As we step into December, we look back at 2017 to recognisehow the employment rights, entitlements and status of the self-employed progressed throughout the year. Here’s our round-up:
The Autumn Budget 2017 took place on Wednesday 22nd November, and what was expected to be a bold event for Contractors and Freelancers, turned out to be quite mellow as just a minimal amount of measures actually affected Contractors and Freelancers.
– Personal Tax
As of April 2018, the Personal Allowance will increase to £11,850 and the Higher Rate Threshold will rise to 46,350.
– Indexation Allowance
This is applied when calculating gains on investments which are held by companies. This will be frozen as of 1st January, which brings the Corporate Tax system in line with Personal Tax for Capital Gains.
– VAT Threshold Consultation
The threshold which currently stands at £85,000 will remain the same until April 2018. However, as it is the highest in the OECD, a consultation will be held to draw together a future design.
– Making Tax Digital
This measure has been pushed back to April 2019 for VAT registered businesses whose turnover exceeds the threshold of compulsory registration.
– IR35 Reform in the Private Sector
Despite no mention of the IR35 reform to be rolled into the private sector, the red book which was released shortly after the announcement said otherwise. The IR35 Private Sector Reform will be subject to a consultation, this will be published during 2018.
– New Small Business Commissioner steps into role
Paul Uppal has been appointed as Small Business Commissioner, a newly established role which provides dispute resolution with larger-scale businesses.
– Release of the Matthew Taylor Report
The report on Modern Employment Practices puts forward recommendations to introduce a new term; ‘dependent contractor’, which replaces the term ‘worker’. Taylor argues that this proposed definition better defines casual working in this modern era.
Taylor also proposed sick pay and holiday pay for dependent contractors.
– Auto-Enrolment Pension Scheme
Royal London and Aviva unveiled plans in relation to an auto-enrolment pensions scheme for the self-employed. It was proposed for the annual tax return to be used to default the self-employed into making contributions into their pension.
– Self-employment and gig-economy inquiry report released by Parliamentary Committee
The report recognises that “it is clear that current ways of categorising workers are creaking under the weight of the changing economy,” and suggests that this should be changed.
The report also campaigns against a lack of protections for gig workers, recognising a need for change.
– Spring Budget Announcement
The tax-free Dividend Allowance threshold was reduced to £2000, from £5000, as of April 2018.
The VAT threshold increased to £85,000 from April 2017.
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