What Can We Expect From The Autumn Budget 2018?

This year the Chancellor has been tasked with securing £26bn for the NHS. Stating that “nothing was off the table”, there have been predictions aplenty about where this funding will come from and who is likely…

10 Minute Read

Last Updated: 4th February 2022

This year the Chancellor has been tasked with securing £26bn for the NHS. Stating that “nothing was off the table”, there have been predictions aplenty about where this funding will come from and who is likely to be hit the hardest.

With this in mind, we wanted to highlight the five changes that are likely to affect those with earnings outside of PAYE.

Self-employed to face increase in National Insurance contributions

The Treasury is aiming their crosshairs at self-employed workers again, specifically those who position themselves as a “personal service company”. The plan to overhaul these tax rules is a reincarnation of a proposal to increase National Insurance contributions from the self-employed in March 2017, which was later scrapped.

Full employees pay a higher level of National Insurance compared to the self-employed. The Treasury believe that a third of those claiming self-employment status are in fact not self-employed. They stated that, without reform, this level of non-compliance would cost HMRC £1.2bn a year.

If you currently operate as a personal service company, the government is looking to demand that firms who hire you take legal responsibility. These businesses will need to ensure that contractors not on the payroll toe the line when it comes to the rules set out by IR35.

Incentives for buy-to-let landlords

There has been heavy speculation that landlords will be encouraged to offer longer-term tenancies through tax breaks in the past year. As a result, it has been expected to feature in the Autumn Budget.

As part of a proposal from the think tank Onward, the policy would supposedly benefit approximately half a million households – with an average capital gain of £15,000 per property and motivating tenants to transition to homeowners.

Furthermore, there would be an additional tax break included. Landlords and tenants would receive this tax relief once a property is sold to an active tenant of over three years. Landlords are currently paying up to 28% on profits for Capital Gains Tax.

Pension tax relief to be cut

It has been largely speculated that pension tax relief is up for review. Zurich announced that savings dramatically increased throughout September 2018. The insurer claimed that one-off contributions skyrocketed to 161% higher than average, and that total cash flow into their pension accounts doubled.

Currently you are able to save up to £40,000 a year into a pension and still benefit from tax relief. While the government claimed that they have rejected any changes to the current pension tax relief system, it is best to be proactive ahead of any announcements.

With the pressure of delivering the promised cash boost to the NHS, the Chancellor has announced that in order to allow a well-funded NHS there would need to be “more tax to fund it” – and the current cost of pension tax relief stands at £39bn a year.

Possible end to freeze on fuel duty

Fuel duty has been perhaps the most discussed of potential Autumn Budget topics. The proposed end to the freeze on fuel prices is likely to cause harm to those who complete Self Assessment forms. Fuel duty has been 57.95p a litre since 2011 and, according to Conservative MP Robert Halfon, businesses could be hit the hardest by the thaw.

Sole traders that travel to service their clients (such as tradespeople, hairdressers and cleaners) will incur higher travel costs and may need to amend their budgets to accommodate the change.

Although, in her conference speech in October 2018, the Prime Minister confirmed that “the Chancellor will freeze fuel duty again.” Making it highly unlikely that motorists would be facing a hike in road travel costs this year.

Tax-free dividends to be cut further

If you are the director of a limited company, beware of further cuts to tax-free dividends. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) argued that this could “clobber” SMEs and that the total cost to investors could be as high as £3.9bn over the period 2018-2022 should businesses lose the dividend entirely.

It’s predicted that the Treasury would gain an extra £1.3bn from this by 2022 – as well as the initial £2.6bn estimated to have been saved from the initial cut.

These are the five key concerns facing anyone who needs to complete a Self Assessment. What are you looking out for in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget? Head to our Twitter page to join the conversation.

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax analyses the information you provide to work out how much tax you are able to claim, completing an accurate Self Assessment that can be sent straight to HMRC. Register for a free trial for 14 days to try GoSimpleTax today.

Trusted by over 15,000 subscribers

You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.

Start your free trial

Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.


Start your Self Assessment tax return today for free.

Sign up Now

How much tax does a landlord need to pay? 10 key questions answered…

18 May 2023

The UK has more than 2.7m unincorporated landlords and each year they report to HMRC rental property income worth some £41bn. Unincorporated landlords are…

How to claim a tax rebate when you’re a sole trader

04 May 2023

Even if it’s only a few quid, finding out that you’re in line for a tax rebate because you’ve paid too much tax is…

21 expenses you can claim as a private residential landlord

02 May 2023

Being a landlord can be costly. There are so many things to buy and expenses to pay, while repairs and maintenance work can really…

How GoSimpleTax Works


Simply register for free with your full name and email address.

Select Your Income

Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.

Validate Your Information

Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.


Work Anywhere, With Any Device

Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.

GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.

Start your free trial

"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"

Steve J.

Ordained Presbyter

"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."

Gordon J.

Self Employed

"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."

Ross G.

Team Rector

Start your free trial