INCOME TAX BANDS

The 20% basic rate band for 2016/17 will be £32,000 and for 2017/18 it was announced that this will be £33,500. This means that you will pay 40% tax if your taxable income exceeds £43,000 for 2016/17 and the threshold will be £45,000 for 2017/18. The 45% top rate continues to apply to taxable income over £150,000 for 2016/17.

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Guidance on SDLT Budget reforms

Following announcements made in the 2016 Budget on 16 March, HMRC have published further guidance on the changes that are being made to stamp duty land tax (SDLT), and how they affect non-residential property transactions from 17 March 2016.

The changes mean that:

  • on or after 17 March 2016, the SDLT rate for non-residential freehold and leasehold transactions will only be payable on the portion of the consideration which falls within each band (rather than tax being due at one rate on the entire value);
  • SDLT on the rental element of non-residential leasehold transactions is already taxable on the portion of the consideration that falls within each band. From 17 March 2016 a new 2% rate applies for transactions with a net present value (NPV) above £5 million;
  • from 17 March 2016, the ‘£1,000 rule’ no longer applies.

In addition, HMRC have also published further guidance on the changes that are being made to stamp duty land tax (SDLT), announced in Autumn Statement on 25 November 2015, which apply from 1 April 2016 to purchases of additional residential properties, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties.

Broadly, higher rates will apply, which will be 3% above the standard rates of SDLT but will not apply to purchases of property under £40,000 or purchases of caravans, mobile homes and houseboats.

The guidance can be found here.

National minimum wage increases announced

Following recommendations made by the Low Pay commission, the government has announced increases in the national minimum wage (NMW), which will take effect from October 2016.

The new rates will be as follows:

  • The rate for 21- to 24-year-olds will rise by 3.7% to £6.95 an hour.
  • The rate for 18- to 20-year-olds will rise by 4.7% to £5.55 an hour.
  • The rate for 16- to 17-year-olds will rise by 3.4% to £4.00 an hour.
  • The apprentice rate will rise by 3% to £3.40 an hour.

For further information, see the GOV.UK website here.

TAX RELIEF ON SMALL DONATIONS TO CHARITY INCREASED TO £8,000

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows charities to treat small donations such as those in collecting boxes as if Gift Aided.

 

With effect from 6 April 2016 the maximum annual donation amount which can be claimed through GASDS will be increased from £5,000 to £8,000 allowing charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim Gift Aid style top-up payments of up to £2,000 a year.