TT108: Merry Christmas 2007

December 23, 2007

The issues from 2007

We hope that over the last twelve months Topical Tips has been useful and interesting. In this last Topical Tips for the year we present a round-up of the issues from 2007.

Editor’s comment

This year has seen a significant change to Inheritance Tax rules (see Topical Tips 105) which is generally good news for UK taxpayers. The rule change allows couples (whether married or civil partners) to benefit from sharing their IHT nil rate bands. Whilst this effect could already be achieved by decent will planning, this simplification is to be welcomed.

However, the simultaneous announcement of a change to Capital Gains tax (see Topical Tips 104) seems to be a blunt and thoughtless reaction to the 10% rate of tax on business assets that gave perceived unfair advantages to some taxpayers. Publicity about the rule changes focused on their impact on private equity funds, but the real blow will be felt by owners of business assets (i.e. the Barnes Roffe client base!). It is interesting to note that this blocks the rather unusually low rate of tax afforded to property investors by what was widely perceived to be an unintentional rule change by this government in 2000 (and extended in 2004). This allowed property investors to achieve the 10% rate of tax on their assets if they had the correct type of tenant. It is suspected that this error in 2000 has cost the government dearly as property prices have continued to rise, and this might have been the significant factor in deciding to increase the tax rate. The Chancellor has conceded the need for further consultation over his proposed changes, the result of which is due to be announced in the next few weeks.

As ever there will be winners and losers with all changes, but we hope that by alerting you using our Topical Tips service we can continue to keep you informed of matters that will impact on you.  We look forward to 2008 and hope that you look forward to receiving our emails.

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