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Autumn Budget highlights for Liverpool business owners

It’s now been a week since the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered the first Autumn Budget.

As normal, many of the changes he announced will have a considerable impact on the UK business community. Accountants in Liverpool and every other part of the country are now busy working out what these changes mean for their clients’ bottom line and the way they work.

The living and minimum wage

As expected, from April 2018, both the living and minimum wage will rise. If you employ a Liverpool accountancy firm to take care of your payroll, they will do what is needed to ensure that your employees are paid at the new rate you set.

However, you will also need to go through your data to work out how much impact paying your employees will have on your profit margins. It is wise to plan for any price increases. Sometimes, they result in your having to change the way you work for a while; for example, you may have to reduce production rates if you think your price hike will, temporarily, lead to a drop off in demand.

The new income tax thresholds

The Chancellor also announced new income tax thresholds. Again, if you employ a Liverpool accountant to take care of your payroll, you can leave the management of this change to them. However, if you take care of your payroll internally, don’t forget to make the necessary adjustments.

The company car diesel supplement change

From April 2018, the company car diesel surcharge will rise by 1%. If you run company cars, you need to understand the impact this will have on your business. It is also important to bear this change in mind when deciding what type of new company vehicles to buy.

Business rate calculation

Much to the relief of company owners across the UK, Hammond scrapped plans that would have added nearly 4% to business rates. Instead, he announced a switch to using the lower CPI rate to calculate them. Revaluation periods have also been shortened from five to three years. Most firms will welcome this because it smooths out rises in business rates. However, you do need to factor this shorter revaluation period into your business plans and long-term budget.

Refund of staircase tax

Many firms will benefit from the scrapping of the so called ‘staircase tax’. This is especially the case in Liverpool. Here, most of the 113,216 sq. ft. of office space that is occupied, is located in buildings serviced by communal elevators, corridors and staircases. Therefore, a significant percentage of the companies based here have been hit by this tax.

The good news is that refunds have been promised by the Chancellor, which means that many firms will be getting a little windfall. It is important to adjust your business overheads data to reflect this change and make plans to reinvest any refund you are due wisely.

Potential opportunities

Changes to the way Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) are run means that for firms working in certain sectors there is the opportunity to secure better funding. The same applies to those companies involved in research and development. It is wise for all business owners to find out more about these changes and work out if they can benefit from them. Again, your accountant can help you to do this.

Posted by Mark
November 29, 2017

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