Budget 2015: Ask the Experts

All your Budget 2015 questions answered

Dominic Coyle (IT), Fiona Reddan (IT), Emily Bourke (PwC), John Kelly (PwC) Wed, Oct 15
 
LIVE: Budget 2015: Ask the Experts

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • 09:20
    Good morning, experts from The Irish Times and PwC are answering your Budget 2015 questions now.
  • 09:25
    Submit your questions here, our team is at the ready.
  • 09:25
    It's the day after Budget 2015 and as the dust settles, we're here to answer your questions about how it will affect you.
  • 09:26
    The Irish Times' Dominic Coyle and Fiona Reddan are joined by John Kelly and Emily Bourke from PwC to answer your questions on everything from the Universal Social Charge to pensions and child benefit.
  • 09:37
    The first few questions of the day relate to pensions.
  • 09:41

    I am a public sector worker in the HSE and work as a nurse. Is the pension levy going to be reviewed next year? How long more will I be paying it?

    The Minister made no specific commitment in the Budget on the public sector pension levy. Outside the Budget, there is talk of engaging with public sector unions next year but no provision in the Budget for pay increases in 2015. Dominic

  • 09:42

    Is the pension levy decrease for the public sector or just the private?

    The 0.6 per cent and 0.15 per cent pension levies referred to by the Minister are both levies on private sector pension funds put in place in 2011 and last year to fund the lower 9% VAT rate for tourism businesses.

  • 09:45
    Lots of questions are coming in on the Universal Social Charge. If you want to submit your questions, you can do so at http://www.irishtimes.com/business/budget-2015/ask-the-experts
  • 09:50

    Hi, I earn €32000 per year. What do the changes in USC and the water charge tax allowance mean to me? My water charges will be approximately €500 per year.

    You will pay less USC from 1 January 2015 onwards, of about €200 and you can claim a tax credit for your water charges payment in 2015, which will give relief at 20% of the payment (500 @20% = €100). Emily

  • 09:53

    Married with 3 children under 12. My wife is a stay-at-home Mom. I earn just under €75,000. Will I still be hit with the higher USC on my salary portion > €70,000?

    No, you will not have to pay 8% USC on your income below €70,000. You will get the benefit of the reduced USC rates for income up to around €17,576, and will be subject to the 7% rate between €17,576 and €70,044. Only your income above €70,044 will be subject to the 8% USC rate. Emily

  • 09:57

    Am I correct saying that incomes over 70K will stay on the 52% tax burden and will have no decrease?

    The top rate of tax of 52% will apply on income over €70,000. You will receive the benefit of the increase in standard rate band and reduction in the lower rates of USC, so you should still have a lower liability as compared with 2014, if you are an employee. Emily

  • 10:00
    Now for some questions on the water charges....
  • 10:01

    How much tax credit for water charges for a married couple?

    Tax relief on water charges will be offered at the standard rate of 20 per cent, which equates to tax relief of €55.60 on an annual water charge of €278 for two adults. Fiona

  • 10:05

    Taxes are to be fair so if some people receive something from the state so should the others. How will people with private wells benefit from tax credits on water charges? They already had to pay for it without receiving any credits from the state and more they had to pay all the levies and local charges for something they would never get regardless. Now those who had water for free until now, will receive extra tax credits. How justifiable is that? Is anyone going to ask the questions?

    The reliefs announced relate only to the water charges being levied by Irish Water. No mention or provision was made in relation to private wells. If you pay for waste water, the reliefs announced will be relevant to you. Dominic

  • 10:07
    Moving on to property...
  • 10:08
    How will Budget 2015 affect first time buyers?
    The Budget introduces a refund of DIRT on savings to support first time buyers. The refund will cover DIRT on savings of up to 20% of the purchase price of the property in the immediate 48 months prior to purchase. John
  • 10:11

    I bought a property in May 2014. If I hold it for 7 years am I liable to CGT on its re-sale at that time? Also what is the current CGT rate and is there an allowance before the tax is applied?

    As you bought the property during 2014, if you hold your property for 7 years you are not liable to CGT on the gain it makes during that 7 year period. If you sell it before the 7 years are up, you will pay CGT on any gain arising. The current rate is 33% and the first €1,280 of gains you make each year is exempt. Emily

  • 10:13

    Any changes in capital gains taxation or deposit retention taxation?

