Posted by Simon Griffiths on 03 Dec 2014

2014 Autumn Statement

Today’s Autumn Statement introduced a number of interesting changes and proposals including a long overdue review of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

From 4 December 2014, the old system of SDLT, applying one flat rate to the total value of a property, determined by reference to property value, will be replaced by a progressive tax that applies different rates of SDLT to different elements of the total property value. The Treasury estimates that this will reduce SDLT for 98% of transactions, and only purchases of property worth more than £937,500 will find their SDLT bill increases.

Pension Funds

It was also announced that sums inherited by spouses from ISAs and approved pension funds will now be free from Inheritance Tax.

Other changes include an increase in R & D tax credits and in the amount a non-UK domiciled but long term UK resident individual will need to pay to secure the remittance basis of taxation.

A particularly interesting development was the Chancellor’s attempt to combat the kind of high profile international tax avoidance that has recently caught the attention of the press. A 25% tax on the UK activities of companies that attempt to shift profits offshore has been announced but little detail has been published at this time.

It will be interesting to see how these developments pan out as we learn more about the government’s plans over the coming week and there are obviously some significant challenges coming. As always with tax, the devil will be in the detail and most of the draft legislation has not yet been released. We will publish our considered opinion on how the measures introduced in the Autumn Statement could impact on you once the full details have been issued by the Treasury.

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