From the Private Wealth point of view, we were expecting some changes to Inheritance Tax in particular Business Property Relief (BPR) which is allowed for qualifying assets at either 100% or 50% of the value of those assets. The point of contention was that some estates had assets qualifying for BPR despite them being investments in nature. The focus on the “Get it done” 2020 March Budget was on helping businesses which may be affected by Coronavirus and therefore BPR was not included this time round leaving those with high net worth estates or those with business interests to continue using the relief for estate and succession planning.
One significant announcement in the Budget was the 2% Stamp Duty surcharge for non-UK residents purchasing residential property which is due to take effect from 2021. The money raised from this will help to address rough sleeping for the homeless and help people get onto the housing ladder. Although these are laudable intentions, the effect this may have on the property development market is uncertain right now as it may make it more difficult to secure investment from overseas sources from 2021. The announcement is, however, significantly less wide-ranging than some of the previous speculation around overhauling Stamp Duty.
Bik-Ki Wong - Head of the Wealth Department, Myerson