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Tapered Corporate Tax Rate in the UK for 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Feb 16

Understanding the landscape of corporate tax in the UK is a crucial task for businesses aiming to navigate the financial year successfully. For 2024, the UK government has implemented significant changes to the corporate tax structure, introducing what is known as a tapered corporate tax rate. But what exactly does this mean, and how does it impact businesses? Let's delve into the details.

Tapered Corporate Tax Rate in the UK for 2023

Traditionally, the UK had a single Corporation Tax rate for non-ring fence profits, which was set at 19%. However, from 1 April 2023, the system has been modified to a more nuanced approach, with the implementation of a tapered tax rate system. The primary driving factor behind the tax you pay now lies in the profit your company makes.

For companies earning profits of £50,000 or less, a small profits rate of 19% has been introduced. This is relatively unchanged from the previous tax rates and is intended to lessen the financial burden on smaller businesses. This lower tax rate for smaller profits is also meant to encourage entrepreneurship and stimulate economic activity by making it more viable for new businesses to flourish.

On the other end of the scale, for businesses with profits exceeding £250,000, the main tax rate is set at 25%. This is a significant increase compared to the previous uniform tax rate of 19%. This change reflects the government's attempt to generate more revenue from larger, more successful corporations, which are better able to absorb the higher tax rates​.

The real novelty in the 2024 tax regime lies in the introduction of a tapered tax rate for companies with profits that fall between £50,000 and £250,000. These companies will pay tax at the main rate of 25%, but this will be reduced by a marginal relief. This relief provides a gradual increase in the effective Corporation Tax rate, offering a more equitable tax system that takes into consideration the varying profit levels of different businesses. This tiered approach is intended to prevent companies from facing a steep jump in tax liabilities once their profits cross the £50,000 threshold​​.

For companies that engage in oil extraction or oil rights in the UK or UK continental shelf, known as 'ring fence' companies, there are different tax rates and relief thresholds. Prior to 1 April 2023, these companies could claim Marginal Relief on profits between £300,000 and £1.5 million. However, from 1 April 2023 onwards, Marginal Relief is available for ring fence companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000, in alignment with the changes to the broader corporate tax system​​.

To conclude, the tapered corporate tax rate system introduced in the UK for 2024 represents a significant shift in the country's approach to corporate taxation. It aims to provide a more balanced and equitable tax system, taking into account the varying sizes and profit levels of different businesses. As with any changes to tax legislation, businesses are advised to seek professional advice to fully understand the implications for their specific circumstances and to ensure compliance with the new rules.

Table 1: Marginal Rates

Profit Band (£)

Marginal Rate (%)

0 to 50,000


50,000 to 249,000


250,000 plus


Table 2: Example Calculation for Profits of £100,000

Profit Slice (£)

Rate (%)

Tax (£)










Table 3: Effective Corporation Tax Rate at Various Profit Levels

Profits (£)

Effective CT (%)













Navigating the Tapered Corporate Tax: The Role of a Tax Accountant

Which HMRC Forms Are Used to Submit Tapered Corporate Tax Returns in the UK for 2024

The HMRC forms used to submit a corporate tax return in the UK for 2023 include:

  • The main form is the Corporation Tax for Company Tax Return (CT600 (2023) Version 3)​1​.

  • There are also several supplementary pages of forms that may be relevant depending on the specifics of the company's situation. These include, but are not limited to:

    • Corporation Tax: close company loans and arrangements to confer benefits on participators (CT600A (2015) Version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: controlled foreign companies, foreign permanent establishment exemptions, hybrid, and other mismatches (CT600B (2022) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: group and consortium relief (CT600C (2018) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: insurance (CT600D (2015) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: Charity and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CT600E (2015) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: Tonnage Tax (CT600F (2023) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: cross-border royalties (CT600H (2015) Version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: supplementary charge in respect of ring fence trades (CT600I (2019) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (CT600J (2015) Version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: Restitution Tax (CT600K (2017) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: research and development (CT600L (2022) version 3)

    • Corporation Tax: Freeports (CT600M (2022) version 3)​1​.

Please note that the specific forms you'll need to fill out will depend on the particular circumstances of the company. It's always best to consult with a tax professional when preparing and submitting corporate tax returns.

How New Tapered Corporate Tax Rates in the UK for 2024 Are Going To Affect Multiple Companies

The new tapered corporate tax rates in the UK, set to take effect from April 2023, are poised to bring about significant changes for multiple companies operating within the country. Historically, the UK has had a flat corporation tax rate of 19%, but this is set to change. The new tax structure introduces a main rate of 25% for companies with profits of £250,000 or more, while a small profits rate of 19% will apply to companies with profits of £50,000 or less. The main rate will taper between these two thresholds, introducing a more nuanced tax structure that will have varying impacts on different companies.

