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Autumn Statement 2015

Autumn Statement 2015

Opportunity for all, rebuilding Britain…lots of strong words, and at first not at all clear where the money was coming from. But a few significant tax changes highlight how the numbers might now add up…here are the key points we noted from the speech.

As always the devil will be in the detail to follow and we are told that the main substance to the tax changes will only be revealed on L-Day (Legislation Day) which will be on 9 December.

• CGT on residential property disposals to be paid within 30 days of the completion of the disposal from 2019 – this is timed to coincide with the full introduction of digital accounts

• New Stamp Duty Land tax premium of 3% from April 2016 on second homes and buy to let properties, further consultation to follow on the detail including a possible exemption for corporates and those owning more than 15 properties…yet another attack on private residential landlords !

• Government also to consult on changes to the administration of stamp duty land tax including the reduction of the payment and filing timescales from 30 days to 14 days – timescale 2017-18

• 3% supplement on the benefit in kind charge on diesel company cars to remain until 2021 rather than going in 2016 as originally planned…not surprising bearing in mind current VW / Audi issues

• Creation of further 26 new enterprise zones with tax advantages

• 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 with a new body to set standards, money raised via a 0.5% payroll levy – however an allowance will be introduced at the same time so that only employers with payroll bills of over £3 million will pay.

• 30 hours free childcare for three and four year olds from 2017. This is available to parents working a minimum of 16 hours per week and where family income is less than £100,000

• Further crack down on specific anti-avoidance including disguised remuneration and further strengthening of GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rule) and further new penalties introduced

• Digital accounts progressing, further investment of £450 million being made. Every individual and company to have digital account by end of this decade

• Devolution of income tax powers to Wales without referendum and lower corporation tax rate for Northern Ireland…as released last week

• Diverting VAT on women’s sanitary products (so-called ‘tampon tax’) to women’s health charities…a creative way of getting round EU restrictions on zero-rating! Also interesting comment that scope for extending the zero-rate is to be discussed at EU level. If this succeeds, it could pave the way for further campaigns on other products perceived as being unfairly taxed.

• Extension of Academy status to 6th Form Colleges…a very welcome announcement. The additional VAT recoveries colleges will be able to make will significantly boost their budgets.

• Extension of the ‘right to buy’ (RTB) to housing association properties could result in a knock-on VAT benefit. Where the HA originally constructed these homes, their disposal will be zero-rated, thereby potentially improving the HA’s ability to reclaim VAT on costs.

For more information about the Autumn Statement 2015 contact Lesley Sutton on 01484 538351 or email taxchat@revellward.co.uk.

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