In the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper, the Government signalled its desire to increase its control over procurements by all contracting authorities.
From 3 December 2014, a surviving spouse can inherit their deceased partner’s ISA investments and continue to benefit from their tax-free element.
In addition, from 6 April 2015, the ISA allowances are to be increased.
Further changes have been announced for pensions. From April 2015 individuals who die under the age of 75 with remaining uncrystallised drawdown defined contribution pension funds or a joint life or guaranteed annuity will be able to pass these on to any beneficiary tax free where no payments have been made to the beneficiary before that date.
There has been no rise in the ‘nil rate’ band for inheritance tax despite suggestions of significant increases.
The proposal for a settlement nil rate band has been withdrawn. Nevertheless, new measures are to be brought in to clamp down on tax avoidance through the use of multiple trusts. Exactly how these will work and whether settlements and trusts set up before the date of the changes will be caught is not known.
For deaths occurring after 19 March 2014, the complete Inheritance Tax exemption awarded to members of the armed forces, who die from an injury or disease contracted from active service, has been extended to personnel in the emergency services, some overseas aid workers and those who have received gallantry awarded from the Crown.
Capital Gains Tax
When looking to minimise your tax liability, it is worth reviewing the tighter regulation which has been brought in affecting entrepreneur’s relief on; this applies to goodwill assets which are transferred to a closely related company.
The personal allowance is to be increased to £10,600 for 2015/16 with the higher rate threshold above which individuals will pay tax at 40% increasing to £42,385.
For those who have saved diligently to assist their children or grandchildren in further education, there will be the alternative or additional option of applying for income-contingent loans to study postgraduate courses from 2016/2017.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
From 4 December 2014 this is no longer charged at “slab” rates but at tiered rates. This will benefit all house purchasers except those buying for more than £937,500.
For further information on how these changes may affect your inheritance tax liability and how you can maximise the benefits in your Will, please contact our Personal Planning and Management Team on 0121 212 7404 for more information.
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