Tax changes for family lawyers

Tax changes for family lawyers

Family analysis: As fuller details of the headline announcements in the Chancellor's Budget 2016 become available, Sarah Deeks, tax editor for Butterworths Family Law Service, summarises the key changes family lawyers need to be aware of and provides a reminder of tax provisions included in previous Budgets that will come into effect on 6 April 2016.

Original news

Budget 2016

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne gave his eighth Budget on 16 March 2016. The Budget contains a number of tax announcements of relevance to family lawyers on capital gains tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Of greater significance are the numerous tax changes announced in previous Budgets that come into effect on 6 April 2016, particularly those regarding the tax treatment of savings income and pensions.

What are the key changes regarding income tax?

Income tax rates and thresholds

The rates of income tax for the duration of the Parliament in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are a basic rate of 20%, higher rate of 40% and an additional rate of 45%. In 2016/17 the basic rate threshold is £32,000. In 2017/18 it will be £33,500 and not £32,400 as announced in Summer Budget 2015.

From 6 April 2016 taxpayers whose main residence is in Scotland pay a reduced rate of UK income tax on earned income and pensions plus Scottish income tax. For 2016/17 the combination of the UK and Scottish rates results in taxpayers paying the same basic, higher and additional rates as the rest of the UK. From 6 April 2017 the main rates of income tax will be separated into three categories so that the ‘English Votes for English Laws’ (EVEL) procedure precludes Scottish MPs from voting on the main UK tax rate.


From 6 April 2016, a dividend nil rate set at £5,000 in 2016/17 replaces the previous system of dividend tax credits. It enables all individuals to receive up to £5,000 of dividend income tax-free. Where dividend income exceeds the dividend

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