New tax year – New tax rules

With the start of the new tax year, taxpayers can expect significant changes that will directly impact their finances in the next tax year (2024/25).

If you haven’t already, it’s time to closely examine your financial planning, including savings, investments, and tax compliance.

So, what changes should you be aware of from 6 April 2024?

  • Employee National Insurance contributions (NICs): Primary Class 1 NICs for employees will be reduced from 10 per cent to eight per cent, aligning with the Government’s efforts to lower the tax burden and simplify the tax code.
  • Self-employed National Insurance contributions (NICs): Class 4 NICs for the self-employed will drop from nine per cent to six per cent, alongside the abolition of Class 2 NICs for those with profits over £12,570, simplifying tax responsibilities and maintaining access to contributory benefits.
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT): From April 2024, the higher CGT rate on the sale of second and additional homes drops from 28 per cent to 24 per cent. This move means you might need to reassess your property investment and disposal strategies.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): The Government is scrapping Multiple Dwellings Relief starting 1 June 2024. If you’re buying multiple properties in one go, you may need to rethink your strategy.
  • VAT registration threshold: Rising from £85,000 to £90,000 in April 2024, the new threshold offers a slight reprieve for small businesses. It’s crucial to understand when you must now register for VAT.

Consulting with your accountant is the best way to navigate these changes effectively.

What do these changes mean for you?

For the self-employed, the significant decrease in Class 4 NICs from nine per cent to six per cent, coupled with the abolition of Class 2 NICs for those earning over £12,570 will simplify your tax-paying process, potentially reducing your overall tax liability and allow for a better allocation of funds towards business growth, savings, or personal investment.

The abolition of Class 2 NICs, while streamlining your tax contributions, may mean that the self-employed need to make voluntary NICs to be eligible for crucial state benefits.

The VAT registration threshold increase to £90,000 has the potential to significantly benefit SMEs, likely delaying the requirement for VAT registration for many.

This change could positively affect your cash flow and simplify compliance efforts in the short term.

To fully understand the impact, you must review your business’s current and projected turnover, ensuring you remain compliant with VAT registration requirements at the new threshold.

Having said this, it is sometimes worth registering for VAT early to simplify your pricing structure and have access to the Flat Rate Scheme which gives you clear visibility of your VAT liabilities.

The abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief in June 2024 requires a strategic shift for those investing in property.

With this relief gone, it becomes more costly to acquire multiple properties in a single transaction and you’ll need to explore alternative tax-efficient investment strategies, perhaps focusing on sectors or assets not affected by this change, such as commercial properties or investments that qualify for other forms of tax relief.

The Government is also promoting tax reliefs for investments in digital and green technologies, aiming to foster innovation and environmentally sustainable business practices.

These incentives, like Enhanced Capital Allowances, could offer considerable savings and should encourage investment in qualifying technology and green energy projects, including solar panels, wind turbines, and energy-efficient equipment.

For higher-rate taxpayers dealing with the sale of second and additional homes, the decrease in the CGT rate from 28 per cent to 24 per cent offers a more favourable tax environment for disposing of residential properties.

This change suggests a window of opportunity for tax-efficient disposals and requires a review of your timing and strategy to maximise benefits.

Looking further ahead, the reform targeting non-UK domiciled individuals, transitioning to a residence-based tax system from April 2025, brings increased responsibility for those affected.

If you are a non-dom residing in the UK for over four years, you’ll face heightened tax obligations on your global income and gains.

This tax year might be an opportune moment to carefully review your residency status and potentially restructure your financial affairs to mitigate the impact of these changes.

With taxes undergoing considerable changes in the 2024/25 tax year, it is going to be crucial to actively review and adapt your financial and tax planning strategies.

Engaging with a tax professional is the best way to receive customised advice that helps you navigate the complexities of the tax system effectively, ensuring you leverage every available relief and adjustment to optimise your financial position.

If you require further information on your new tax liabilities, please contact one of our team. 

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