In an attempt to ensure that higher rate tax payers make a reasonable contribution to UK tax revenues, new legislation is to be introduced from 6 April 2013 that limits access to certain tax reliefs. Taxpayers will be denied relief(s) if the claim exceeds 25% of their income or £50,000, whichever is the greater.
This will not affect tax reliefs which are already capped such as Enterprise Investment Scheme and pension reliefs, but may affect “open-ended” reliefs such as interest relief on qualifying loans and gift aid relief. The Chancellor has said that he will consult to make sure that charities are not negatively affected by such a move.
Ironically, this may mean that tax planning opportunities available to 50% rate tax payers in 2012-13, may produce more tax savings than if applied, and capped, in 2013-14 when the top rate of tax is reduced to 45%.
50% tax rate payers therefore have one more fiscal year, 2012-13, to take advantage of certain, unlimited reliefs.