The personal allowance
The personal allowance is currently £11,000. Legislation has already been enacted to increase the allowance to £11,500 for 2017/18.
Tax bands and rates
The basic rate of tax is currently 20%. The band of income taxable at this rate is £32,000 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £43,000 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance.
In 2017/18 the band of income taxable at the basic rate will be different for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland to residents elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish government has decided to reduce the band of income taxable at the basic rate to £31,500 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies remains at £43,000.
In the rest of the UK, legislation has already been enacted to increase the basic rate band to £33,500 for 2017/18. The higher rate threshold will therefore rise to £45,000 in 2017/18.
The additional rate of tax of 45% remains payable on taxable income above £150,000 for all UK residents.
Tax bands and rates – dividends
Dividends received by an individual are subject to special tax rates. The first £5,000 of dividends are charged to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates:
- 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers
- 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers
- 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.
Dividends within the allowance still count towards an individual’s basic or higher rate band and so may affect the rate of tax paid on dividends above the £5,000 allowance.
To determine which tax band dividends fall into, dividends are treated as the last type of income to be taxed.
Reduction in the Dividend Allowance
The Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
Tax on savings income
Savings income is income such as bank and building society interest.
The Savings Allowance (SA) was first introduced for the 2016/17 tax year and applies to savings income. The available SA in a tax year depends on the individual’s marginal rate of income tax. Broadly, individuals taxed at up to the basic rate of tax have an SA of £1,000. For higher rate taxpayers, the SA is £500 whilst no SA is due to additional rate taxpayers.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
The overall ISA savings limit is £15,240 for 2016/17 but will jump to £20,000 in 2017/18.
A new Lifetime ISA will be available from April 2017 for adults under the age of 40. Individuals will be able to contribute up to £4,000 per year, between ages 18 and 50, and receive a 25% bonus from the government. Funds, including the government bonus, can be used to buy a first home at any time from 12 months after opening the account, and can be withdrawn from age 60 completely tax free.
Money Purchase Annual Allowance
The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) will be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000 from 6 April 2017.
The MPAA counters an individual using the flexibilities around accessing a money purchase pension arrangement as a means to avoid tax on their current earnings, by diverting their salary into their pension scheme, gaining tax relief, and then effectively withdrawing 25% tax free. It also restricts the extent to which individuals can gain a second round of tax relief by withdrawing savings and reinvesting them into their pension. The MPAA is currently £10,000 and applies to individuals who have flexibly accessed their money purchase pension savings.
Phased roll out of Tax-Free Childcare
The Chancellor has confirmed that Tax-Free Childcare will be rolled out from April 2017. Tax-Free Childcare will be gradually rolled out for children under 12.
Under the scheme the relief will be 20% of the costs of childcare up to a total of £10,000 per child per year. The scheme will therefore be worth a maximum of £2,000 per child (£4,000 for a disabled child). It is expected that all parents in the household will have to meet the following conditions:
- meet a minimum income level based on the equivalent of working 16 hours a week at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rates
- each earn less than £100,000 a year and
- not already be receiving support through tax credits or Universal Credit.
The existing scheme, Employer-Supported Childcare, will remain open to new entrants until April 2018 to support the transition between the schemes.
Universal Credit is a state benefit designed to support those on low income or out of work.
An individual’s entitlement to the benefit is made up of a number of elements to reflect their personal circumstances. Their entitlement is tapered at a rate of 65% where claimants earn above the work allowances. The current taper rate for those who claim Universal Credit means their credit will be withdrawn at a rate of 65 pence for every extra £1 earned.
From April 2017, the taper rate that applies to Universal Credit will be reduced from 65% to 63%.
Property and trading income allowances
From April 2017, the government will introduce new £1,000 allowances for property and trading income. Individuals with property or trading income below £1,000 will no longer need to declare or pay tax on that income. Those with income above the allowance will be able to calculate their taxable profit either by deducting their expenses in the normal way or by simply deducting the relevant allowance. The trading allowance will also apply to certain miscellaneous income from providing assets or services. Any income which attracts rent-a-room relief will not be eligible for either of the allowances.