Capital gains tax (CGT) will rise to 28% for higher earners from midnight tonight, but the rate for basic rate income taxpayers will stay the same.
George Osborne said CGT for the majority of people would remain unchanged at 18%.
The Chancellor said he had considered taper relief but that it was "too complicated".
A 10% CGT for entrepreneurs, which currently applies to the first £2m in qualifying gains, will be extended to the first £5m.
The annual CGT allowance will be kept at £10,100 per person and will rise in the coming years in line with inflation.
Chief Executive of Assetz Stuart Law says:"Osborne's CGT increase to 28% remains lower than the rates we had three years ago, of up to 40%, before Labour introduced the 18% rate.
"This move is not likely to have a negative impact on the UK property market as speculative investors are unlikely to sell off their buy to let property once this new tax rate is introduced at midnight tonight.
"Professional property investors are generally looking at the long-term benefits and see the importance of the regular income rather than short term capital gains."
Today's rise is lower than speculated income tax linked rates for CGT of 40% to 50%.
The row over raising CGT has split the Tory party and spiralled all the way to the Treasury, with a senior Tory MP writing to the department in protest last month.
John Redwood wrote proposing tapered relief, saying this would stimulate long term investment and boost revenues.
The chairman of the Economic Competitiveness Policy Group added he would "offer no capital gains tax after five years, to send a strong signal to the world's investors that the UK is back in business as a favourable location".
The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has also warned the Government over the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes a 'business asset'.
"There should be no increase unless the Government can properly and accurately ring-fence business assets from non-business assets," said BCC spokesperson Sam Turvey.
CGT is less than 50 years old but since its inception in the 1960s the regime has been changed a number of times.
It has been at the same rate as income tax, lower than income tax, inflation allowances introduced, inflation allowances withdrawn, 'taper' relief given according to the time an asset is held and different rules applied for different assets.
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