Basic rate band||£37,500||£34,500|
|Dividend ordinary rate||7.5%||7.5%|
|Higher rate band||£37,501 – £150,000||£34,501 – £150,000|
|Dividend upper rate||32.5%||32.5%|
|Additional rate band||over £150,000||over £150,000|
|Dividend additional rate||38.1%||38.1%|
Allowances that reduce taxable income
|Blind person’s allowance||£2,450||£2,390|
The personal allowance is reduced by £1 for each £2 of adjusted net income from £100,000 to £125,000 (2018/19, £123,700).
|Personal savings allowance||Basic rate taxpayers||£1,000||£1,000|
|Higher rate taxpayers||£500||£500|
|Additional rate taxpayers||Nil||Nil|
Allowances that reduce tax
|*Married couple’s allowance||£8,915||£8,695|
|**Marriage allowance||up to £1,250||up to £1,190|
*Where one spouse/civil partner is born before 6 April 1935. The allowance is reduced by £1 for each £2 of adjusted net income above £29,600 until a minimum of £3,450 is reached. Relief is given at 10%.
**Where both spouses/civil partners are born on or after 6 April 1935. The marriage allowance allows an individual to transfer up to this amount of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner. Neither the transferor nor recipient can be liable to income tax at the higher or additional rate. Relief is given at 20%.
It is extremely important to have a current, valid and up-to-date Will. Marriage, divorce and material changes in assets held should all prompt a consideration of your Will, to ensure it continues to meet your wishes for your family’s future. You can also make lifetime gifts to reduce your taxable estate. A gift to an individual is exempt from inheritance tax if the donor survives for seven years from the date of the gift. Therefore, consider making gifts while asset values are low, although there may be CGT implications the CGT payable on a gain now is likely to be considerably less than the IHT payable on the future value of the asset. IHT efficient investments or financial products are available which can substantially reduce your IHT exposure. Business assets qualify for 100% relief from IHT, normally after a two year ownership period. Let agricultural land and buildings (including farmhouses and cottages) can also have favoured status for IHT.
|Nil rate band||£325,000||£325,000|
A surviving spouse will receive a further nil rate band allowance based on the percentage of nil rate band not used by the predeceased spouse/civil partner. Subject to conditions, a residence nil rate band of £150,000 (2018/19 £125,000) is available on transfers to direct descendants.
|Chargeable on lifetime transfers||20%||20%|
|Transfers on or within seven years of death||40%||40%|
|Reduced rate where 10% of net chargeable estate left to charity||36%||36%|
- Most transfers between spouses and civil partners.
- First £3,000 of lifetime transfers in any tax year plus any unused from the previous year.
- Gifts up to £250 p.a. to any number of persons.
- Gifts made out of income that form part of normal expenditure and do not reduce the standard of living.
- Gifts in consideration of marriage/civil partnership up to £5,000 by a parent, £2,500 by grandparents, or £1,000 by anyone else.
- Gifts to charities, whether made during lifetime or on death.
Think about maximising the amounts you contribute to your pension each year. For companies, a deduction from profits is usually available for pension contributions on a paid basis and not in respect of the amount recognised in the profit and loss account. It is therefore important to ensure payments are made before the end of the accounting period to accelerate relief. You might also consider whether pension contributions could be made to directors and/or shareholders instead of dividends, thus increasing the tax relief gained by the company. Care is needed as excessive contributions can result in tax charges for the individuals. Should you require further information on pensions, please speak to your usual PKF Francis Clark Financial Planning contact or your own financial adviser.
|Maximum annual tax-efficient gross contributions to age||74|
|– individuals||£3,600 or 100% of net relevant earnings to £40,000*|
|– employers||£40,000 less employee contributions|
|Normal age for accessing benefits||55|
|Lifetime allowance charge||lump sum paid||55%|
|On cumulative benefits exceeding||£1,055,000**|
|Maximum tax-free lump sum||25%**|
*The annual contribution may be increased to include the unused amounts from the previous three years, subject to specific conditions. The annual allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted income that exceeds £150,000, up to a maximum of £30,000 reduction. The annual allowance is reduced to £4,000 where benefits have been taken from a defined contribution scheme, subject to specific conditions.
**Subject to protection for excess amount.
Will you be affected by the withdrawal of child benefit where one or more of your family’s income exceeds £50,000? The limit has not increased since its introduction in 2013, meaning more and more families have been caught due to inflationary increases in earnings.The high income child benefit charge (HICBC) applies where the benefit claimant, or their partner, has annual adjusted net income of £50,000 or more. The total annual child benefit entitlement is reduced by 1% for each £100 of income in excess of £50,000 of the individual or of the partner with the highest income. If the individual or partner with the highest income has an income in excess of £60,000 the whole of the child benefit is clawed back.
