New laws affecting property and estates in 2020
3rd January 2020
There are new laws being introduced in 2020 that affect property and estates.
From April 1st : Council tax increases on empty properties
Property owners can already face Council Tax bills increasing by 50% if they leave properties vacant for more than two years, but from April, that figure increases to 100% – potentially doubling the charge for homes left empty for long periods of time.
From April 6th : Conservatives will let families inherit £1million tax free
Families will be able to pass £1m of their wealth without Inheritance Tax when they die.
Currently someone who dies can leave £325,000 of their estate tax-free. But Conservative George Osborne added an extra tax-free amount that applies only to property.
In April this extra portion rises from £150,000 to £175,000 – meaning if someone owns a home, they can leave £500,000 tax free. This doubles if a couple is married.
From April: Council tax to rise
Local authorities will get the power to raise council tax by up to 4% from April – 2% for general spending and 2% for social care.
That’s worth an extra £70 to on the average band D council tax home in England.
Council-by-council rises will only be confirmed in February and March.
Help to buy changes – new Help to Buy scheme announced
The government has announced a new Help to Buy scheme which will replace the existing scheme, running from April 2021.
It is still reserved only to first-time buyers and will include regional property price caps, which is to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most such as those battling to get onto the property ladder.
The new scheme will run from April 2021 to March 2023. As with the current scheme, under the new scheme, the government will lend buyers up to 20 per cent of the cost of a home, and up to 40 per cent in London.
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