Autumn Budget Statement 2022

21 Nov 2022

After a period of turmoil and uncertainty, the Chancellor Jeremey Hunt announced his Autumn Statement in an attempt to settle the so-called markets and bring some much needed stability, encourage growth, whilst continuing to fund public services in line with the 2019 mandate.

Taxes have been raised mainly with threshold freezes, rather than headline tax rate increases, with a number of under-the-radar measures which are sure to raise tax collections in the short-term and hit taxpayers across the spectrum. 

Personal Taxes 

Income Tax Bands 

The current tax-free Personal Allowance of £12,570 will be frozen until 2028 – this is a two year extension to the freeze which was previously expected to end in 2026. The higher rate tax threshold will also be frozen until 2028 – the 40% rate tax will be payable on all non-savings and savings income between £50,270 and £125,140. 

The threshold for the highest rate of tax will fall from £150,000 to £125,140. The additional tax rate of 45% will be payable on all non-savings and savings income above £125,140, so any individual already paying the 45% rate in 2022/23 will face an income tax increase of at least £1,243 for 2023/24. 

Individuals with income of more than £100,000 will continue to have their Personal Allowance tapered, with those on incomes of more than £125,140, not being entitled to any Personal Allowance. 

These changes will not apply to Scottish Taxpayers (not capital Taxpayers), where the rate continues to be set independently by the Scottish Parliament – its Budget is due on 15 December 2022. 

Dividend income 

The Chancellor announced that the tax-free allowance for dividend income will be halved from 6 April 2023 and again from 6 April 2024. Shareholders will start to pay tax on dividend income in excess of £1,000 (previously £2,000) in 2023/24, and where it exceeds £500 in 2024/25. 

The tax rate that will apply to dividend income will depend on an individual’s tax band, with the current rates continuing in future years at 8.75% for basic rates taxpayers, 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers and 39.35% for additional rate. 

National Insurance 

The main NIC thresholds that apply to employees, employers and self-employed individuals will remain frozen until April 2028. The net effect of this will be to increase the amount of NIC that low earners pay over time, but freezing the Upper Earnings Limit at £50,270 will benefit those whose income is above this level or increases beyond it before 2028: the NIC rate drops from 12% to 2% over the Upper Earnings Limit. 

Capital Gains Tax 

Tax-free Allowance  

The tax-free Capital Gains Annual Exemption will be reduced from £12,300 to £6,000 from 6 April 2023 and further reduced to £3,000 from 6 April 2024. However, despite speculation before the Autumn Statement, the rates of Capital Gains Tax payable on gains above the Annual Exemption amount remain unchanged at 10% to 28% (depending on the individual’s level of income and the type of asset sold). The CGT proceeds reporting limit will be fixed at £50,000. 

Share Exchanges – Close Companies

Legislation is being introduced with immediate effect which may impact how dividend income and capitals gains from a non-UK close company are taxed if these shares were received as part of a share for-share transaction. The changes will affect individuals who hold more than 5% of shares and securities in a UK close company and exchange some or all of those securities for an equivalent holding in a non-UK company.

Broadly, a close company is under the control of five or fewer shareholders; or, any number of shareholders who are also directors of the company: the vast majority of typical family or owner-managed companies will be close companies for tax purposes.

If an individual falls within these rules, the legislation will deem the shares in the non-UK company to be located in the UK for both Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax purposes. This will prevent UK resident but non-UK domiciled individuals from accessing the remittance basis of taxation on any:  

  • Capital Gains realised on the disposal of the non-UK shares, AND  
  • Dividends/Distributions received from the non-UK company.  

The measure will take effect for any share- for- share exchanges carried out on or after 17 November 2022, although the legislation will be introduced through the Spring Finance Bill 2023.  

Inheritance Tax 

Inheritance tax is payable on any estate above £325,000 – the tax rate is currently 40%.  There is also the ‘residence nil-rate band’, which increases the tax-free allowance to £500,000 when the family home is passed to children/grandchildren. Both of these thresholds have been frozen until 2028.

Employment Taxes 

Company Cars 

With the decline in the number of non-electric vehicles (EVs) being reported as company cars and a huge increase in the number of EVs being chosen as replacements, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Chancellor has chosen to revisit the tax generated from EV company cars. However, the Government still wishes to encourage  the choice of an electric vehicle rather than traditionally fuelled cars to support 2026 emissions targets. 

