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Autumn Statement 2013: tax changes

Tax break for married couples announced

Osborne - tax

In his fourth Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced a range of tax changes to try and help struggling consumers, including the introduction of a tax break for married couples.

Mr Osborne confirmed that the tax-free personal allowance will increase from £9,440 to £10,000 from April 2014 and revealed new proposals to crack down on tax evasion.

Go further: Tax-free income and allowances – learn more about your personal allowance

Tax break for married couples

Currently, couples are not permitted to share their respective personal allowance, so if one partner has income below this level any remaining allowance is ‘wasted.’

However, under new proposals confirmed today, married couples and civil partners will be able to transfer up to £1,000 of their unused personal tax-free allowance from April 2015. It’s a move that could benefit four million couples and give basic-rate taxpayers a saving of up to £200 a year. 

The chancellor added that the transferrable amount will be automatically increased in line with increases in the personal allowance.

Go further: Married couples allowances – read about the details when the announcement was made

Capital gains tax for overseas property sellers

The chancellor announced the largest ever package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, fraud and error, which he predicted would raise more than £9bn over next five years.

In an additional tax-raising measure, from April 2015, non-UK residents who own a property here will have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) when they sell.

Go further: Capital gains explained – find out when and how much you pay

‘Backing British business’

To help small and medium sized businesses, Mr Osborne announced that the inflation increase in business rates for all premises will be capped at 2% from next April and that businesses will be allowed to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments.

Small retail business will also benefit from a £1,000 discount on their bill.

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