As expected the Chancellor's Budget contained little in the way of tax changes. The only matters likely to be of interest are as follows:
- Stamp Duty Land Tax: The exempt threshold is increased for two years to £250,000 for first time buyers of their main residences from 6 April 2011. A higher rate of 5% to apply to properties over £1 million.
- CGT Entrepreneur Relief: Doubled to £2 million.
- Tax Rates: The 50% rate is confirmed for incomes over £150,000. All other rates and allowances are unchanged.
- Capital Allowances: Investment allowance for SMEs increased to £100,000.
There were of course additional matters not mentioned but which appear in the mountain of press releases. These include:
- Controlled Foreign Companies: New provisions to apply only to artificial diversion of profits.
- Transaction in Securities: New legislation relating to the conversion of income to capital.
- Employee Benefit Trusts: There is some tightening up of the rules.
- Penalties: Increased penalties for tax defaults.
- Charity Relief: An extension of charity tax relief to charities in the EU.
It is interesting that there seem to be none of the promised rules to prevent acceleration of income into this tax year to avoid the 50% rate next year.