An EV is currently taxed as a benefit in kind (BIK) when made available for private use by an employer for an employee with a cash equivalent of 2% of the list price, and the government committed to retaining this rate until April 2025

Nevertheless, in the Autumn Statement, it was announced that the BIK rate will increase to 3% for the 2025-26 tax year, 4% for 2026-27 and 5% for 2027-28. Similarly, all non EVs will also see the same 1% increase per annum over the same timescale. 

This change has been anticipated by the Fleet industry and they, along with employers, will be pleased that we have certainty for next 4 years. Despite the increases announced, EVs are still a very attractive proposition for both employee and employer alike - especially when provided via salary sacrifice. 

NIC Threshold Freeze and NLW Increase 

July’s increase in the workers NIC threshold from £9,880 to £12,570 (aligning it with the income tax personal allowance) and the reversal this month of the 1.25% NIC increase, due to the removal of the Health & Social Care Levy, provided welcome savings of £480 per annum on average.     

Freezing the NIC thresholds for workers and employers alike comes as no surprise, but for employers this will represent a real-terms increase in their employment costs with the secondary threshold remaining at £9,100 until April 2028. The Employment Allowance remains at £5,000 per annum and the government estimates that this will mean 40% of employers will not be affected by the freezing of the thresholds.  

National Living Wage Increase 

Those employers who are affected by rising NIC costs will also have to cope with the increase in the National Living Wage to £10.42 per hour (representing an increase of a little over £1,600 per full time NLW employee per year) from April 2023. This will mean that it is more important than ever to ensure that employment spend is targeted where it is most effective, on the benefits most valued by employees. 

Furthermore, employers need to ensure that they do not risk having to pay interest and penalties if they get their employment taxes wrong.    

Prudent employers should review both the benefit package offered to employees and their compliance policies and procedures to ensure that they maximise the value of their employee spend.   

Corporate Taxes 

R&D Tax Reliefs 

Responding to concern about significant abuse of the SME R&D regime and in order to increase the international competitiveness of UK businesses, the government is rebalancing the rate of R&D relief for SME and Large Companies (under the R&D Expenditure Credit Regime), as follows: 

For expenditure on or after 1 April 2023: 

  • Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) rate will increase from 13% to 20% 
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) additional deduction will decrease from 130% to 86% 
  • SME credit rate will decrease from 14.5% to 10%. 

The government will also consult on the design of a single R&D tax relief scheme and mechanisms to further support R&D intensive SMEs without increasing overall the £20bn allocated to supporting R&D in the UK. 

In addition, as previously announced at Autumn Budget 2021, the R&D tax reliefs will be reformed by expanding qualifying expenditure to include data and cloud costs, refocusing support towards innovation in the UK, targeting abuse and improving compliance. 

The measures announced follow from the introduction of the SME PAYE and NIC cap and prohibition of overseas R&D costs. While the changes will be welcomed by large companies, they represent yet another blow to SMEs undertaking genuine R&D for whom R&D tax credits represent a valuable source of funding. 

Windfall Taxes on Energy Profits 

The Chancellor outlined a number of changes to the Energy Profit Levy - increasing it to 35% from 1 January 2023 and extending its duration until 31 March 2028 while reducing allowance for the investment costs to 29%. He also announced the introduction of a separate levy for Electricity Generators. 

The 25% windfall tax on energy companies was increased to 35%, though it remains a temporary measure. 

To ensure that electricity generators also pay “their fair share towards strengthening public finances” a temporary, 45% levy on corporate electricity generators will be introduced from 1 January 2023. The levy will be extraordinary profits, defined as electricity sold at above £75MWh. The measure will run until 31 March 2028. 

Combined with corporation tax, this brings the cumulative rate on earnings over £75Mwh to 70%. 

Key points: 

  • The levy will be limited, through the de minimis threshold, to those corporate groups generating more than 100 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) per annum from in-scope generation assets in a qualifying period. In calculating the levy, a deduction will be available in the form of an allowance set at £10m per annum for a corporate group.  The calculation will be undertaken at an aggregate level across all in-scope generation of the group. 
  • The tax will not apply to electricity generated under a Contract for Difference entered into with the Low Carbon Contracts Company Ltd (LCCC).  
  • The revenue measure will not include revenue that renewables generators earn from the sale of Renewables Obligation Certificates or revenue from capacity market payments. 
  • The levy will not be applied to pumped storage hydroelectricity or battery storage. 

