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Tax Update December 2023

Welcome to the December 2023 Tax Update. In this edition we take a look back at the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the Unified R&D Tax Credit Scheme, advisory fuel rates for company cars; and what’s coming up on the ‘Accounting Horizon’.

If you need any help or advice on any of these topics, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced Tax Team on 01384 376 964


On Wednesday 22nd November, the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament.

The headline announcements included generous National Insurance Contribution (NIC) cuts for workers and the self-employed, the ‘biggest permanent tax cut in modern British history for businesses’, increases to the National Living Wage and updates to Making Tax Digital.

To view our full summary, CLICK HERE

The Unified R&D Tax Credit Scheme

The UK Government has announced reforms to its Research and Development (R&D) tax credit system. This transformation seeks to combine the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) and the SME relief into a singular scheme, effective from accounting periods beginning on or after 1st April 2024.

The new ‘merged approach’ intends to streamline the system by introducing a single set of qualifying rules. The merging of these two schemes may raise concerns about the scheme’s overall effectiveness compared to the older, higher-rate SME scheme. The new unified scheme’s impact on fostering R&D investment and innovation, especially for smaller enterprises, remains to be fully identified.

The key changes in the UK’s new unified R&D tax relief scheme include:

  • The introduction of a single set of qualifying rules, rather than separate rules for SME and RDEC claims.
  • The scheme allows companies making R&D decisions and bearing risks to claim relief for subcontracted R&D. 
  • Subsidised expenditure rules from the SME scheme will not be carried forward to the new scheme, meaning external funding won’t reduce the available support.  Grant funded projects remain claimable, which is a welcome announcement.

The rate under the new scheme is set at the current RDEC rate of 20%. This credit will be subject to corporation tax.

Changes to UK company law

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act received royal assent on 26 October 2023 and will introduce a number of changes over the next few years – watch out for a more in-depth ‘Insight Blog’ later this week…

Advisory fuel rate for company cars

The table sets out the HMRC advisory fuel rates from 1st December 2023. These are the suggested reimbursement rates for employees’ private mileage using their company car. 

Where the employer does not pay for any fuel for the company car, these are the amounts that can be reimbursed in respect of business journeys without the amount being taxable on the employee. Where there has been a change, the previous rate is shown in brackets. You can also continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

Note that for hybrid cars you must use the petrol or diesel rate. For fully electric vehicles the rate is 9p (10p) per mile.


  • Friday 1st December – Corporation tax for year to 28/02/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply)
  • Thursday 14th December – Bank of England Base Interest Rate announcement.
  • Tuesday 19th December – PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 05/12/23 (due 22/12 if you pay electronically)
  • Saturday 30th December – Deadline for filing 2022/23 tax return online in order to request that HMRC collect outstanding tax via the 2024/25 PAYE code
  • Monday 1st January – Corporation tax payment for the year to 31/03/23 (unless quarterly instalments apply)
  • Friday 19th January – Employer PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for the month to 05/01/24 (due 22/1/24 if you pay electronically)
  • Wednesday 31st January – Submission of 2023/24 self-assessment return

Meet the Tax Team

Matthew Morris FCCA CTA
Tax Partner
Dan Simpson ACA
Chartered Accountant
Ellie Smith ATT
Jack Taylor

Folkes Worton LLP Chartered Accountants
Accounting for the Future