New tax year changes: how will they affect you?


April brings with it not only (hopefully!) warmer weather, but the beginning of a new tax year. The government has updated some of the tax rates and thresholds, so here's how the changes will affect you if you're self-employed.

Income tax

The personal allowance AKA the amount you can earn before you start paying tax has gone up from £11,500 to £11,850. The amount at which you start paying higher rate tax (40%) has also risen from £45,000 to £46,350.

For the first time ever, Scottish taxpayers will pay different rates of tax than those in England and Wales. You can read about the details of the new Scottish tax rates here.

National Insurance

In the 2017-18 tax year, if you paid Class 2 NI your contribution was £2.85 a week, which has now gone up to £2.95.

The threshold for NI contributions has gone up as well - £6,205 up from £6,025.

Student loan repayments

The threshold for student loan repayments is going up for both pre and post-2012 students.

If you started university before 2012, you can now earn up to £18,330 (up from £17,775) before you start making repayments, and if you started after the 2012 increase in tuition fees, you can now earn £25,000 before you have to start paying back your loan instead of £21,000.

Household bills

Council tax is due to rise by around 5.1%. You'll probably receive your council tax bill for this year soon - I got mine a few days ago and it's increased by just under 5%.

If you live in Scotland, your council tax will go up by 3%, which is the maximum allowed.

The average water bill will also be increasing by £9 a year.

That's pretty much it for us self-employed folk, unless you're particularly interested in the sugar tax! Good news if you're currently teetering on the edge of a tax threshold, less positive if you pay the bills in your house.

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