Summary of the Tax Rates – What’s new for employers in 2019?

As we move into the new tax year we have put together a summary of the main changes that will affect both the employer and the employee.

Income Tax

  • Personal allowance is increasing to £12500
  • Standard tax code = 1250L
  • From 6th April HMRC will no longer require subsistence receipts to be collected when using their Benchmark Scale rates, but Sapphire will continue to collect them as this is an FCSA requirement.

National Insurance

Percentages remain the same:

  • Employees 12% between PT and UEL, 2% above the UEL.
  • Employers 13.8% between PT and UST except employees under 21 and apprentices under 25, this is 0%, anything above UST is 13.8%.


The minimum pension contributions will be rising from 6th April. These are based on qualifying earnings, so between £6,136 and £50,000 per year.

Pay Rates

A few facts about NMW:

  • It is 20 years old! (first introduced in 1999)
  • Initial rate for over 22’s was just £3.60/hour!
  • Around £2m people will get a pay rise of up to 5% as a result of the latest increases
  • SSP increases to £94.25 per week
  • Statutory payments (SMP, SPP, SAP, SHPP) increases to £148.68

Student Loans

New loan type introduced from 6th April; Post Graduate Loans (PGL).

The threshold for 2019/20 is £21,000. 

Earnings above £21,000 for PGL will be calculated at 6%.

Threshold Changes

Plan 1 – £18,935

Plan 2 – £25,725


National minimum wage now must be shown on payslips – Sapphire already show this.

Partnership Power: Sapphire Accounting announce an apprenticeship levy transfer with Seashell Trust

Sapphire Accounting will be transferring 10% of our apprenticeship levy to Seashell Trust. This will help Seashell Trust to fund more apprenticeships for their existing and new staff  

The accountancy firm, Sapphire Accounting, are transferring 10% of their apprenticeship levy to Seashell Trust to enable them to fund more apprenticeships for existing and new staff. Any business can gift up to 10% of their overall levy to another business as it is a ‘use it or lose it’ tax. According to an Open University study published in May 2018, it is estimated only 8% of the total £1.28bn in apprentice levies paid over the last 12 months have been used, so there is a huge amount of opportunity for companies to transfer their levy to charities.

Maria McGrath, Learning and Development Manager at Seashell Trust said ‘we are so grateful to Sapphire Accounting for their generosity and such a forward thinking CSR strategy. At the moment we have 47 people signed up to apprenticeships and are committed to ensuring our staff have the best opportunities for career development.

She continued, ‘but as a charity we just don’t have the budget to offer apprenticeships to everyone who would benefit, so this money will really change the lives of local people.’

Sapphire are also planning a whole host of fundraising activities for Seashell over the next year including the Manchester 10K, the Yorkshire Three Peaks and payroll giving to raise funds for the charity that supports children and young people with complex disabilities.

Mark Connor, Managing Director at Sapphire Accounting, said “We are delighted to partner with Seashell Trust, a local charity which our staff voted overwhelmingly to support. The work that Seashell Trust do to make a significant difference to children and young people’s lives is truly inspiring and everyone at Sapphire is really proud to support such a great cause.”

If your business has unused money in the levy pot that you would be willing to transfer to benefit a local charity, contact or call her on 0161 610 0168.

Be sure to follow our team as we take on the Manchester 10 KM and Yorkshire Three Peaks. Find us on Twitter and LinkedIn