Pension flexibility: too taxing for many

Recent HMRC statistics highlight the over-taxation of some pension benefits. More than one million people have received flexible pension payments thanks to therules introduced just over four years ago. HMRC’s most recent statistics, to the end of March 2019, show … Continue reading

A popular peak for venture capital trusts

Figures recently released for last tax year show the highest level of VCT investment since 2005/06. The Association of Investment Companies was quick off the mark after 5 April in announcing a near record level of fund raising for venture … Continue reading

Ripple effect widens for China investors

It is not only Chinese mainland shares which are now attracting investor attention. Over the past few years, the relevance of shares quoted on the mainland Chinese stock exchanges to global investors has grown considerably. China has opened access to … Continue reading

Riding out investment bends

Professional investor interest has been focusing on US government bond yields, with potential lessons for long term investment. On 22 March the US stock market caught a sudden – and brief – chill. One of the main reasons was the … Continue reading

Doctors tapering off as pension tax rules bite

Measures designed to limit the cost of pensions tax relief to the Treasury are having some unwelcome consequences, as some senior doctors have found their incomes disappearing. Some members of the medical profession have found changes to legislation mean their … Continue reading

How long do you want to work…?

As people are living longer, a parallel older-age profile is emerging in the labour force. Labour market statistics for the period December 2018 to February 2019 revealed some impressive results. In the UK, employment of those aged 16–64 was running … Continue reading

The lesson from the loan tax charge

The controversy surrounding the loan charge deadline is a reminder of the dangers of aggressive tax planning. If you were offered a way of being paid a ‘salary’ that involved no income tax and no national insurance contributions (NICs), what … Continue reading

China emerges on to the investment stage

The importance of China’s stock market is set to quadruple in 2019. China has been at the forefront of the headlines recently, whether about the protracted trade dispute with the US, the alleged dangers of using Huawei’s 5G equipment or … Continue reading

Living longer, but…

A recent report shows that life expectancy is still improving, but not as quickly as was once expected. “British life expectancy falls by SIX MONTHS for men and women” That was one recent headline in response to the latest report … Continue reading

Happy 20th birthday

6 April marks the 20th birthday of the Individual Savings Account (ISA). When the ISA was introduced in 1999, many thought it to be little more than a rebranding of the two schemes it replaced: the Personal Equity Plan (PEP) … Continue reading

An overshadowed Spring Statement

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement was almost obscured by other events in mid-March. Ever since he announced a move to an Autumn Budget in 2016, Mr Hammond has made it clear that he wanted to avoid the Spring Statement counterpart becoming … Continue reading

Check your April pay slip

Your April pay may look much the same as March’s, but it is worth giving your pay slip a close look. If you are an employee, your April pay slip is always worth checking, even if you pay little attention … Continue reading

One more twist on buy to let

Buy-to-let investors will be hit by another notch up of the tax ratchet. Source Nationwide When George Osborne announced in his summer 2015 Budget a variety of tax changes aimed at discouraging buy-to-let (BTL) investment, they came as a surprise. … Continue reading

The rise and rise of UK dividends

Dividend payments from UK companies in 2018 once again outpaced annual inflation. Your income could have increased by more than double the rate of CPI inflation in 2018. Link Asset Services, a leading share registrar, reported a 5.1% growth in … Continue reading