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Personal tax changes for 2017-18

A number of changes to personal taxation have come into effect with the start of the 2017-18 tax year. These changes include the following:National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage ratesThe new National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates came into effect on 1 April 2017. This is the first time that the NMW and NLW rates have been uprated in parallel. The National Living Wage increased by 30p to £7.50. The National Living Wage is the minimum hourly rate that must be paid for those aged 25 or over.The hourly rate of the NMW increased to £7.05 (a rise of 10p) for adults aged 21-24 year old. The rates for 18-20 year olds increased to £5.60 (a rise of 5p) and the rate for workers above the school leaving age but under 18 increased to £4.05 (a rise of 5p). The NMW rate for apprentices increased by 10p to £3.50. Personal allowanceThe personal allowance increased to £11,500 and the basic rate limit to £33,500. As a result the higher rate threshold will increase to £45,000 from April 2017 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Parliament voted to freeze the higher rate of Income Tax threshold at £43,000 for 2017-18. This means that for the first time some Scottish taxpayers will be paying more Income Tax than those living south of the Border.Lifetime ISAThe new Lifetime ISA is designed to help those aged between 18 and 40 to save for a new home costing up to £450,000 or for their retirement. The government provides a bonus of 25% on yearly savings of up to £4,000 and these benefits continue until the saver’s 50th birthday. This could mean an extra £1,000 for every £4,000 saved annually from the age of 18 to 50. In total this could see savers who invest the maximum contributions of £128,000 receive a maximum government bonus of £32,000. The government bonus is paid annually at the end of the tax year. The total amount that can be saved in all ISAs in 2017-18 is £20,000.Inheritance Tax new residence bandThe new Inheritance Tax main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB is a transferable allowance for married couples and civil partners (per person) when their main residence is passed down to a direct descendent such as children or grandchildren after their death. The RNRB is on top of the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax nil-rate band threshold. The RNRB will be phased in, starting at £100,000 this year, increasing to £125,000 in 2018-19, £150,000 in 2019-20 and £175,000 in 2020-21. Commenting on the changes, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison said:’From April, millions of people will see their take home pay increase because of our action to raise the Personal Allowance and lift the National Living Wage. This is part of our plan to build a stronger, fairer Britain and we want to back people’s ambition to work hard, save and support their families.’