The Chancellor, George Osborne, has now presented his March 2014 Budget to Parliament. There was lots of talk about the economy, growth forecasts, supporting UK businesses and employment – as well as some obvious political spin bearing in mind the European and General Elections are just around the corner – however we thought we’d concentrate on the most important changes, mainly in relation to tax itself as that’s what is going to affect Taxfile customers and readers the most. So here is our snapshot:
- The threshold before earnings are subject to income tax (the ‘tax-free personal allowance’) is set to rise to £10,500;
- The higher rate of tax will kick in for earnings above £41,865 from April 2014, rising again to £42,285 in 2015;
- The first part of the ‘Help to Buy’ equity loan scheme for those aspiring to buy a new home is to be extended until 2020 (previously 2016);
- The Stamp Duty on homes worth over £500k is to increase to 15% for those which are bought by companies;
- Inheritance tax will be scrapped for members of the emergency services who “give their lives protecting us”;
- Cash and Shares ISAs will be merged into a single New ISA (“NISA”). The annual tax-free limit for the NISA will be £15k (£4k for junior equivalent) from 1 July 2014.
- From April 2015, pensioners will no longer be forced to buy an annuity with their pension fund. They will now be able to cash in as much or as little as they want to from their pension pot.
- From June 2014, the amount people will be able to invest into Premium Bonds will increase to £40k (from £30k). From 2015 this will rise again to Read more