Business tax changes for 2017-18

A number of changes to business taxation have come into effect with the start of the 2017-18 tax year. These changes include the following:

Corporation Tax

The Corporation Tax rate from 1 April 2017 has been reduced to 19% and set at this rate for 2018 and 2019. From 1 April 2020, the Corporation Tax rate will be further reduced to 17%.This rate will be the lowest in the G20 and benefit over 1 million businesses in the UK.

Business rates

From April 2017, small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates, a doubling from the current limit of £6,000. There will be a tapered rate of relief on properties with a rateable value up to £15,000. Figures published by HM Treasury say that this change will mean that rates will no longer be due on 600,000 properties. There will also be increases in rural rate relief for small businesses in certain rural communities.

Apprenticeship levy

The new apprenticeship levy will change the way apprenticeships are funded. The levy will be charged to large employers at a rate of 0.5% of the employer's 'pay bill'. To exclude smaller employers, a £15,000 annual allowance can be claimed. The effect of this limit means that only employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million will be required to contribute to the levy.

Social investment tax relief

The social investment tax relief (SITR) scheme is a tax relief scheme to encourage individuals to support social enterprises and to assist social enterprises access new sources of finance. The SITR limit will increase to £1.5 million for social enterprises aged up to 7 years.

Commenting on the changes, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison said:

'We’re committed to a business tax regime that supports enterprise and allows our entrepreneurs to take advantage of new and exciting opportunities to grow and create jobs.'

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