Philip Hammond has announced that Autumn Budget 2017 will be delivered on Wednesday November 22nd.
Confirming the date in the unusual format of a YouTube video, the chancellor said his statement would disclose the government’s plans for spending and raising taxes.
He also gave a few hints as to what themes to expect from his second Budget, similar to the clues he gave on the eve of his Autumn Statement 2016
But an ex-tax officer says that if the off-payroll rules surface in this Budget, it will be to consult on extending them to the private sector, rather than rolling them out immediately.
“If any legislation were to be amended or reformed from April 2018, we will see draft legislation and a request for responses at the very least being published around November,” said Carolyn Walsh, the boss of umbrella company CWC Solutions.
Walsh added: “Considering the IR35 reform was aimed at the public sector which the government can more easily control, any reform of the existing IR35 legislation would need to take into account the cost of implementation. I don’t believe that can be done without a proper consultation [first].”
Her counterparts in tax are divided. In a new pre-Autumn Budget poll by Abbey Tax, 42% of accountants expected “proposals” on status; but the same 42% expect tax-raising “measures.”
“It was a dead heat,” the IR35 advisory reflected in a statement yesterday. “Status clearly remains a ‘hot’ topic, with further changes anticipated.”
For his part, Mr Hammond has said his announcements in 68 days’ time will help “keep the economy strong and resilient,” so that the UK has “an economy that works for everyone.”
Some advice to help late in life contractors
Latecomers to contracting and other forms of working for oneself should be allowed to use their personal pension savings as a way to fund their business.
Issuing this recommendation, the Institute of Directors said it would help “fuel older entrepreneurship,” particularly if the withdrawal could be made on top of the 25% tax free allowance.
“A theoretical cap on the withdrawal amount could be set at, say, £100,000 (or 10% of the fund value if smaller),” said the institute, sounding aware that Autumn Budget 2017 is upcoming but yet to be written.
It added that such a capped, tax-free withdrawal from personal pension pots should at least be considered by government, as long as the saver clearly earmarks the money for start-up investment.
“[There] are people with wisdom, experience and good judgement, who can have many years of productive work ahead of them,” said IoD chair Lady Barbara Judge, referring to people who start working for themselves later in life.
“It is a cause for celebration that an increasing number of experienced workers are going it alone as entrepreneurs” she added, “but it is crucial that those who choose these routes have the right tools, and feel adequately supported”.
The institute acknowledged that pension saving participation among the self-employed “continues to lag those in employment.”
In the decade between 2001/02 and 2012/13 for example, the proportion of self-employed people contributing to pensions more than halved.
Ahead of the chancellor’s November 22nd statement, the institute said the government should consult on how the self-employed could be nudged into more regular, adequate contributions to personal pension pots.