The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced new measures to help business and jobs and to support the UK’s recovery through the economic crisis in the Budget presented to House of Commons today.
Please see below for our summary
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Extended from May until the end of September 2021. Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June. From July, there will be an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) fourth grant
A fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will cover the period February to April, and can be claimed from late April. Self-employed individuals must have filed a 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax return to be eligible for the fourth grant. Over 600,000 will be newly eligible for SEISS, including many new to self-employment in 2019-20. All other eligibility criteria will remain the same as the third grant.
A fifth grant
The final SEISS grant covering May to September. The value of the grant will be determined by a turnover test, to ensure that support is targeted at those who need it the most as the economy reopens. People whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive the full grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a 30% grant, capped at £2,850. The final grant can be claimed from late July. Further details will be published in due course.
Universal Credit increase
The temporary £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance is to continue for a further six months, on top of the planned uprating. This measure will apply to all new and existing Universal Credit claimants.
Additional support for Working Tax Credit claimants
A one-off payment of £500 to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants across the UK, to provide continued extra support over the next six months.
Mortgage guarantee scheme
A new mortgage guarantee scheme in April 2021. This scheme will provide a guarantee to lenders across the UK who offer mortgages to people with a deposit of just 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000. Under the scheme all buyers will have the opportunity to fix their initial mortgage rate for at least five years should they wish to. The scheme, which will be available for new mortgages up to 31 December 2022, will increase the availability of mortgages on new or existing properties for those with small deposits.
Temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut
The temporary increase in the residential SDLT Nil Rate Band to £500,000 will continue until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the Nil Rate Band will reduce to £250,000 until 30 September 2021 before returning to £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
Payments for employers who hire new apprentices
Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, compared with £1,500 per new apprentice hire (or £2,000 for those aged 24 and under) under the previous scheme.
Recovery Loan Scheme
From 6 April 2021 the Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million to give them confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.
There will be Grants of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.
VAT reduction for the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector
Extending the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20% rate, a 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months until 31 March 2022.
Business rates reliefs
Eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. Nurseries will also qualify for relief in the same way as other eligible properties. Local authorities will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of these measures.
Extended loss carry-back for businesses
The trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year to three years. This will be available for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses.
- Unincorporated businesses and companies that are not members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22
- Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £200,000 of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22 without any group limitations
- Companies that are members of a corporate group will be able to obtain relief for up to £2 million of losses in each of 2020-21 and 2021-22, but subject to a £2 million cap across the group as a whole
This will be legislated in the forthcoming Finance Bill. Further detail on the group cap will be announced in due course.
The income tax Personal Allowance and higher rate threshold (HRT)
This will be increased in line with CPI as planned in April 2021 (£12,570 & £50,270), then maintained at that level until April 2026. This will take effect in April 2022.
The inheritance tax thresholds, the pensions Lifetime Allowance and the Annual Exempt Amount for Capital Gains Tax
These will be maintained at their existing levels until April 2026.
Corporation tax will be increased from April 2023
The rate will be 25%, with a small profits rate of 19% (for profits under £50,000) being introduced to provide protection to the smallest businesses. There will be relief for businesses with profits under £250,000 so that they pay less than the main rate. In line with the increase in the main rate, the Diverted Profits Tax rate will rise to 31% from April 2023 so that it remains an effective deterrent against diverting profits out of the UK.
Fuel Duty & alcohol Duty
Both frozen for another year. In short, no hike in prices.
The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds will not change for a further period of two years from 1 April 2022.
Interest harmonisation and reform of penalties for late submission and late payment of tax
The government will reform the penalty regime for VAT and Income Tax Self Assessment (ITSA) to make it fairer and more consistent. The new late submission regime will be points-based, and a financial penalty will only be issued when the relevant threshold is reached.
The new late payment regime will introduce penalties proportionate to the amount of tax owed and how late the tax due is. The government will introduce a new approach to interest charges and repayment interest to align VAT with other tax regimes. These reforms will come into effect: for VAT taxpayers, from periods starting on or after 1 April 2022; for taxpayers in ITSA with business or property income over £10,000 per year, from accounting periods beginning on or after 6 April 2023; and for all other taxpayers in ITSA, from accounting periods beginning on or after 6 April 2024.
From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will benefit from a 130% first-year capital allowance. This upfront super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive. Investing companies will also benefit from a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate (including long life) assets.
Freeports in England
East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside and Thames have been successful in the Freeports bidding process for England. Subject to agreeing their governance arrangements and successfully completing their business cases, these Freeports will begin operations from late 2021. The Freeports will contain areas where businesses will benefit from more generous tax reliefs;
- An enhanced 10% rate of Structures and Buildings Allowance for constructing or renovating non-residential structures and buildings, once designated. This means investments will be fully relieved after 10 years compared with the standard 33 ¹/³ years at the 3% rate available nationwide. This will be made available for corporation tax and income tax purposes. To qualify, the structure or building must be brought into use on or before 30 September 2026.
- An enhanced capital allowance of 100% for companies investing in plant and machinery for use in Freeport tax sites, once designated. This will apply to both main and special rate assets, allowing firms to reduce their taxable profits by the full cost of the qualifying investment in the year it is made, and will remain available until 30 September 2026.
- Full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase of land or property within Freeport tax sites in England, once designated. Land or property must be purchased and used for a qualifying commercial purpose. The relief will be available until 30 September 2026.
- Full Business Rates relief in Freeport tax sites in England, once designated. Relief will be available to all new businesses, and certain existing businesses where they expand, until 30 September 2026. Relief will apply for five years from the point at which each beneficiary first receives relief.
- Subject to Parliamentary process and approval, employer National Insurance contributions relief available for eligible employees in all Freeport tax sites from April 2022 or when a tax site is designated if after this date. This would be available until at least April 2026 with the intention to extend for up to a further five years to April 2031, subject to a review of the relief.
Community Ownership Fund
To help ensure that communities across the UK can continue to benefit from the local facilities and amenities that are most important to them. From the summer, community groups will be able to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to help them to buy local assets to run as community-owned businesses (A PUB). In exceptional cases up to £1 million (An expensive pub) of matched funding will be available to help establish a community-owned sports club or buy a sports ground at risk of loss from the community. This will help ensure that important parts of the social fabric – like pubs, sports clubs, theatres and post office buildings – can continue to play a central role in towns and villages across the UK.
Help to Grow: Management
A new UK-wide management programme to upskill 30,000 SMEs in the UK over three years. Developed in partnership with industry, the programme will combine a national curriculum delivered through business schools with practical case studies and mentoring from experienced business professionals. Over 12 weeks, and 90% subsidised by government, this programme will equip SMEs with the tools to grow their businesses and thrive.
Help to Grow: Digital
A new UK-wide scheme in the autumn to help 100,000 SMEs save time and money by adopting productivity-enhancing software, transforming the way they do business. This will combine a voucher covering up to half of the costs of approved software up to a maximum of £5,000, and free impartial advice delivered through an online platform.