    No change in capital gains tax apart from the ending of a special relief for those who bought property between 2012 and the end of this year and also in relation to certain circumstances in agriculture to encourage land use. No change in deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) apart from a special exemption announced for aspiring first-time buyers saving up for their deposit. Dominic

  • 10:16

    In relation to property developers has there been any tax incentives included in the budget to begin increasing the development of residential housing throughout the country?

    Although there were several measures to encourage property renovation or regeneration, there was nothing designed to encourage new development. The only “encouragement”, if you could call it that, was a veiled warning that landowners holding on to landbanks that are zoned and serviced could face penalising taxation if they hang on to them in the hope of better values in the future. Dominic

  • 10:17
    Have you got a question on Budget 2015? Submit your questions to us at http://www.irishtimes.com/business/budget-2015/ask-the-experts
  • 10:19
    We are a cohabiting couple with one child. Mine is the sole income of €46,150 per annum. All the budget calculators I have tried show a zero change in my taxes & net income, is this correct? Hi, PwC's budget calculator shows you will benefit from an extra €508 a year/€42 a month. Your child benefit will also increase by €5 a month. Fiona
  • 10:23

    Hi, I am a teacher earning €33,000 a year. I am married with a child on the way. How much extra can I expect in my fortnightly paycheck, if anything at all?

    If you are married with one spouse working you will get an extra €15 a month or €174 a year. You will also benefit from the increase in child benefit, up by €5 to €135 per month from January. Fiona

  • 10:32

    Is the tax relief on water charges intended to apply to a holiday home? Thank you.

    The Minister announced that the Water Charges relief will result in a maximum tax credit of €100 per "household" per year. As the charge applies to "occupiers" of a property, the tax credit may only apply to the principal residence of an individual and not to a secondary residence such as a holiday home. This will be confirmed when the legislation giving effect to the tax credit is published. John

  • 10:37

    I have rental income of €200,000 and a pension of €80,000. I am a company director with no salary. My wife earns €30,000 with a pension of €11,000. Will I be any better off with the new budget?

    On your rental income you will suffer a higher amount of USC than last year, since the rates have increased for higher levels of income. However on the positive side, both you and your wife will get the benefit of the increase in standard rate cut off point by 1,000 each. This will increase the amount of income you pay the 20% rate of income tax on. On income above the standard rate cut off point both of you will pay tax at 40% instead of 41%. Your wife will pay less USC in 2015 given the reduction in the lower USC rates. These reductions in income tax (for both of you) and USC (for your wife) should net off the increase in your USC bill, and your net income after tax and USC should higher in 2015 as a result of the Budget. Emily

  • 10:41

    My mother (85) receives a state pension. She was a housewife for some 60 years. Dad had worked until 65 and they received a decent pension which has fallen away as pensions were cut and then he died. Where will this budget leave her?

    Your mother will not see any cut in pension this year though there will be no increase either. If she is now living alone, she will an increase in the living alone allowance to €9 (from €7.70). Assuming she receives the household benefits package, she will get an additional €100 to set against water charges. Dominic

  • 10:43

    Any changes to maternity benefit in budget 2015?

    Maternity benefit is unchanged at €230 a week. Fiona

  • 10:44

    I am due to travel to Saratoga for three months next year for a work project. Will I qualify for the Foreign Earnings Deduction?

    This deduction covers employees working in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was extended yesterday to Chile, Mexico and certain countries in the Middle East & Asia. Fiona

  • 10:46

    Have there been any changes to the PRSI levels payable by self-employed workers?

    The Minister announced no changes to the regime on PRSI yesterday for any class of employee. Dominic

  • 10:48

    What, if any, is the anticipated affect of increasing the tax on cigarettes? Will this lead to an increase in the black market trade in tobacco products?

    That remains to be seen. Retailers and the tobacco lobby have argued consistently that it will and there clearly is a significant problem with black market trade in tobacco. The Minister and his advisers have obviously determined that the measure will deliver the promised income for the Exchequer. Dominic

  • 10:50

    25yo single male on €40,700 per year. How will 2015 be for me?

    Based on the information you have given you should see your net income increase by €38 a month or €453 a year. Fiona

  • 10:52

    What does this statement mean: "The number of days employees need to be abroad reduced to 40 days." Thanks

    This refers to the Foreign Earnings Deduction (FED). Subject to conditions, FED is a tax relief which reduces an employee’s tax liability by reference to the annual number of days spent working abroad in specific countries. Previously, an employee had to spend a minimum of 60 days abroad to qualify for FED, however, this has now been reduced to 40. Each trip must now last at least 3 days (down from 4). Travelling time may now also be included in the count.

