George Osborne’s Autumn Statement
George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement last week and rather than just give us details of his spending he actually gave announced some tax changes which will take effect in 2014 and 2015. Some of these tax changes had been announced earlier and some were simply extending current initiatives but still, it was a bit of good news before Christmas. I have highlighted a few of the points raised in the statement.
He reaffirmed that the personal allowance will increase to £10,000 from 6 April 2014, but unfortunately the age allowances for those born before 6 April 1948 are to remain the same as they are at present. He did announce that from 6 April 2015 there is to be a transferable element of the personal allowance for married couples where married couples and civil partners will be able to transfer up to £1,000 of their personal allowance to their spouse. There are restrictions on the transfer as it can only take effect if both members of the couple are basic rate taxpayers or pay no income tax for the year.
Although the relief is already in place, Mr Osborne announced that small business rates relief is to be extended to 31 March 2015 and that from April 2014 all businesses will be able to spread the payment of their business rates over 12 months instead of the usual 10. There will also be a cap of 2% on the increase in business rates for the year to 31 March 2015.
With the high street suffering an increased number of empty properties he announced that the business rates on a property will only be charged at 50% of the full rate for the first 18 months. This will apply if a business moves into a retail premises between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016 which had been empty for 1 year or more.
As I’m sure you are all aware, the State Pension Age is to be aligned at 65 for men and women who reach that age in the next few years. The age is then to rise to 66, and increase to 67 for those that reach that age after 2034. Mr Osbourne announced that the government is reviewing the future pension age and is likely to accelerate the State Pension Age to age to 69 for people who are currently in their early 30’s.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year from myself and all at Southgates.