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Did anyone else notice the hint to further changes to the self-assessment regime that’s on the horizon?

Listening to the budget speech given by the Chancellor yesterday, I was pleased to hear that the High Income Child Benefit Charge is being addressed, as this always appeared unfair, a family with one higher earner was penalised when a family with two people working wasn’t, especially when the Child benefit was originally created to make sure that the caregiver always had enough for essentials regardless of their spouses income (after all the one income family was not always an equal one).

So as of this April the higher income threshold will be £60,000, not £50,000, and the top taper amount will be £80,000.

However it was Mr Hunts hints on future plans that caught my attention :-

‘Today I set out plans to end that unfairness. Doing so requires significant reform to the tax system including allowing HMRC to collect household level information.
We will therefore consult on moving the High-Income Child Benefit Charge to a household-based system to be introduced by April 2026.’
*Jeremy Hunt – Spring Budget Speech 06/03/2024

What does this mean?

After all we already have MTD being rolled out so that Self Assessed income will have to be reported quarterly as of 2026, something he did not mention yesterday, If the government want to know the whole family’s income and expenditure, does this mean that we are going to move to a similar system to the US?

One delegated adult would file the returns for a family

The states have long had the option for household reporting to the IRS, meaning that one delegated adult would file the returns for a family, rather than each doing their own, so its not a new concept, but reporting for a family on a quarterly basis…..?
The raising of the High-Income Child Benefit Charge is a welcome one and long overdue, but as for the future plans, are these hints intended to help the potential for elections later in the year or yet more red tape for both the taxpayer and the HMRC?
Ella m Doherty FCCA

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