  • 10:58
    More questions coming in about the Universal Social Charge. If you have a question, submit it here
  • 10:59

    Hi, I am a retired public servant on a company pension of €38000 a state pension of €2500 my wife has a state pension of €7800. How will the budget affect us? Thank you

    If you are over 70 you will not pay USC. If you are under 70 you will pay USC on your income, but you will get the benefit of the reduction in the lower rates 1.5% and 3.5% rates on income under 17,577. This will be a saving to you of about €160 per year. As your wife’s income is less than 12,000 she will not be subject to USC on her income (same as 2014). You will already be paying tax at the 20% rate only, so there will be no change to tax rate for you. Depending on your circumstances you may be due to pay water charges in 2015. You can claim a credit of 20% of the cost paid up to a maximum credit amount of €100. Emily

  • 10:59

    Savings if any on income of €30,000 p.a.

    You will receive the benefit of reduced USC rates, which should be a saving for you of around €175. You may also be entitled to the tax credit for water charges, of up to €100, if you will be subject to water charges during 2015. Emily

  • 11:05

    Hi, I am totally bewildered and heartily sick of this government. My question is: what is the difference between what I am paying now in tax and USC and what I will be paying in the future? I am an employee earning 70,500 approx, I don't know if your calculator on the website also takes into account USC change. It doesn't seem to. Many thanks for your advice.

    From January your annual USC contribution will fall by €170. Fiona

  • 11:06

    80 yrs old, wife 63 yrs. Pension €35,500 no social welfare pension (retired civil servant) pay no income tax. Do I get water relief or USC relief?

    Your USC will be capped at 3.5% as you are over 70. The USC rates have reduced also, so you will pay about €250 less USC per year (assuming all the pension income is in your name and your wife has no income). As you do not pay tax, the tax credit for water charges will not affect you, however if you are in receipt of the household benefits package or the fuel allowance you will be entitled to a €100 payment in respect of the water charges. Emily

  • 11:08

    Are Social welfare payments subject to USC?

    Social welfare payments are exempt from USC. John

  • 11:09

    Rent a Room allowance has been increased (that will keep Airbnb happy). Do tenants benefit from this at all - if they have landlord's permission to sublet?

    The Rent a Room relief is applicable to people who rent out their 'principal private residence' or their home. As for Airbnb, the Revenue has previously indicated that income generated from letting your home on a temporary basis, such as through Airbnb, is liable to income tax and therefore doesn't qualify for this scheme. Fiona

  • 11:10

    What are the criteria for the exemption of CGT for purchasers in 2014? If I purchase a house today, and the paperwork isn't concluded until Jan 15, do I still qualify?

    Hi, the relief will only apply if the property is "acquired" by you by 31 December 2014, i.e. full transfer of ownership is made to you before that date. John

  • 11:12

    Can anyone confirm what the cost per house is for the new social housing initiative? I heard a figure of €320,000 each yesterday which seems incredibly high and not at all value for money.

    The government has committed a €2.2 billion investment to provide 10,000 houses – i.e. €220,000 per unit. Fiona

  • 11:14

    Has the carers allowance been affected in the budget?

    There was no change to the carer's allowance, but if you're entitled to the household package you will receive €25 per quarter towards the cost of water charges and you will also benefit from the 25% Christmas bonus which will be paid this December. Fiona

  • 11:17

    Is there any word about medical cards? Have the limits been changed? I think €900 gross for two old age pensioners is too low, as the net income is much less. Surely they would be entitled to a net income of €900 per week to be fair.

    Hi, no changes were announced with respect to the thresholds for claiming medical cards. John

  • 11:21

    My yearly salary is €68k but with a yearly bonus in March of next year it will likely go above the €70k for the year. How will my USC be impacted? Is it just at the point that I reach €70k that they then start to take USC at 8%? Thank you.

    Hi, any income above €70,044 to €100,000 will be liable to USC at 8% (an increase of 1% from 2014). John

  • 11:27

    I am single and earn 70k. I rent. I have a private pension. Am I better off? Thanks

    You will be approximately €62 per month better off as a result of the Budget. However, this does not take account of your 2015 liability to Water Charges. John

  • 11:31

    My Husband is on retirement pension of €41239.02 I am on a Social Welfare Pension of €230.30 paying tax on both. How much will we gain?

