Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    Glossary

    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics

    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 30

Taxation of termination payments
Published Tuesday, October 3, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8084
In the 2017 Budget the Government confirmed that it would introduce legislation to amend the tax treatment of termination payments. Provision to this effect is included in the Finance Bill 2017-19 (specifically clause 5 of the Bill). This note discusses the background to this reform.
Self-employment in the construction industry
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00196
This note gives some background to the question of employment status and the difficulties it has caused in the construction sector, before discussing initiatives by both the Labour Government in 2009 and the Coalition Government in 2014, and more recent debates as to the possibility of a longer-term solution to this issue.
National Insurance contributions: an introduction
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN04517
This note gives an introduction to National Insurance system, and the debate there has been about integrating National Insurance contributions (NICs) with income tax.
Taxation in the construction industry
Published Friday, June 23, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00814
For over 30 years businesses in the construction industry have operated a special scheme to account for tax on payments made between contractors and subcontractors. After a long period of consultation, the 'Construction Industry Scheme' was reformed in 2007. This note discusses the background to this reform.
Personal service companies : recent debate
Published Friday, June 23, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN05976
The 'IR35' rules to prevent the exploitation of personal service companies for tax avoidance were introduced in April 2000, following a long and contentious consultation exercise. This legislation remains unpopular among freelancers who use this corporate form to provide services. This note looks at recent debate on how these rules might be reformed and wider concerns about the use of employment intermediaries to avoid tax.
National Insurance numbers (NINOs)
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN04281
This note discusses the process by which National Insurance numbers (NINOs) are allocated, the uses to which they are put, and the introduction of the 'Right to Work' test, for individuals requiring a NINO for employment purposes, in July 2006.
Spring Budget 2017: A summary
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7919
A summary of Spring Budget 2017 and the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecasts for the economy and public finances. This briefing now includes detailed discussion of changes to National Insurance contributions for the self-employed and the tax-free allowance for dividend income.
Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2016/17
Published Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7535
This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 16 March 2016. It lists the principal personal allowances which will be available against income tax in the tax year 2016/17, and it outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these allowances. The paper provides a summary of the general tax position in straightforward cases only. It should be noted that it deals just with tax allowances. No reference is made to cash benefits provided under the social security system, or to child tax credit and working tax credit.
National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Bill 2015-16
Published Monday, February 29, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7260
The National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Bill 2015-16 would prevent any increase in the current rates of Class 1 National Insurance contributions paid by employees and employers for the duration of the 2015-20 Parliament. It would also provide that the Upper Earnings Limit could not exceed the higher rate threshold - the sum of the personal allowance and the basic rate limit - as proposed by the Government in its pre-Budget proposals.
Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2015/16
Published Friday, March 27, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers RP15-17
This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 18 March 2015, for the tax year 2015/16.
The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary scrutiny
Published Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | Commons Briefing papers SN06975
The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed – Class 2 and Class 4 – to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding ‘accelerated payments’ and ‘high-risk’ tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by ‘intermediaires’.
Basic State Pension - contribution conditions
Published Wednesday, October 8, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN03111
This note covers the contribution conditions for the basic State Pension
National Insurance Contributions Bill [Bill 80 of 2014-15]
Published Thursday, August 21, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers RP14-45
The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed – Class 2 and Class 4 – to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding ‘accelerated payments’ and ‘high-risk’ tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by intermediaires.
Self-employed people and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN00547
Self-employed people are eligible for the same contributory benefits and pension as employed earners, with one exception. Self-employed people cannot claim contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
National Insurance Fund: 1975 to 2014
Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN00797
The National Insurance Fund had been in healthy surplus, but this has been declining sharply in recent years to the extent that without Treasury finance the balance on the Fund is projected to fall below the recommended minimum in 2014/15.
Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2014/15
Published Friday, April 4, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers RP14-21
This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 19 March 2014.
National Insurance Contributions Bill 2013-14 : Parliamentary scrutiny
Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers SN06761
The main purpose of the National Insurance Contributions Bill 2013-14 is to implement the new Employment Allowance - which allows businesses to claim up to £2,000 from their annual payment of NICs. The Bill also contains a number of miscellaneous measures announced in Budget 2013 relating to the scope of NICs. This note gives an overview of the Bill’s scrutiny to date. It is complemented by a Library Research paper prepared for its Second Reading debate (RP13/60, 20 November 2013).
National Insurance contributions : changes from April 2011
Published Friday, November 8, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers SN05550
A number of changes to the structure and rates of National Insurance contributions took effect from April 2011. This note provides a summary.
The Regional Employer NI Holiday
Published Friday, November 1, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers SN06737
In its first Budget in June 2010 the Coalition Government annunced a three year regional National Insurance contributions (NICs) 'holiday' for new employers. New businesses would be entitled to deduct up to £5,000 from their NICs bill, for each of the first ten employees they took on in their first year of business. New businesses in Greater London, the South East Region and the Eastern Region were excluded from the scheme. The NI Holiday lasted from 22 June 2010 to 5 September 2013. This note looks at the scheme's introduction and presents figures on its take-up.
National Insurance Contributions Bill [Bill 112 of 2013-14]
Published Friday, November 1, 2013 | Commons Briefing papers RP13-60
This Bill would introduce the new Employment Allowance from April 2014 - a tax relief for employers paying National Insurance contributions on their employees' earnings, first announced in the 2013 Budget.

Displaying 1-20 out of 30

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The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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