BUDGET SUMMARY 2016 - Budget_summary.pdf

The third Budget in 12 months

This Budget looked as if it would be a difficult one for the Chancellor, faced as he was with disappointing economic numbers and the need to avoid ruffling feathers ahead of June’s in/out referendum. What was to have been the big announcement – reform of pensions – was kicked into the long grass a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, Mr Osborne did spring a few surprises, including some tax reductions.

How will this Budget affect you? If you are – or want to be – a saver, then there is plenty to consider. From April 2017 a new ISA, the Lifetime ISA, will be launched for the under-40s. It looks as if it is a close relation of the recently abandoned pensions ISA. Also from 2017/18, the normal ISA contribution limit – unchanged for 2016/17 – will rise to £20,000.

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates will fall from 2016/17 to 20% and 10%, although the current rates of 28% and 18% will continue to apply to residential property (another buy-to-let attack) and carried interests. There will be a new entrepreneurs’ relief (effectively 10% CGT) for external long term investors in unlisted companies.

Other important changes for included:

  • Increases in the personal allowance for 2017/18 to £11,500 and the higher rate threshold to £45,000.
  • A restructuring of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on commercial properties. 
  • A major revamp of business rates, permanently doubling the Small Business Rate Relief.

As usual, we are on hand to help you if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the Spring Budget in further details. We will be pleased to hear from you. 

Lows offer good quality Tax advice tailored to your needs

Navigating your way around the tax rules can be a nightmare.  The detailed rules are invariably complex and seem to change with great rapidity; there are deadlines to be met and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may impose stringent penalties if you are late, or if you get things wrong. The tax laws impose strict compliance upon taxpayers and it can be financially most hazardous if these requirements are not met.

The importance of specialist Tax advice 

While, as Scottish solicitors, we have traditionally advised clients in many areas – such as Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax – many of our clients expect us to provide a wider range of services covering all aspects of tax compliance and planning, and we believe that we offer a wider range of services in this area, and in a greater depth than any other professional firm on Orkney.   

Lows advice covers Personal and Business Tax advice

In addition to the areas mentioned above, our services also include Personal Tax (both Annual Self Assessment Tax Return preparation as well as tax planning), National Insurance matters, Business and Partnership taxation, Corporate Taxation and remuneration strategies, payroll matters and Vat as well as dealing with in-depth HMRC tax investigations.

Lows have the experience you need

Our Tax Department is lead by Ian Stout, who joined us in 2008, having previously worked at senior levels with major firms in the City of London, and who later founded his own specialist tax practice in the City, where he worked for thirty years.    Ian of course works closely with our solicitors on transactions where taxation is an issue, and can provide a personal and confidential service that can be tailored to your needs.   Where appropriate, Ian is happy to work alongside existing advisers and Independent Financial Advisers.