Spring Budget: What does it mean for professional practices

A common business structure for a professional practice is a traditional partnership or an LLP. This is the case even though using a company typically reduces the tax payable on the income of the practice.

The 2017 Spring Budget has brought in increases to the rate of Class 4 NIC from 9% to 10% from April 2018 and then to 11% from April 2019, which swings the pendulum further towards incorporation. This is balanced to some extent by the reduction in the 0% dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000, meaning that more tax will be payable on dividends from a company.

The increased use of growth shares as a means of facilitating succession takes away some of the concerns about companies and the perceived difficulties that they cause in relation to succession.

Successive Chancellors have talked about the tax benefits of incorporation without removing those benefits. Given the increased national insurance for self employed persons, now would be a good time for professional practices to review their business structure.