Help and support for you

Everything you need to know to stop your business from running you.

budget 2024

Spring Budget Update 2024

What is the Spring Budget 2024 about and who are the winners and losers. What does it really mean?

Yesterday, 6th March 2024, the chancellor announced his spring budget. There is a lot to digest and unpick and there might be some devil in the detail! With a general election looming, it was clear that the chancellor had decided to put more money back into the pockets of working people. However, not much of this money directly comes to business owners.  I think the real winners will be the UK’s 27m workers, as the cut in NI affects employees earning over £12,570pa

Let’s start with the good news:

National Insurance Contributions are going down

National Insurance Contributions are again being cut. The government is cutting the main rate of employee National Insurance by 2p from 10% to 8% from 6 April 2024. Combined with the 2p cut announced at Autumn Statement 2023, this will save the average worker on £35,400 over £900 a year.

The government is also cutting a further 2p from the main rate of self-employed National Insurance on top of the 1p cut announced at Autumn Statement 2023. This means that from 6 April 2024 the main rate of Class 4 NICs for the self-employed will now be reduced from 9% to 6%. Combined with the abolition of the requirement to pay Class 2, this will save an average self-employed person on £28,000, around £650 a year.

The threshold for registering for VAT is going up

The point where businesses need to register for VAT is going up from £85,000 to £90,000. This will supposedly help small businesses grow. There are differing opinions about this – my own is that it won’t help! What we see is that, in reality, businesses often slow their growth as they near the VAT threshold. Radically lowering the VAT threshold towards £40,000 or even lower would make it a level playing field for most small businesses. But then, what does the Chancellor really know about small businesses?

Inflation has rapidly fallen and the economy is picking up

Inflation has more than halved from its recent peak, i.e. from 11.1% to 4.0%. The OBR forecasts inflation to fall to its 2% target in Q2 2024, a year earlier than in their November 2023 forecast. In 2023, the UK was pretty much in recession as GDP grew by 0.1%. Growth is now forecast to pick up from the first half of 2024 and the IMF is forecasting that the UK will have the third fastest cumulative growth in the G7 over the 2024-2028 period.

The post pandemic recovery loan scheme is being extended and renamed the Growth Guarantee Fund

The UK government has recently announced an extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme, which will provide £200 million in funding to assist small businesses to invest and expand. To qualify for the loan, businesses must have a turnover of £45 million or less, must be viable, and should not be experiencing any financial difficulties.

Full expensing for leased assets is coming…

Capital allowances are a great way for businesses to reduce their tax bill. By deducting the value of certain items such as equipment, machinery, and certain business vehicles from their profits, businesses can benefit from tax relief. It’s a smart way to save money and reinvest it back into the business. Full expensing is an allowance which allows companies to use these capital allowances in the year that the investment was made. The chancellor indicated yesterday that at some point in the near future full expensing for leased assets is coming. When? Apparently ‘when affordable to do so’.

Changes to the Child Benefit Charge.

At the moment, there is a situation where a household with 2 parents, each earning £49,000 a year, still gets the full Child Benefit, but those with one parent earning over £50,000 will see some or all of the benefit withdrawn. From 6th April 2024 the point at which child benefit will start to be withdrawn will now be at a higher level of earnings i.e. £60,000 not £50,000. Instead of starting to lose child benefit once at least one parent earns over £50,000 a year, it will be £60,000. It will be taken away entirely from £80,000 a year, rather than £60,000. But more importantly, the government is consulting on moving the system from being based on an individual’s salary to a system based on household income. This new system will come in by April 2026. It is good news for 2024-25 but will it be good news next year or not? Watch this space!

Capital Gains Tax on residential properties is being reduced.

The government is keen to increase the amount of available housing. It is reducing the higher rate of property capital gains tax from 28% to 24% in April. This will benefit any property owner who is selling a property which is not their main home.

Fuel duty remains the same

The ‘temporary’ 5p cut in fuel duty is being extended for another 12 months.

Alcohol duty remains the same

The alcohol duty freeze is being extended from 1st August to 1st February.


There is a new ISA in town! This ‘UK ISA’ gives savers another £5k tax-free allowance, on top of the current £20k that can be subscribed into an ISA. There is also a new British Savings Bond from National Savings. The only restriction is this new UK ISA needs to be invested in British businesses.

A boost for the creative industries

The government is also announcing over £1 billion of new tax reliefs for the UK’s creative industries. This includes introducing a 40% relief from business rates for eligible film studios in England for the next 10 years; introducing a new UK Independent Film Tax Credit; and increasing the rate of tax credit by 5% and removing the 80% cap for visual effects costs in the Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit. A permanent extension will be made to tax relief for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries.

The losers

Changes to the property tax system

The government is abolishing the Furnished Holiday Lettings tax regime from 6th April 2025 and the multiple dwelling stamp duty relief from 1st June 2024. Contracts that were exchanged on or before the 6th March 2024 – i.e. before the budget was announced – will continue to get the multiple dwelling stamp duty relief regardless of the completion date. Any purchase that completes before the 1st June 2024 will also get this relief. 

Importantly- any FHL owner looking to sell, should consider doing so ASAP as the impact of this change increases the capital gains tax from a potential 10% to a more likely 24% from April 2025

Changes to the non-dom tax regime

The tax breaks for non-domicilied residents, people who live in the UK, but not domiciled here for tax purposes have been abolished. Currently, foreign nationals who live here, but are taxed in another country, do not have to pay tax on their foreign income for up to 15 years. From April 2025 this is changing.

For new arrivals, who have a period of 10 years consecutive non-residence, there will be full tax relief for a 4-year period of subsequent UK tax residence on foreign income and gains arising during this 4-year period, during which time this money can be brought to the UK without an additional tax charge.

Existing tax residents, who have been tax resident for fewer than 4 tax years and are eligible for the scheme, will also benefit from the relief until the end of their 4th year of tax residence.

There are transitional arrangements being put in place for existing non-doms.

This only affects a very small number of people – but it could put off some people from bringing their wealth to the UK.

Smokers and vapers

In Oct 2026 vapers will be taxed more and the tax on cigarettes and tobacco products will go up.

The government is beefing up it’s HMRC team to get more tax in

Sadly, the government is not – on the surface of it – making an investment in front-line HMRC staff. It is investing an extra £140m to improve HMRC’s ability to manage tax debts. Think of this as an investment in identifying where more tax is due and then having the headcount to get this money paid. If you don’t already have tax investigation insurance, now is the time to take it out!   And yes we offer this!

In addition, it was announced that there is a consultation on how best to implement the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework and amendments to the Common Reporting Standard. If you end up being affected by this, it is likely that more reporting means more tax!

What does it really mean?

Well as I often point out, the Government’s budget doesn’t really change anything!  Yes the politicians are tinkering here and there with the tax regime and actually, apart from the VAT registration threshold increase, I think that this was a good budget.  However, we all make our own destiny!  It is up to us to make a financial success of what we do – and do you have a plan?  A financial plan for your domestic wealth and a business plan for your business?  If not, get in touch ([email protected]) and lets organise to review and prepare one…and then take action to make it better!

Share this post

Read more:

Join our newsletter