Key announcements in yesterday’s budget include:

Good news for savers, with the personal savings allowance, which comes in from 6 April 2016.  This means that the first £1000 of savings is tax free for basic rate taxpayers, for higher rate taxpayers, it is the first £500.

Increased flexibility for ISAs where savers can withdraw and replace money in the same year without losing the tax advantage.

Good news for housebuyers with the introduction of a new Help to Buy ISA scheme to support those who are buying their first home, with a maximum bonus from the Government of £3,000 for those who save £12,000.

Not such great news with a reduction in the lifetime allowance for pensions to £1million from April 2016.  However, the government has announced proposals to allow individuals who have already bought an annuity with their pension fund, to sell these for a lump sum.

The personal allowance goes up to £10,800 in 2016/17 and £11,000 in 2017/18.

The VAT registration threshold will rise to £82,000 from 1st April 2015.

Good news for drinkers – wine drinkers enjoy a freeze on duty on wine!  Beer drinkers will benefit from 1p per pint, and cider and spirits drinkers will enjoy a reduction in duty on their favourite tipples too.

Class 2 National insurance will be abolished and there will be changes made to the Class 4 national insurance.

Something for everyone – lots of other small tweaks, but nothing major introduced.

One thing worth drawing attention to is the Chancellor’s announcement of the end of the annual tax return (hurray I hear you say!).  This is to be replaced by the digital tax account.  Certainly HMRC already have state pension details and employment details so that makes sense.  By the end of the next Parliament every individual and small business will have their own digital tax account.  We shall watch that one with interest.

If you need advice on the implications of any of these for you or your business, just give us a ring.