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Decoding the Autumn Statement 2023: Essential Insights for Business Owners

Today the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt delivered his latest update via the Autumn Statement for 2023. Here are some of the main points under his package aiming to grow the UK Economy with 110 different growth measures, which has included (as rumoured) Tax Cuts. (Information updated on Thursday 7th December 2023)

Key highlights from the statement include substantial cuts in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for both workers and the self-employed and what was touted as the ‘largest permanent tax cut in modern British history for businesses.’ However, several anticipated measures seem to be deferred until the full Budget in the coming Spring, with an eye on the expected 2024 general election.

Here’s a closer look at some of the major announcements:

For Employees: The main rate of Class 1 NICs for employees earning above £12,570 will decrease from 12% to 10% starting January 6, 2024. This translates to a NIC reduction of over £450 for an average worker earning £35,400 annually, with those earning above £50,270 receiving a £754 reduction.

For the Self-Employed: Self-employed individuals with profits exceeding £12,570 will witness the main rate of Class 4 NICs drop from 9% to 8% from April 6, 2024. Combined, these changes will result in an average self-employed person with £28,200 in profits saving £336 in 2024/25.

State Benefits: The government plans to uprate all working age benefits for 2024/25 by 6.7%, ensuring pensioner incomes are protected through the ‘triple lock’ mechanism.

A historic increase in the National Living Wage has been announced, with eligibility extended to 21-year-olds for the first time, previously applicable to those aged 23 and over. The new rates, effective from April 1, 2024, are detailed below:

  • National Living Wage (21 and over): £11.44 (9.8% increase)
  • 18-20 year old rate: £8.60 (14.8% increase)
  • 16-17 year old rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase)
  • Apprentice rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase)

Tax Relief for Plant and Machinery Expenditure: The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is permanently set at £1 million, allowing businesses to claim 100% tax relief on qualifying plant and machinery expenditure. ‘Full expensing,’ providing unlimited upfront tax relief, is extended permanently for companies.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax: Businesses will adopt MTD for income tax from April 2026, with design changes aimed at simplifying reporting requirements and providing flexibility for taxpayers with more complex affairs.

A £4.3 billion business rates support package will be available over the next five years to aid small businesses and the high street. Additionally, the government plans to combat late payments by introducing stricter payment time requirements for firms bidding for large government contracts from April 2024.

Various initiatives are introduced to help business leaders acquire essential skills. Unincorporated businesses face changes in accounting year-ends and a shift to the ‘cash basis’ for calculating taxable profits from April 6, 2024.

Investment Zones across the UK, targeting high-potential industries, are extended from 5 to 10 years. Freeport tax reliefs in England are similarly extended. The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds remain frozen at £85,000 and £83,000.

‘Fiscal drag’ continues, with the personal allowance and basic rate band threshold frozen until April 5, 2028. The annual limits for ISAs, Child Trust Funds, and the Junior ISA remain unchanged. Pension tax relief allowances also remain fixed in 2024/25.

Comprehensive pension reforms aim to address “small pot” pensions. Capital gains tax annual exemption drops to £3,000 in 2024/25. Inheritance tax rates and corporate tax rates from April 1, 2024, are detailed.

R&D reliefs for limited companies see significant changes, and film, TV, and video games tax reliefs transition to refundable expenditure credits from January 1, 2024.

NIC thresholds are frozen until 2028, and a ‘Tackling the Tax Gap’ package is introduced to raise £5 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. New measures strengthen HMRC’s data gathering powers from 2025/26.

  • 1/12/23: Corporation tax payment for the year to 28/2/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply).
  • 19/12/23: Employer PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for the month to 5/12/23 (due 22/12/23 if you pay electronically).
  • 30/12/23: Submission of 2023/24 self-assessment return (if the taxpayer wants HMRC to collect the tax owed through their wages or pension).
  • 1/1/24: Corporation tax payment for the year to 31/3/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply).
  • 19/1/24: Employer PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for the month to 5/1/24 (due 22/1/24 if you pay electronically).
  • 31/1/24: Submission of 2023/24 self-assessment return.


As small business owners and SMEs navigate these economic changes, staying informed and adapting strategies will be essential. The outlined adjustments in minimum wage, benefits, taxation, and support initiatives underscore the need for proactive planning to ensure the resilience and growth of businesses in the evolving economic landscape.

At CH4B, we are here to help – a lot of what was covered will affect nearly every business in the UK. If you aren’t sure how your business will be affected, then please book your discovery call in today with one of our Experts who will walk you through the full announcement tailored to your business needs.

