It’s November, and that means this month we saw the Chancellor announce the autumn statement, with information relevant for all businesses to make a note of.

As we head towards the end of 2023, here’s all the latest information in the world of business and tax that you need to know. 

National Insurance Tax Cut

As announced in the Autumn Statement on November 22 nd , the main 12% rate of employee national insurance contributions has been cut by 2%, now down to 10%.

This tax cut will come into effect on the 6th of January 2024, which Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has claimed will save someone on an average salary £450, affecting 28 million people in the UK.

The way national insurance is paid will go through reforms, in an effort to save around 2 million people an average of £350 per year.

Class 2 national insurance will be abolished for the self-employed, while Class 4 national insurance will be cut to 8% on earnings between £12,570 and £50,270.

Inflation Target Hit

Earlier this month, it was announced that the inflation target had been hit, with the Autumn statement now outlining plans for it to fall again to 2.8% by the end of 2024, and 2% by 2025.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has noted the UK has seen an ‘overall’ growth of 0.6% in 2023, with economic growth of 0.7% expected in 2024, and 1.4% in 2025.

Minimum Wage Rise

The national minimum wage, which is currently £10.42 for those 23 and over, is set to rise to £11.44 from next April for all workers aged 21 and over.

The wage will also increase for younger age groups, with apprenticeship wages now rising to £6.40 from £5.28.

Business Support

The rate at which loss-making companies are taxed, will drop from 25% to 19%, after Hunt announced the existing R&D Expenditure Credit and SME schemes will be merged.

The full expensing scheme – currently due to expire in 2026 – will be made permanent.

This allows firms to write off the entire cost of spending on new machinery and equipment, while also saving 25p from every pound spent on other types of investment.

The 75% discount on business rates for firms in retail, hospitality and leisure will be extended for another year.

For planning applications, local authorities will now be allowed to recover the full costs of major business planning applications if they meet guaranteed faster timelines.

However, if the timelines aren’t met, then businesses will be refunded in full, and their planning application will be processed free of charge.

Investment Zones

Freeports and investment zones will be given 10 years of “financial incentives”. This therefore extends the initial plan of 5 years.

Three further investment zones will be created in the West Midlands, East Midlands and in Greater Manchester, and a second investment zone will be set up in Wales.

That’s all for November! As we move into the next month, keep an eye out on the news for all the latest business and tax updates. Have a wonderful December.