The tax-free personal allowance has been set at £11,000 for 2016-17; it will rise to £11,500 for 2017-18. The Government intends to increase the personal allowance to £12,500 by the end of the current Parliament in 2020.
The personal allowance is set at the same level for taxpayers of all ages, although higher earners have their allowance reduced by £1 for every £2 by which income exceeds £100,000. Individuals with income in excess of £122,000 for 2016-17 and £123,000 for 2017 -18 won’t receive a personal allowance. The abatement triggers an effective marginal tax rate of 60% between £100,000 and £122,000 for 2016-17. If you have income in that range, you could consider making pension contributions or Gift Aid donations to reduce your taxable income.
From 6 April 2017, there will be two new allowances worth £1,000 each to cover small trading profits and income from property, respectively. The aim of these allowances is to allow people to earn relatively small amounts for occasional jobs or letting property without having to worry about submitting a tax return or paying tax on that income. It is not yet clear how these allowances will interact with rent-a-room relief which provides a £7,500 allowance in 2016-17 for income from letting part of your own home as residential accommodation. Tax rate and thresholds Income tax rates are becoming more complicated as various rates are payable on different types of income. In 2016-17 earnings from employment, pensions or trading are taxed at 20% (the basic rate) up to £32,000, after your personal allowance has been deducted. Taxable earnings above £32,000 and less than £150,000 are taxed at 40% (the higher rate). Taxable earnings in excess of £150,000 are taxed at 45% (the additional rate). The higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in 2017-18.
The first £5,000 of dividends you receive in 2016-17 are taxed at a zero rate. Any additional dividends are taxed at 7.5% when received by basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.
Investors who receive their income as interest, rather than as salary, dividends or profits, can take advantage of the £5,000 savings band in which interest is taxed at zero. In addition basic rate taxpayers can receive a further £1,000 of interest taxed at zero. Higher rate taxpayers can receive only £500 of interest taxed at zero. Taxpayers with income over £150,000 must pay tax at 45% on all interest they receive which is not paid out of a tax-free account such as an ISA.
Personal tax is now so complicated the amounts due can’t be worked out with a pencil and paper. We can advise you about your likely tax liabilities.