Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget today. Exchange Accountants Belfast Tax Director William Gould has picked out the key points for NI business and provided his initial thoughts.
Budget 2020 #1: Coronavirus
- Statutory sick pay to be paid to employees advised to self-isolate, even if they have no symptoms
- Self-employed workers, not eligible for sick pay, able to claim contributory Employment Support Allowance
- SMEs with less than 250 staff will be refunded sick pay payments for two weeks
- Loans of up to £1.2m accessible via new temporary ‘Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ to help businesses with cashflow
- Businesses and self-employed having tax or financial difficulties may be eligible for support via HMRC’s ‘Time To Pay’ service. Contact HMRC’s new dedicated COVID-19 helpline from today for advice and support.
- HMRC has made a further 2,000 call handlers available to support firms and individuals when needed.
William says: “Whilst the above measures are welcomed, I feel the support may not be sufficient to cover the financial loss of footfall and trade, especially for the retail and hospitality sectors.”
Budget 2020 #2: Taxation
- Tax threshold for National Insurance Contributions will rise from £8,632 to £9,500
- Those earning more than £9,500 will be, on average, £85 a year better off
- No other new announcements on income tax, national insurance or VAT
- Tax paid on the pensions of high earners, including doctors, to be recalculated
- Taper annual allowance income thresholds increased for pension calculations –
- Lifetime limit for Entrepreneurs Relief reduced from £10m to previous limit of £1m
- Corporation tax rate to stay at 19% rather than 17% as announced in the 2016 budget
William says: “The reduction in Entrepreneurs Relief was widely expected but good that this generous relief has not been completely abolished. The tapering of annual allowance income thresholds for pension calculations is welcome news for doctors in particular and other higher earners, but there is a sting in the tail for those earning over £200k.”
If you have any questions on how your business may be affected by today’s budget, call us on 02890407470