There will be a consultation period with relevant generators before draft legislation is published in mid-December. 

Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate 

The government confirmed its intention to implement the Pillar Two rules issued in draft on 20 July 2022 in order to comply with the global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% proposed by the OECD. 

The new rules will apply for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2023. The implementation of the Pillar Two rules is intended to protect the UK tax base against aggressive tax planning and reinforce the competitiveness of the UK. The measure is anticipated to raise £2.3 billion a year by 2027- 2028. 

Transfer Pricing 

From 1 April 2023, large multinational entities operating in the UK will be required to maintain a Master File and a Local File in a prescribed standardised format set out in the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines. 

In the meantime, HMRC will continue to consider the merits of the introduction of a Summary Audit Trail requirement. A Summary Audit Trail would consist of a questionnaire covering the main steps undertaken in preparation of the Local File. It would constitute an additional compliance burden for businesses, on top of preparing and retaining a Master File and a Local File. 

Diverted Profits Tax 

From April 2023, the rate of Diverted Profits Tax will increase from 25% to 31%, in order to retain a 6% differential above the main rate of Corporation Tax, and therefore ensure that it remains an effective deterrent against diverting profits out of the UK. 

Bank Corporation Tax Surcharge 

Following the decision to proceed with the Corporation Tax rate increase to 25% from April 2023, the changes to the Bank Corporation Tax Surcharge which are legislated to take effect from the same point will also go ahead. From April 2023, banks will therefore be charged an additional 3% rate on their profits above £100 million, which means they will continue to pay a higher combined rate of corporation tax than most other companies, and a higher rate than they did previously. 

Audio-Visual Tax Reliefs 

The government is consulting on its proposed reforms to audio-visual tax reliefs which represent five of the eight Creative Industry Tax Relief schemes currently in place. The government’s goal is “to ensure that they remain world-leading and continue to best serve the needs of creative companies”. 

Key proposals under consultation include: 

  • Merging the current film and TV reliefs into a single tax credit scheme 
  • Transforming all schemes into above the line, refundable expenditure credits 
  • Increasing the minimum expenditure threshold and clarifying the definition of “slot length” in the High-End Television Tax Relief scheme 
  • Introducing a UK expenditure requirement to replace the current European expenditure requirement and varying the subcontracting limit in the Video Games Tax Relief scheme. 

The consultation will close on 9 February 2023. 

Business Rates 

From 1 April 2023, rateable values of non-domestic properties in England will be updated to reflect the property market at 1 April 2021. A set of reliefs including a freezing of business rates multipliers and percentage caps on annual increases in business rates will be introduced to mitigate the effect of the new valuations on ratepayers subject to substantial increases in bills. 

The percentage increase in business rates bills as a result of the revaluation will also be subject to annual caps until 2025/2026 based on the rateable value: 

Rateable Value

£0 – £20,000/£28,000 in London: 

2023/2024 5%

2024/2025 10%

2025/2026 25%

£20,000/£28,000 - £100,000 

2023/2024 15%

2024/2025 25%

2025/2026 40%


2023/2024 30%

2024/2025 40%

2025/2026 55%

The proposed caps for 2024/2025 and 2025/2026 will be adjusted by the rate of inflationary increase to the business rate multipliers in due course. 

Business rates reliefs for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors introduced during the pandemic will be extended and increased by 25%. 

Following consultation on prospective reforms to business rates, the Government has decided not to introduce an online sales tax. 

Indirect Taxes 

VAT Registration Threshold

The government has confirmed that the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 and deregistration threshold of £83,000 will be maintained at current levels until 31 March 2026 rather than 31 March 2024. These threshold have been unchanged since 1 April 2017. 

This measure means that more businesses will fall within the VAT net and be net contributors. It remains the case that some businesses choose to limit growth to avoid the ‘cliff edge’ effect of exceeding the VAT threshold.  

A longer-term solution may therefore be required after March 2026. 

Import Tariffs reduced 

Import tariffs on over 100 goods will be suspended for two years from January 2023 with tariff savings of up to 18%. The measure is in response to requests from businesses and stakeholders to reduce costs in certain sectors. Treasury documents give examples such as aluminium frames used by bicycle manufacturers and ingredients used by food producers. 

