The budget saw another rise in the standard rates for the National Living Wage (NLW) which has become an annual occurrence since its introduction in April 2016 when it replaced, what used to be known as, the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The rates for the current tax year, 2017/18, and the rates announced for the next tax year, 2018/19, are shown below:
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As expected, the Chancellor wants to promote greener alternatives for employers who provide their employees with a company vehicle. The emissions scandals, over recent years, involving the testing of diesel vehicles has inadvertently placed them as a primary target on the Chancellor’s agenda.
The standard supplement in relation to Benefit in Kind rates for diesel vehicles will increase by 1% from 3% to 4%, with effect from April 2018. The main rates, already announced, based upon CO2 emissions remain the same although, consistent with previous years, the percentages increase for lower emission cars.
From April 2018, there will be no Benefit in Kind charge on electricity provided by employers to charge employees’ electric vehicles, regardless of if they are company cars or personally owned by the employees.
The provision of company vehicles has become an increasingly expensive option in recent years and the costs will undoubtedly continue to escalate as the government moves towards a greener future for our country.
Ever since the government reformed the off-payroll working rules (known as IR35) for engagements in the public sector in April 2017 there has been concern that the next step would be to extend the reforms to the private sector.
It appears that these concerns may be well grounded following confirmation that the government will consult on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector, drawing on the experience of the public sector reforms and due to be published in 2018.
The government will issue a discussion paper as part of the response to the independent review of modern employment practices led by Matthew Taylor published earlier this year, exploring the case and options for longer-term reform to make the employment status tests for both employment rights and tax clearer. The government promises to will work with stakeholders to ensure that any potential changes are considered carefully.