England Woodland Creation Offer – grants available for farmers

England Woodland Creation Offer – grants available for farmers

England Woodland Creation Offer

With a shift in regime from the Basic Payment Scheme to one targeting agri-environmental objectives, more farmers are looking to forestry as a way to generate income.

The England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) is a scheme available across England. This scheme is available to owner-occupiers, tenants, landlords, and licensors that have full management control of the land in the application. Furthermore, joint applications, multiple land managers, and applications on common land and areas of shared grazing are eligible. If you do not have full management control of the land then you will need consent from those that do. The aim of this scheme is to encourage landowners such as farmers, land managers, etc to plant trees and develop woodlands. The scheme supports areas as small as one hectare and applicants could receive over £10,000 per hectare to support the woodland creation.

The land is eligible for the scheme if it is:

  • in England
  • within the full management control of the applicant (or, where applicable, any counter-signatories)
  • not already classified as woodland
  • not subject to any existing legal requirement or obligation to create woodland
  • not subject to a dispute between landlords and tenants
  • not currently within an existing grant agreement that has more than five months left to run at the time the EWCO application is submitted (if the land or part of it is in an Environmental Stewardship agreement it may be possible to transfer the land into EWCO as long as certain conditions are met)

EWCO is a criteria-based competitive scheme. Offers of Agreements will be made to applicants with woodland creation proposals whose scores meet or exceed the threshold score. The threshold score is currently ten points. We recommend reading the criteria to make sure that you can maximise the number of points you could receive. The more points you have the more lucrative your offer of Agreement will be.

Each area has a woodland creation officer, their details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/forestry-commission/about/access-and-opening#Woodland-Creation-Officer


Dan Wood Partner at Hawsons commented:

We are seeing an increase in farms looking to agroforestry. One of the key benefits of the EWCO is that DEFRA have indicated that farmers and landowners will be able to transfer into future environmental land management schemes at agreed points without having to repay their current funding. The potential to sell carbon credits generated by woodland creation may be a further source of income, made even more attractive by the fact that it is currently tax-free.

That said, this scheme may not be for everyone, it does require long-term planning and a commitment to take a significant area of land out of production. There does remain uncertainty about the longer-term future of the subsidy regime and we expect that many will wait until the extent of the schemes becomes clearer before making a significant investment.

If you would like to read through the application process, please visit the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/england-woodland-creation-offer


How can we help?

Hawsons has a dedicated team of specialist agriculture accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. We know that farming isn’t just a business; it’s a way of life.

The rural and agriculture sector is a specialist sector, with unique practices and conventions, and we act for a significant number of arable farms and assist farming families in many matters specific to the sector including tax and will planning and succession planning.

We have been able to assist our farming clients in adding value to their businesses including advising on the financial and taxation consequences of property development, green technologies and capital allowance planning. In particular, we can assist in the area of capital taxes planning which is a significant issue for most farmers following the increase in land values and the availability of development opportunities.

Free initial meeting

Dan Wood

Partner, Doncaster

01302 262 367

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Autumn Budget 2021

Autumn Budget 2021

Budget 2021

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak presented his third Budget on 27 October 2021. In his speech he set out the plans to “build back better” with ambitions to level up and reduce regional inequality.

Main Budget proposals

Tax measures include:

  • a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022/23
  • a change in the earliest age from which most pension savers can access their pension savings without incurring a tax charge. From April 2028 this will rise to 57
  • the retention of the £1 million annual investment allowance until 31 March 2023
  • individuals disposing of UK property on or after 27 October 2021 now have a 60 day CGT reporting and payment deadline, following the completion of the disposal.

Other measures include:

  • a complete overhaul of alcohol duties that will see drinks taxed on their strength
  • the cancellation of the previously announced rise in fuel duties
  • pubs supported with a reduction in draught beer and cider duty
  • increases in the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rates
  • an ultra-long-haul band of air passenger duty introduced.

Some Budget proposals may be subject to amendment in the Finance Bill 2021-22. Should you need any further help or support please contact us.

Making Tax Digital for income tax

The Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime is based on businesses being required to maintain their accounting records in a specified digital format and submit extracts from those records regularly to HMRC. It had been expected that sole trader businesses and landlords with business income of more than £10,000 per annum would be required to enter the MTD regime for income tax purposes from 6 April 2023. However, HMRC recently announced that this will be deferred until 6 April 2024. Early adoption of digital record keeping and voluntary submission of MTD for income tax data remains possible.

Following the deferral for sole trader businesses and landlords, general partnerships will not be required to comply with MTD for income tax until 6 April 2025 and the date other types of partnerships (for example limited liability partnerships) will be required to comply will be confirmed in the future.

HMRC has also confirmed that the new system of penalties for the late filing and late payment of tax for income tax self assessment will be aligned with when a taxpayer becomes mandated into MTD for income tax. For individuals without trade or property income or otherwise exempt from MTD for income tax, the new penalty regime will apply to their income tax affairs from 6 April 2025.

MTD for corporation tax

HMRC has previously announced that MTD for corporation tax will not be mandated before 2026.

Accounting periods that are not aligned to tax years

Aligned to the revised start date for MTD for income tax, changes will be made to simplify the rules under which trading profits made by self-employed individuals and partnerships are allocated to tax years.

The changes mainly affect unincorporated businesses that do not draw up annual accounts to 31 March or 5 April. The transition to the new rules will take place in the 2023/24 tax year and the new rules will come into force from 6 April 2024.

Affected self-employed individuals and partnerships may retain their existing accounting period but the trade profit or loss that they report to HMRC for a tax year will become the profit or loss arising in the tax year itself, regardless of the chosen accounting date.  Broadly this will require apportionment of accounting profits into the tax years in which they arise.


A business draws up accounts to 30 June every year. Currently, income tax calculations for 2024/25 would be based on the profits in the business’s accounts for the year ended 30 June 2024. The change will mean that the income tax calculations for 2024/25 will be based on 3/12 of the profits for the year ended 30 June 2024 and 9/12 of the profits for the year ended 30 June 2025.

This change will potentially accelerate when business profits are taxed but transitional adjustments in 2023/24 are designed to ease any cashflow impact of the change.


An estimated 93% of sole traders and 67% of trading partnerships draw up their accounts to 31 March or 5 April and thus the current rules are straightforward and the proposed changes will not affect them. Those with a different year end might wish to consider changing their accounting year end to simplify compliance with tax rules.

Corporation tax rates

The main rate of corporation tax is currently 19%. In the Spring Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced the rate would remain at 19% until 1 April 2023 but the rate will then increase to 25% for companies with profits over £250,000. The 19% rate will become a small profits rate payable by companies with profits of £50,000 or less. Companies with profits between £50,001 and £250,000 will pay tax at the main rate reduced by a marginal relief, providing a gradual increase in the effective corporation tax rate.

Capital allowances

Plant and machinery

Most corporate and unincorporated businesses are able to utilise a £200,000 annual investment allowance (AIA) to claim 100% tax relief on their qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery. The allowance was temporarily increased to £1 million for expenditure incurred on or after 1 January 2019 and was due to revert back to £200,000 from 1 January 2022. The £1 million allowance will now be retained until 31 March 2023.

Transitional rules will apply to accounting periods that span 1 April 2023.

For companies, this aligns the end of the temporary AIA with the end of the ‘super-deductions’ as announced by the government in Spring Budget 2021.

