personal allowance

2014 Budget

Later today, the Chancellor will deliver his 2014 Budget to parliament, setting out his plans for the next few years. The Budget is the Chancellor’s opportunity to explain his policies and how they will affect the economy as a whole, and also what differences will be felt by ordinary members of the public.

He is likely to make much of the fact that the tax-free personal allowance (how much you can earn without paying income tax) has increased to £10,000 from April 2014, a coalition pledge delivered 1 year early. There is also talk that he might announce plans to raise the threshold for 40% tax (the amount at which you start paying income tax at 40% rather than 20%) in future years. This would probably lower the tax paid by those in middle management positions, say, and those in more senior roles.

The income tax and National Insurance rates which will take effect from 6th April 2014 have already been applied to The Salary Calculator, so you can easily see how your take home pay will be affected by the new tax year. You can also view a side-by-side comparison of 2013 and 2014 so you can see where the differences come from.

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None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

April 2014 tax rates applied

The Salary Calculator has been updated with the latest tax information which takes effect from 6th April 2014.

There is an increase in the default tax free personal allowance from £9,440 to £10,000, which will reduce the amount of tax due for most taxpayers. Slight increases in the National Insurance thresholds will also help improve the takehome pay for many people.

The most significant change is probably the increase in the repayment threshold for plan 1 student loans from £16,365 per year to £16,910, which will save those repaying their loan nearly £50 over the year. Unfortunately of course, this will just mean it will take longer to repay the loan in the long run but hopefully the extra cash in your pocket will be useful now!

Another significant change this year, which is unlikely to affect any but those who are well paid and nearing retirement, is a reduction in the maximum amount you can put into a pension while still claiming full tax relief – for 2013/14 this limit was £50,000 but from 2014/15 it will be £40,000. If this is likely to affect you, you still have time to make the most of the 2013/14 pension allowance before the end of the tax year!

To see how you will be affected by the new tax rates, go to The Salary Calculator and choose the 2014/15 tax year from the drop-down box. Alternatively, you can view a side-by-side comparison of 2013 and 2014 tax rates.

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Budget 2013

In yesterday’s budget, the Chancellor George Osborne outlined his plans for the next couple of years. In terms of take home pay from April onwards, there were no real surprises – the personal allowance has been increased and the top “Additional rate” tax has been reduced from 50% to 45%. In an earlier blog post I have described how these changes have been applied to The Salary Calculator.

Those who are repaying their student loan could be saving as much as £50 next year, as the threshold for repayment has increased from £15,795 to £16,365 – so the deductions from their salary will be less from April. However, the flip side of this is that because less of the loan is being repaid, it will take longer for the loan to be paid off in full and therefore will cost more in the long term.

What I found most interesting about the Chancellor’s announcements yesterday was the extension of an existing scheme for people buying their first house (FirstBuy) to allow more people to take part. The new scheme is called Help to Buy, and will help people to buy a new-build home with a 5% deposit, even if they can’t get the rest of the 95% from a mortgage lender. The government will provide a loan (interest-free for 5 years) for up to 20% of the value of the house, leaving buyers to find only 75% from a mortgage lender. In return, the government will get a share of the equity in the house – so if the house price increases, the amount repayable when the house is sold will increase at the same rate. This scheme is available to first-time buyers and to people who are already on the housing ladder – it does not have to be your first house purchase – and the value of the house can be up to £600,000.

There is also a scheme to help people buy houses which are not new-built, where instead of providing some of the money, the government will guarantee some of the mortgage so that if the buyers default, the lender gets some of the money from the government. This is aimed at encouraging lenders to allow people with small (5%) deposits to borrow.

If it takes off, this scheme has the potential to help people who are currently struggling to buy a home because they don’t have a large enough deposit. It may also help to stimulate the house construction industry, and bolster a flagging property market. The treasury has provided an infographic with some details.

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Thursday, March 21st, 2013 Economy, Mortgages, Pay As You Earn 2 Comments

April 2013 tax rates applied to The Salary Calculator

The Salary Calculator has been updated with the latest income tax and National Insurance rates from HMRC which will take effect from 6th April 2013. Although for the moment the current 2012/13 tax year will be applied to calculations by default, you can choose the 2013/14 tax year from the drop-down box to see what your pay slip will look like later this year. You can also see a summary of the 2013/14 values under the normal results, and there is a special Comparison page where you can see 2012 and 2013 side-by-side.

The biggest changes for most people will probably be:

  • Tax-free personal allowance increased from £8,105 to £9,440
  • Student Loan repayment threshold increased from £15,795 to £16,365
  • Additional rate tax for those earning over £150,000 reduced from 50% to 45%
  • Over-65 and Over-75 personal allowances not increased

The last of these points was called the “Granny Tax” by detractors when it was first announced, although it is not actually an introduction of a new tax. Previously, those over 65 and over 75 had larger tax-free personal allowances which, like the Under-65 allowance, was increased each year. From April 2013, these allowances will no longer be increased each year and will remain at their current values of £10,500 and £10,660 respectively – until the Under-65 allowance catches up with them. Also, these allowances will no longer be applied to people reaching the qualifying age – only those who were born before 6th April 1948 (or 6th April 1938 for the upper allowance) will receive these allowances. Those reaching these threshold ages after 6th April 2013 will not receive the additional allowance.

Those who are fortunate enough to be earning more than £150,000 will see their tax rate on income over that limit reduced from 50% (where it has been since this tax was introduced in April 2010) to 45%. You might think that, with personal allowances going up and tax rates coming down, everyone will be better off from the start of the new tax year. However, there is a set of people who will find that they pay more tax in the 2013/14 tax year than they did in the 2012/13 tax year, due to a rule which applies to those earning over £100,000.

If you earn more than £100,000 in the year, the tax-free personal allowance is gradually reduced at a rate of £1 for each £2 you earn over the £100,000 limit. Those earning £118,880 or more in 2013/14 will therefore have no tax-free allowance. Because the threshold between 20% and 40% tax has been reduced, those who earn between about £117,000 and £157,000 will find that they actually pay more tax than they did the year before – when those earning less and those earning more will each pay less than they did the year before.

If you want to see how the April 2013 income tax rates will affect you, you can get started with The Salary Calculator or try the 2012 / 2013 Income Tax Comparison.

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New – choose your tax year!

The Salary Calculator has (finally!) been updated so that you can choose to view calculations for different tax years. You will see that there is now a drop-down box in which you can choose the tax year that should be applied. By default, the current 2012/13 tax year will be selected so if you just want to see current values you do not need to do anything.

Details for previous tax years going back as far as the 2005/6 tax years have been made available, so you can see how your take-home pay has changed over the years. You may have forgotten how the personal tax-free allowance has increased over the past few years, which gives you more to take home – or perhaps you’d just like to see how far your salary would have gone a few years ago.

I do plan to add more past years (i.e. before the 2005/6 tax year) to The Salary Calculator, and of course, when the details of 2013/14 and further forward become available, they will be added to the site. Head over to The Salary Calculator to try it out. Please let me know in the comments below if you find this option useful or not!

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Thursday, July 5th, 2012 About The Salary Calculator 5 Comments

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