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02nd December 2015

A good time to move to (or from) Scotland?

Two new changes in taxation may affect whether you decide to move over the border and, if so, may affect when you make your move.

Of course in this modern world, all change is good – isn’t it?

When buying a property, there is usually a purchase tax on buyers called Stamp Duty Land Tax. This averages at 2% of the value, but the % varies according to the value of the property. From April 2015, changes in Stamp Duty Land Tax will affect properties north of the border. This is under the 2012 devolution of powers. The least of the changes will be the name of the tax, which will be renamed Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. Depending on the value of your proposed new property, you could be a winner, or loser, under the new rules. As a result, in some cases you may wish to bring forward (or delay) your purchase.

Because Scotland, unlike England & Wales, has a system of “forced heirship” (meaning that certain types of assets must be left to certain relatives, irrespective of what you might prefer), it is crucial to review your Will if move to Scotland or acquire assets there.

Hewitsons is a founding member of LawExchange International. This is a federation of leading law firms in countries across the world, enabling us to deliver an enhanced service to our international clients. This includes those in Scotland because some aspects of law are different there (for example land law and rules on succession of inheritance and “forced heirship”). Our member firm in Scotland is Lindsays and we would be pleased to introduce you to them if you have any need to purchase property in Scotland or wish to make a Will there (or indeed to create a Lasting Power of Attorney to deal with your land in Scotland).

Another tax will not change until April 2016, but all employers across the UK (and some employees and tax payers) need to prepare well in advance. The Scottish government will be able to set the income tax rate for taxpayers whose “main residence” is in Scotland. As a result, employers will need to be able to identify those employees whose main residence is in Scotland, for a potentially different PAYE code. For those currently, or prospectively, living near the border, there could be a decision to be made as to their future home location. For those with a second home, they may wish to take action to change which is their main residence – which will involve capital gains tax planning. For advice on capital gains tax in relation to your home, or a second home.

From more information please contact Bernadette O'Reilly on 01223 532763 or to email Bernadette click here.

For more information on our Tax services please click here.

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