Reminder – super-deductions

Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery are able to benefit from new capital allowances, termed ‘super-deductions’ or ‘first year allowances’, as follows:
  • a super-deduction of 130% can be claimed on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for the 18% main rate writing down allowances
  • a first year allowance of 50% can be claimed on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for the 6% special rate writing down allowances.

These reliefs are not available for unincorporated businesses.


Businesses incurring expenditure on plant and machinery should carefully consider the timing of their acquisitions to optimise their cashflow. In 2023 not only will the tax relief rules for expenditure on plant and machinery change, for companies the percentage corporation tax relief saving on the expenditure may change as well.

Structures and Buildings

A Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA) was introduced with effect from 29 October 2018 to relieve costs for new structures and buildings used for qualifying purposes. A business must hold an allowance statement containing certain information to be eligible to claim SBA. Minor changes will be made to the allowance statement requirements to clarify the information required to be kept.

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) charges increase automatically each year in line with inflation. The ATED annual charges will rise by 3.1% from 1 April 2022 in line with the September 2021 Consumer Price Index.

Residential Property Developer Tax

A new tax will be applied from 1 April 2022 on company profits derived from UK residential property development. The tax will be charged at 4% on profits exceeding an annual allowance of £25 million. For companies that are part of a group, the £25 million allowance will be allocated by the group between its companies.

Cultural relief

The government has announced that it will temporarily increase cultural tax reliefs for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries across the UK from 27 October 2021 to 31 March 2024, increasing the relief organisations can claim as they invest in new productions and exhibitions.

Changes will also be introduced to better target the cultural reliefs and ensure that they continue to be safeguarded from abuse. These will apply from 1 April 2022.

Research and Development relief reform

Research and Development (R&D) tax reliefs for companies will be reformed to:

  • support modern research methods by expanding qualifying expenditure to include data and cloud costs
  • more effectively capture the benefits of R&D funded by the reliefs through refocusing support towards innovation in the UK
  • target abuse and improve compliance.

These changes will take effect from April 2023.

Cross-border group relief

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU), the government is bringing the corporation tax group relief rules relating to European Economic Area (EEA) resident companies into line with those for non-UK companies resident elsewhere in the world. This applies to accounting periods ending on or after 27 October 2021 and will affect UK groups with subsidiary companies established in the EEA along with EEA-resident companies that are trading in the UK through a permanent establishment.

Online Sales Tax

The government has announced its plans to consult and explore the arguments for and against the introduction of an ‘Online Sales Tax’.

Should such a tax be introduced in future, it would raise revenue to fund business rates reductions.

Business rates review

Business rates have been devolved to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The government announced at Budget 2020 that it would conduct a fundamental review of the business rates system in England. The government’s objectives for the review were reducing the overall burden on business, improving the current business rates system and allowing the consideration of more fundamental changes in the long term.

In March 2021, the government published the Interim Report of the review. The Final Report was published on 27 October 2021. Collectively, these set out the government’s commitments by:

  • Supporting local high streets as they adapt and recover from the pandemic by introducing a new temporary business rates relief in England for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for 2022/23. Over 90% of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive at least 50% off their business rates bills in 2022/23.  This amounts to support worth more than double the relief that was announced pre-COVID for the 2020 to 2021 financial year and includes additional businesses such as hotels, gyms and bowling alleys.
  • Cutting the burden of business rates for all businesses by freezing the multiplier for 2022 to 2023.
  • Introducing a new relief to support investment in property improvements , enabling occupying businesses to invest in expanding their properties and making them work better for customers and employees.
  • Introducing new measures to support green investment and the decarbonisation of non-domestic buildings. This will provide exemptions for eligible green plant and machinery such as solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage used with renewables and electric vehicle charging points, as well as a 100% relief for low-carbon heat networks that have their own rates bill.
  • Making the system fairer by moving to three-yearly revaluations from 2023 .
  • Providing stability ahead of the 2023 revaluation by extending Transitional Relief and the Supporting Small Business Scheme for 2022 to 2023 to protect small businesses from significant bill increases in the final year of the current revaluation cycle.

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates

No changes to the current rates of CGT have been announced. This means that the rate remains at 10%, to the extent that any income tax basic rate band is available, and 20% thereafter. Higher rates of 18% and 28% apply for certain gains, mainly chargeable gains on residential properties, with the exception of any element that qualifies for Private Residence Relief.

There is still potential to qualify for a 10% rate, regardless of available income tax basic rate band, up to a lifetime limit for each individual. This is where specific types of disposals qualify for:

  • Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR). This is targeted at directors and employees who own at least 5% of the ordinary share capital in the company, provided other minimum criteria are also met. It can also apply to owners of unincorporated businesses.
  • Investors’ Relief. The main beneficiaries of this relief are investors in unquoted trading companies who have newly-subscribed shares but are not employees.

Current lifetime limits are £1 million for BADR and £10 million for Investors’ Relief.

CGT annual exemption

The CGT annual exemption will be maintained at the current level of £12,300 for 2022/23 and up to and including 2025/26.

CGT reporting and payment following a property disposal

UK resident individuals who dispose of UK residential property are sometimes required to deliver a CGT return to HMRC and make a payment on account of CGT within 30 days of completion of the property disposal. Broadly, this only applies where the property disposal gives rise to a CGT liability and as such usually excludes the disposal of a property to which private residence relief applies.

Non-UK residents are subject to similar deadlines in respect of the disposal of all types of UK land and property.

In both cases, for disposals that complete on or after 27 October 2021, the reporting and payment deadline is extended to 60 days following the completion of the disposal.

From the same date, changes will clarify that for UK residents disposing of a mixed use property, only the portion of the gain that is the residential property gain is required to be reported and paid.

Inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate bands

The nil rate band has been frozen at £325,000 since 2009 and this will now continue up to 5 April 2026. An additional nil rate band, called the ‘residence nil rate band’ (RNRB) is also frozen at the current £175,000 level until 5 April 2026. A taper reduces the amount of the RNRB by £1 for every £2 that the ‘net’ value of the death estate is more than £2 million. Net value is after deducting permitted liabilities but before exemptions and reliefs. This taper will also be maintained at the current level.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

In September 2021 the government published its proposals for new investment in health and social care in England. The proposals will lead to a permanent increase in spending not only in England but also by the devolved governments. To fund the investment the government will introduce a UK-wide 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy based on the NIC system but ring fenced for health and social care.

The Health and Social Care Levy Act provides for a temporary 1.25% increase to both the main and additional rates of Class 1, Class 1A, Class 1B and Class 4 NICs for 2022/23. From April 2023 onwards, the NIC rates will decrease back to 2021/22 levels and will be replaced by a new 1.25% Health and Social Care Levy.

Broadly, the new Health and Social Care Levy will be subject to the same reliefs, thresholds and requirements as NIC. However the Levy (as opposed to the temporary increase in NICs for 2022/23) will also apply to those above State Pension age who are still in employment.

Existing reliefs for NICs to support employers will apply to the Levy. Companies employing apprentices under the age of 25, all people under the age of 21, veterans and employers in Freeports will not pay the Levy for these employees as long as their yearly gross earnings are less than £50,270, or £25,000 for new Freeport employees.

The Employment Allowance, which reduces employers’ Class 1 NICs by up to £4,000, will also be available for the employers’ liability to the Levy.


