Treasury Sets Aside CGT and IHT Change Agendas

Tax and Administration Maintenance (TAM) Day is a new phenomenon brought in by the Treasury to try and move away from the traditional all-in-one Budget. Following the first ‘Tax Day’ in March, the end of November saw another round of announcements.

The government set out steps to modernise and simplify the UK tax system, but of more interest is the response to the Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) reviews into inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains tax (CGT).

Inheritance tax

The review into IHT had made various recommendations, particularly regarding exemptions and reliefs as these can be quite complicated. Given that the nil rate band and the residence nil rate band are frozen until 2025/26, the government has decided not to proceed with any IHT changes for the time being, although the door has been left open for changes in the future.

Reduced IHT reporting requirements from 1 January 2022 have already been announced, and the latest confirmation of the status quo will be welcomed by anyone who has recently undertaken IHT planning.

Capital gains tax

Wide ranging and more radical OTS suggestions on CGT, such as aligning the rate of CGT with income tax rates and significantly reducing the amount of the annual exemption, have been put on hold for now.

The time limit for reporting and paying CGT in respect of residential property disposals has already been extended from 30 days to 60 days. Other measures that the government intends to go ahead with include:

  • Integrating the different ways of reporting and paying CGT into a single customer account;
  • Extending the no gain, no loss window on separation and divorce; and
  • Relaxing the rollover relief conditions where land and buildings are acquired under a compulsory purchase order.

Although less definite than the above, the government will also review principal residence relief nominations and the rules for enterprise investment schemes; however, any changes are expected to be merely procedural in nature.

Details of the government’s response to both of the OTS’s reviews can be found here.

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