The Con-Lib coalition Government had talked about bringing CGT in line with Income Tax, creating an expectation it would raised to 40% or even 50%.
The insurance industry, products from which are taxed on an income basis, had welcomed the move because it would restore tax parity to the investments it provides and mutual funds, which had benefited from the lowering of CGT to 18% two-years-ago.
Despite ther lower than expected increase, some insurance providers argue the 10% CGT increase does make on and offshore bonds more competitive compared to collective investments.
John Lawson, head of pension policy at Standard Life said: “Investment bonds are incredibly useful as a tax planning tool. For those people paying higher rates of tax today’s announcement on Capital Gains Tax is likely to make investment bonds a very viable alternative to other types of investment. Investment bonds are now available with transparent factory-gate charges, and can hold a wide range of investment funds and cash deposits.”
Gerry Brown, head of trusts and taxation for Prudential International, said: “For long-term investors, offshore bonds still offer numerous attractions and, for certain investor types such as trustees, the case is clear-cut.”
The budget contained no further detail on the promised review of the taxation of non-doms, only that it would take place in the future.
Brown believes the current system, which was introduced in 2008 and allows non-doms to pay tax only on their UK assets and income in exchange for an annual £30,000 levy, has worked well and therefore further change is unnecessary.
David Kilshaw, head of private client at KPMG, said of non-doms: “The Government has confirmed that further review will be on future agendas. Hopefully there will be time now for consultation.”
Louise Somerset, tax director at RBC Wealth Management, added there was a suspicion the lack of news on the review could mean the issue was being “kicked into the long grass” as previous governments had done.
She added: “It was disappointing, though not perhaps surprising, that no announcements were made about the introduction of a statutory residence rule.
"The problem with residence rules at the moment is not so much that a few super rich entrepreneurs may have to pay UK tax after they have moved overseas, but that many ordinary workers with connections to the UK no longer know where they stand.”
There was also an announcement on anti-tax avoidance measures. George Osborne, Chancellor, said the government may create a General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR), as well as bringing inheritance tax on trusts within the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime.
Prudential’s Brown said: “I think the issue of IHT avoidance and trusts is more a matter for some of the exotic schemes you find, rather than the type of products offered by international life offices.
“The GAAR is really a political thing. Several other countries have them and it’s questionable what they really add to anti-tax avoidance. They really just tend to say that any scheme that has its objective as avoiding tax is not allowed.”