Other matters

Highlighting VAT, Stamp Duty Land Tax and simplification measures.

The VAT registration threshold

After many years of having been frozen, the government will increase the VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000 and the deregistration threshold from £83,000 to £88,000 from 1 April 2024. The government has stated that these new thresholds will be frozen but has not stated for how long.

Stamp Duty Land Tax changes

A number of changes are made to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regime. These include the following:

  • The abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief, broadly from 1 June 2024 but subject to transitional rules, for purchasers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland.
  • Changes to First-Time Buyer Relief to extend it to individuals buying a new residential lease via a nominee or bare trust for transactions with an effective date (usually the date of completion) on or after 6 March 2024, but subject to transitional rules.
  • Public bodies in England and Northern Ireland will be removed from the scope of the 15% SDLT higher rate charge where the effective date of transaction (usually the date of completion) is on or after 6 March 2024.

Simplification measures

The government has announced a package of measures that supports its ambition to simplify and modernise the tax system, which includes the following:

  • To simplify the process for employees claiming tax relief on their expenses, and for HMRC to automatically process claims, the government is designing a new, online service for employees to claim tax relief on all of their expenses in one place.
  • The government will mandate the reporting and paying of income tax and Class 1A NICs on benefits in kind via payroll software from April 2026.
  • The government will legislate to introduce a route for people to apply for National Insurance Credits for parents and carers for tax years where they have not claimed Child Benefit, to ensure that people do not miss out on their State Pension entitlement.

Other changes

  • The alcohol duty freeze will be extended until February 2025.
  • The temporary 5p cut in fuel duty rates will be extended until March 2025 and the planned inflation increase for 2024/25 will not take place.
  • A new duty on vaping products will be introduced from 1 October 2026. The government will also introduce a one-off tobacco duty increase from the same date.
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