Budget 2021: Key Points

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the Budget in the House of Commons on 3rd March 2021, announcing the government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead, in a bid to help the UK’s economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

We have summarised the key points in this article, but you can also download our full budget summary by clicking here.


Key Points:

Measures to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus

  • Extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (‘furlough payments’) to September 2021 across the UK, with employer contributions to salary from July
     
  • Fourth Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant covering February to April 2021 to claim from late April, similar to first three grants – and newly self-employed people who filed 2019/20 tax returns by 2 March may be eligible to claim for the first time
     
  • Fifth Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant covering May to September to be claimed from late July, varying in amount according to the fall in turnover during the pandemic
     
  • No further support announced for people working as directors through their own personal companies
     
  • 6-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, with an equivalent £500 grant to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants
     
  • Range of ‘Restart’ grants for businesses reopening after lockdown
     
  • Recovery Loan Scheme from 6 April 2021: government to guarantee 80% of eligible loans from £25,000 to £10 million to give lenders confidence to support UK businesses, with some other loan schemes coming to an end on 31 March 2021
     
  • Business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure premises in England continues for first 3 months of 2020/21, followed by a 66% discount for the rest of the year. In Scotland, the 100% relief has been extended for retail, hospitality, leisure & aviation to 31 March 2022.
     
  • 5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and leisure industry extended from 1 April to 30 September 2021, followed by 12.5% intermediate rate to 31 March 2022

Reliefs extended

  • Nil rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on property transactions up to £500,000 extended from 31 March to 30 June 2021, with £250,000 threshold up to 30 September 2021 (England only)
     
  • Duties on alcoholic drinks and fuel frozen for the second year running

Tax year 2021/22

  • Small increases in main Personal Allowance, Basic Rate Band and National Insurance thresholds confirmed, as already announced
     
  • Lifetime Allowance for tax-advantaged pension funds, Inheritance Tax nil rate band, Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount, ISA subscription limits all frozen at 2020/21 levels
     
  • No increase in CGT rates announced, contrary to some speculation in advance
     
  • Corporation Tax rate remains 19% until 31 March 2023
     
  • New ‘super-deduction’ for investment by companies: 130% of qualifying expenditure on general plant for two years from 1 April 2021 can be deducted from taxable profit (50% for ‘special rate’ assets, and cars are excluded)
     
  • Trading losses (up to £2 million) for companies and self-employed businesses to be carried back up to 3 years instead of the usual 12 months, making it possible to set current losses against pre-pandemic profits to obtain a repayment
     
  • Cap on Research and Development claims: payable tax credit not to exceed £20,000 plus three times PAYE & NIC liability
     
  • No significant changes announced to ‘off-payroll working’ (IR35) rules, which will apply to large and medium-sized private sector employers from 6 April 2021, as previously announced

Tax measures coming into effect later

  • Personal allowances and income tax rate thresholds frozen at 2021/22 levels until the end of 2025/26
     
  • Lifetime Allowance for tax-advantaged pension funds, Inheritance Tax nil rate band and Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount all frozen at their current levels until the end of 2025/26
     
  • VAT registration threshold fixed at current level of £85,000 until 31 March 2024
     
  • Corporation tax rate on profits over £250,000 to increase to 25% from 1 April 2023, with the current 19% rate applying to profits below £50,000 and a tapering calculation on profits between £50,000 and £250,000
     
  • Establishment of ‘Freeports’ enjoying significant tax breaks announced in 8 areas of England, with further areas to be discussed with devolved administrations

Get in touch

If you have any queries about any of the changes mentioned in the budget and how this may affect you, please speak with your usual Henderson Loggie contact or get in touch using the form below.