Budget 2016: Tax breaks from next April for digital traders

Chancellor says he wants to support 'the new world of micro-entrepreneurs' with tax breaks

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People who hire out their homes or trade online through websites like Airbnb and eBay will be granted new tax allowances worth £1,000 a year, George Osborne announced.

The Chancellor said he wanted to support “the new world of micro-entrepreneurs” with tax breaks, which will be introduced from April 2017.

It will mean that individuals with online trading or property income will not have to declare or pay tax on the first £1,000 they earn from each source.

“There will be no forms to fill in, no tax to pay—it is a tax break for the digital age and at least half a million people will benefit”, Mr Osborne said.

The two tax breaks are expected to cost £235m a year by 2018.

"The rapid growth of the digital and sharing economy means it is becoming easier for more and more people to become 'micro-entrepreneurs,'" the Treasury said in the Budget documents.

"To help make the tax position more certain and simple for these individuals, from April 2017 the budget introduces two new £1,000 allowances for property and trading income".

A spokesperson for Airbnb said: “This is good news for the growing number of Airbnb hosts in the UK who are sharing their homes, earning a little extra money to pay the bills and bringing new economic benefits to their communities.

“We applaud the government for supporting hosts and progressive business models across the country; their leadership on this important issue is an example to the world.”