The Chancellor’s second Budget of 2017

Mr Hammond will probably be pleased if commentators decide that his Autumn Budget was a steady-as-she-goes, broadly modest Budget. After the national insurance u-turn he was forced to make after his March Budget this year, that was probably his aim.

In any case, for a variety of economic and political reasons, the Chancellor announced a relatively modest net tax giveaway of just under £1.6 billion for the coming tax year.

His main attention-seeking move was to give first time buyers an exemption from stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of value for properties worth up to £500,000. Rumours – probably from the Treasury itself – had trailed changes along these lines, and the new relief represents more than a third of his net giveaway.

With income tax, the changes were much less dramatic – increasing both the personal allowance and the higher rate threshold by 3% – the standard inflation-linked increase. ISA investors saw their main ISA and lifetime ISA investment limits frozen and only children saw a small increase in their specialist ISAs. There was better news for pension savers who will enjoy a £30,000 increase in the lifetime allowance from the 6th April 2018 and thankfully no cuts to the annual allowance. Several measures were designed to introduce much more of a focus on risk investment for venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and seed enterprise investment schemes.

Most Chancellors tend to cram all the painful announcements into Budgets at the start of a Parliament; for a range of reasons, Mr Hammond decided that he did not need – or perhaps couldn’t afford – to do this.

Summary of key changes for the forthcoming 2018/19 tax year include:

  • The income tax personal allowance will rise to £11,850.
  • The higher rate tax threshold will rise to £46,350.
  • Junior ISA and child trust fund limits will rise to £4,260, although other ISA limits are unchanged.
  • The pension lifetime allowance will rise to £1.03 million.
  • The VAT registration threshold will be frozen at £85,000 for 2018/19.
  • The company car benefit in kind charges have been increased – notably for diesel car drivers.
  • Capital allowances for R&D expenditure will rise from 11% to 12%.
  • First time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pay no stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of their home, as long as the consideration is no more than £500,000. Above £300,000, they will pay the normal rates of SDLT

Our clients can rest assured any issues or opportunities will be considered as part of our ongoing review service – however we are available to help with any specific queries or concerns if you would like to speak with us.

You might like to download our more comprehensive Budget Summary and our Tax Tables here:

Budget Summary
Tax Tables

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