A novel aspect of the Levy is the application to employees above State Pension age. This does not apply in respect of the temporary increase for 2022/23. The Levy will not apply to Class 2 (a flat rate paid by many self-employed) and Class 3 (voluntary contributions for taxpayers to fill gaps in their contribution records).

The main burden of the 1.25% increase falls on the collective shoulders of the employer and employee as each will have higher contributions to make. Those with property income will be relieved that they are not being included in the Levy.

National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Following the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission, the government will increase the NLW for individuals aged 23 and over by 6.6% from 1 April 2022. The government has also accepted the recommendations for the other NMW rates to be increased.

From 1 April 2022, the hourly rates of NLW and NMW will be:

  • £9.50 for those 23 years old and over
  • £9.18 for 21-22 year olds
  • £6.83 for 18-20 year olds
  • £4.81 for 16-17 year olds
  • £4.81 apprentice rate for apprentices under 19, and those 19 and over in their first year of apprenticeship.


In total, the annual gross earnings of a full-time worker on the NLW will have increased by over £5,000 since its introduction in April 2016.

Power to make temporary modifications of taxation of employment income

This will allow HM Treasury, under ministerial direction, to make regulations to make temporary modifications to existing legislation for a period of up to two tax years in the event of a disaster or emergency of national significance as determined by HM Treasury. This will enable the government to support taxpayers, for example by:

  • exempting benefits in kind of a specified description from income tax where appropriate
  • changing the qualifying conditions for exemptions on benefits in kind
  • exempting specified reimbursements from the charge to income tax
  • providing relief for specified expenses.

This will have effect on and after the date of Royal Assent to the Finance Bill 2021-22.

The personal allowance

The personal allowance is currently £12,570. The Chancellor announced in the March 2021 Budget that the personal allowance will be frozen at £12,570 for the tax years 2022/23 to 2025/26.

There is a reduction in the personal allowance for those with ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000. The reduction is £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. So there is no personal allowance where adjusted net income exceeds £125,140.

The marriage allowance

The marriage allowance permits certain couples, where neither party pays tax in the tax year at a rate other than the basic rate, to transfer £1,260 of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner.


The marriage allowance reduces the recipient’s tax bill by up to approximately £250 a year. To benefit from the marriage allowance one spouse or civil partner must normally have no income or income below the personal allowance for the year. The marriage allowance was first introduced for 2015/16 and there are couples who are entitled to claim but have not yet done so. It is possible to claim for all years back to 2017/18 where the entitlement conditions are met. The total tax saving for all years up until 2021/22 could be over £1,000. A claim for 2017/18 will need to be made by 5 April 2022.

Tax bands and rates

The basic rate of tax is 20%. In 2021/22 the band of income taxable at this rate is £37,700 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £50,270 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance.

At Spring Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the basic rate band will be frozen at £37,700 for the tax years 2022/23 to 2025/26. The National Insurance contributions Upper Earnings Limit and Upper Profits Limit will remain aligned to the higher rate threshold at £50,270 for these years.

Individuals pay tax at 45% on their income over £150,000.

Scottish residents

The tax on income (other than savings and dividend income) is different, for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland, from that paid by taxpayers resident elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish income tax rates and bands apply to income such as employment income, self-employed trade profits and property income.

In 2021/22 there are five income tax rates which range between 19% and 46%. Scottish taxpayers are entitled to the same personal allowance as individuals in the rest of the UK. The two higher rates are 41% and 46% rather than the 40% and 45% rates that apply to such income for other UK residents. Currently the 41% band applies to income over £43,662 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The 46% rate applies to income over £150,000.

The Scottish Government will announce the Scottish income tax rates and bands for 2022/23 in the Scottish Budget on 9 December.

Welsh residents

From April 2019, the Welsh Government has had the right to vary the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers (other than tax on savings and dividend income). The UK government has reduced each of the three rates of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers by 10 pence. For 2021/22 the Welsh Government has set the Welsh rate of income tax at 10 pence which has been added to the reduced rates. This means the tax payable by Welsh taxpayers is the same as that payable by English and Northern Irish taxpayers.

The Welsh Government will publish its Draft Budget for 2022/23 on 20 December.

Tax on savings income

Savings income is income such as bank and building society interest.

The Savings Allowance applies to savings income and the available allowance in a tax year depends on the individual’s marginal rate of income tax. Broadly, individuals taxed at up to the basic rate of tax have an allowance of £1,000. For higher rate taxpayers the allowance is £500. No allowance is due to additional rate taxpayers.

Some individuals qualify for a 0% starting rate of tax on savings income up to £5,000. However, the rate is not available if taxable non-savings income (broadly earnings, pensions, trading profits, and property income, less allocated allowances and reliefs) exceeds £5,000.

Tax on dividends

The first £2,000 of dividends is chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates for 2021/22:

  • 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers
  • 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers
  • 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.

In September 2021 the government announced an increase to the rates of dividend tax by 1.25% from 6 April 2022 to help fund the new planned investment in health and social care. The new rates will therefore be 8.75% for basic rate taxpayers, 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers and 39.35% for additional rate taxpayers.

Dividends within the allowance still count towards an individual’s basic or higher rate band and so may affect the rate of tax paid on dividends above the Dividend Allowance.

To determine which tax band dividends fall into, dividends are treated as the last type of income to be taxed.


Dividends on shares held in ISAs and pension schemes are not subject to dividend tax and thus will not be affected by the increase in rates.

Green National Savings and Investment (NS&I) product

In the Spring Budget 2021 the government announced  a green retail savings product through NS&I. The Bonds are now available to buy online and offer savers a chance to support green projects at a fixed rate of 0.65% pa over a three-year term. The Bonds are available to those aged 16 or over, with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum limit of £100,000 per person. The interest is taxable in the tax year the Bond matures.

The UK’s inaugural sovereign green bond (or ‘green gilt’) was launched in September 2021, and was followed by a second issuance in October 2021. They are the first sovereign green retail product of their kind in the world.

Universal Credit

The Universal Credit taper rate is reduced from 63% to 55%, meaning Universal Credit claimants will be able to keep an additional 8p for every £1 of net income they earn.

Increase to the normal minimum pension age

The current earliest age at which most pension savers can access their pension savings without incurring a tax charge is age 55. From April 2028 this earliest age will rise to 57.

This measure will affect individuals born after 5 April 1973 whose earliest date to access their pension benefits will see a two-year delay to those born on or before that date.

Pensions – Scheme Pays

Although there are no limits to how much an individual can save or accrue in a registered pension scheme, there is an overall limit on the amount of an individual’s tax-relieved annual pension savings or accrual which includes employer contributions. This is known as the annual allowance and the standard annual allowance is currently £40,000, but in some circumstances this is reduced, with the maximum reduction taking it down to £4,000.

An individual’s unused annual allowance from the three previous tax years can be carried forward and added to the annual allowance. However, if the individual’s pension savings for the tax year exceed their annual allowance, the annual allowance tax charge is applied to the excess.

Although this tax liability would normally be the individual’s liability it is possible for them to elect for the pension scheme administrator to be jointly liable.

Where an individual has inputted more than £40,000 and their annual allowance charge exceeds £2,000 the individual can request that their pension company pays the charge for them in return for an equivalent reduction in the value of their pension pot. This is called mandatory Scheme Pays.

