The Autumn Statement
Mr Osborne’s autumn/winter set piece contained a few surprises.
The 2014 Autumn Statement was even more like a mini-Budget than its recent predecessors, probably because the next Budget will be so close to the election. The main features of the Autumn Statement/Budget were:
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reform The Chancellor scrapped the widely criticised ‘slab’ approach to SDLT, under which one rate of tax applied to the entire property value. From 4 December 2014 this was replaced by tiered rates which apply to the portion of the purchase price within each of a set of five bands – similar to the income tax structure (see table below). 98% of homebuyers will pay less or the same SDLT than under the old rules. However, in Scotland the picture will change again on 1 April 2015, when the new Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaces SDLT.
Slice of property value £
SDLT Rate %
|Up to 125,000||0|
|125,001 – 250,000||2|
|250,001 – 925,000||5|
|925,001 – 1,500,000||10|
Personal allowance The Chancellor added £100 to the previously announced figure for 2015/16 personal allowance, taking it up to £10,600. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, for once you will fully benefit from this rise as there was no corresponding downward adjustment in the basic rate band (which will anyway fall by £80 in 2015/16). As a general rule the income tax changes will mean a tax cut of £120 in 2015/16 if you are a basic rate taxpayer and £224 if you are a higher rate taxpayer with income of up to £120,000.
ISAs If you are married or in a civil partnership, your surviving partner can now effectively inherit your ISA tax benefits if you die first. The change adds to the attraction of using ISAs to provide retirement income, although the potential issue of inheritance tax will remain on second death unless the ISA is invested in suitable AIM-listed securities.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.
The information in this article does not constitute advice and should be used for informational purposes only. This content has been provided to Helm Godfrey by Taxbriefs.