NIC bill introduced to Parliament

The Government revealed a National Insurance contributions (NIC) bill during the Queen's Speech on 12 May 2021, introducing a wave of NIC relief.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out the goals of the bill to the House of Commons on the same day, claiming:

"It will introduce new reliefs to encourage employers to employ veterans, to incentivise regeneration and job creation in freeports, and to provide relief on NHS Test and Trace payments".

The Bill aims to do this through zero-rates of secondary class 1 contributions for employers that employ armed forces veterans, and zero-rates of secondary NICs for employers with workers in freeports.

Self-employed workers will also be exempt from class 2 and 4 NIC payments on any COVID-19 support payments they receive.

Measures in the bill also allow for a series of legislative changes to the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) regime "to strengthen HMRC's ability to further clamp down on the market for National Insurance contributions avoidance".

Actions include a new two-stage process within DOTAS, enabling HMRC to issue notices to a broader range of promoters of NIC avoidance schemes and take remedial action if promoters do not provide information.

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