From April 2022 there will be a change to the rules for certain pension schemes to remove anomalies where the tax charge has arisen due to a retrospective change of facts, the tax charge is £2,000 or more and the individual requests the pension scheme pays the amount. This measure applies retrospectively from 6 April 2016.

Tonnage Tax

The UK’s tonnage tax regime will be reformed from April 2022 to help the UK shipping industry grow and compete in the global market. The reform is intended to make it easier for shipping companies to move to the UK, ensure they are not disadvantaged compared with firms operating in other countries, and reduce unnecessary administrative burdens.

Landfill Tax

As announced at Spring Budget 2021 both the standard and lower rates of Landfill Tax will increase from 1 April 2022 in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Gaming Duty

The government will raise the bandings for Gaming Duty in line with inflation. The new bandings will affect Gaming Duty accounting periods commencing on or after 1 April 2022.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)

The government will increase VED rates for cars, vans, motorcycles, and motorcycle trade licences in line with RPI with effect from 1 April 2022.

For heavy goods vehicles, VED continues to be frozen in 2022/23. The HGV Levy is suspended for another 12 months from 1 August 2022.

Tobacco Duty

Increases in Tobacco Duty rates take effect from 27 October 2021 and the government will legislate in Finance Bill 2021-22 to introduce tougher sanctions to tackle Tobacco Duty evasion.

Alcohol Duty

Rates of Alcohol Duty were not changed in this Budget. The government is publishing a consultation on its detailed proposals for Alcohol Duty reform. These include:

  • changes to duty structures
  • new rates for some products sold on draught
  • extension of small producer reliefs
  • simplification of the administrative regime.

In addition, alcohol duties have been frozen to February 2022.

Air Passenger Duty (APD)

The government will introduce a new domestic band for APD for reduced rate and standard rate travel, covering flights within the UK. In addition, a new ultra-long-haul band will be introduced, covering destinations with capitals located more than 5,500 miles from London. These changes will take effect from 1 April 2023.


The government announced its plans for Freeports in 2020. Freeports are specified geographical areas that allow certain benefits to businesses operating within them. The main VAT benefit is that businesses selling goods within free zones will be able to zero-rate their supplies. Services carried out on goods in those zones may also be zero-rated subject to conditions. The government will introduce an additional element to the VAT free zone model for Freeports. This will implement a free zone exit charge to ensure businesses do not gain an unintended tax advantage from the zero-rate in the free zone model. The measure will take effect from 3 November 2021.

VAT on second-hand cars sold in Northern Ireland

In a measure that will be backdated to 1 January 2021, motor dealers in Northern Ireland will be able to include motor vehicles sourced from Great Britain in their second-hand margin scheme calculations. This measure will apply should a relevant agreement be reached with the EU.

Second-hand Motor Vehicle Export Refund Scheme

Under this scheme, businesses that remove used motor vehicles from Great Britain for resale in Northern Ireland or the EU may be able to claim a refund of VAT following export. The power will come into effect on Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2021-22. Legislation outlining the detail of the scheme will be introduced in 2022.

VAT treatment of fund management fees

A consultation will take place on options to simplify the VAT treatment of fund management fees.

VAT penalties

Budget documents confirm that the new late submission and late payment penalties for VAT will still come into effect for VAT registered businesses for accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2022, as announced at Spring Budget 2021.

Plastic Packaging Tax

Draft legislation has been issued to establish a Plastic Packaging Tax. This is a new tax that applies to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight.

The tax rate will be £200 per tonne of non-compliant plastic packaging. There will be an exemption for businesses that manufacture or import less than ten tonnes of plastic packaging per year. The tax will take effect from April 2022.


This publication is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

For more information

For more information on anything discussed in this article or if you would like some tax planning advice please contact your usual Hawsons contact. Alternatively, please contact your nearest office to arrange your free initial meeting.

Free initial meeting

Stephen Charles

Tax Partner, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

Aaron Hemmington

Tax Partner, Northampton

01604 645 600

Craig Walker

Tax Director, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

David Cairns

David Cairns

Tax Partner, Northampton

01604 645 600

[email protected]

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The general election has ended and the Conservatives have secured a large majority winning 365 seats.

What does this mean for tax?  How will the election result affect you or your business?

Tax expert Craig Walker provides a recap of the key pledges made by the Conservatives during the election process:

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  • No increases to the rates of national insurance.
  • To increase the threshold at which national insurance starts to be payable to £9,500 from April 2020, with the aim of increasing this threshold to £12,500.
  • To increase the Employment Allowance from £3,000 to £4,000, to give small businesses further relief from national insurance.
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  • To abolish VAT on sanitary products.

 Inheritance Tax

  • No significant changes proposed for IHT.

 Capital Gains Tax


  • A 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge for non-UK residents buying UK residential property, to be paid in addition to all other SDLT surcharges.
  • To increase the rate of Structures and Buildings Allowance to 3%.

 Business rates

  • To review the business rates system with a view to reducing the burden. To reduce the rates for retail businesses and extend the discounts to music venues, small cinemas and pubs.

 Tax compliance

  • To introduce tougher new anti-tax avoidance and evasion legislation.
  • To review the support offered to the self-employed.


The prime minister’s Brexit deal now looks likely to be pushed through Parliament by the end of January.  The economic consequences of Brexit are likely to give the Chancellor much to think about and significantly influence UK tax policy.

We can expect a Budget in February 2020 and it will be interesting to see to what extent the Conservatives’ tax proposals are implemented.  We should remember that politicians do not always follow manifesto pledges (and have even been known to borrow ideas from the opposition!)

We will keep you updated as tax policy unfolds.

For advice on how the election result could affect your tax position, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

More from our tax experts

You can find all of our latest tax articles and tax resources here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Free initial meeting

Craig Walker

Tax Director, Sheffield

0114 266 7141
Tax Rates 2018/2019

Tax Rates 2018/2019

Introduction to tax rates

We have summarised the key rates and allowances which are fundamental to our business and personal lives. We are sure that you will find them a useful point of reference and have set out below a few examples of how they can be used.


Capital Allowances: Plant & Machinery
  • The cost of purchasing capital equipment in a business is not a revenue tax deductible expense. However tax relief is available on certain capital expenditure in the form of capital allowances.
  • Plant and machinery allowances may be available on items such as machines, equipment, furniture, certain fixtures in a building (‘integral features’), computers, cars, vans and similar equipment used in a business.
  • There are special rules for cars and certain ‘environmentally friendly’ equipment.
  • Plant and machinery allowances may be available to owners of commercial property which is let out to a business.
  • The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) gives a 100% write-off on most types of plant and machinery (but not cars) up to an annual limit.
  • Writing down allowances (WDA) are given for expenditure for which AIA is not, or cannot be, claimed.
  • Structures and Buildings Allowance is introduced from 29 October 2018 at a rate of 2% on a straight line basis


  • Special rules apply to accounting periods straddling the dates shown in the tables below.
  • The AIA may need to be shared between certain businesses under common ownership.

