Budget 2015 – “PRE-ELECTION”

George Osborne has delivered his sixth Budget as chancellor the last of the current Parliament.. are there more to come if they win the election again?????

Here is a summary of the key announcements in his statement.

Pensions

The lifetime allowance for pension savings that can be accumulated free of tax will be cut from £1.25m to £1m from April 2016

Pensioners will be able to trade in their annuities for cash pots, with the 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate

Widows of police officers and firefighters who choose to marry again will have their existing pensions protected

Alcohol, tobacco and gambling and fuel

Beer duty cut by 1p a pint and cider by 2p.

2% cut in excise duty on scotch whisky and other spirits while wine duty frozen

No changes to tobacco and gambling taxes, with tobacco duties set to rise by 2% above inflation, equivalent to 16p on a packet of 20 cigarettes.

New “horse racing betting right” to replace the 50-year old horserace betting levy on British bookmakers

Petrol duty frozen – September’s planned increase cancelled

Personal taxation

The tax-free personal allowance to rise from £10,600 in 2015-6 to £10,800 in 2016-7 and £11,000 in 2017-8

The threshold at which people start paying 40p income tax to rise by above inflation from £42,385 in 2014-5 to £43,300 in 2017-8

Annual paper tax returns to be abolished, replaced by digital accounts by 2020.

Transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,100

Class two national insurance contributions for self-employed to be abolished in next Parliament

Review of inheritance tax avoidance through “deeds of variation”

Savings

New personal savings allowance – first £1,000 interest on savings income to be tax-free for basic rate taxpayers and £500 allowance for 40p tax ratepayers.

Annual savings limit for ISAs increased to £15,240

“Fully flexible” ISA will allow savers to withdraw money and put it back later in the year without losing any of their tax-free allowance

New “Help to Buy” ISA for first-time buyers will allow government to top up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit

Business

Tax on “diverted profits” to come into effect next month, aimed at multinational firms moving profits “artificially offshore”

Annual bank levy to rise to 0.21%.

Banks to be barred from deducting compensation for mis-selling from corporation tax

Supplementary charge on North Sea oil producers to be cut from 30% to 20% while petroleum revenue tax to fall from 50% to 35%.

New tax allowance to encourage investment in North Sea

Review of business rates

Automatic gift aid limit for charities to be extended to £8,000

Farmers allowed to average incomes for tax purposes over five years

New tax credit for orchestras and consultation on tax relief for local newspapers

New criminal offences for tax evasion and new penalties for those professionals who assist

NHS

A new Immigration health surcharge will be introdcued from 6 April 2015 onwards, for further details refer to this link

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