One of the key elements of the new tax structure is the Marginal Small Companies Relief (MSCR). This relief is designed to taper the effect of the increased rate for companies with profits between £50,000 and £250,000. The MSCR calculation involves a fraction of 3/200ths, which is applied to the difference between the upper limit of £250,000 and the company's profits. The result of this calculation is then deducted from the company's calculated tax liability.

The new tax structure also introduces different marginal rates depending on the profit band of the company. For profits between £50,000 and £249,000, the marginal rate is 26.5%, while for profits of £250,000 or more, the marginal rate is 25%. These marginal rates are not average rates, and the effective tax rate will vary depending on the company's profit level.

The new tax rates will also affect dividends, as these are paid from profits after corporation tax. More corporation tax means less profit to distribute, but the personal dividend tax on dividends will decrease. This could have implications for shareholders and the overall profitability of companies.

The new tax structure also introduces some complexities for multiple companies. The £50,000 and £250,000 thresholds are apportioned where there are associated companies, meaning the main rate cuts in at a lower level. This could lead to anomalies if profits are not equal across associated companies. Companies under common control will need to be cautious and try to match profits as equally as possible to avoid potential difficulties with the new corporation tax rates.

In conclusion, the new tapered corporate tax rates in the UK for 2024 are set to bring about a more nuanced tax structure that will have varying impacts on different companies. While the new structure could lead to increased tax liabilities for some companies, the introduction of the MSCR and changes to the taxation of dividends could also provide some relief. However, the complexities introduced for multiple companies could pose challenges, and companies will need to carefully consider their tax strategies in light of these changes.

Navigating the Tapered Corporate Tax: The Role of a Tax Accountant

The world of taxation is a complex labyrinth of laws, regulations, and ever-changing rates. With the introduction of the tapered corporate tax system in the UK in 2024, this complexity has only increased. In this changing landscape, the role of a tax accountant becomes even more crucial. But how exactly can a tax accountant assist you in handling the tapered corporate tax system? Let's explore.

A tax accountant's role can be described as a navigator in the stormy seas of taxation. They have a deep understanding of the tax laws and are equipped with the knowledge and experience to help your business stay compliant while optimizing tax liabilities.

The tapered corporate tax system, introduced in 2023, significantly changes the tax landscape in the UK. With a lower rate of 19% for companies with profits under £50,000, a higher rate of 25% for those with profits over £250,000, and a tapered rate for profits falling in between, the new system requires careful navigation.

This is where a tax accountant steps in. They can help you understand which tax bracket your business falls into and calculate your exact liabilities. For businesses in the middle bracket, the tax accountant can compute the marginal relief, ensuring that your business isn't paying more tax than it needs to. Additionally, they can help you project future profits and estimate future tax liabilities under the tapered system.

For ring fence companies involved in oil extraction or oil rights, the change in marginal relief thresholds from 1 April 2023 makes the role of a tax accountant even more critical. The accountant can assist in working out the new thresholds and optimizing the marginal relief claim to reduce the overall tax burden.

Furthermore, a tax accountant can help with strategic tax planning. In the new tapered tax system, the timing of revenue and expenses can significantly impact tax liabilities. A tax accountant can advise on when to realize income or make certain expenditures to stay in a lower tax bracket, thus optimizing the overall tax situation.

Tax accountants also play a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with the new tax laws. The introduction of a new tax system often comes with a plethora of regulations and forms. A tax accountant can keep track of these and ensure that your company is compliant, avoiding penalties or audits from the tax authorities.

But the role of a tax accountant isn't limited to just calculations and compliance. They can also help your business grow by advising on the tax implications of business decisions. For instance, if your company is considering expansion, a tax accountant can provide insights into how this could push you into a higher tax bracket and what that would mean for your bottom line.

Additionally, tax accountants can help you take advantage of any tax reliefs or deductions that you might not be aware of. For example, certain investments or expenses might qualify for tax relief, thus reducing your taxable income and overall tax liability. An experienced tax accountant can identify these opportunities and guide you in making the most of them.

Lastly, a tax accountant can provide peace of mind. Navigating the complexities of the tapered corporate tax system can be a stressful task, particularly for business owners who already have a myriad of other responsibilities. By outsourcing this task to a tax accountant, you can rest assured that your tax matters are in capable hands.

In conclusion, a tax accountant is a valuable ally in navigating the tapered corporate tax system. From calculating tax liabilities and ensuring compliance to strategic tax planning and identifying tax-saving opportunities, a tax accountant can help your business thrive in the changing tax landscape. As the saying goes, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." However, with a good tax accountant, at least the tax part can be made less daunting and more manageable.