AIA limits – companies

Expenditure incurred:

Annual limit

From 1 January 2016 £200,000
From 1 January 2019 £1,000,000

AIA limits – sole traders and partnerships

Expenditure incurred:

Annual limit

From 1 January 2016 £200,000
From 1 January 2019 £1,000,000

Other plant and machinery allowances

  • Expenditure upon which AIA is not given/claimed will obtain relief through the ‘main rate pool’ or the ‘special rate pool’ rather than each item being dealt with separately.
  • The annual rate of WDA is 18% in the ‘main rate pool’ and 8% in the ‘special rate pool’.
  • A 100% first year allowance (FYA) may be available on certain energy efficient plant and cars.


  • For expenditure incurred on cars, costs are generally allocated to one of the two plant and machinery pools.
  • AIA is not available on any car but a 100% first year allowance may be available on certain cars. To qualify for first year allowance, the car must be purchased new.

Cars acquired from April 2018

Emissions (g/km)



≤50 Main rate 100% FYA
≤ 110 Main rate 18% WDA
>110 Special rate 8% WDA


Capital Gains Tax
  • CGT is payable by individuals, trustees and personal representatives (PRs). Companies pay corporation tax on their capital gains.
  • There are annual tax free allowances (the ‘annual exempt amount’) for individuals, trustees and PRs. Companies do not have an annual exempt amount.
  • For individuals net gains are added to total taxable income to determine the appropriate rate of tax. The standard rate applies only to the net gains which, when added to total taxable income, do not exceed the basic rate band.
  • Gains which qualify for Entrepreneurs’ Relief  or Investors’ Relief are charged at 10% for the first £10m of qualifying gains.

Rates and annual exemption 2018/19

Individuals 2018/19
Exemption 11,700
Standard rate 10%**
Higher rate* 20%**

* For higher rate and additional rate taxpayers.

** Higher rates of 18% and 28% may apply to the disposal of certain residential property.

Trustees 2018/19
Exemption 5,850
Rate 20%
Car Benefits
  • The car benefit is calculated by multiplying the car’s list price, when new, by a percentage linked to the car’s CO2 emissions.
  • For diesel cars generally add a 4% supplement (unless the car is registered on or after 1 September 2017 and meets the Euro 6d emissions standard) but the maximum is still 37%.
  • The list price includes accessories.
  • The list price is reduced for capital contributions made by the employee up to £5,000.
  • Special rules may apply to cars provided for disabled employees.
  • For cars registered before 1 January 1998 and cars with no agreed CO2 emissions the charge is based on engine size.
CO2 emissions (g/km) 
(round down to nearest 5g/km for values above 95)
% of car’s list price taxed
0-50 13
51 up to 75 16
76 up to 94 19
95 20
100 21
105 22
110 23
115 24
120 25
125 26
130 27
135 28
140 29
145 30
150 31
155 32
160 33
165 34
170 35
175 36
180 and above 37
Car Fuel Benefit
  • Car fuel benefit applies if an employee has the benefit of private fuel for a company car.
  • The benefit is calculated by applying the percentage used to calculate the car benefit by a ‘fuel charge multiplier’.
  • The charge is proportionately reduced if provision of private fuel ceases part way through the year. The fuel benefit is reduced to nil only if the employee pays for all private fuel.
Car fuel benefit 2018/19  
Fuel charge multiplier £23,400
Company Cars: Advisory Fuel Rates
  • Advisory rates only apply where employers reimburse employees for business travel in a company car or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel in a company car.
  • If the rate paid per mile of business travel is no higher than the advisory rate for the particular engine size and fuel type of the car, HMRC will accept that there is no taxable profit and no Class 1 NIC liability.

The advisory fuel rates for journeys undertaken on or after 1 March 2018 are:

Engine size Petrol
1400cc or less 11p
1401cc – 2000cc 14p
Over 2000cc 22p
Engine size Diesel
1600cc or less 9p
1601cc – 2000cc 11p
Over 2000cc 13p
Engine size LPG
1400cc or less 7p
1401cc – 2000cc 8p
Over 2000cc 13p

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose.

Child Benefit
Child Benefit is receivable by a person responsible for each child until they reach 16, or 19 if they stay in education or training.If the person (or their spouse or partner) has ‘adjusted net income’ above £50,000 the person with the highest income has to pay some of the Child Benefit as a tax charge.Where adjusted net income is more than £60,000 a year, the tax charge equals the Child Benefit received.


Rates – 2018/19 £ per week
Eldest/Only Child £20.70
Other Children £13.70


Corporation Tax
  • Corporation tax rates are set for each Financial Year. A Financial Year runs from 1 April to the following 31 March.
  • If the accounting period of a company straddles the 31 March, the profits are apportioned on a time basis to each Financial Year.
  • The Northern Ireland Executive has committed to setting the rate of corporation tax at 12.5% when the Northern Ireland Executive demonstrates its finances are on a sustainable footing.
Year to 31.3.19 Rate %
All profits 19
Year to 31.3.18 Rate %
All profits 19
Employee's Statutory Payments

Statutory pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer if an employee is not at work for a variety of reasons.
  • There are detailed conditions for an employee to qualify for any of these statutory payments.
  • Employees are only eligible for a statutory payment if they have sufficient average weekly earnings of at least the lower earnings limit.

Statutory Sick Pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer if an employee is too ill to work.
  • SSP is generally payable for a period up to 28 weeks.

Statutory Maternity Pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer when an employee takes time off to have a baby.
  • SMP is payable for a period up to 39 weeks.

Statutory Paternity Pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer when an employee takes time off during their partner’s Statutory Maternity Pay period.
  • Payment is for a period of either one or two complete weeks.

Shared Parental Pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer when an employee takes time off following the curtailment of the period of SMP by the mother.
  • Payment is for up to a maximum of 37 weeks and is dependent on the mother’s unused SMP period.

Statutory Adoption Pay

  • Payments may be required from an employer when an employee takes time off when they adopt a child.
  • Payment is for a period up to 39 weeks.
2018/19 Statutory pay rates – 
average weekly earnings £116 or over
Statutory Sick Pay £92.05
Statutory Maternity Pay  
First six weeks 90% of weekly earnings
Next 33 weeks £145.18*
Statutory Paternity Pay – 2 weeks £145.18*
Statutory Adoption Pay – 39 weeks  
First six weeks 90% of weekly earnings
Next 33 weeks £145.18*
Shared Parental Pay £145.18*

*Or 90% of weekly earnings if lower.

Income Tax Allowances
A personal allowance gives an individual an annual amount of income free from income tax.Income above the personal allowances is subject to income tax.The personal allowance will be reduced if an individual’s ‘adjusted net income’ is above £100,000. The allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000.An individual born before 6 April 1935 may be entitled to a married couple’s allowance but this is reduced if ‘adjusted net income’ is above the married couple’s allowance income limit (see table below).Marriage allowance – 10% of the personal allowance may be transferable between certain spouses where neither pays tax above the basic rate. The Marriage allowance is not available to couples entitled to the Married Couple’s allowance.
Income tax personal allowances 2018/19 £
Personal Allowance 11,850
Marriage Allowance 1,190
Blind person’s allowance 2,390
Married couple’s allowance
Either partner born before 6 April 1935
– Maximum reduction in tax bill 869.50
– Minimum reduction in tax bill 336.00
Married couple’s allowance income limit
Reduce married couple’s allowance by £1 for every £2 of ‘adjusted net income’ above this limit
Income Tax Rates
  • Income tax applies to the amount of income after deduction of personal allowances.
  • Income is taxed in a specific order with savings and dividend income taxed last.
  • Dividend income and savings income falling within the dividend and savings allowances still form part of total income of an individual.
  • The starting rate band is only applicable to savings income. The 0% rate is not available if the taxable amount of non-savings income exceeds the starting rate band.
  • The Scottish Parliament set the rates of income tax and the limits at which these rates apply for Scottish residents on non-savings and non-dividend income.

