The Chancellor has announced a steady as you go Autumn Budget.
The highlight of his mildly expansionary package was a new stamp duty land tax relief for first time home-buyers (outside Scotland). As long as the consideration for the property is no more than £500,000, first time buyers will pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 and above that they pay the normal rates.
It is worth noting that the Scottish Budget will be published on 14 December when their income tax plans for 2018/19 will be announced.
The Chancellor decided against attacking pension tax reliefs – leaving the annual allowance unchanged and actually increasing the lifetime allowance next tax year from £1 million to £1.03 million in line with inflation.
There will be some changes to venture capital trusts and enterprise investment scheme investments. The main change is that from April next year, these schemes will have to focus on investments where capital is genuinely at risk, rather than being protected.
Among the changes to business rates, the so-called staircase tax for business premises on more than one floor will be ‘dealt with’, putting valuation principles back to the position before the decision in a legal case effectively changed the law.
As usual the government has introduced several provisions to counter both tax avoidance and evasion. Personal service companies – IR35 – are again in the Chancellor’s sights, with a strong possibility that the tax rules recently applied to the public sector will be extended into the private sector.
Company cars have received some attention. There has been the normal uplift to charges for the coming tax year; and in addition drivers of cars with diesel engines will generally have to pay even more.
If you have any questions about the summary’s contents or how any aspects of your tax and financial planning may be affected by the Budget, please call us to discuss them.