No magic tricks

George Osborne failed to produce a big surprise ‘rabbit’ out of his collection of tax measures and spending announcements set out in the Autumn Statement, but a few hares were set running amongst property investors. They will face increased Stamp Duty Land Tax charges from 1 April 2016, and accelerated payments of Capital Gains Tax from 2019. There is some relief that the changes to travel and subsistence rules for contractors working through personal service companies will not be implemented as widely as suggested in the earlier consultation.

Lower paid workers will be grateful that the rates and thresholds for Working and Child Tax Credits are to be frozen at the 2015/16 levels for 2016/17, rather than being cut drastically as announced in the Summer Budget. Tax credit claimants are gradually being moved on to the new Universal Credit so their relief may be short-lived.

The Government will collect extra tax revenues from increasing certain duties, and advancing the dates on which tax is payable, as we detail below.