    Based on the information provided, you and your husband will be better off by approximately €24 per month in 2015. John

  • 11:33

    My source of income is Disability Allowance, Household Benefits Package, Rent Allowance (Westmeath - net €58 p.w.), Fuel Allowance and Living Alone Allowance. In 2015 I will be paying the Water Charge for the first time. My water charge will be an estimate, as I live above a retail (commercially-zoned) business and a water meter will not be installed for this building.

    Hi, you will pay Water Charges in 2015. However, you will be entitled to claim a new Water Subsidy worth €100, as you are currently in receipt of the Household Benefits Package. No changes were announced in respect of the other benefits that you are claiming. John

  • 11:35

    Was there any change to the Drug Payment Scheme?

    The threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme is to remain unchanged. Fiona

  • 11:36

    Will there be a Christmas top up?

    All recipients of core social welfare payments will get a 25 per cent Christmas bonus this year. Fiona

  • 11:40

    We are a married couple with 4 kids. Our income before taxes is 31.5k for me and about 42k for my wife. What will the budget mean for us? Your calculator says a €10 week is this true?

    Hi, your income should increase by €16 a week/€69 a month (excluding possible impact of water charges). If your four children are entitled to child benefit you will also benefit from €20 monthly increase (i.e. €5/child) Fiona

  • 11:43

    Married couple both working (100k and 15k). 3 kids - 1 in college, 2 in school. Company health insurance provided. Own property with mortgage. Own water supply. What is impact?

    You will be approximately €88 per month better off in 2015. This takes into account the changes to tax bands and also assumes an annual assessed Water Charge of €190 for a household with 3 adults (wastewater supply only - the €190 charge will not apply if you have a private wastewater treatment system such as a septic tank). In addition, you will be entitled to claim an additional €5 in Child Benefit payments for each qualifying child. John

  • 11:46
    Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, RTE 1 radio presenter Sean O'Rourke and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan prepare for the Today with Sean O'Rourke show this morning. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
    Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, RTE 1 radio presenter Sean O'Rourke and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan prepare for the Today with Sean O'Rourke show this morning. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
  • 11:49

    I suffered a CGT loss during 2014, and I am a PAYE worker, do I need to file anything to confirm this loss to offset against future gains?

    You need to file a return with Revenue to ensure they have a record of the loss so that you can carry it forward to future years. Emily

  • 11:50

    I earn just under €90K per annum, and am the sole earner. My wife has cancer and has a medical card. Does this exempt my pay from some USC?

    For the purposes of calculating the USC, each spouse is looked at separately, so your wife’s medical card will not entitle you to any relief from USC. Even if you held the medical card yourself, since your income exceeds €60,000 you wouldn’t be entitled to a reduction in the rate of USC. Emily

  • 11:52

    Hi, can you say what the marginal tax rate will be after this budget?

    The top marginal rate of tax for employees is still 52% for employees or 55% for the self-employed. Fiona

  • 11:54

    Has anything been included in the budget to overcome the 20% deposit obstacle for first time buyers recommended by the Central Bank?

    Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said yesterday that he would offer relief from DIRT tax (41%) for those saving for a deposit for a home. However, on savings of €300 a month, earning interest at 4%, this will only put an extra €46 a year into your pocket so is unlikely to have a significant impact. Fiona

  • 11:55

    Will a farmer who has leased his land for 17 years qualify for relief under 599 in transfer to son as a result of budget proposals.

    Land which has been leased for up to 25 years (previously 15 years)  will now qualify for Capital Gains Tax Retirement Relief, so the transfer would appear to qualify. John

  • 11:57

    Both my wife and I on social welfare. Had household benefit package taken off us when our unemployed daughter and our granddaughter moved back in with us putting a strain on our budget. Will we qualify for the 100 euro allowance on our water charge? Thank you

    The annual €100 payment appears to be available to recipients of the Household Benefits Package only. John

  • 12:01
    Dear Sir/Madam, I'm married with 3 children. Both myself and my wife are employed. The family income exceeds 70k, individually not. I'm wondering how to calculate 8% USC? Should I apply 8% to family income above 70k? Or should I not apply 8%, as individually income is below 70k?

