From an international perspective there was little to excite, except perhaps the introduction of capital gains tax on UK properties sold by non-residents and the usual pledge to crack down on tax avoidance by corporates and the rich.
It was pleasing however, to note the UK economy seems to be strengthening slightly quicker than expected, with the growth forecast for this year having been revised up from 0.6% to 1.4% and for next year from 1.8% to 2.4%.
An end to the UK’s budget deficit also seems, at long last, to be rearing its head, with the Office for Budget Responsibility predicting a budget surplus, albeit a small one, in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Possibly the most interesting point is still awaiting confirmation, that being the results of a consultation published earlier this year on the simplification of inheritance tax charging within trusts. It is understood that the final rules will be published in the Finance Bill 2014 next Tuesday, although for some pre-release analysis, please see our “What the experts said” coverage on the Autumn Statement tomorrow.
CGT for non-residential property owners
Another significant change announced today was the introduction of CGT on residential properties sold by non-UK residents from April 2015. Widely accepted as levelling the playing field, it will be interesting to see what the longer term impact of this will be.
Early analysis is split, while most agree the exemption should be removed, there are questions about what impact this will have on the UK property market, with some expecting a flood of properties to enter the market as investors race to beat the 2015 deadline.
Meanwhile, Damian Bloom, a partner in the private client team at international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner asks the UK government to confirm whether there will be any more changes to the UK tax regime for international individuals, arguing this amendment should have been “considered as part of last year’s extensive consultation on the taxation of UK property held by non-resident entities”.
Last, Mr Osborne pledged: “Tax avoidance measures will raise over £9bn over the next five years,” we also await further details on this.
Come back to International Adviser tomorrow for more considered analysis
Follow me on twitter @SimonDanaher1