The reduction in the cost base will be welcomed by business. However, overseas suppliers, who are also suffering from the global economic slump, may seek to increase raw prices. Businesses importing affected products would be advised to carefully review trading terms with suppliers. 

Other Measures 

Support with Energy Bills 

The government will publish a review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) for businesses and other organisations by 31 December 2022, but it has made clear that any support offered beyond March 2023 will be at a much lower level. However, the Chancellor has announced an extension of the Energy Price Guarantee for households: it will now run throughout 2023/24.   

The current scheme guarantees that a typical household’s energy costs will not exceed £2,500 for 2022/23. The scheme will operate in a similar way for all households in 2023/24 although the typical household will pay on average £3,000 for 2023/24 – amounting to a subsidy of around £500. For 2023/24, The government will also double the level of support for households that use fuels such as heating oil, LPG, coal or biomass to £200.   

The government says it is changing the scheme in this way so that it can also provide more targeted support to the most “vulnerable” through a new set of direct Cost of Living Payments as well as full CPI increases to the State Pension and benefits in 2023/24.    

Property Taxes 

For purchasers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland, the following measures on Stamp Duty will be made temporary, ending on 31 March 2025:  

the increase in the SDLT Nil rate threshold from £125k to £250k   

the increase in the SDLT Nil rate threshold from 300k to £425k for first-time buyers 

the increase in the maximum purchase price for relief for first time buyers from £500k to £625k

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)  

The 2023/24 annual chargeable amounts for ATED will be routinely increased by the September 2022 CPI increase figure of 10.1%, as follows:  

Property value: more than £500,000 up to £1 million - Annual charge: £4,150  

Property value: more than £1 million up to £2 million - Annual charge: £8,450  

Property value: more than £2 million up to £5 million - Annual charge: £28,650

Property value: more than £5 million up to £10 million - Annual charge: £67,050

Property value: more than £10 million up to £20 million - Annual charge: £134,550

Property value: more than £20 million - Annual charge: £269,450

HMRC and Tax Avoidance 

The Chancellor announced a package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and wider non-compliance that is estimated to raise £1.7 billion over the next five years. The package includes a £79 million fund for additional staff to tackle more cases of serious tax fraud as well as wealthy taxpayers’ non-compliance. This investment is estimated to raise £725 million, and is in addition to the £292 million of additional funding announced at the 2021 Spending Statement. 

HMRC challenges taxpayers’ liabilities through a series of campaigns and ‘nudge letters’.  These focus on areas identified as being particularly at risk of fraud and error, and therefore most likely to generate significant additional revenues for the Exchequer.  

As their name suggests, nudge letters are designed to prompt taxpayers to reconsider whether they need to pay more tax to HMRC. Usually, HMRC issues them when it has information that suggests tax returns are incomplete. This could be data from overseas tax authorities about people’s non-UK bank interest, or discrepancies between Companies House data and tax returns. Recent nudge letters include: 

  • Letters to offshore corporates owning UK property whom HMRC considered failed to pay tax on property sales and other transactions 
  • Letters to people who drive for online platforms such as Uber or Lyft, explaining that HMRC has information suggesting they did not disclose all their earnings from this work 
  • Letters to landlords who HMRC considers failed to tell HMRC about all their rental income in 2020/21 
  • Letters to companies claiming R&D tax relief encouraging them to review their claims 

HMRC is also devoting resources to tackle fraudulent and erroneous R&D tax claims, undertaking detailed checks before paying out the claims, or investigating cases on which refunds were made where the claims appear excessive. These compliance checks are undertaken by HMRC’s Fraud Investigations Service and its new R&D Anti-Abuse Unit, amongst others. 

Any taxpayers who receive these nudge letters or face an R&D investigation should seek specialist advice on how best to respond. How many years’ tax HMRC can collect or reclaim depends on why mistakes occurred. This also affects the levels of any tax-geared penalties. 

Investment Zones 

The Investment Zones programme will be refocused on a limited number of the highest potential knowledge-intensive growth clusters, leveraging local research strengths. The policy will be centred on universities in “left-behind” areas to help build clusters for new growth industries. 

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will work closely with mayors, devolved administrations, local authorities, businesses and other local partners to consider how best to identify and support these clusters. The goal is to drive growth while maintaining high environmental standards. The first clusters will be announced in the coming months. 

The expressions of interest for the scheme announced in the Mini Budget will not be taken forward.  

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