    My understanding is that the USC is based on individual income, not family income - even where you are jointly assessed on family income for income tax purposes. So, if neither of you is earning in excess of €70,000, the 8% rate will not apply. Dominic
  • 12:03

    Is the salary assessed for USC gross salary eligible for paye or does it include employers pension contributions?

    It is assessed on gross salary and does not include any pension contribution from your employers. Dominic

  • 12:08

    Has the Standard Funding Threshold been left alone?

    There were no changes announced to the Standard Fund Threshold yesterday. Changes may, however, be introduced in the upcoming Finance Bill. John

  • 12:09

    When does the USC and income tax changes kick in? Is it in the new year, or is it now?

    Income tax and USC changes will kick in from January 1st 2015. Fiona

  • 12:10

    With regards to the DIRT refund for first time buyers, will it be possible to claim DIRT paid on investment products and funds or just bank deposits?

    The enacting legislation refers to DIRT on "relevant deposits", which may extend the possibility of a refund  beyond DIRT paid on bank deposits to other items upon which DIRT is payable. John

  • 12:11

    Husband earns 100k. I earn 60k. Both PAYE, private sector. We have 2 children. Are we better off and with changes is it better to be jointly or separately assessed for tax.

    Jointly assessed, from a tax perspective you'll be better off to the tune of €1,493 a year; if separately assessed savings would be €1,393. You may also benefit from €10 monthly increase in child benefit, but may also have water charges to pay. Fiona

  • 12:31
    How will dirt free savings for first time buyers be organised i.e. will it have to be defined savings account? Will there be a limit on how much you can save each month? Can I move my lump sum of savings to avail of this change?

    The relief is applicable from today and will run until 2017. A limit of 20 per cent of the purchase price of the property will apply and the Minister for Finance said he expects that the banks will respond by introducing specific savings products. Fiona
  • 12:42

    I live alone and am in receipt of social welfare pension. Is the living alone allowance increased?

    Yes the Living Alone Allowance will be increased by €1.30 to €9.00 per week from January 2015.

  • 13:09

    Were there any changes to someone on disability?

    There were no specific measures announced for disability in the Budget speeches yesterday. As a result, any benefit will come from broader reliefs, such as on water charges, which apply to the wider population. Dominic

  • 13:11

    I earn €87,000 per annum. What difference will there be in my income based on today`s announcement on USC?

    Depending on whether you are married or single, your annual take home pay after tax and USC will increase by approximately €650 or €750. The saving is due to the reduction in the top rate of income tax, increase in standard rate band and the changes to the USC. Emily

  • 13:13

    What about people who have their own well and septic tank, can they claim tax relief on their maintenance costs given that people who will be paying water charges for the first time will be able to claim tax relief?

    Hi Deborah, tax relief on household water charges was announced, up to a maximum tax credit of €100. Individuals who have their own well and septic tank are not liable to the Water Charges and the Minister did not mention any form of tax relief for the upkeep of private wells and septic tanks. John

  • 13:18

    One Income Family. €80k pa. Married. Own Home with Mortgage. 2 kids (primary school). How are we affected?

    Thanks to yesterday's tax changes your net income will rise by €55 a month/€657 a year. You will also see your child benefit rise by €10 a month (€5 per child). This doesn't take into account water charges. Fiona

  • 13:23

    What about seniors and widows?

    For older people, those in receipts of the household package (free TV licence etc) will be eligible for a €100 payment to offset the cost of water charges. Depending on circumstances, they may also be eligible for the living alone allowance which has increased to €9 a week. They should also benefit from the reduction in the 2% and 4% USC rates to 1.5% and 3.5%. If elderly people are paying tax, it appears they can claim all or part of a second water charges relief as a tax credit though that may be amended to allow only one form of relief when the Finance Bill is published. I'm not aware of any specific provisions targeting widows, though they may benefit from general changes in taxation and reliefs. Dominic

  • 13:48

    If I am earning 100000 euro per annum how different USC applied on me?

