Autumn Statement 2015 – Highlights

Today’s Autumn Statement was not the most exciting from a tax perspective. The predictions so widely publicised in the media did not materialise. Over the course of this afternoon the Gabelle team will be working through the detail of the tax measures, meanwhile here is our initial summary of the tax measures not previously announced:


  • From 1 April 2016 an extra 3% above the current rates of SDLT will be applied on the purchase of buy to let and second properties.
  • The government has confirmed that no restrictions will be introduced on how deeds of variation are used, but they will continue to monitor their usage.
  • The use of salary sacrifice arrangements are still of concern to HMRC and evidence is being collected from employers so that policy makers can decide what action will be taken.
  • Farmers averaging – following a consultation the averaging period will be increased to five years from the current two years from April 2016.
  • General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) – a new penalty of 60% of the tax due will be imposed on all cases successfully tackled by the GAAR.
  • Company distributions – a consultation will be issued shortly on rules concerning company distributions and attempts to convert income into capital.
  • Disguised remuneration – legislation will be introduced later, but with effect from today to tackle cases where tax on earned income is avoided.
  • Entrepreneurs’ relief – the government is considering changes to the FA 2015 ER amendments. This is to prevent ER relief where contrived structures are being used to circumvent the recent changes.


  • From 2017/18 it is proposed that the payment date for SDLT is reduced to 14 days from the current 30 days.


  • From April 2019 payments on account of any capital gains tax due on the disposal of residential property will be due within 30 days of completion. Gains covered by PPR will not be affected. This will bring the rules for UK residents disposing of residential property in line with the recently introduced rules for non-residents.


  • Phil Rees

    Nigel Lawson promised to deal with deeds
    of variation how many years ago? And it still hasn’t happened.