Today marked a day of highs and lows for the self employed. HMRC published a new useful tool for businesses to distinguish whether a particular individual must be treated as an employee for tax purposes, thereby creating a far higher level of certainty for the self employed and their tax treatment.
However, those who finally have some clarity over their self employed status will not be celebrating for long. Today's budget indicated that NIC contributions for the self employed will increase to 10% in April 2018, and 11% in April 2019 for those on income up to £45,000 per annum. This may be the Government's way of addressing the significant shortfall of NICs attributed to the increase in "Gig Economy" working practices.
Class 4 national insurance contributions for the self-employed would rise from 9% to 10% in April 2018 – and then to 11% in April 2019 – on income up to the higher rate threshold of £45,000. The rate is still lower than for employees who pay national insurance at 12% on the same income, while both groups will continue to pay at 2% on income above the higher rate threshold.