CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond set his sights on younger voters in the first Autumn Budget with a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.

There were few other tax giveaways in a speech that trumpeted extra spending for the NHS, teacher training and the nation’s infrastructure.

But, as always, the devil was in the detail.

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A close look at the Budget documents revealed a number of measures that could affect your finances in the coming year.

Even if these don’t affect you directly, we would urge you to make sure you make the most of the tax allowances that already exist.

Some of the things Mr Hammond didn’t change are as important as those he did.

A stamp duty land tax cut for first-time buyers raised one of the biggest cheers.

With immediate effect, stamp duty has been abolished altogether for all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000.

The Chancellor claimed that 95 per cent of first-time buyers will benefit from the stamp duty relief, up to a maximum of £5,000, and 80 per cent of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all.

Non first-time buyers will continue to pay stamp duty on purchases over £125,000.

The Chancellor had already said he will raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher-rate threshold to £50,000 by 2020-21.

In the Budget, he announced that the personal allowance – the amount you can earn before paying income tax – will rise from the start of the new tax year from £11,500 to £11,850, in line with inflation.

There was also a tweak to the Marriage Allowance, which allows taxpayers to transfer up to ten per cent of their unused personal allowance to their spouse (or registered civil partner), helping reduce their tax bill.

Having urged the government to stop tinkering with pensions we were relieved that the chancellor resisted the temptation to make major changes to the pension system.

The annual allowance - the limit on the amount of pension contributions that can be made each year and qualify for tax relief – remained at £40,000.

The lifetime allowance will increase in line with inflation from £1m to £1,030,000 on April 6 next year.

This allowance is the maximum amount of pension saving you are allowed to amass over a lifetime without incurring a tax charge.

In April 2017, the annual Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance increased from £15,240 to £20,000 – its highest level ever.

The ISA annual subscription limit for 2018-19 will remain frozen at £20,000.

However, the annual allowance for Junior ISAs and Child Trust Funds for 2018-19 will be uprated in line with CPI to £4,260.

With pensions and savings otherwise largely untouched (for now), we see this reprieve as a good opportunity to maximise your various tax allowances while you can.

In our low interest-rate environment, making sure your savings and investments are not needlessly depleted by tax is more important than ever.

Our financial planners can help you to build a tax-efficient financial plan that ensures you are making the most of the reliefs and allowance available to maximise returns on pensions, savings and other investments to secure your financial future.

Neil McLoram works in business development at wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin, based in Newcastle.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the views held throughout Brewin Dolphin. No director, representative or employee of Brewin Dolphin accepts liability for any direct or consequential loss arising from the use of this document or its contents. Any tax allowances or thresholds mentioned are based on personal circumstances and current legislation which is subject to change. The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. The information is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment advice.