In addition to income tax, most UK workers also have to pay national insurance contributions (NIC). If you are employed, these are deducted from your pay. NIC starts when you reach age 16, based on your income, and you usually stop paying when you reach state pension age.The national insurance rules if you are self-employed are more complicated, and you will usually have to pay class 2 and class 4 contributions through self-assessment, depending on the level of your profits.
|Weekly earnings 2019/20||Contribution rate|
|At or below £166||0%|
|£166.01 – £962||12%|
Employees above state pension age do not have to pay NIC.
|Weekly earnings 2019/20||Contribution rate|
|At or below £166||0%|
Employment allowance of £3,000 per employer, per year.
*0% rate applies to all under 21s, and apprentices under 25 years, for earnings up to £962 per week.
Class 1A and 1B (employer)
|On relevant benefits||13.8%|
|Self employed||£3.00* per week|
|Small profits threshold||£6,365 per annum|
|Voluntary||£15.00 per week|
|Self employed on profits £8,632 – £50,000||9%|
*Share fishermen pay £3.65 and volunteer development workers £5.90.
**Exemption applies if the state retirement age is reached by 6 April 2019.
The adult ISA allowance remains unchanged for 2018/19 and 2019/20, but the junior ISA limit, for children who do not have a child trust fund, has been uprated in line with the CPI. Children are able to have one cash junior ISA and one stocks and shares junior ISA at any time. Anyone can invest in a junior ISA (not just parents) on behalf of a child. Help to buy ISAs are also still available, but only until 30 November 2019. The Government lifetime ISA (LISA) is also available for individuals aged between 18 and 40, who can save up to £4,000 per tax year (until they reach age 50) into a LISA and receive a 25% bonus from the Government at the end of the year.
|ISA||Annual investment limit||£20,000||£20,000|
|Junior ISA||Annual investment limit||£4,368||£4,260|
Corporation tax year-end planning is not what it once was. This is due mainly to the abolition of the different rates of corporation tax that previously applied to ‘large’ and ‘small’ company taxable profits. UK corporation tax has been a flat rate of 19% for most company profits since the financial year beginning 1 April 2017 and is forecast to fall to 17% for the year beginning 1 April 2020. When approaching the financial year end though, it is important to consider the opportunities that still remain via tax reliefs to optimise working capital and business performance prior to the year end.
|Financial year from 1 April||2019||2018|
Have you utilised your capital gains tax annual exemption? It can’t be carried forward but planning such as spousal transfers can help ensure that annual exemptions and basic rate bands are utilised to minimise the overall CGT liability. The Government has made a number of technical changes to CGT reliefs over the last three years – please talk to your usual PKF Francis Clark adviser for more information, if you are planning a disposal.
|All gains except residential property and carried interest|
|Lower (basic) rate||10%||10%|
|Higher (higher and additional) rate||20%||20%|
|Residential property and carried interest gains|
|Lower (basic) rate||18%||18%|
|Higher (higher and additional) rate||28%||28%|
|Allowances and reliefs|
|Entrepreneurs’ relief||Applicable rate||10%||10%|
|Investors’ relief*||Applicable rate||10%||10%|
*Separate lifetime limit on gains for external investors. Applies to newly issued shares in unlisted trading companies which have been held for three years from 6 April 2016.
You should review your proposed capital expenditure and disposals to ensure that any capital allowance claims are maximised. This is particularly important when buying or selling a commercial property as allowances may be lost if steps are not taken to identify qualifying expenditure prior to the sale / purchase. It is also important to consider the timing of capital expenditure to see if higher rates of allowances can be claimed by using first year allowances. A new structures and buildings allowance has been introduced this year, which will provide 2% tax relief for the cost of new or renovated commercial structures, where construction commences on or after 29 October 2018. Relief will be limited to the original cost of construction or renovation, relieved across a fixed 50-year period, regardless of ownership changes.
|First year allowance: for certain environmentally beneficial equipment, electric and low CO2 emission cars (not exceeding 50g/km). Allowances for energy & water saving plant abolished: April 2020.||100%|
|AIA: on first £1m of expenditure (exc. cars) from 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020. Before & after this date the allowance is on the first £200,000 of expenditure.||100%|
Writing down allowances
|Other plant and machinery||18%|
|Long-life assets, integral features of buildings, thermal insulation||6%|
|Structures and buildings allowance from 29 October 2018||2%|
|Cars||Up to 50g/km (new only)||100%|
|Up to 110g/km||18%|
Investing in EIS shares gives you income tax relief at 30% on up to £1m invested and any gain on sale of the EIS shares is exempt from CGT provided the EIS shares are held for at least three years and the qualifying conditions continue to be met. A CGT deferral is also available which can defer the gain on the disposal of any asset however, any gains deferred will usually come back into charge when the EIS shares are sold. Your investment will also be free of inheritance tax (IHT) after two years. Other tax-favoured investments are also available. Should you require further information on investments, please speak to your usual PKF Francis Clark Financial Planning contact or your own financial adviser.
|Enterprise investment scheme||Limit||£1m|
|Venture capital trust||Limit||£200,000|
|Seed enterprise investment scheme||Limit||£100,000|
|Social investment tax relief||Limit||£1m|
*From 6 April 2018 up to £2m for ‘knowledge intensive companies’.
