Scotland

Spring Budget 2017

Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will deliver his Spring Budget. It is not expected that there will be any big surprises – no big changes in policy. However, he will be laying the groundwork for a further budget in the Autumn, which is likely to include more significant changes. This is the last Spring Budget, as future budget announcements will take place in the Autumn.

Changes to your take home pay from April 2017 have already been announced and you can compare 2016 and 2017 tax years on The Salary Calculator tax year comparison. The personal allowance (the amount you can earn tax-free) has been increased by £500 to £11,500 and the threshold for higher rate tax has increased by a further £1,500.

Perhaps the biggest change this year is the introduction of different income tax in Scotland – the Scottish Parliament’s budget controls the thresholds and rates for those who live North of the border, and from April 2017 different thresholds apply. The threshold for higher rate tax (£43,000 in the default case) is not increasing in Scotland, whereas in the rest of the UK it will be £45,000. This means that those earning over this threshold will pay more tax if they live in Scotland than if they live elsewhere. You can see this difference in The Salary Calculator if you enter a Scottish tax code or tick the box for Scottish residents (remember to choose the 2017/18 tax year in the drop down box!).

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April 2017 tax rates and Scottish income tax

The Salary Calculator has been updated with the new Income Tax and National Insurance rates which will apply from 6th April 2017. The tax-free personal allowance has been raised by £500 to £11,500, allowing you to take home more of your hard-earned cash without having to pay income tax. Income tax rates have stayed the same, but there is a change to the thresholds between the basic rate (20%) and higher rate (40%) tax bands.

For the first time, from April 2017, income tax will be different if you are resident in Scotland than if you live in the rest of the UK. The Scottish rates of income tax will be set by the Scottish Government rather than by the UK Government in Westminster. For UK income tax, the threshold to 40% tax has gone up to £45,000 (assuming you have the full personal allowance) – but in Scotland, the threshold stays where it was last year at £43,000. Since the increased personal allowance applies both sides of the border, almost everyone will be better off from April 2017 than they were this year – but those earning over £43,000 in Scotland could be as much as £400 worse off over the year compared to if they lived in the rest of the UK. More information about the introduction of the Scottish income tax is available from the Scottish Government.

Head over to The Salary Calculator and choose the 2017/18 tax year to see the difference to you – or try the side-by-side comparison of 2016 and 2017 take home.

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