    At an income of €100,000, you will pay 1.5% on the first €12,012, 3.5% on the next €5,564 (up to €17,576), 7% on the next €52,468 (to €70,044) and 8 % on the balance up to €100,000. That's an overall USC bill of €6,444.16. Dominic

  • 13:49
    Not sure if anyone else has asked this question. Is the new tax relief on water charges going to be in addition to the €100 Household Benefit allowance for those charges? Thank you
    As it stands, the tax credit runs separately to the household benefits package payment on water charges. Thus, a pensioner paying tax would be able to claim one and receive the other. However, there are other anomalies in the water charges reliefs and it is entirely possible that changes will be made in the Finance Bill which could limit you to one or the other. Dominic
  • 13:52

    Was there any relief for hard pressed mortgage holders myself and my wife are paying 847 a month and are both on social welfare I receive 193e and she receives 188e + 43e disablement pension a week we have to leave at least 210 a week in our account to pay for our mortgage.

    There were no measures in the Budget specifically targeted at hard-pressed existing mortgage holders. Dominic

  • 14:01

    Do pensioners get the 25% in 2014?

    Yes, you do. The minister said the bonus would be paid "this coming Christmas". Dominic

  • 14:02

    I am on a pension of €20736. What is benefit for me in USC change?

    It depends on whether you are over or under 70 years of age. If you are under 70, you currently pay a total of €770.32 (2% on the first €10,036, 4% on the next €5,980 and 7% on the balance). With the lower rates falling to 1.5% and 3.5% and the threshold between bands rising, your new liability is €596.12, a saving of €174.20 each year. If you are over 70, you do not move to the higher 7% band and therefore your USC bill falls from €628.72 now to €461.02 next year, a saving of €167.70 per annum. Dominic

  • 14:05

    Hi, we are an unmarried couple getting work done on our home under the home renovation scheme. Can the tax credits gained be split between the two of us or do they need to be allocated to just one person?

    Provided that both of you are both owner occupiers of the house, and both of you are paying the cost of the renovations, you can both claim the relief. The tax credit can be claimed by each of you based on qualifying expenditure incurred by you – so you can’t both claim relief on the full cost, but rather on the amount paid by you. Assuming you pay equally towards the costs of the refurbishment, you can split the relief equally. Emily

  • 14:08
    Hi, I am writing to point out an inequality which, if my analysis is correct, I feel is unjust. Because of the individualisation of the USC a family with two people working and both earning €70k would get a higher take home pay than a similar couple with one person earning say €120k and the other earning €20k. Is my analysis correct? If so, what is the effect on the take home pay after budget 2015 for both couples? (Ignore Children allowance, water charges etc. and assume both aged 40).
    All other things being equal a PAYE couple earning €70,000 each for a family income of €140,000 will pay €8,095.20 between them in USC (€4,047.60 each). If that family with the same combined income of €140,000 features one partner paying USC on income of €120,000 and the other on €20,000, they will pay a combined USC next year of €8,594.76 (€8,047.16 for the higher earned and €547.60 for the other person). That's a difference of almost €500, and that figure would be higher if the high earner was self employed (because they pay a higher 11% USC rate over €100,000 compared to 8% for PAYE workers). The difference in the figures is down to the fact that USC is individualised - even for families that are jointly assessed for income tax. Is it fair? It seems harsh given the family income is the same but the Minister has made no move to change the way the tax is applied to individual rather than family earnings. Dominic
  • 14:21

    Married couple, earning 77k and 60k respectively. We are both PAYE, private sector workers, with 1 dependent child. What is the effect of the changes on our net pay and are we better off to be jointly or individually assessed for tax.

    As the tax position of every individual and family is more or less unique - depending on children, private health, whether they're a carer etc - I would suggest the best way to get an accurate read on things is to work through our Budget calculator which can be found at http://www.irishtimes.com/business/budget-2015/calculator-2015 Dominic

  • 14:31
    Apparently there was a clause whereby if you buy a house before the end of 2015 and retain this for at least 7 years, it would be exempt from future capital gains tax. Is this true and are there any changes to this in the budget?
    Hi, this is an existing measure which grants relief from CGT for properties purchased between 7 December 2011 and 31 December 2014. Where the property purchased in this period is held for seven years, the gains accrued in that period do not attract CGT. The Minister confirmed yesterday that the relief will not be extended to properties purchased after 31 December 2014. John
  • 14:33

    Does the Christmas bonus apply to the Contributory State Pension?

    My understanding is that it does apply to the State Pension - contributory, or non-contributory. Dominic

  • 14:42
    So there has been a mountain of questions on everything from pensions to maternity to capital gains tax. Hope the Q&A has been helpful. That's all from us today.