Income tax rates 2018/19

Band of taxable income Rate Rate if dividends
£   % %
0 – 5,000 Starting rate for savings 0 N/A
0 – 34,500 Basic rate 20 7.5
34,501 – 150,000 Higher rate 40 32.5
Over 150,000 Additional rate 45 38.1
Special rates for savings and dividend income falling into above bands of taxable income
Savings Allowance
Basic rate taxpayers 1,000 0  
Higher rate taxpayers 500 0  
Additional rate taxpayers Nil N/A  
Dividend Allowance
for all taxpayers 2,000   0
Income Tax Rates - Scotland
  • Scottish resident taxpayers are liable on non-savings and non-dividend income as set out below.
  • Savings income and dividend income are taxed using UK tax rates and bands.
Band of taxable income Rate
£   %
0 – 2,000 Starter rate 19
2,001 – 12,150 Basic rate 20
12,151 – 31,580 Intermediate rate 21
31,581 – 150,000 Higher rate 41
Over 150,000 Top rate 46
The income from ISA investments is exempt from income tax. Any capital gains made on investments held in an ISA are exempt from capital gains tax.Savers are able to subscribe any amounts into a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA or an innovative finance ISA subject to not exceeding the overall annual investment limit.Investors may transfer their investments from one kind of ISA to another.A Help to Buy ISA provides a tax free savings account for first time buyers wishing to save for a home. The scheme provides a government bonus to each person who has saved into a Help to Buy ISA at the point they use their savings to purchase their first home. For every £200 a first time buyer saves, the government will provide a £50 bonus up to a maximum bonus of £3,000 on £12,000 of savings. The bonus will be paid in the form of a voucher when the first home is purchased. Conditions apply to the account holder and to the property purchased.The Lifetime ISA is available for those aged between 18 and 40. Save up to £4,000 each year up until the age of 50, and receive a government bonus of 25% (a bonus of up to £1,000 a year). Savers can use some or all of the money to buy their first home, or keep it until they are aged 60 when the account can be accessed tax free. Conditions apply to the account holder and property purchased.  Penalties apply if funds are withdrawn in other circumstances.


ISA limits 2018/19  
Overall annual investment limit £20,000
Junior ISA annual investment limit £4,260
Help to Buy ISA monthly subscription limit (initial deposit limit £1,000) £200
Lifetime ISA annual investment limit £4,000
Inheritance Tax
  • IHT may be payable when an individual’s estate is worth more than the IHT nil rate band when they die.
  • Lifetime and death transfers between UK domiciled spouses are exempt from IHT.
  • For 2017/18, a further nil rate band of £100,000 may be available in relation to current or former residences.
  • The IHT threshold available on death may be increased for surviving spouses as there may have been a nil rate band not used, or not fully used, on the previous death.
  • There are reliefs for some business and farming assets which reduce their value for IHT purposes.
  • IHT may also be payable on gifts made in an individual’s lifetime but within seven years of death.
  • Some lifetime gifts are exempt.
  • Transfers of assets into trust made in an individual’s lifetime may be subject to an immediate charge but at lifetime rates.
  • There are also charges on some trusts.

IHT rates and nil rate band 2018/19 and 2017/18

IHT nil rate £325,000
Lifetime rate 20%
Death rate 40%
Death rate if sufficient charitable legacies made 36%

IHT reliefs for lifetime gifts

Annual exemption £3,000
Small gifts £250
– parent £5,000
– grandparent £2,500
– bride/groom £2,500
– other £1,000

IHT – reduced charge on gifts within seven years of death

Years before death % of death charge
0-3 100
3-4 80
4-5 60
5-6 40
6-7 20
Land and Building Transaction Tax

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is payable on land and property transactions in Scotland.

LBTT (Residential property)

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 145,000 0%
145,001 – 250,000 2%
250,001 – 325,000 5%
325,001 – 750,000 10%
750,001 and above 12%

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band. Rates may be increased by 3% where further residential properties, costing over £40,000, are acquired.

Rates may be increased by 4% (3% prior to 25 January 2019)  where further residential properties, costing over £40,000, are acquired.

First-time buyer relief raises the zero tax threshold for first-time buyers from £145,000 to £175,000.

LBTT (Non-residential)

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 150,000 Nil
150,001 – 250,000 1%
Over 250,000 5%

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band. Different rates and bands applied prior to 25 January 2019.

Land Transaction Tax
Land Transaction Tax (LTT) is payable on land and property transactions in Wales from 1 April 2018. Prior to 1 April 2018 SDLT applied in Wales.

LTT (Residential property)

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 180,000 0%
180,001 – 250,000 3.5%
250,001 – 400,000 5%
400,001 – 750,000 7.5%
750,001 – 1,500,000 10%
1,500,000 and above 12%

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band. Rates may be increased by 3% where further residential properties, costing over £40,000, are acquired.

LTT (Non-residential)

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 150,000 Nil
150,001 – 250,000 1%
250,001 – 1,000,000 5%
Over 1,000,000 6%

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band.

Mileage Allowance Payments
  • MAPs represent the maximum tax free mileage allowances an employee can receive from their employer for using their own vehicle for business journeys.
  • An employer is allowed to pay an employee a certain amount of MAPs each year without having to report payments to HMRC.
  • If the employee receives less than the statutory rate, tax relief can be claimed on the difference.

MAP rates per business mile 2018/19 and 2017/18

Cars and vans Rate per mile
Up to 10,000 miles 45p
Over 10,000 miles 25p
Bicycles 20p
Motorcycles 24p
Minimum Wage
  • National Minimum Wage rates apply to employees up to the age of 24.
  • National Living Wage rates apply to employees 25 and over.
  • The Apprentice rate applies to apprentices under 19, or 19 and over in the first year of apprenticeship.
  • Penalties apply to employers who fail to pay minimum wages.
Age 25+ 21-24 18-20 16-17 Apprentice
From 1 April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
National Insurance Contributions
  • Employees start paying Class 1 NIC from age 16 (if sufficient earnings).
  • Employers pay Class 1 NIC in accordance with the table below.
  • Employer NIC for employees under the age of 21 and apprentices under the age of 25 is reduced from the normal rate of 13.8% to 0% up to the Upper Secondary Threshold.
  • Employees’ Class 1 NIC stop when they reach their State Pension age. The employer’s contribution continues.

Employees – Class 1 – 2018/19

Earnings per week %
Up to £162 Nil*
£162.01 – £892 12
Over £892 2

* Entitlement to state pension and other contribution-based benefits is retained for earnings between £116 and £162 per week.

Employers – Class 1 – 2018/19

Earnings per week %
Up to £162 Nil
Over £162 13.8
Upper Secondary Threshold (for under 21s and apprentices under 25)
Up to £892

Other National Insurance payable by employers

Class 1A – 13.8% on broadly all taxable benefits provided to employees

Class 1B – 13.8% on PAYE Settlement Agreements

Self-employed – Class 2 and 4

  • A self-employed person starts paying Class 2 and Class 4 NIC from 16 or over (if sufficient profits)
  • Class 2 NIC stop when a person reaches State Pension age
  • Class 4 NIC stop from the start of the tax year after the one in which the person reaches State Pension age.

