What the Autumn Statement 2023 means for retail e-commerce

Last week, the chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his autumn statement 2023 that detailed spending plans for the year ahead.

During his announcement, the chancellor said the autumn statement set out to back British businesses and grow the economy amid the cost-of-living crisis. However, online retailers have called the autumn statement ‘disappointing’ and have said that Jeremy Hunt’s statement ‘does not offer enough support’.

From tax cuts to frozen business rates, this blog will look at the key points from the autumn statement 2023 and explain what they mean for retail e-commerce.

Tax cuts on business investments

In a bid to boost the economy, the chancellor detailed plans to cut taxes on business investments. This allows e-commerce businesses to deduct the full cost of investing in machinery and equipment from their tax bill.

Get A Free Quote

Breakout E-commerce accountants and Xero specialists to supercharge your UK online business growth.

Described by Hunt as the ‘biggest business tax cut in modern British history’, it is hoped this tax break will encourage online retailers to invest and fuel economic growth.

Tax breaks for businesses had been due to end in 2026 but the policy has now been made permanent. Jeremey Hunt said the ‘full expensing’ policy will deduct the costs of various equipment from their tax bill. This extends from machinery and tools to office equipment and vehicles.

National living wage raise

From April 2024, the National Living Wage is set to rise 9.8 per cent to £11.44 an hour. Currently, the National Living Wage only applies to workers over the age of 23. The new National Living Wage rise will be extended all overs over 21 years old.

As explained by Mr Hunt, this is an attempt to eliminate low paid by 2024 in line with the Conservative manifesto and on recommendation from the Low Pay Commission.

For e-commerce retailers, this means that to remain compliant with new changes to the National Living Wage, all employees aged 21 and over must receive at least the minimum pay per hour they are entitled to.

Business rates frozen for small businesses

The autumn statement announced that the small business multiplier has been frozen for another year. In addition, the 75 per cent business rates relief for eligible retail businesses has also been extended.

This is in response to recognising the important role of retail in the community. Freezing the small business rates multiplier means that it will be frozen at 49.9p for a fourth consecutive year.

For small e-commerce businesses, this means business rates will be frozen on warehouses, factories, and offices.

Alcohol duty frozen

The chancellor also announced the freezing of all alcohol duty until summer next year. This means there will be no increase in duty on beer, cider, wine, or spirits.

Frozen alcohol duty not only means that millions of Brits will save money, but it also comes as huge relief to wine and spirit businesses.

The HM Treasuring has said that ‘by freezing alcohol duty until 2024 will save the alcohol sector thousands in funds that they will be able to reinvest into their business’.

If your e-commerce store specialises or sells beers, wines, or spirits, this is sure to be welcome news.

Why choose Unicorn Accounting?

Ensure you keep on top of your finances and tax obligations by outsourcing to an accountant. This means that you don’t need to worry about your end of year accounts, payroll, or bookkeeping requirements.

At Unicorn Accounting we are e-commerce accountants who help make your online business a growing success. We offer e-commerce accounting advice, financial management, bookkeeping, cash flow statement, and tax filing services to support and scale your business.

Our team of accountants and Xero-certified advisors have experience working with both small start-ups and family-run online stores to large-scale, international retail and e-commerce brands.

If you’ve got an online store, we have the best solution for you. Providing you with a financial arm to your business through our sector experience, and skills with innovative technologies. To see how we can help you maximise the scalability of your e-commerce brand all year round, get in touch with Unicorn Accounting today. Or click here to get a free quote.

Related articles




Get A Free Quote

Breakout E-commerce accountants and Xero specialists to supercharge your UK online business growth.