Budget 2015 Update

WOW!  What a Budget Day

The pre-Election Budget 2015 was always bound to be an exciting one, so we thought you might appreciate some of the top news items from The Independent:

TAX

* The income tax personal allowance is to rise to £10,800 next year and £11,000 the year after, making typical working taxpayer £900 a year better off and cutting tax for 27 million people.

* Above-inflation rise in threshold for 40p income tax rate from £42,385 this year to £43,300 by 2017/18.

* The transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,100. * The share of income tax paid by the top 1% of earners is projected to rise from 25% in 2010 to more than 27% this year, while lower-paid 50% of earners pay a smaller proportion than under Labour.

* Employers’ national insurance for under-21s will be abolished from this April and for young apprentices from next April.

* A “major review” of the business rates system and the reduction in the annual investment allowance to be set at a rate “much more generous” than £25,000.

* Class Two national insurance contributions for the self-employed to be abolished in next Parliament.

* The annual tax return will be abolished altogether, replaced by digital and online systems.

* A penny a pint will be knocked off beer duty, cider duty will be cut by 2% and duty on Scotch whisky and other spirits also cut by 2%. Wine duty frozen and duties on tobacco and gaming also unchanged.

* The fuel duty increase which was scheduled for September is cancelled.

* The pension pot lifetime allowance to be reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million from next year, saving £600 million annually.

* Government to legislate next week on diverted profits tax aimed at multinationals shifting profits offshore, and bring it into effect at the start of April.

* Tax rules to be tightened to prevent contrived loss arrangements, use of foreign branches to reclaim VAT on overheads, clampdown on “umbrella companies” and ensure entrepreneurs relief is only available to those selling genuine stakes in businesses.

* The measures on tax avoidance and evasion to raise £3.1 billion over the forecast period.

* Review on the use of deeds of variation to avoid inheritance tax, to report by the autumn.

* Bank levy raised to 0.21%, raising an additional £900 million a year, with banks to be barred from deducting compensation for mis-selling from their corporation tax bills. In total, new banking taxes to raise £5.3 billion across forecast period.

* Reduced rate of increase in company car tax for low-emission vehicles – with other vehicle rates rising by 3% in 2019/20.

* Introduction of “generous” tax allowance to stimulate investment in North Sea oil industry from start of April, with Government investing in new surveys of UK continental shelf.

* Support totalling £1.3 billion for oil industry includes cut in petroleum revenue tax from 50% to 35% next year and in supplementary charge from 30% to 20%, backdated to January

PENSIONS AND SAVINGS

* Law change to allow pensioners to access their annuities, with 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate.

* Annual savings limit for Isa increased to £15,240 and a new fully flexible Isa created.

* A new Help To Buy Isa for first-time buyers allows the Government to top-up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit.

* A new personal savings allowance from April next year means first £1,000 of interest on savings will be tax-free