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Autumn Statement 2023

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To our Autumn Statement 2023 newsletter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead of the taxman.

Please contact us for advice on your own specific circumstances. We’re here to help!
Autumn Statement 2023
· Overview
· Employment Taxes
· Apprenticeship Levy
· National Minimum Wage
· Pensions
· Individuals
· Capital Gains Tax
· Corporation Tax
· Inheritance Tax
· Landfill Tax
· Value Added Tax
· Other
Overview top
On 22 November 2023, the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement. This is not the same as the Budget, another UK Government fiscal event held around March each year. Jeremy Hunt said his Autumn Statement this was the result of ‘eight months hard work’ which contained 110 measures to ‘help grow the British economy’.
Employment Taxes top
The Requirement to File a Self-Assessment Return

The Government will legislate so that individuals who only have PAYE income do not have to complete a tax return.

Income Tax

Personal allowances have been frozen until 2028.  This has bought many low paid people into the tax system for the first time. The Autumn Statement did not announce any relaxation of this policy .  The Chancellor made an exception for the Blind Person’s Allowance (BPA) and the Married Couple’s Allowance (MCA) which will be uprated for 2024/25.

There was no change to the main rates of Income Tax (20%, 40% and 45%). 

National Insurance

Perhaps the biggest announcements were regarding National Insurance that applies to employees.

Class 1

From 06 January 2024, the main rate of Class 1 Primary (employee) National Insurance Contributions will reduce from 12% to 10%. This is within the current tax year 2023/24. The following are impacted:

– Employees on NI category letters A, F, H, M and V
– Employees earning between the Primary Threshold and the Upper Earnings Limit

For payments made on and after 06 January 2024, National Insurance for employees will be calculated as follows:






Table Letters

A / F / H / M and V

C / S

B / I

J / L and Z

Earnings up to LEL





Earnings between LEL and PT





Earnings between PT and UEL 





Earnings above UEL 





There is no reduction in the main percentage that applies to employers.

You are strongly advised to contact your software provider who will have to make this change in software for payments made on and after 06 January 2024.

Class 2

This is the National Insurance that is paid at a weekly flat rate (currently £3.45 per week) by the self-employed with profits above £12,570.

From tax year 2024/25, this is being abolished. But where the profit is above £6,725, contributory benefits, including the State Pension, can still be accessed even though no NI is payable.

Where profits are below £6,725, contributory benefits, including the State Pension, can still be accessed by paying voluntary National Insurance (known as Class 3).

Class 3

This has been frozen in 2024/25 at its 2023/24 level (£17.45 per week).

Class 4

This is the other National Insurance payable by the self-employed where there is a profit (between £12,570 and £50,270). The rate between these thresholds is 9% in 2023/24 and it will reduce to 8% in 2024/25.

Employment Allowance

This is the amount that certain employers can claim from HMRC and use to offset against their National Insurance liability. There was no mention of this in the Autumn Statement or any accompany documents, therefore, this remains at £5,000 for eligible employers.
Apprenticeship Levy top
This is used to fund apprenticeship training in England and is a cost to employers, The following apply in tax year 2024/25:

– Levy Allowance (per employer) £15,000
– Levy Charge 0.5% of the paybill

National Minimum Wage top
On 21 November 2023, the UK Government accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission. The headline announcement is that the (higher) National Living Wage will be paid to those over 21 rather than 23 now.

The following rates will apply from April 2024:


From April 2023

From April 2024



Adults (23+) aka the National Living Wage



Adults (21+) aka the National Living Wage



Adult (21 – 22)



Youth Development (18 – 20)



Under 18 (above compulsory school leaving age)






Pensions top
The Chancellor announced the ‘pot for life‘ or portable pension pot, subject to another consultation. This is to address the many small pension pots that exist as workers move from job to job, leaving different unconsolidated pensions.

Until now, employers have been obliged to automatically enrol workers into a scheme chosen by themselves (the employer). As workers move on, this has increased the number of small pots being left behind. The proposal is that the worker will automatically ‘take’ their pension pot from their former employer’s scheme to the new employer’sscheme, subject to criteria of course. There will be a legal obligation for the new employer to pay contributions into a pension pot that is from a former employer.