1. Q: What is the purpose of the tapered corporate tax rate?

A: The tapered corporate tax rate aims to create a more equitable tax system by varying the tax rate based on a company's profit levels, thereby supporting smaller businesses and ensuring larger corporations contribute more.

2. Q: How does the tapered tax rate affect startups and small businesses?

A: Startups and small businesses with profits up to £50,000 benefit from the lower tax rate of 19%, designed to ease their financial burden and encourage growth.

3. Q: Are there any specific industries exempt from the tapered corporate tax rate?

A: The article does not mention exemptions based on industry; the tapered tax rates apply broadly, with specific considerations for 'ring fence' companies in the oil sector.

4. Q: How can businesses plan for the new tax rates?

A: Businesses should engage in strategic planning, possibly with the help of tax professionals, to understand their tax liabilities and explore opportunities for tax efficiency under the new system.

5. Q: What strategies can companies use to minimize their tax liabilities under the tapered tax rate?

A: Strategies may include timing income and expenses to manage profit levels, investing in qualifying expenditures that offer tax relief, and restructuring operations to optimize tax positions.

6. Q: How does the new tax system impact companies close to the profit thresholds?

A: Companies near the profit thresholds may need to carefully manage their finances to maximize tax efficiency, potentially benefiting from marginal relief for profits between £50,000 and £250,000.

7. Q: Can companies carry losses forward or backward to mitigate the impact of the tapered tax rate?

A: Companies can generally carry losses forward to offset future profits, a strategy that could be particularly beneficial under the tapered tax system. The specifics depend on HMRC rules and regulations.

8. Q: How does the tapered tax rate system interact with other corporate taxes, such as VAT or business rates?

A: The tapered corporate tax rate specifically applies to corporation tax on profits. Other taxes, like VAT and business rates, are calculated separately and are not directly affected by corporation tax rates.

9. Q: Are international companies operating in the UK subject to the tapered corporate tax rate?

A: International companies operating in the UK through a permanent establishment may be subject to the tapered corporate tax rates on their UK-derived profits.

10. Q: How do dividends fit into the tapered tax rate system?

A: Dividends are paid out of profits after corporation tax has been applied. Higher corporation tax rates may reduce the amount of profit available for dividends.

11. Q: What relief measures are available for companies struggling due to the higher tax rates?

A: Companies facing difficulties might explore various relief measures, such as R&D tax credits or capital allowances, to reduce their taxable profits and thus their tax liabilities.

12. Q: How will the change affect companies with fluctuating profits?

A: Companies with fluctuating profits might experience variable tax rates year on year and should plan accordingly to manage their tax liabilities effectively.

13. Q: Are partnerships and sole traders affected by the tapered corporate tax rate?

A: No, the tapered corporate tax rate applies to incorporated businesses. Partnerships and sole traders are taxed differently, typically through income tax on profits.

14. Q: Can businesses offset the higher tax rate through increased expenses or investments?

A: Increasing deductible expenses or making investments that qualify for tax relief can reduce taxable profits, potentially lowering the corporation tax liability under the new system.

15. Q: What documentation will companies need to provide to HMRC under the new tax system?

A: Companies will need to ensure accurate and comprehensive financial records to support their tax calculations and claims, including profits, losses, and any relevant deductions or reliefs.

16. Q: How does the new tax system affect companies planning for expansion or investment?

A: Companies planning for expansion or investment must consider the potential tax implications of increased profits, exploring strategic ways to utilize reliefs and allowances to mitigate the higher tax rates.

17. Q: What is the impact of the tapered tax rate on company valuations?

A: The impact on valuations may vary; higher tax liabilities could reduce net profits and potentially impact valuations, but strategic tax planning can mitigate some effects

18. Q: How do the new tax rates affect the calculation of tax on profits from intellectual property?

A: Profits from intellectual property are included in the calculation of total profits for corporation tax purposes. Companies should consider how the new rates affect their overall tax liability, especially if they have significant intellectual property income.

19. Q: Are there specific sectors that benefit more from the new tax system?

A: Sectors with typically lower profit margins might benefit from the lower rates at smaller profit levels, whereas high-margin sectors may face higher tax rates sooner due to the tapering effect.

20. Q: How will the new tax system be enforced, and what are the penalties for non-compliance?

A: HMRC enforces tax laws in the UK, and penalties for non-compliance can include fines, interest on unpaid taxes, and in severe cases, legal action. Businesses should ensure they understand their tax obligations under the new system to avoid these penalties.


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