Autumn Statement

HM Treasury

Stamp Duty – George Osborne delivered the final Autumn Statement prior to next years general election with changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax at the forefront of his speech. Stamp Duty will be replaced in Scotland on 1st April 2015 by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. The changes announced yesterday will take effect straight away in Scotland until 1st April 2015. The changes mean that anyone buying a home up to £937,500 will be better off under the new system than the old one. Now no Stamp Duty will be paid on the first £125,000, 2% on the amount above that up to £250,000 then 5% on the next amount up to £925,000 and then 10% on amounts above that up to £1.5 million then 12% on everything above that.

ISA’s – Another major change is that ISA’s can now be passed on to a surviving spouse when the first one of a couple dies. This allows from 3 December, if an ISA saver in a marriage or civil partnership dies, their spouse or civil partner will be able to transfer the ISA wrapper and keep the ISA tax advantages. From April 2015 the ISA allowance will rise to £15,240 from the current limit of £15,000.

Personal Tax – The amount that you can earn before paying tax is to increase in the next tax year to £10,600. The rate at which higher rate tax begins is to be increased from £41,865 to £42,385.

Annuities – Payments made by guaranteed annuities after the death of their holder will be paid tax free to beneficiaries. Guaranteed annuity payment keep paying income after the annuitant has died, currently up to a maximum of 10 years from the date the annuity was taken out. Payments from joint life annuities to surviving partners will be made tax-free after the death of the holder.

If you would like to discus how the changes might impact on you and your family please do not hesitate to contact us.