Self-employed – Class 2 – 2018/19

Flat rate per week £2.95
Small Profits Threshold* £6,205 per year

* No Class 2 is due if the amount of trading profits assessable to income tax and Class 4 NIC is below this figure. However, a person might decide to carry on paying class 2 voluntarily to accrue entitlement to the State Pension and entitlement to other benefits.  

Class 4 – 2018/19

Annual profits %
Up to £8,424 Nil
£8,424.01 – £46,350 9
Over 46,350 2

Class 3

  • A person needs 35 years (30 years if State Pension age is before 6 April 2016) of NIC to get a full State Pension.
  • Class 3 voluntary contributions can be paid to fill or avoid gaps in a NI record.

Class 3 – 2018/19

Flat rate per week £14.65

  • Employees start paying Class 1 NIC from age 16 (if sufficient earnings).
  • Employers pay Class 1 NIC in accordance with the table below.
  • Employer NIC for employees under the age of 21 and apprentices under the age of 25 is reduced from the normal rate of 13.8% to 0% up to the Upper Secondary Threshold.
  • Employees’ Class 1 NIC stop when they reach their State Pension age . The employer’s contribution continues.


Pensions: Automatic Enrolment
Auto enrolment places new duties on employers to automatically enrol ‘workers’ into a work based pension scheme. Employers are required to automatically enrol all ‘eligible jobholders’ into a qualifying pension scheme and pay pension contributions on their behalf.


Phasing in of contributions

  Employer minimum contribution Total minimum contribution
Employer’s staging date to 5 April 2018 1% 2%
6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 2% 5%
6 April 2019 onwards 3% 8%

Where the employer does not make the total minimum contribution the employee is obliged to pay the balance.

Automatic enrolment earnings trigger £10,000
Qualifying earnings band – lower limit £6,032
Qualifying earnings band – upper limit £46,350
Pensions: Tax Relief on Contributions
  • Tax relief available for personal contributions is the higher of £3,600 (gross) or 100% of relevant earnings.
  • Any contributions in excess of £40,000, whether personal or by the employer, may be subject to income tax on the individual.
  • The limit may be reduced to £4,000 once money purchase pensions are accessed.
  • Where the £40,000 limit is not fully used it may be possible to carry the unused amount forward for three years.
  • The annual allowance is tapered for those with adjusted income over £150,000. For every £2 of income over £150,000 an individual’s annual allowance will be reduced by £1, down to a minimum of £10,000.
  • Employers will obtain tax relief on employer contributions if they are paid and made ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the purposes of the business. The tax relief for large contributions may be spread over several years.
Property Allowance
  • A property allowance is available to individuals.
  • The property allowance will not apply to partnership income or to income on which rent a room relief is given.
Income up to £1,000 Property income assessable NIL
Income over £1,000 Election to deduct £1,000 rather than the actual expenses
Self-Assessment: Key Dates
31 July 2018 – Second payment on account for 2017/18 tax year.
5 October 2018 – Deadline for notifying HMRC of new sources of income (including the Child Benefit charge) if no tax return has been issued for 2017/18 tax year.
31 October 2018 – Deadline for submission of 2017/18 non-electronic returns.
30 December 2018 – Deadline for submission of 2017/18 electronic tax returns if ‘coding out’ of any underpayment is required
31 January 2019 – Deadline for filing electronic tax returns for 2017/18. Balancing payment due for 2017/18 tax year. First payment on account due for 2018/19 tax year.
Stamp Duty & Stamp Duty Land Tax
When you buy shares, you usually pay a tax or duty of 0.5% on the transaction. If you buy shares electronically Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) is payable. For shares purchased using a stock transfer form, you will pay Stamp Duty if the transaction is over £1,000.SDLT


  • SDLT is payable on land and property transactions in England and Northern Ireland.
  • Property transactions in Scotland are subject to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax.
  • Property transactions in Wales are subject to Land Transaction Tax (LTT) from 1 April 2018. Prior to April 2018 SDLT applied in Wales.

Residential property

The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band.

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 125,000 0%
125,001 – 250,000 2%
250,001 – 925,000 5%
925,001 – 1,500,000 10%
1,500,001 and above 12%

From April 2016 these rates may be increased by 3% where further residential properties, costing over £40,000, are acquired.

First time buyer relief

From 22 November 2017 first time buyers may be eligible for first time buyer relief on purchases of residential property up to £500,000. The rates apply to the portion of the total value which falls within each band.

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 300,000 0%
300,001 – 500,000 5%
for purchases over 500,000 normal rates apply

Non-residential SDLT rates

Consideration (£) Rate
0 – 150,000 0%
150,001 – 250,000 2%
Over 250,000 5%
State Pension
  • The basic State Pension is a regular payment from the government that an individual may be entitled to when they reach State Pension age.
  • The basic State Pension depends on the number of years an individual has paid National Insurance or has National Insurance credits, eg while unemployed or claiming certain benefits.
  • To receive the basic State Pension an individual must have paid or been credited with National Insurance contributions (NIC).
  • From 2016 the State Pension has been reformed into a new single-tier state pension. In order to benefit from the full amount the individual will need 35 years, rather than the previous 30 years of NIC or credits for the full amount, with pro-rating where 35 years is not achieved. You will usually need 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension. The amount an individual receives can be higher or lower depending on their National Insurance record. It will only be higher if you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension.
  • Currently an individual may also be entitled to the Additional State Pension. How much an individual gets depends on the number of qualifying years of NIC, the amount of earnings and whether the individual has been contracted out of the scheme.
Weekly State Pension 2018/19  
Basic – single person £125.95
Basic – married couple £201.45
New state pension £164.35
Tax Reliefs for Individuals

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) provides tax relief for individuals prepared to invest in new and growing companies. Investors can obtain generous income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) breaks for their investment and companies can use the relief to attract additional investment to develop their business. Individuals are entitled to relief on investments in certain unquoted trading companies through EIS.

Maximum investment per annum £1,000,000
Additional investment limit where investing in knowledge-intensive companies £1,000,000
Income tax relief 30%
CGT treatment on disposal if held for 3 years Exempt

Capital gains from the disposal of other assets may be deferred by making an EIS investment.

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) provides tax relief for individuals prepared to invest in new and growing companies. Investors can obtain generous income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) breaks for their investment and companies can use the relief to attract additional investment to develop their business. A junior version of EIS known as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) has been introduced.

Maximum investment per annum £100,000
Income tax relief 50%
CGT treatment on disposal if held for 3 years Exempt

An individual who makes a capital gain on another asset and uses the amount of the gain to make a SEIS investment will not pay tax on 50% of the gain (subject to certain conditions).

Social Investment Relief (SIR)

Social Investment Relief (SIR) is designed to encourage private individuals to invest in social enterprises including charities. Individuals are entitled to relief on their investment:

Maximum investment per annum £1,000,000
Income tax relief 30%
CGT treatment on disposal if held for 3 years Exempt

Capital gains from the disposal of other assets may be deferred by making a SIR investment.

(All reliefs are subject to detailed conditions being met.)

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are designed to encourage private individuals to invest in smaller high-risk unquoted trading companies. VCTs operate by indirect investment through a mediated fund. In effect they are very like the investment trusts that are obtainable on the stock exchange, albeit in a high-risk environment. Individuals are entitled to relief on investments in VCTs.

