Is the Latest Tax Hike A Blow to Economic Recovery?

EAST LONDON, U.K. - Nov. 9, 2021 - PRLog -- As if there weren't enough challenges for businesses post-pandemic, the UK government recently announced a new health and social care (HSC) levy, which will see a 1.25% increase in employee and employer National Insurance contributions (NICs).

This additional tax will be payable on any earnings or profits on which an employee, employer or self-employed individual is already liable to pay a qualifying NIC. A 1.25% surcharge on dividends will also see rates for business owners and investors increase.

So, what does this mean for your business?

To start with, the HSC levy will be collected from National Insurance contributions — presumably to make implementation and admin run a bit smoother. But from April 2023, the social tax levy will become its own tax with a separate line on payslips.

In terms of admin, the changes shouldn't be too taxing (pardon the pun). As part of UK payroll, NICs are automatically deducted from workers' pay packets via the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax code and sent straight to HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC). Most payroll software will calculate how much tax and NI to deduct from your employees' pay.

However, the real stickler is the cost implications, with estimates suggesting a typical small business with 50 employees could pay an extra £10,000 to £20,000 annually.

Hidden costs and cutbacks

Although 1.25% might feel like a grin-and-bear-it figure, there's more to it than meets the eye. For one, the National Living Wage (NLW) was recently upped by about 9%. So, you're not just looking at an increase of 1.25% — you're looking at a potential increase of 1.25% plus 9%.

The job market is also hot right now and screaming for talent, with UK employers struggling amid the worst labour shortage since 1997 ( This means you'll have to offer highly competitive salaries if you want to secure and retain the top talent. Since employer NICs are calculated based on how much the employee gets paid, the overall increase could be a lot more than 1.25% and make the process of hiring staff more expensive.

How have businesses reacted to the social tax levy?

The latest UK tax development follows Rishi Sunak's budget in March, whereby the chancellor announced the first corporation tax rise in 47 years — increasing from 19% to 25% — which will also take effect from 2023. These tax hikes mean the UK will have some of the highest dividend and corporate tax rates in Europe (based on current figures).

As such, many business groups have had an overwhelmingly negative response to the HSC levy, descri........ to continue reading, go to

Paul Sleath, TopSource Worldwide
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