Taxing Stuff,Topical Issues

Are you voting for tax increases?05 May

Whichever party gets elected tomorrow, no new government can avoid the reality that three of their major revenue streams are going to be basic rate income tax, national insurance and VAT.

All main three parties have announced there will be spending cuts, but these will only go some way towards reducing the UK’s massive deficit, so it’s a no-brainer that further tax rises are likely. Already last month, the new 50% top rate of tax has come into effect for incomes over £150,000, with personal allowances for anyone earning over £100,000 already scrapped.

So what might each of the three have in store for us?

PAYE/Tax :
Income tax is to remain at current levels. Personal allowances are to be frozen though, meaning tax bills will rise as incomes increase
NI: National Insurance will be increased by 1% from April 2011 to 12%. The threshold at which NICs become payable will be raised so that anyone earning under £20,000 p.a. will not be affected
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – no announcements on changes to the rate CGT, currently at 18%
VAT: – No proposed change to VAT rates

PAYE/Tax: No plans to raise income tax rates. The new 50% rate may not be a permanent feature. Transfer of £750 of personal allowances within married couples and civil partnerships will be allowable.
NI:- Will protect middle earners from the 1% NIC rise by increasing contribution thresholds so that individuals earning less than £35,000 will pay no more in cash terms.
CGT: No plans to change CGT rates
VAT: No plans to change VAT rates

PAYE/Tax: Personal allowances to be increased to £10,000 (from £6,475), but basic rate band reduces from £37,400 t o £33,875
NI: Nick agrees with Gordon here – and will support Labour’s proposed changes
CGT: Will tax CGT at income tax rates, also will reduce the annual exemption to £2,000 from £10,100
VAT: No change to VAT rate

Although none of the three are proposing to alter the current VAT rate of 17.5%, many experts predict a rise to at least 20%, which would also be more in line with European VAT rates and, whilst neither Labour nor Conservative say they are going to raise CGT rates, it is widely expected that the gap between the 18% flat rate and the 50% top rate of income tax, will be narrowed in the future.

Watch this space!

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