In common with most recent Budget speeches, Mr Hammond addressed the House for almost exactly an hour. In other respects it was unusual: there was very little in the speech about tax, and almost nothing about raising it. He listed spending promises and tax giveaways, such as the headline relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax for first-time buyers, but it was hard to detect anything that would pay for it all. That, of course, is hidden in the mass of documentation that is released on the Government’s website the moment the Chancellor sits down.
Our Budget Report explains the main tax changes that were announced and outlines their impact on taxpayers. As usual, some measures come into effect straight away, some take effect next year, and some are advance warning of changes coming in 2019 or 2020. We have included reminders of important changes happening in April 2018 even if they were announced earlier and not mentioned in this Budget – it can be hard to keep track of what is happening when!
The main headline from the first Autumn budget was the abolition of Stamp Duty Land Tax for first time buyers, but only for properties under £300,000 (£500,000 in London), so at most a saving of £5,000.
Businesses can look to see their business rates reviewed and revalued every 3 years going forward with increases defined by CPI not RPI. The rates of tax for companies remains at 19% and personal tax rates have also remained the same.
Cars got a mention with tax free charging at employers premises now available for employees with electric cars. Diesel cars will have a hit both as company cars (4% supplement for benefits in kind) and also vehicle duty. However, there will be no fuel duty increase.
The expected rises for the personal allowance have been confirmed along with the higher rate band.
Consultations have been announced regarding how trusts will be taxed going forward and also to review how companies trading in the private sector for the services of directors should be treated (IR35). A review will also be undertaken for late payment and filing penalties for tax returns.
Full details can be found in our Autumn Budget Report.