It is not uncommon for the Chancellor's Budget announcements to cause a stir, and the Spring Budget of 2017 was no exception. If you're self-employed, you might want to prepare for some tax changes over the next few years.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced increases in National Insurance for the self-employed effective from next April, with a second rate rise following in April 2019 - this will have a direct impact on over a million self-employed people.
Everyone pays into the National Insurance pot, regardless of whether you are an employee or self-employed, in order to qualify for specific benefits such as the state pension. Self-employed workers do not have access to the full range of benefits and therefore pay less in National Insurance - for instance, they don't receive statutory sick pay if they cannot work due to sickness or injury.
There are four different classes of National Insurance - Class 1 for the employed, Classes 2 and 4 for the self-employed, and Class 3 for voluntary contributions.
So what exactly is changing?
Last year, the Chancellor at the time - George Osbourne - announced that the self-employed would likely see a tax cut of up to £146 per year if they fell into Class 2 and made a profit of more than £5,965 per year.
One year on and the current Chancellor has decided that any demand for cuts is unsubstantiated and an increase in National Insurance rates is required - much to the dismay of over a million self-employed workers.
Taken on its own, these changes mean the self-employed with profits of more than £8,060 over a two year period will see an increase in tax by an average of £240 per year. As you can imagine, these increases have not gone down well with the general public.
Alettia Elwin, a self-employed music teacher, says that the Chancellor should have targeted large businesses, who are seeing a cut in corporation tax, rather than the self-employed.
"Why is he targeting small business when there are so many global companies out there that pay very little tax at all in the UK?" she asks. "The Government have taken the easy route by taxing us. It is a bit lazy of them."