How the Budget 2016 will affect you

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Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget contained a number of announcements that will have a significant effect on families and homeowners across the country.

We look at when these changes are set to take effect, and what they will mean for you and your family for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is set be reduced from April 6, although residential property will continue to be taxed at the current rates.

CGT – which is a levy on the gain an individual makes when you sell an asset - has gone up in value, and will be paid at a basic or higher rate depending on the rate of Income Tax that an individual pays.

From April 2016, the higher rate of CGT is set to be cut from 28 per cent to 20 per cent, while the basic rate will be slashed from 18 per cent to 10 per cent.

Additionally, there will be an eight percentage point surcharge that must be paid on residential property as well as carried interest, which is the share of profits or gains that are paid to asset managers.

It is worth noting that CGT on residential property does not apply to a main home, but only to additional properties, such as one that you own and then rent out.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

The extra three percentage points of stamp duty announced in the Autumn Statement will still apply to additional homes worth over £125,000 from April 1, despite fears of a further increase.

For those who felt they were caught out by the initial legislation, the grace period during which anyone who has an overlap between two properties can claim a refund on the higher rates has also been extended to 36 months, from an originally proposed 18 months.

Our new infographic looks at what additional homeowners can expect to pay in Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Insurance and protection

More funding is set to be made available to protect homes and businesses from flooding, including new defences in Leeds, York, Calder Valley and Cumbria, and maintenance of existing defences.

This is set to be paid for by the Insurance Premium Tax - a tax on general insurance premiums, including home insurance, car insurance and travel insurance.

There are currently two rate bands, with a standard rate of 9.5 per cent, which was increased from 6 per cent last November, affecting tens of millions of insurance customers and being labelled a ‘stealth tax’ by some critics.

The Chancellor announced that the standard rate is set to rise again from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent to cover the cost of new flooding prevention, though this was far less than the hike to 12.5 per cent that had been expected.

Lifetime ISA

A new £4,000 ISA has been launched that UK adults can either use to save toward their retirement, or to buy their first home.

From April 2017, anyone under the age of 40 will be able to open a Lifetime ISA and save a maximum of £4,000 each year, with savers receiving a 25 per cent bonus from the government on the funds.

Money that is put into this account can be saved until the person is over 60 and used as retirement income or, alternatively, can be withdrawn and used by first-time buyers, as long as it is put towards buying their first home.

The total amount that can be saved each year into all ISAs will also be increased from £15,240 to £20,000 from April 2017. Further information is contained in our Help to Buy guide.

Everything else

Some other key news from the Budget was that fuel duty will be frozen in 2016-2017 for the sixth consecutive year, which means that the cost of filling up the family car will remain the same.

The personal allowance is rising again, meaning the amount of income a person can earn before they start paying income tax will move from its current £10,600 to £11,000 this year, and then to £11,500 in April 2017.

The point at which people pay the higher rate of Income Tax will also increase from £42,385 to £43,000 in 2016 and to £45,000 in April 2017.

The Chancellor also announced that from April 2017, there will be two new tax-free allowances of £1,000 being introduced - one of which is for selling goods or providing a service, and the other of which is for income from property.

Finally, those with a sweet tooth are likely to be affected by the Budget, as the long-rumoured sugar tax is finally being brought into force.

From April 2018, drinks companies will have to pay a levy on drinks with total sugar content above 5 grams per 100 ml, while those with 8 grams per 100 ml or more will pay an even higher rate - a cost that is likely to be at least partially passed on to the consumer.