The Autumn Statement at a glance
The Autumn statement – who is it good for?
Good if you…
…invest in Isas
The allowance got a little bit bigger – from £15,000 to £15,240 – and the Chancellor also said Isas would keep their tax-free status when passed onto a spouse on death. This will be a big boost for some couples. The million-pound Isa is now a reality, but previously that would have passed into the deceased’s estate for inheritance tax purposes and been subject to tax at 40 per cent.
The Government has confirmed changes to the tax charges on death for annuities. Those who die under the age of 75 with a joint life annuity or one with a guaranteed term will be able to pass those payments onto beneficiaries tax-free. This brings annuities in line with drawdown. The government also confirmed that retirees would be able to take their full defined contribution pension pot as a lump sum, rather than incurring a 55 per cent charge.
…are buying a smaller house
The Chancellor announced a tiered stamp duty rate, replacing the old system whereby buyers would pay 1 per cent on a £250,000 home, but 3 per cent on one costing £250,001. With immediate effect, there will be no tax on first £125k of purchase price, 2 per cent on amount up to £250k, 5 per cent up to £925k, 10 per cent up to £1.5m and 12 per cent on everything else. A property of £500,000 would have paid 4 per cent under the old system – £20,000. Now they will pay £15,000.
…don’t earn as much as you’d like
The Chancellor raised the personal allowance from £41,865 this year to £42,354 next year, the first time it’s been raised since the Coalition government took power. The personal allowance also rose more than expected, up from £10,500 to £10,600.
Bad if you…
….are buying a bigger house
The stamp duty changes significantly hike the cost of buying million pound houses, possibly as a sop to Labour’s Mansion Tax proposals. For the lucky someone buying a £3m house, the stamp duty bill will go up from £210,000 to £273,750.
…are a tax-dodging multi-national corporation
The Chancellor announced that companies artificially shifting profits from UK economic activity abroad will face a new 25 per cent tax rate.
…are a bank
The Government will halve the level of past losses that banks are allowed to offset against their corporation tax bills. Banks had incurred significant losses as they decreased the value of assets on their balance sheets and wrote off bad loans, but they will no longer be able to use this to escape tax.
…are a cash saver
The Government revised its inflation expectations lower, along with its GDP projections for 2016 and beyond. This makes a rate rise less likely and means that savers are still likely to receive paltry returns on their cash savings.
Cherry Reynard is the acting editor of YourMoney.com