Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement last week has received a mixed response, with many professional commentators highlighting financial pressures on senior doctors could increase again.
They have warned that further tax measures and spending cuts may be announced after the 2024 election regardless of which party comes to power, write Richard Norbury and Alec James of Sandison Easson and Co. accountants.
The term ‘fiscal drag’ has been used by professional commentators to highlight that although basic and higher rates of tax have remained unchanged, it will, in a period of inflation, bring more individuals into paying higher rates of tax.
Here’s a quick round-up of the autumn statement issues affecting Independent Practitioner Today readers:
The reversal of the additional 1.25% on National Insurance announced by the previous Chancellor in his mini-Budget remains – meaning employer and employee National Insurance will be reduced.
Rates of tax remain unchanged, with the exception of the additional rate threshold decreasing from £150,000 to £125,140 from April 2023. The thresholds will remain unchanged until 2028.
The tax-free dividend allowance of £2,000 will be reduced to £1,000 from April 2023, dropping further to £500 from April 2024.
The increase of 1.25% that applied to dividend tax rates will no longer be an additional tax rate from April 2023.
Inheritance tax thresholds remain unchanged to 2028, but capital gains tax annual exemption of £12,300 (first £12,300 of any capital gain free of tax) reduces in April 2023 to £6,000 and then to £3,000 from April 2024.
The planned rise in corporation tax from April 2023 will remain, meaning the small company rate of 19% only applies to profits up to £50,000 and then increases for profits earned over this amount to either 26.5% (marginal rate profits between £50,001 to £250,000) or 25% (main rate profits over £250,000).
From April 2025, vehicle excise duty on electric cars will apply and the benefit-in-kind tax rate will increase by 1% a year until it reaches 5% in April 2027. Many senior doctors have already taken advantage of the lower rates either via a limited company or the NHS fleet scheme.
Once again, despite detailed lobbying and tentative promises, nothing has changed relating to both the annual allowance and lifetime allowance tax rules.
The annual allowance tax charge lobbying would appear to have had more success in that certain technical changes could benefit individuals this year who would have suffered due to the consumer price index (CPI) for September 2022 being 10.1%, although these measures would mainly benefit GPs.
The BMA has published and circulated to members details of the above and more information is awaited.
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