Tax free mileage allowance payments are sums you pay to an employee for using their own vehicle for business journeys, or sums you receive from your employer for using your own car for business journeys. You’re allowed to pay or receive a certain ‘approved’ amount each year without having to report this to HMRC. If you are paid less than the approved amount for the use of your car, you can claim tax relief on the difference between what you were actually paid, and the approved levels.
|Cars and vans||First 10,000 business miles p.a.||45p|
Fuel only allowance for company cars:
|From 1 September 2019||Electric||Petrol||Diesel||LPG|
|Up to 1400cc*||4p||12p||10p||8p|
|1401** – 2000cc||4p||14p||11p||10p|
These rates may change within the tax year.
*1600cc for diesel **1601cc for diesel.
Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars.
When is a car (or van) a ‘company car’? For tax purposes, when an employer makes a vehicle available to an employee or their family and household for private use, it is classed as a company car. A company car might be required as a condition of your job or offered as a benefit, and there may well be limits on your choice. Cars or vans that are provided for business use only, with private use specifically prohibited, are broadly exempt from company car tax. Although the tax charge on company cars and vans made available for private use has been increasing steadily over the last ten years, there are tax incentives in place to encourage the use of energy efficient company cars and vans, and the lowest emission cars still carry the lowest tax rates (and beneficial capital allowances treatment), so it might be time to ‘go green’.The taxable BIK is calculated as a percentage of the car’s UK list price. The percentage depends on the car’s CO2 emissions in grams per kilometre (g/km).
|0 – 50g/km||16%||20%|
|51 – 75g/km||19%||23%|
|76 – 94g/km||22%||26%|
|Over 94g/km||add 1% for every 5g/km|
|165g/km (petrol)/145g/km (diesel) or more||37% maximum|
The list price is on the day before first registration, including most accessories and is reduced by any employee’s capital contribution (max £5,000) when the car is first made available.
Where the cost of all fuel for private use is borne by the employee, the fuel benefit is nil. Otherwise, the fuel benefit is calculated by applying the car benefit percentage (above) to £24,100 (2018/19 £23,400).
Vans where private use is more than home to work travel; £3,430 (2018/19 £3,350) benefit and £655 (2018/19 £633) for private fuel. Payments by employees for private use may reduce the BIK.
Vans that do not emit CO2 have a reduced charge of 60% of the full rate for 2019/20. Cars that meet the Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standard are exempt from the diesel supplement.
If you’re a VAT-registered business you must report the amount of VAT you’ve charged and the amount of VAT you’ve paid to HMRC. This is done through your VAT Return which is usually due every three months. Making tax digital for VAT will be introduced on 1 April 2019. MTDfV introduces the new digital filing and record keeping requirements for VAT and will be compulsory for all entities that are VAT registered in the UK and have an annual taxable turnover exceeding £85,000. MTDfV will require almost all UK VAT registered businesses to keep ‘digital records’ and file their VAT returns via ‘functional compatible software’ – please speak to our VAT team if you need any information or help with these changes.
|From 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2022|
Taxable Turnover Limits:
|Registration (last 12 months or next 30 days over)||£85,000|
|Deregistration (next year under)||£83,000|
|Annual accounting scheme||£1.35m|
|Cash accounting scheme||£1.35m|
|Flat rate scheme*||£150,000|
*If goods cost less than 2% of turnover or £1,000p.a. you will be classified as a ‘limited cost business’ and pay a rate of 16.5% irrespective of business type.
Stamp duty is payable at a rate of 0.5% on certain transfers of shares and securities of £1,000 and over.You must pay stamp duty land tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland (in Scotland, land and buildings transaction tax applies, and in Wales land transaction tax applies – both are similar to SDLT). There are different rules if you’re buying your first home. You get a discount that means you pay less or no tax if you complete your purchase on or after 22 November 2017, the purchase price is £500,000 or less and you (and everyone else you’re buying with) are a first-time buyer. The amount charged depends whether the property is an otright purchase or leasehold, and whether the property is residential or non-residential / mixed-use.
|SDLT on the transfer of residential property*||Main Residence||Second Home or Buy to Let|
|Up to £125,000||0%||3%|
|The next £125,000 (from £125,001 to £250,000)||2%||5%|
|The next £675,000 (from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%||8%|
|The next £575,000 (from £925,001 to £1.5m)||10%||13%|
|The remaining proportion (above £1.5m)||12%||15%|
*15% for purchases by companies on value over £500,000 subject to exemptions.
*Subject to conditions, from 22 November 2017, first-time buyers pay 0% on up to £300,000 and 5% between £300,000 and £500,000. No relief available if purchase > £500,000.
|SDLT on the transfer of non-residential or mixed use property|
|On the first £150,000||0%|
|On the next £100,000||2%|
|Balance above £250,000||5%|