Notable changes are listed below:   First-time buyers will pay no stamp duty on homes costing no more than £300,000. First-time buyers of homes worth between £300,000 and £500,000 will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000. They will pay the normal rates of stamp duty on the price above that. This will save £1,660? on the average first-time buyer property purchase. 80% of people buying their first

  Following on from the previous article, we thought readers might be interested in the consequences if they fail to pay their Self Assessment tax on time.   If you are facing cash-flow issues, and cannot see how you can afford to settle part, or all of your tax payment due 31 July 2017, what is the best strategy to avoid confrontation with HMRC and minimise any penalties and interest

  For deaths on or after 6 April 2017 there is now an additional £100,000 inheritance tax (IHT) allowance where the family home is passed on to direct descendants. This was originally announced on 8 July 2015 and that date is relevant where the deceased has downsized to a lower value property.   This additional relief increases to £175,000 in 2020, and where the relief was not used on the

  The introduction of the £5,000 tax free dividend allowance has tempted many family company shareholders to give shares to other family members so that they can be paid £5,000 a year tax free. (Note that this allowance reduces to £2,000 from 6 April 2018).   Such a strategy needs to be carefully structured as there can be Capital Gains Tax on the gift of shares, and HMRC may also

  For every £2 that your adjusted net income exceeds £100,000, the £11,000 personal allowance is reduced by £1. Pension contributions and Gift Aid can help to reduce adjusted net income and save tax at an effective rate of 60%.   The restriction applies between £100,000 and £122,000 adjusted net income. Another way that you could avoid this trap would be to agree with your employer to sacrifice some of

  Have you used your 2016/17 £11,100 annual capital gains exemption? Consider selling shares where the gain is less than £11,100 before 6 April 2017. Also, if you have any worthless shares, consider a negligible value claim to establish a capital loss. You may even be able to set off that capital loss against your income under certain circumstances.   As far as inheritance tax (IHT) planning is concerned, all

  If you are looking for investment opportunities, have you considered the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)? These investments in certain qualifying companies allow you to set off 30% of the amount invested against your tax bill as well as capital gains tax (CGT) deferral. An even more generous tax break is available for investment in a qualifying Seed EIS company where income tax relief at 50 per cent is available.

  In no particular order changes already announced include:   The personal tax allowance will increase to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold will rise to £45,000. The annual ISA limit will increase to £20,000. Both employers and employees will start paying NICs on weekly earnings above £157. The government will legislate for a new Income Tax exemption and NICs disregard to cover the first £500 worth of pension advice

  In the December edition of this newsletter we flagged up that new anti-avoidance legislation in Finance Act 2016 will tax certain transactions in UK land as trading transactions instead of capital gains.   Just before Christmas, HMRC issued guidance to clarify the scope of the new rules. The legislation as enacted in Finance Act 2016 was drafted in such a way that it could be interpreted as catching certain

  The current annual pension limit remains at £40,000. In addition, unused relief from the previous three tax years may be utilised once the current £40,000 limit has been used. However, the relief from 2013/14 will lapse on 6 April 2017.   If, for example, you have £10,000 unused allowance from 2013/14 you would need to make pension contributions of at least £50,000 by 5 April 2017 to avoid losing