Workers will still be able to opt-out of this portable pension and leave their pension pot in the former employer’s scheme if they wish.

State Pension

A Conservative Party Manifesto pledge in 2019 was to maintain the Triple Lock – the mechanism by which the State Pension is raised each year.

The Autumn Statement announced that the Triple Lock commitment would be honoured and increases would be at 8.5%.
Individuals top
Universal Credit

Universal Credit will increase in line with September’s inflation 6.7%. This also applies to working-age benefits, means-tested benefits and disability benefits.

Alcohol Duty

There will be a freeze on alcohol duty.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

The ISA allowance limit of £20,000 has not changed since 2017.  The Autumn Statement froze this for tax year 2024/25.

The following are also frozen:

– Junior Individual Savings Account (£9,000), 
– Lifetime Individual Savings Account (£4,000 excluding government bonus) and 
– Child Trust Fund (£9,000)
Capital Gains Tax top
No mention was made of Capital Gains Tax, however, we know that the annual exemption will be cut in half to £3,000 on 06 April 2024, with the exemption for trusts set at half that level: £1,500.
Corporation Tax top
Capital Allowances

A Corporation Tax 100% First Year Allowance was introduced in the Spring Budget for the period 01 April 2023 to 31 March 2026. Known as ‘full expensing‘, this replaced the 130% super-deduction which ended on 31 March 2023. In addition, a 50% first-year allowance was introduced for ‘Special Rate‘ expenditure. So, there is:

– Full expensing at the main rate of 100% for any expenditure that is not ‘special’
– A 50% allowance is available for expenditure that is special (e.g. expenditure on thermal insulation, integral features and long-life assets)

The Autumn Statement confirmed that both the 100% and 50% would be made permanent with no end date. The fact they have been made permanent does reduce the impact of the earlier rises to Corporation Tax rates and is good for business and gives certainty to accountants.

There will also be a consultation on extending full expensing to include assets for leasing.

Research and Development Tax Reliefs

In 2023/24, there are two schemes that can be used to get a Corporation Tax credit against qualifying Research & Development (R&D):

– The Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) and 

– The small or medium enterprise (SME) R&D relief

These will be merged and for accounting periods beginning on or after 01 April 2024, R&D credit must be claimed in the merged scheme. Further, the ‘intensity threshold‘ in the additional support for R&D intensive loss-making SMEs will be reduced from 40% to 30%.

From 22 November 2023, credit payments can no longer be assigned (to the repayment agent) and will be repaid directly to the company making the claims.
Inheritance Tax top
The rates, exemptions and thresholds for Inheritance Tax have been frozen since 2020/21 (and the nil rate band has been frozen at £325,000 since 2009). It was widely expected that there would be mention of changes to Inheritance Tax but nothing was mentioned.

However, we do know that Land situated outside of the UK will no longer qualify for agricultural property relief and woodlands relief from 06 April 2024.
Landfill Tax top
This applies in England and Wales only and is a tax designed to encourage waste producers and the waste management industry to switch to more sustainable alternatives for disposing of material.. The rates are as follows:

Material sent to landfill

Rates from 1 April 2023

Rates from 1 April 2024

  £ per tonne

£ per tonne

Standard rate



Lower rated



Value Added Tax top
From 1 January 2024, the government will extend the scope of the current VAT zero rate relief on women’s sanitary products to include reusable period underwear.
Other top

Business Rates (England)

For tax year 2024/25, the small business multiplier in England will be frozen at 49.9p, while the standard multiplier will be uprated to 54.6p. The current 75% relief for eligible Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) properties is being extended into 2024/25.

HMRC ‘Data Gaps’

HMRC have long said that they need more information from employers, company directors, and the self-employed to fill gaps in the data they hold. The following provisions will come into force in tax year 2025/26:

– Dividends Paid to Shareholders in Owner-Managed Businesses (via tax returns)
– The Start and End Dates of Self-Employment (via tax returns), and
– The Hours Employees Work (via RTI payroll submissions)

Details will be provided in the Autumn Finance Bill and we will keep you updated on these new information requirements.

Freeport Tax Relief

For eligible employers operating in designated Freeport zones, they can cXero, laim certain tax reliefs that are not available to other employers, for example relief from Stamp Duty. The deadline to claim these reliefs has been extended by 5 years to September 2031.
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