23.11.2017 Summary of the Autumn Budget 22 November 2017

23.11.2017 Summary of the Autumn Budget 22 November 2017

On 22 November Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the Autumn Budget. Here are the key changes introduced in the Autumn Budget:

Stamp Duty
The government abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, and those spending between £300,000 and £500,000 on their first home will pay £5,000 less. Thus, 80% of first-time buyers will not have to pay stamp duty and will be able to get on the property ladder.

Income Tax
Hammond enunciated that the basic-rate income tax threshold will rise to £11,850, up from £11,501, in April 2018 and the higher rate personal allowances will increase to £46,350, up from current £45,001.

Personal Tax
Hammond announced that the marriage allowance, allowing a spouse or civil partner to transfer a tenth of their personal allowance to their income tax-paying partner, is to be extended to widows and widowers. The government will now allow transfers of personal allowances in certain cases where a partner has died before the claim was made, such claim can be backdated up to 4 years.

Tax avoidance 
The Chancellor introduced a set of measures to eliminate tax avoidance and evasion, expected to raise £4.8bn by 2022-23, and further measures to fight online VAT fraud. The Budget increased the time limits for HMRC assessments of offshore tax non-compliance to a minimum of 12 years in all cases. However, Will Snell, director of Tax Justice UK, said that the changes introduced in the Budget in relation to tackling tax avoidance could be much more significant.

VAT threshold for small businesses
Hammond recognises the pressure that small businesses are experiencing at the moment and decided not to reduce the VAT threshold for small businesses from £85,000. The Chancellor will bring forward the uprating of business rates based on the CPI inflation index not RPI by two years, saving businesses £2.3bn.

Help-to-buy scheme
Help-to-buy scheme will be extended. The budget confirmed that the government will contribute extra £10bn into the scheme extending it to 2021.

The government is planning to provide a £44bn capital investment, in the next 5 years, to boost the housing market. The plan is to build 300,000 homes every year by 2020. The Chancellor also announced a plan to allow councils to charge premium on council tax on empty properties.

Philip Hammond allocated £3bn for Brexit preparations in addition to £700m already spent.

National Living Wage
The National Living Wage will rise to £7.83 per hour from April 2018, up from current £7.50.

In attempt to please both landlords and tenants, Hammond announced that the government will explore tax breaks for those landlords who offer long-term secure tenancies.

The Chancellor will provide an extra £2.8bn to the NHS over the next three years. The government will invest £350m this year, just under £2m between 2018-19 and remaining by 2020.