Get ready for a range of tax changes this April

12th February 2020

Monday 6 April 2020 will see a range of tax changes come into effect with the start of the 2020/21 tax year.

Some of these changes have the potential to have considerable implications for your tax bill, depending upon your specific circumstances.

Here is a selection of the most significant changes:

Capital Gains Tax (CGT):

Some of the biggest changes in April relate to CGT, with extensive changes to Private Residence Relief and Lettings Relief set to come into effect.

While current and former landlords will be most affected by the changes, people who choose to stagger the buying and selling process so that they only sell up after buying their new home could be at increased risk of incurring a tax bill that they would not previously have received.

Until now, homeowners have had 18 months in order to complete the sale before CGT applies, however, restrictions to Private Residence Relief will see this slashed to just nine months from April, meaning conveyancing and finance delays could lead to an unexpected CGT bill.

Furthermore, from April, Lettings Relief – which discounts from the CGT calculation by up to £40,000 any time during which a landlord used a property as their main residence – will be restricted to circumstances where the landlord lived at the property with their tenant.

Compounding the potential additional tax bills that arise from the changes is a new requirement for CGT on residential property to be calculated and paid within 30 days of the completion of the sale, rather than being included at least 10 months later on an individual’s Self-Assessment Tax Return. Taxable gains from a sale will need to be reported via a standalone online return, but will still also need to be included in a person’s subsequent Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year.

National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

The NICs threshold is set to rise by more than 10 per cent to £9,500 a year, for both the employed and self-employed. The average employee is expected to pay around £104 less as a consequence in 2020/21.

Income Tax                                                                                          

The key change in relation to Income Tax is that there will not be a change to the thresholds for the first time in several years, unless the Chancellor changes course at the Budget on 11 March.

The personal allowance and the basic rate limit will not change for the first time in several years.