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Research 22 January 2015

Chrome January 2015 - Tax and regulatory news

Mayor Boris Johnson has called for reforms to planning policy to allow denser developmentaround transport hubs.

Nick Barnes, Head of Research
  • Towards the end of last year, the Government made a number of important announcements with regard to the taxation of residential property in the United Kingdom.
  • The basis, thresholds and rates for Stamp Duty Land Tax were all revised in the Autumn Statement. The old slab system has now been replaced by a progressive approach which has broadly benefitted most people buying at below £937,500 but is mostly more expensive for properties bought for more than this.
  • The Government has finally published the long-awaited details of the new Capital Gains Tax on the disposal of UK residential properties owned by non-residents. The tax will be liable on gains made from 6th April 2015, but will not be retrospectively applied.
  • Changes to Inheritance Tax on property trusts have been proposed, however the contentious intention to only allow a single nil-rate band allowance for multiple trusts has now been dropped.
  • In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the annual ATED charges will increase by 50% above inflation for residential properties worth more than £2 million for the chargeable period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.
  • The Government has announced it will introduce new powers to make it quicker and easier for communities to create their own neighbourhood plan. Currently, agreeing a neighbourhood plan takes an average of 19 weeks which the new powers should reduce by several weeks.
  • New Government measures will require letting agents to display their fees at their premises and on their website, with a description of what each fee covers. In addition, agents must also state whether they are a member of a client money protection scheme and which redress scheme they belong to.
  • There will be a reduction in the qualifying time for Right to Buy from five to three years, allowing social housing tenants to become homeowners in a far shorter period of time.
  • A report prepared for mayor Boris Johnson has called for reforms to planning policy to allow denser development around transport hubs and "selective development in low-quality land currently designated as green belt," as well as development of more public sector-owned brownfield sites. The report also advocates the use of "hard incentives" to make sure the London Plan's borough housing targets are met as well as "strong integration" between housing development and future transport strategies.

Download Chestertons Residential Observer - January 2015