A Look Ahead: Key Financial Dates in the First Part of 2024

A Look Ahead: Key Financial Dates in the First Part of 2024

From energy prices to tax changes, here are the important dates that could impact your personal finances in the coming months.

As the new year begins, the cost of living crisis continues to be a pressing issue for many. However, there are some positive signs on the horizon, with mortgage rates falling and an increase in employees’ take-home pay. In this article, we will explore the key financial dates in the first part of 2024 that could have a significant impact on your personal finances. From changes in energy prices to tax adjustments, these dates will shape the financial landscape for individuals across the country.

January

1st: New price cap for gas and electricity comes into force, with a 5% increase from the previous quarter. The cost of energy for typical consumption is now capped at £1,928 for direct debit customers, £1,960 for prepayment households, and £2,058 for bill payers.

Digital platforms such as Airbnb and eBay start collecting data on sellers to share with HMRC to reduce tax avoidance.

VAT on period pants is removed, leading to a decrease in prices by approximately 17%.

2nd: Applications open for the new free childcare offer for England, allowing working parents of two-year-olds to access 15 hours of free childcare per week.

6th: National insurance contributions for employees are reduced from 12% to 10%, resulting in an average worker earning £35,400 taking home around £450 more in the 2024-25 tax year.

17th: Inflation figures for December are published, with a potential decrease from the previous month due to retailers cutting prices ahead of Christmas.

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31st: Deadline for filing self-assessment forms for 2022-23 online, prompting individuals to start early if their returns may be complex.

Various dates starting this month: Mortgage borrowers who opted for interest-only repayments will start to come to the end of the initial six-month period, prompting discussions with lenders about their options.

February

1st: The Bank of England’s first interest rate decision of the year, with expectations of a possible decrease.

15th: GDP figures for October to December are published, with negative numbers potentially indicating a recession and prompting the Bank of England to consider rate cuts.

16th-23rd: Final cost of living payment is made to low-income households to help offset rising prices.

March

6th: Budget day, potentially significant due to the possibility of a spring election. The budget may include schemes to assist first-time buyers and changes to inheritance tax.

23rd: The Bank of England announces its next interest rate decision, with predictions of a rate cut.

Sometime this month: Council tax bills for 2024-25 are finalized and announced.

April

1st: Next change in the energy price cap, with expectations of a 14% decrease in prices.

TV licence fee increases by £10.50 to £169.50 per year.

6th: The new tax year begins, with personal allowances frozen and the national living wage increasing to £11.44 per hour.

NICs changes for the self-employed are introduced, including the removal of class 2 contributions and a reduction in the main rate of class 4 contributions.

Inflation-linked state benefits rise by 6.7%, while the state pension increases by 8.5% in line with average earnings.

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Conclusion: The first part of 2024 brings a mix of changes that will impact personal finances across the country. From fluctuations in energy prices to adjustments in tax rates and benefits, individuals will need to navigate these dates to make informed decisions about their financial well-being. As the year progresses, it will be essential to stay informed and adapt to the evolving financial landscape.