DSR Tax Claims has created a guide to tax changes for businesses in 2019/20.

Spring not only means blossoming cherry trees, milder temperatures and longer days, it also marks the start of a new tax year. New tax rates and thresholds came into force on 6 April 2019 for tax year 2019/20, David Redfern, Managing Director of DSR Tax Claims Ltd, explains what these new tax changes mean for businesses.

The most significant change is the increase to minimum wage and National Living Wage rates. For workers aged 25 or over, the National Living Wage rate increases 38p to £8.21 per hour, with minimum wages rates also seeing across-the-board increases.

Redfern said: "Increases to National Living Wage and minimum wage rates will be seen as good news by many workers in the UK, who will be feeling rather squeezed under current financial conditions and these increases have been welcomed by the Low Pay Commission who had recommended them. Employers must now ensure that they are paying their workers the new minimum wage rates.”

There are different minimum wage rates dependent on the age of the worker. Workers between 21 and 24 are now entitled to earn £7.70 per hour, with those aged 18 to 20 entitled to £6.15 per hour and those under 18 entitled to £4.35 per hour. Apprentices who are under 19 or in their first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to £3.90 per hour.

Redfern also highlighted that small businesses and new start-ups are being given a helping hand in the new tax year. The New Enterprise Allowance scheme has been extended for a further 2 years, offering money and support to people wishing to start a new business, which will provide a further 30,000 mentoring places for suitable new businesses. In addition, small retailers could benefit from Business Rates Relief which could lead to businesses in properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less paying no business rates.

Redfern said: "Small businesses on the high street have been crying out for a helping hand in recent years and eligible businesses will no doubt welcome a reduction in their business rates, although it remains to be seen whether this will halt the decline of the UK's high streets.”

Other changes to look out for include an increase in the Access to Work allowance for disabled employees and those who suffer health conditions which impact on their ability to work and changes to the Benefit in Kind rate of company cars, which will be based on the CO2 emissions of the company car. Fuel duty remains frozen for a ninth consecutive year.