Surprises in the Autumn Statement 2014

Nobody really expected the Chancellor to revolutionise stamp duty on homes in his Autumn Statement – especially when the change is expected to cost nearly £800 million next year. At a top rate of 12%, the impact on the market for pricier properties – £1.5 million and over – could be disruptive. But the vast majority of the house prices could experience something of a boost.

For many of the rich foreigners who have taken up residence in UK, the stamp duty hit will be compounded by the higher charges they will have to pay to retain their special non-domiciliary tax privileges. If they want to be in the remittance ‘club’ – so that they are just taxed on the overseas income and gains they actually bring into UK – they will need to pay up to £90,000 year.

The rest of us will be grateful for the newly inheritable ISA. Widowed spouses and civil partners will effectively be able to take over their dead spouse’s or partner’s ISA and all its tax advantages.

And if the eye-watering number of anti-avoidance measure gives you an urge to leave the country, wait until later next year when the kids will be able to fly free of air passenger duty.