Maximum investment per annum £200,000
Income tax relief 30%
Dividend income Exempt
Capital gains treatment on disposal Exempt
Trade Allowance
  • A Trade Allowance is available to individuals.
  • There is an equivalent rule for certain miscellaneous income. This will apply to the extent that the £1,000 trading allowance is not used against trading income.
  • The trade allowance is not available against partnership income.
Income up to £1,000 Profits assessable NIL
Income over £1,000 Election to deduct £1,000 allowance rather than the actual expenses
Van Benefit
  • Van benefit is chargeable if the van is available for an employee’s private use.
  • A fuel benefit may also be chargeable if an employee has the benefit of private fuel paid for in respect of a company van.
  • The charges do not apply to vans if a ‘restricted private use condition’ is met throughout the year.
  • A reduced benefit charge may apply to vans which cannot emit CO2 when driven.
Van benefits 2018/19
Van benefit £3,350
Fuel benefit £633
  • Registered businesses charge VAT on their sales. This is known as output VAT and the sales are referred to as outputs.
  • Similarly VAT is charged on most goods and services purchased by the business. This is known as input VAT.
  • There are three rates: standard which applies to most goods and services, reduced rate for some goods and services such as home energy and zero rate goods and services, for example, most food and children’s clothes.
  • Some supplies are exempt from VAT for example postage stamps, financial and insurance transactions.
  • A business is required to register for VAT if the value of taxable supplies exceeds the annual registration limit.
  • The government has frozen the VAT registration and deregistration limits for two years from 1 April 2018.
VAT – rates and limits 2018/19  
Standard rate 20%
Reduced rate 5%
Annual Registration Limit
– from 1.4.18 – 31.3.19
Annual Deregistration Limit
– from 1.4.18 – 31.3.19


This article is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

Agriculture General Election Special

Agriculture General Election Special

How could the general election result affect agriculture?

The General Election is just around the corner, so we take a look at what some of the parties are promising in this Agriculture Election Special.

The Conservative manifesto has pledged to maintain support payments at their current level until 2022, which is an extra two years over current pledges, while Defra Minister George Eustice has told Farmers Weekly that a new support system to replace the CAP may not be ready until 2025.

Meanwhile, support for the Conservative party amongst farmers appears to have increased since the last election, at the expense of support for UKIP.

A Farmers Weekly survey/poll suggests (700 people):

  • 72% would vote Conservative
  • 10% would vote Labour
  • 8% would vote Lib Dem

A similar poll prior to the 2015 General Election showed UKIP on 11%, Conservatives on 59% and Lib Dems on 3%.

In a Farmers Weekly interview, Defra Farm Minister George Eustice said it was important to give farmers guarantees on the level of support for the next five years with a funded agricultural policy. He stated that a good Brexit deal would give the UK  a comprehensive free trade agreement. He added that immigration will not end and a series of work permits could be put in place.

Labour agriculture spokeswoman Sue Hayman said the party would replace the Conservative Brexit White Paper with fresh negotiating priorities. In a Farmers Weekly interview she said Labour will maintain farm payments until 2020 but then rebalance future funds towards support for smaller farms, productivity, innovation, animal welfare and environmental stewardship.

She said that a potential labour crisis would be reduced by immediately guaranteeing existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and re-instate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.

Lib Dem party leader Tim Farron has said in a Farmers Weekly interview that the two fundamental issues for agriculture are access to markets and access to funds. He pointed to 75% of all British farm exports ending up in the EU and the adverse impact of tariffs on farm incomes. He pointed to the overseas market as a good competitive factor to counter price pressure from domestic supermarkets.

He concluded that the best Brexit deal for farmers was one that kept them in the single market. He also recognised the need for direct support payments as a financial lifeline and an immigration policy that was good for agriculture.

Martin Wilmott is a partner at Hawsons

Martin Wilmott acts as lead engagement partner for a wide range of corporate and non-corporate clients in the Doncaster office, especially in the Legal and professional, agricultural, transport, property and construction, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality sectors. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article please contact Martin on [email protected] or 01302 367 262.

Agriculture update for UK farmers – May 2017

Agriculture update for UK farmers – May 2017

Agriculture update for UK farmers – May 2017 

With Britain’s agriculture sector watching Brexit closely following the triggering of Article 50, the UK also announced a snap General Election due to take place on the 8 June. The sector will be closely monitoring each parties manifesto to determine which is best for agriculture moving forward. In this article, we’ll be looking at what May has meant for agriculture in this agriculture update UK farmers.

The Co-op supermarket has now fully switched to 100% British produce for all its fresh meat. This excludes New Zealand lamb and Danish bacon from sale. The NFU has also released its manifesto for farming: “Back British Farming – Brexit and Beyond”. It contains five key policy challenges:

  • Brexit
  • Investment for Growth
  • Fairer supply chain
  • Respect for Sound Science
  • Caring for the Countryside

Average monthly rainfall in April was 7.6mm compared to 66.8mm in April 2016 – making it the driest period since 1995. Farmers are being forced to irrigate to maintain yields. On a more positive note, Defra figures show that Total Income From Farming (TIFF) rose 1.5% or £59 million in real terms to £3.9 billion in 2016. However, the total output fell by 3.% to £23.5 billion mainly because of falls in volume and prices for cereals and milk. TIFF rose mainly because of lower input costs.

Famers Weekly has reported that land prices are continuing to fall. They quote Knight Frank’s Farmland Index first quarter 2017 average value of bare farmland fell 0.5% to £7,435 per acre. This is the smallest quarterly drop and is less dramatic than the 8.5% fall recorded by the agent’s index last year.

The same article quotes the supply of farmland across Britain in Q1 was 38% down on the long term average and 42% down on the same quarter last year, with only 11,000 acres marketed. However, it should be noted that the market is generally weak in the first quarter and commentators do expect it to pick up later in the year.

Factors which will influence future land sales will include:

  • Changes in agricultural subsidies may lead to retirements
  • Future increases in commodity prices
  • Future increases in borrowing costs
  • Outcome of Brexit negotiations

With the General Election just around the corner, Britain’s agriculture sector are closely monitoring each party manifesto. Among the pledges are:

– The Labour manifesto contains 15 pledges for agriculture including:

  • Protection from cheap imports
  • Secure EU market access

– The Lib Dems have seven pledges for farming including:

  • Reform farm subsidies
  • Re-focus support away from direct payments to environmental measures
  • Encourage new entrants to farming
  • Better broadband
  • More supermarket watchdog powers

Moving on from the General Election, rain in the last few weeks has eased fears of a UK drought this summer and the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) has launched a campaign for the next Government to deliver a Brexit that works for farmers.

Farm borrowing rose in the first quarter of 2017 by £384m despite the 18% boost to BPS payments as a result of the decline of sterling. Many inputs are costing more because of sterling’s weaknesses. Finally, tractor sales in the first four months of 2017 are 20% higher than in 2016.

Martin Wilmott is a partner at Hawsons

Martin Wilmott acts as lead engagement partner for a wide range of corporate and non-corporate clients in the Doncaster office, especially in the Legal and professional, agricultural, transport, property and construction, manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality sectors. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article please contact Martin on [email protected] or 01302 367 262.