The personal allowance
The income tax personal allowance was already fixed at the current level until April 2026 and will now be maintained for an additional two years until April 2028 at £12,570.
The government will uprate the married couple’s allowance and blind person’s allowance by inflation for 2023/24.
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 (or intermediate rate in Scotland), 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. Since the marriage allowance was first introduced there are couples who are entitled to claim but have not yet done so. It is possible to claim for all years back to 2018/19 where the entitlement conditions are met. The total tax saving for all years up until 2022/23 could be over £1,000. A claim for 2018/19 will need to be made by 5 April 2023.
Tax bands and rates
The basic rate of tax is 20%. In 2023/24 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.
Once again, the basic rate band is frozen at £37,700 up until April 2028. 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.
From 6 April 2023, the point at which individuals pay the additional rate will be lowered from £150,000 to £125,140.
The additional rate for non-savings and non-dividend income will apply to taxpayers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The additional rate for savings and dividend income will apply to the whole of the UK.
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 2023/24 there are five income tax rates which range between 19% and 47%. Scottish taxpayers are entitled to the same personal allowance as individuals in the rest of the UK. The two higher rates are 42% and 47% rather than the 40% and 45% rates that apply to such income for other UK residents. For 2023/24, the 42% band applies to income over £43,662 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The 47% rate applies to income over £125,140.
Since 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 2023/24 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.
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.
Savings income within the allowance still counts towards an individual’s basic or higher rate band and so may affect the rate of tax paid on savings above the Savings Allowance.
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
Currently, the first £2,000 of dividends is chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). This will be reduced to £1,000 for 2023/24 and £500 for 2024/25.
These changes will apply to the whole of the UK.
Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates for 2023/24:
8.75% for basic rate taxpayers
33.75% for higher rate taxpayers
39.35% for additional rate taxpayers.
As corporation tax due on directors’ overdrawn loan accounts is paid at the dividend upper rate, this will also remain at 33.75%.
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.
Homes for Ukraine scheme
In March 2022 the government announced the Homes for Ukraine scheme, a humanitarian sponsorship visa scheme allowing individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to sponsor Ukrainians arriving in the UK. As part of this scheme the government announced that sponsors would receive ‘thank you’ payments for housing an individual or family.
Income tax and corporation tax exemptions for ‘thank you’ payments made by local authorities to sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be introduced. Also, temporary reliefs from the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings and Stamp Duty Land Tax will be introduced.
Pension tax limits
This measure supports the government’s efforts to encourage inactive individuals to return to work, in particular those aged 50 and above, and it removes incentives to reduce hours or leave the labour market due to pension tax limits. Legislation will be introduced in Spring Finance Bill 2023 and will have effect from 6 April 2023. This will:
Increase the Annual Allowance from £40,000 to £60,000.
Increase the Money Purchase Annual Allowance from £4,000 to £10,000.
Increase the income level for the tapered Annual Allowance from £240,000 to £260,000.
Ensure that nobody will face a Lifetime Allowance charge.
Limit the maximum an individual can claim as a Pension Commencement Lump Sum to 25% of the current Lifetime Allowance (£268,275), except where previous protections apply.
Change the taxation of the Lifetime Allowance excess lump sum, serious ill-health lump sum, defined benefits lump sum death benefit and uncrystallised funds lump sum death benefit, where they are currently subject to a 55% tax charge above the Lifetime Allowance, to taxation at an individual’s marginal rate.
Legislation will be introduced in a future Finance Bill to remove the Lifetime Allowance from pensions tax legislation.
The government states that evidence suggests recent increases in inactivity have been driven primarily by those aged 50-64, and self-reported retirement has been the main driver for these individuals to leave the labour market. This measure supports individuals’ ability to build up retirement savings and so improves the financial incentive of work whilst continuing to balance the cost of pensions tax relief.
Rendering void assignments of income tax repayments
This measure will apply to individuals entitled to income tax repayments from HMRC who wish to use a business, accountancy firm or agent to facilitate their access to a repayment. It will also affect the facilitating businesses, accountancy firms and agents.
It will remove a taxpayer’s ability to legally assign to a third party their income tax repayment, or their right to an income tax repayment.
The effect of this is that assignments of income tax repayments will have no legal effect and the repayment will remain the property of the taxpayer.
This will affect assignments of which notice is received by HMRC on or after 15 March 2023.