The Summer Budget contained little in the way of surprises (nice ones anyway), however the rate of change seems to be building, creating a more dynamic and fluid financial planning world. There are already hundreds of budget summaries online, so I will cover here some of the key points that might impact on Buckingham Gate Clients:
1. Dividend Tax Changes
From 2016, dividends will no longer come with their 10% tax credit, which used to satisfy the basic rate tax liability for those in the 20% tax band. From 6th April 2016 dividend income will be taxed at 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers, once income from dividends exceeds a £5000 tax free allowance. This news will be unwelcome for business owners who receive large amounts of dividends as part of their remuneration and those with large share portfolios outside of a tax wrapper such as an ISA.
Business owners especially, may wish to review how they are remunerated from their companies.
2. New IHT Property Nil Rate Band
I have written a more detailed article about this change here.
3. Removal of Higher Rate Tax Relief on Buy to Let Investment
I have written before about the potential pitfalls of using pension assets to fund buy to let purchases, however the case has just become even less compelling. The Chancellor has announced that over the coming years, tax relief on buy to let mortgages will be restricted to just 20%. This will have the effect of reducing the net returns from buy to let investments for higher rate taxpayers. While buy to let property is undoubtedly a success story for many, there are risks and pitfalls.