Pension Transfer Gold Standard

Autumn Budget 2017

Please click here to see our summary of the key announcements in the Autumn 2017 Budget. We hope you find it useful and interesting.

If the chancellor was asked to produce a Budget that would not rock the political boat, then it looks as if that is what he has delivered. The total net cost of his policy decisions for 2018/19 was a little over £6 billion with just £1.585 billion attributable to tax policy decisions. 

The highlight of his mildly expansionary package was a new stamp duty land tax relief for first time home-buyers (outside Scotland). As long as the consideration for the property is no more than £500,000, first time buyers will pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 and above that they pay the normal rates.

It is worth noting that the Scottish Budget will be published on 14 December when their income tax plans for 2018/19 will be announced.

The Chancellor decided against attacking pension tax reliefs - leaving the annual allowance unchanged and actually increasing the lifetime allowance next tax year from £1 million to £1.03 million in line with inflation.

There will be some changes to venture capital trusts and enterprise investment scheme investments. The main change is that from April next year, these schemes will have to focus on investments where capital is genuinely at risk, rather than being protected.

Among the changes to business rates, the so-called staircase tax for business premises on more than one floor will be 'dealt with', putting valuation principles back to the position before the decision in a legal case effectively changed the law.

As usual the government has introduced several provisions to counter both tax avoidance and evasion. Personal service companies - IR35 - are again in the Chancellor's sights, with a strong possibility that the tax rules recently applied to the public sector will be extended into the private sector.

Company cars have received some attention. There has been the normal uplift to charges for the coming tax year; and in addition drivers of cars with diesel engines will generally have to pay even more.

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The information regarding taxation is based on our understanding of law, HM Revenue & Customs practice and current legislation, which may be altered and depends on the individual financial circumstances of the investor. The value of investments may fall as well as rise.

Testimonials

I’ve worked with Highwood since we started our company over 12 years ago. Highwood now not only works with my business partner and me, but also a large number of the 80 people that work here at Grand Union. In addition to always getting strong financial advice from the Highwood team, I rely on Michael Gould for crucial guidance and support in relation to my family and professional finances. His expertise, understanding and, above all, candour has proved invaluable throughout this time.

Matt Nicholls
Chief Executive, Grand Union Limited

Michael’s presentation at the Moor Park Business Club was top class. Apart from my own views, I sat next to an IFA who was nodding all the way through your talk and commented on the excellent manner it was given. He said that he witnesses many similar presentations on similar topics but this had been the best ever witnessed.

As well as coaching individuals in Public Speaking, with an emphasis on Wedding Speeches, I work as an examiner/assessor for a Qualifications Awarding Organisation – English Speaking Board (ESB). As such I travel around the country assessing people giving presentations with view to them acquiring a professional qualification in Communication Skills. Had I been assessing you today there is no doubt you would have achieved a ‘Distinction’ in the ESB Award in Professional Presentation Skills which is at Degree level. Everything about it was excellent. I wish more people could communicate in such a professional manner as you did earlier today.

Graham Le-Gall
Specialist Wedding Speech Coach