Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – The Chancellor has announced an extension to the furlough scheme until the end of September 2021. There will be no change for employees who will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Employers will continue to cover National Insurance contributions and pensions but from July will be asked to make a small contribution. From July employers will have to contribute towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July and 20% in August and September.
Rates and limits
From April 21 national living wage will increase by 2.2% to £8.91 per hour for people aged 23 and over. This means an increase of £350 p.a. for an employee working full time.
The chancellor announced that personal income tax thresholds will be frozen from next year until 2026. The tax-free income threshold to be frozen at £12,570 and the higher rate band £50,270 until 2026.
Also to be frozen are the thresholds for inheritance tax £325,000, pensions lifetime allowance £1,073,100 and capital gains tax £12,300. The rates will also stay the same for income tax, national insurance and VAT.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The Chancellor announced a fourth and fifth grant available to the self-employed. The fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of three months average trading profits capped at £7,500. The fourth grant for will cover the period February to April 2021 and claims can be made from late April.
To be eligible for the fourth grant self-employed individuals must have submitted their 2019-20 income tax return by midnight on 2nd March 2021. This means more than 600,000 individuals will now be eligible for SEISS, including individuals new to self-employment in 2019-20.
The fifth and final grant covering the period May to September 2021 will be determined by a turnover test to target the support to the businesses most in need. 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. Claims can be made from late July. The Government will publish further details in due course.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said “planned increases in the prices of alcohol and fuel have been scrapped” He told the House of Commons the duty increases will not go ahead as planned. Fuel Duty has been frozen for a 10th successive year and alcohol duties frozen for the second year in a row.
Stamp Duty Holiday Extension
The current SDLT Nil Rate Band of £500,000 will be extended until 30 June 2021. From 1st July the Nil Rate Band will reduce to £250,000 before returning to £125,000 on 1st October 2021.