UK Budget 2014 - A Budget for the makers, the doers, and the savers

Thankfully a pretty quiet budget, once again many of the measures have been previously announced in the Autumn Statement or the 2013 Budget.

You can catch up on reactions and analysis here.

Some of the key highlights are:

  • 15% Stamp Duty on Property Purchases 

The government has announced the extension of its "Mansion Tax". This tax is aimed at owners of residential property which are held through a corporate envelope and are not held for commercial purposes.  

Stamp duty on residential property purchased by non-natural persons has been extended to include properties valued in excess of £500,000.  Stamp duty will be levied at 15% on the purchase of the property, with the annual tax on enveloped dwellings ("ATED") levied each year.  Capital gains tax at 28% will be payable on any gain on disposal.  This will not impact any properties purchased for commercial purposes, such as renting.  The stamp duty change is effective as of midnight tonight, with the ATED coming into force from 1 April 2016 for properties valued between £500,000 - £1million and from 1 Aril 2015 for properties valued between £1 - £2million.  Capital gains tax comes in from 6 April 2015 for properties in excess of £1million and 6 April 2016 for properties valued between £1 - £2million.

As announced in the Autumn Statement the intention is to introduce CGT on gains made by non-residents disposing of UK residential property from April 2015.  A consultation is expected shortly.

  • Anti Avoidance 

The government has re-emphasised its commitment to the G20 / OECD work on tackling tax avoidance through aggressive tax planning by multinational companies.  Nothing new of any note was announced today, but a position paper "Tackling aggressive tax planning in the global economy: UK priorities for the G20 / OECD project for countering Base Erosion and Profit Shifting" was released alongside the Budget.  

The paper sets out the UK's priorities with regard to the BEPS project.  Outputs this year include a template for country-by-country reporting, aimed at enabling tax authorities to better assess risks to the tax base arising from aggressive planning.  There are also further outputs scheduled for 2014 on the digital economy, hybrid instruments and entities, and countering tax treaty abuse (OECD paper released last week).

The Finance Bill is due to be published on 27 March and this could provide more detail on some or all of the above.

If you have any feedback about any of our other Budget content, we'd appreciate your thoughts.

If you would like any further information or clarification on any of the measures announced, please do not hesitate to contact  a member of our Budget working party whose details appear alongside.