News

Preparing for the new tax year

One of the few certainties about 2019 is that the new tax rates and thresholds will take effect from the start of the 2019/20 tax year on 6 April. Whilst the focus tends to be on year end tax planning … Continue reading

Happy birthday to tax-free savings

The arrival of the new tax year on 6 April means it is time to consider your Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) investments, which will celebrate their 20th birthday in April. Over the last 20 years, the maximum annual contribution has … Continue reading

The 2018 investment year

The world’s share markets mostly saw falls in 2018. Index 2018 Change FTSE 100 -12.5% FTSE All-Share -13.0% Dow Jones Industrial -5.6% Standard & Poor’s 500 -6.2% Nikkei 225 -12.1% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) -14.3% Shanghai Composite -24.6% MSCI Emerging … Continue reading

Understanding the Child Benefit Charge

7 January marked the fifth anniversary of the tax on child benefits, an imposition that is still not widely understood. The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC), to give child benefit tax its correct name, was introduced in a rush … Continue reading

Filling the pensions hole for the self-employed

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is aiming to expand pension coverage among the self-employed. Pension automatic enrolment has become a major success since it was launched nearly seven years ago, with almost 10 million people joining a workplace … Continue reading

Shake up your New Year’s resolutions

The time to resolve has returned. Have your New Year resolutions fallen by the wayside yet? You know, the ones about eating better, drinking less and exercising more. The problem is they all require you to make a change to … Continue reading

New probate fees to affect many estates

The government has revived plans to raise probate fees in England and Wales. A new, banded structure for probate fees in England and Wales is to be introduced, according to a written statement issued a week after the 2018 Budget … Continue reading

State pension equality means increases for all

The State Pension Age (SPA) became equal for men and women for the first time, at age 65, on 6 November 2018. Having reached this landmark, the next stage of SPA increases has already started. For both men and women, … Continue reading

Index-linked savings certificates

The popular National Savings & Investments (NS&I) savings certificates will be indexed to CPI instead of RPI from next year. The certificates have not been on sale since 2011, but NS&I allow existing certificate holders to reinvest in new series … Continue reading

UK dividends remain strong despite volatile markets

UK dividends are continuing to grow faster than inflation, according to the latest quarterly data from Link Asset Service. Source: Link Asset Services, FTSE The latest UK Dividend Monitor (UKDM) shows that in the third quarter of 2018 dividend payments … Continue reading

The risks of late estate planning

Imagine you are named as the executor and a beneficiary of your wife’s wealthy aunt. You learn that she is suffering from terminal cancer and has ‘a very impaired lifespan’. What do you do? This is what happened in the … Continue reading

Unmarried couples lack the rights of married couples

Two recent events have shone different lights on the government’s view of unmarried couples. As the graph shows, marriage has been drifting out of fashion for close to 50 years. There are now over 3.3 million unmarried couples in the … Continue reading

State pension sees rise thanks to the triple lock

A 2.6% rise in the single tier state pension was announced in the 2018 Budget. The increase to the single tier state pension, and its predecessor the basic state pension, will apply from next April. Other state pensions, such as … Continue reading

Inflation eating into the value of savings

Inflation still outpaces nearly all available deposit rates. Source: ONS, Bank of England At the end of September, the US bank, Goldman Sachs, launched a new online easy-access savings account in the UK under the name of Marcus. It has … Continue reading