New UK laws to be introduced in April including changes to car tax and HMRC payments


NEW laws set to be introduced to the UK in April will include changes to car tax and HMRC payments.

The changes will affect Brits in a number of areas including receiving government payments and divorce proceedings – here’s what’s coming:

VED rates

Vehicle Excise Duty will increase as per the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation but each individual rate will be different.

Rates will be calculated on the basis of a vehicle’s CO2 emissions and the amount can differ at the frequency of your payments.

If you pay monthly or every six months, there’s a five per-cent surcharge.

Motorists can face a £80 fine if the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) system flags a vehicle with unpaid tax.

HMRC post office changes

From April 5, HMRC will no longer make payments to Post Office card accounts.

Customers must notify HMRC of their new account details such as a bank account, building society or credit union account.

The change is expected to impact around 7,500 customers.

Anyone who fails to update HMRC before the deadline will have their payments paused.

Plastic packaging tax

Plastic packaging manufacturers in the UK and imported plastic packaging will face a new tax from April if it’s not made from at least 30% recycled materials.

Accountancy firm Harold Duckworth says the rate of tax will work out at £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging, according to Wales Online.

The change will impact plastic packaging defined as “packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight”.

The new tax will not impact businesses already using 30% recycled plastic.

The UK Government says the new tax aims to “provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled plastic in the manufacture of plastic packaging”

The hope is to encourage higher levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste while saving it from landfills.

Divorce laws

Changes to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will come into play on April 6.

The updates hopes to reduce the potential for conflict amongst divorcing couples by:

  • removing the ability to make allegations about the conduct of a spouse
  • allowing couples to end their marriage jointly
  • introducing a minimum of 20 weeks between the beginning of proceedings and application for conditional order

Parties also won’t be able to to contest a divorce, except on limited grounds such as jurisdiction.

The online service in place currently will be unavailable from 31 March.

Cost of living rebate

Households need to be ready to receive a council tax rebate issued to help families with the costs of living.

Around 20 million households in council tax bands A to D are eligible to the £150 rebate which includes about 95 percent of rentals.

The money will go straight into the accounts of those who pay their council tax by direct debit but others will be invited to make a claim by their council.

More than £3 billion is being put towards council tax rebates and the money does not have to be repaid.

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