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Decoding the Autumn Statement 2023: Essential Insights for Business Owners

Today the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt delivered his latest update via the Autumn Statement for 2023. Here are some of the main points under his package aiming to grow the UK Economy with 110 different growth measures, which has included (as rumoured) Tax Cuts. (Information updated on Thursday 7th December 2023)

Key highlights from the statement include substantial cuts in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for both workers and the self-employed and what was touted as the ‘largest permanent tax cut in modern British history for businesses.’ However, several anticipated measures seem to be deferred until the full Budget in the coming Spring, with an eye on the expected 2024 general election.

Here’s a closer look at some of the major announcements:

For Employees: The main rate of Class 1 NICs for employees earning above £12,570 will decrease from 12% to 10% starting January 6, 2024. This translates to a NIC reduction of over £450 for an average worker earning £35,400 annually, with those earning above £50,270 receiving a £754 reduction.

For the Self-Employed: Self-employed individuals with profits exceeding £12,570 will witness the main rate of Class 4 NICs drop from 9% to 8% from April 6, 2024. Combined, these changes will result in an average self-employed person with £28,200 in profits saving £336 in 2024/25.

State Benefits: The government plans to uprate all working age benefits for 2024/25 by 6.7%, ensuring pensioner incomes are protected through the ‘triple lock’ mechanism.

A historic increase in the National Living Wage has been announced, with eligibility extended to 21-year-olds for the first time, previously applicable to those aged 23 and over. The new rates, effective from April 1, 2024, are detailed below:

  • National Living Wage (21 and over): £11.44 (9.8% increase)
  • 18-20 year old rate: £8.60 (14.8% increase)
  • 16-17 year old rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase)
  • Apprentice rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase)

Tax Relief for Plant and Machinery Expenditure: The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is permanently set at £1 million, allowing businesses to claim 100% tax relief on qualifying plant and machinery expenditure. ‘Full expensing,’ providing unlimited upfront tax relief, is extended permanently for companies.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax: Businesses will adopt MTD for income tax from April 2026, with design changes aimed at simplifying reporting requirements and providing flexibility for taxpayers with more complex affairs.

A £4.3 billion business rates support package will be available over the next five years to aid small businesses and the high street. Additionally, the government plans to combat late payments by introducing stricter payment time requirements for firms bidding for large government contracts from April 2024.

Various initiatives are introduced to help business leaders acquire essential skills. Unincorporated businesses face changes in accounting year-ends and a shift to the ‘cash basis’ for calculating taxable profits from April 6, 2024.

Investment Zones across the UK, targeting high-potential industries, are extended from 5 to 10 years. Freeport tax reliefs in England are similarly extended. The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds remain frozen at £85,000 and £83,000.

‘Fiscal drag’ continues, with the personal allowance and basic rate band threshold frozen until April 5, 2028. The annual limits for ISAs, Child Trust Funds, and the Junior ISA remain unchanged. Pension tax relief allowances also remain fixed in 2024/25.

Comprehensive pension reforms aim to address “small pot” pensions. Capital gains tax annual exemption drops to £3,000 in 2024/25. Inheritance tax rates and corporate tax rates from April 1, 2024, are detailed.

R&D reliefs for limited companies see significant changes, and film, TV, and video games tax reliefs transition to refundable expenditure credits from January 1, 2024.

NIC thresholds are frozen until 2028, and a ‘Tackling the Tax Gap’ package is introduced to raise £5 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. New measures strengthen HMRC’s data gathering powers from 2025/26.

  • 1/12/23: Corporation tax payment for the year to 28/2/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply).
  • 19/12/23: Employer PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for the month to 5/12/23 (due 22/12/23 if you pay electronically).
  • 30/12/23: Submission of 2023/24 self-assessment return (if the taxpayer wants HMRC to collect the tax owed through their wages or pension).
  • 1/1/24: Corporation tax payment for the year to 31/3/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply).
  • 19/1/24: Employer PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for the month to 5/1/24 (due 22/1/24 if you pay electronically).
  • 31/1/24: Submission of 2023/24 self-assessment return.


As small business owners and SMEs navigate these economic changes, staying informed and adapting strategies will be essential. The outlined adjustments in minimum wage, benefits, taxation, and support initiatives underscore the need for proactive planning to ensure the resilience and growth of businesses in the evolving economic landscape.

At CH4B, we are here to help – a lot of what was covered will affect nearly every business in the UK. If you aren’t sure how your business will be affected, then please book your discovery call in today with one of our Experts who will walk you through the full announcement tailored to your business needs.