The 2015 Autumn Statement was delivered on Wednesday 25th November 2015 and we outline some of the key news items  for contractors, freelancers and small businesses.

IR35

There was a lot of nervousness in the contractor community leading up to the autumn statement due to articles that appeared in some of the national newspapers which outlined apparently leaked proposals of an overhaul to the IR35 system which would mean that any contractors working for more than a month with a client would have to go on to the clients payroll. Fortunately for now none of this materialised and there are currently no changes to IR35 at this stage. At some point in the future there will be changes for sure but for now contractors and freelancers should continue to rely on the current IR35 guidelines.

Travel and Subsistence

The only change coming out of the autumn statement is that you will be blocked from claiming travel and subsistence expenses if you are caught within IR35 or if you operate through an Umbrella, if you trade through your own limited company and are outside of IR35 you can continue to claim travel and subsistence costs subject to the business travel being allowable.

Dividend allowance

This was actually announced a few months back and there were no further changes coming out of the Autumn Statement – please see our previous article which outlines the changes to how dividends are taxed from April 2016.

Employment allowance

The current employment allowance means that the first £2,000 of employers national insurance is free. HMRC has confirmed that from April 2016 one director companies where they are the sole person on payroll will be blocked from claiming the employment allowance, however what is currently unknown is whether a two director company e.g. a husband and wife will be allowed to claim it. HMRC will provide further guidance on this as we get nearer to the 16/17 tax year. Also they have confirmed that the employment allowance will increase to £3,000 from April 2016.

You can find further detail about the Autumn Statement on the Gov.UK site.