2015 Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne presented his Autumn Statement last Wednesday and made a number of unexpected announcements.

The reversal of the previously announced tax credit changes

Changes to NIC Employment Allowance

Restrictions on tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses for workers engaged through employment intermediaries

Extension of business rates relief for small businesses

The introduction of 3% higher rates of Stamp Duty on buy to let and additional residential properties

The introduction of payment on account of any capital gains tax due on the sale of residential properties

Tax Credits

Some of the changes announced in the July budget have been reversed so the level of income at which a claimant’s tax credit award is tapered away and the rate at which it will be tapered away will remain at current levels.
However this is a short -term benefit for claimants as tax credits are to be replaced by Universal Credit which is expected to be less generous.

NIC Employment Allowance

From April 2016 the NIC Employment Allowance will be increased to £3,000 however companies where the director is the sole employee will no longer be eligible to claim the Employment Allowance.

Travel and Subsistence costs

As an anti-avoidance measure the tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses will be restricted for workers engaged through an employment intermediary, such as an umbrella company or a personal service company.

Business Rates Relief

The current exemption from business rates for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 will be extended for another year.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

An additional 3% SDLT will be charged on purchases of additional residential properties from 1 April 2016. This will affect buy to let landlords and anyone buying a second home.

Capital Gains Tax on sale of residential properties

From April 2019 any capital gains tax payable on the disposal of residential properties must be paid within 30 days of the completion date. This does not affect most sales as they will not be liable to CGT due to Private Residence Relief.