First, for individuals:
1. ISAs are becoming simpler, and the annual tax-free limit is rising to £15,000 in July. Savers will be allowed to save the maximum amount in cash, instead of splitting their money between cash and stocks and shares – sure to be a popular move. If you don’t already have an ISA, this is the perfect opportunity. Talk to us for advice.
2. Junior ISAs will see an increase in the annual tax-free limit to £4,000 per year. A good way to get the younger ones in your family engaged with saving!
3. A new pensioner bond from National Savings & Investments will allow those aged 65 and over to save up to £10,000 at better interest rates than currently available on the market – a figure of 4.0% for a three-year bond has been indicated. If you’re eligible and have the wherewithal to save, take advantage of this.
4. Pension policies are changing from April 2015, giving those who retire more freedom in how and when to spend their pension pot. Read our blog post for more details.
5. The cap on Premium Bonds will rise to £40,000 in June, and to £50,000 next year, and an extra monthly draw of £1m has been announced. Could they be a good option for you? Talk to us to find out.
6. The Help To Buy scheme has been extended until 2020. It’s making home ownership possible for many who might have considered it out of their reach. Read our blog post to find out more.
7. Personal allowances are increasing. The tax-free personal allowance will rise to £10,500. For higher earners, the 40p threshold will rise to £41,865 next month and to £42,285 next year.
8. Duty won’t be increasing on fuel; nor will duty on spirits or cider. Beer will see a cut in duty of 1p per pint. Smokers will continue to be penalised, this time with an increase in duty 2% above the rate of inflation.
Hopefully this will leave you with a little more in your pocket! This BBC budget calculator could give you an idea of what you could be gaining, or losing, from the Budget.
There are also some important announcements for businesses:
9. Company-owned homes will be liable for tax if worth £500,000 or more (it has been £2m). If this affects your plans, talk to us for help assessing your ownership and mortgage options.
10. Business owners can benefit from an increase in the 100% tax allowance for investment, which rises to £500,000 per year and runs until the end of 2015.
11. Export is being encouraged, with up to £3bn of loans available to help overseas buyers to purchase from UK exporters.
12. Manufacturers will benefit from a £7bn package to cut energy bills, due to changes in taxation on fossil fuels.
These announcements mean it could be a good time to think about developing your business further. We help businesses as well as individuals; so if you need advice on pension auto-enrolment, group insurance schemes, or private healthcare benefits, give us a call.