50% tax

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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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.

Comparison of UK and USA take home

You may not know that there is a US version of The Salary Calculator which calculates take-home pay after income tax and Social Security (which is like the UK’s National Insurance). I thought it would be interesting to see how much of their salary our American cousins get to keep compared with how much we get to hold on to over here. I used an exchange rate of $1.59 to the pound, and the 2012 tax rates for both countries, to create this chart:

Comparison of UK and USA take-home pay

Click the image for a larger, interactive version

As you can see, in most cases the Americans get to keep more of their hard-earned cash than we do. The top rate of federal income tax is 35% in the USA, and they only start to pay that if they earn more than $398,100 in a year – compared with 40% tax in the UK if you earn more than £42,475 and 50% if you earn more than £150,000. Also, Social Security is charged at 5.65% of most incomes, compared to National Insurance which is calculated at 12% (although only above income of £7,605 per year). You might have heard in the news some people saying that the 50% tax rate makes Britain unattractive for wealthy business people – this is what they are talking about – if you could run the same business in the USA and pay tens or hundreds of thousands less in tax each year, you’d think about moving – making any British employees you have redundant and employing Americans instead.

However, before you start packing your bags, there are a few other things to consider. Firstly, you can see from this zoomed-in version of the chart that if you earn less than about £12,000 per year, you actually get to keep more of it here in the UK than you would in the US:

Zoomed-in version of the US and UK take-home comparison

Click the image for a larger, interactive version

Also, these calculations only include federal income tax and Social Security – most of the states charge separate income tax on top of what the central government takes, which The Salary Calculator doesn’t currently work out. Another consideration is that in the UK we can rely on the NHS to provide us with healthcare if we need it either for free or for a relatively small prescription charge, but in the USA health insurance can cost thousands of dollars per year.

Also, it can be difficult to get a decent cup of tea.

You can read more about US tax rates on The Salary Calculator (US).

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012 Foreign Currency, Income Tax 8 Comments

Budget 2012 update

Today, the Chancellor gave his annual budget speech in the House of Commons, outlining government spending plans for the next couple of years. The details of income tax and National Insurance from 6th April 2012 had already been provided, so as I have explained in a previous post, The Salary Calculator is up to date with the latest tax information.

However, the Chancellor took the opportunity to outline plans for income tax from April 2013, and there will be a few changes. Firstly, the under-65 tax free allowance will be increased from April 2013 to £9,205,  in line with the coalition pledge to increase the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 before the next election. This is an increase of £1,100 on the April 2012 value, saving those on low and middle incomes up to £220 per year. However, the increased personal allowances currently available to those over 65 will be frozen and, for those not yet receiving the increased allowances, replaced by a single allowance for all ages (although this change will not take immediate effect).

Another change in 2013 will be to reduce the top rate of income tax, paid by those earning over £150,000 per year, from 50% to 45%. The 50% rate was introduced by the Labour government, where previously such income would have been taxed at 40%. This will be popular with traditional Tory voters but Labour are complaining that the richest are getting tax cuts in this time of austerity.

The Salary Calculator will be updated with the April 2013 values nearer the time – in the meantime, you can see what the April 2012 changes will make to your pocket each month by checking The Salary Calculator 2012. There is also a comparison utility so you can easily see the difference between 2011 and 2012.

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Election Comparison Calculator launched!

With a general election now called for 6th May, the major parties have started campaigning and promoting their policies. All have policies related to taxation, and The Salary Calculator has tried to show you what their different policies may mean to you.

The Election Comparison Calculator aims to help you see the differences between the major parties’ policies on personal income. Using the information available, the calculator estimates how their policies would affect your take home pay. As described on the Election Comparison Calculator page itself, not all the details are available at the moment, and probably won’t be until the next government holds its first budget. However, the details they have provided allow the calculator to estimate what those changes would mean to you.

All the details used to create the calculator are available underneath the results. As explained in that description, the calculator considers PAYE changes – each party also has other economic policies which may affect you in other ways, such as stamp duty or inheritance tax. Some assumptions have had to be made – if you can help provide more detailed information then please contact us. So why not try the Election Comparison Calculator and see what you learn?

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2010 Budget announced

Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his Budget for the tax year starting 6th April 2010. There were no real surprises and a summary of the changes is on the BBC website here.

The Salary Calculator has already been updated, as described in a previous post, so the April 2010 values are used for both National Insurance and tax calculation. Details of the values used are on this page about the Salary Calculator, check it out and see whether the new tax rates will affect you!

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