As you may know, this November will see the second Budget published in 2017. Here is everything you need to know about the Autumn Budget 2017.
When is the next Budget?
The government will publish the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017. The Chancellor will make his speech to Parliament, which will outline the Budget’s key measures, at this time. It usually starts at around 12:30pm and can be viewed live on the BBC.
Why are there two Budgets this year?
The last Budget was less than a year ago, on 8th March 2017. One of Philip Hammond’s first moves when he became Chancellor of the Exchequer was announcing that the Budget would be moved from the Spring to the Autumn. This will allow, he claimed, the government more time to implement proposed measures in the Budget before the new tax year starts on 6th April. Therefore, there will be two Budgets in 2017 and just one Budget in 2018, as well as a Spring Statement.
What will be published in the Budget?
The purpose of the Budget is to disclose the government’s plans for spending and taxation for the following tax year. The Chancellor said via YouTube that his November speech will ‘disclose the government’s plans for spending and raising taxes’.
What can contractors and freelancers expect from the Autumn Budget?
Of course, rumours are flying that the Chancellor will introduce off-payroll public sector rules to the private sector in this Budget. However, if the off-payroll rules were to appear in this Budget, it would likely be a consultation to discuss the extension of the rules to the private sector. Calls for Hammond and the government to slow down on rolling out the off-payroll rules to the private sector – in order to do it properly – have already been received.
Another possibility for this Budget is the reconfirmation of plans to cut the dividend tax allowance from April 2018. This means that, in November, the Chancellor is likely to reiterate that the dividend allowance will be cut from £5,000 to £2,000 from 6 April 2018 – affecting those who operate via limited companies.
One relative question mark for this Budget is the next step in bridging the gap between self-employment and employment in the UK in terms of how they are taxed. As the number of contractors in the UK has increased to 15% of the entire workforce, the government called on the need to review employment and tax rules for the flexible workforce.
The government commissioned an independent review to do just this – known as the ‘Taylor review’ – and it was published in July 2017. Officials have undoubtedly been analysing findings and preparing next steps for regulating the millions of self-employed in the UK. This includes ensuring those who work in the ‘gig economy’ and who should be considered official employees – receive any employee rights and benefits they are entitled to.
What if I don’t want to watch the whole Budget to learn the key points?
Not to worry, Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd covers the Budget every year and publishes a blog that outlines the key facts appearing in the Budget, along with how they will affect contractors and freelancers.
Keep an eye on our blog on 22nd November to be the first to learn about the Autumn Budget 2017.