Tax change round-up

Class 2 National Insurance retained

The proposal to abolish Class 2 National Insurance Contributions from April 2019 has been dropped.

Class 2 is paid on profits if you are self employed. The rate is £2.95 per week for 2018/19 and £3 per week for 2019/20. Where profits are less than the ‘small profits threshold’ (SPT), there is no liability, but you can make voluntary Class 2 payments to maintain entitlement to state pension and other contributory benefits. The announcement is therefore welcome news for those using Class 2 in this way. The SPT is £6,205 for 2018/19 and £6,365 for 2019/20.

Rent a room changes

Rent a room provides tax relief of up to £7,500 if you let out a furnished room in your own home to a lodger. Proposals to restrict the relief by introducing a shared occupancy test were dropped in Budget 2018. The restriction was aimed at those using rent a room to cover short term letting via Airbnb and other platforms, rather than to provide housing. Retaining the original rules will benefit those, say, looking to let out rooms while they themselves are away on holiday.