Pensions, transfers, death benefits and inheritance tax

The Supreme Court has handed down a long-awaited decision on a complex case. Mrs Staveley died in December 2006, but it was only in August 2020 that the Supreme Court settled the question of the extent of any inheritance tax … Continue reading

Who pays capital gains tax?

HMRC has published some interesting research into capital gains tax (CGT). Here are three CGT questions for you to ponder: How many individuals made enough capital gains in 2018/19 to face a CGT bill? The answer is just 256,000, according … Continue reading

A new season, a new Budget

As autumn arrives, the next Budget is not far away. 2020 will see something that normally only occurs when an election is imminent: two Budgets in one calendar year. The last Budget, on 11 March, now belongs to a different … Continue reading

Dividends fall by over 50%

Dividends paid by UK companies dropped dramatically in the second quarter of the year. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on dividend payments has been highlighted by recent research from Link Asset Services, one of the leading UK company registrars. … Continue reading

Capital gains tax comes under review

The Chancellor has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to review capital gains tax. Within a week of giving his Summer Statement, the Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) asking it to “undertake a review of capital … Continue reading

Inheritance disputes

More arguments about wills are reaching the High Court. A recent report from the Ministry of Justice revealed that, last year in England and Wales, 188 cases involving contested wills were heard in the High Court, an increase of nearly … Continue reading

So much cash, so little interest…

The latest statistics on ISAs have emerged, showing nearly £270bn is held in cash. Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) reached their 20th birthday in April last year. Somewhat belatedly, HMRC has now issued ISA statistics up to April 2019. These reveal … Continue reading

Summer stamp duty changes

The Chancellor’s Summer Statement introduced temporary changes in stamp duty land tax on homes, which prompted similar – but not identical – changes in Scotland and Wales. In his Statement on 8 July, the Chancellor raised the starting point for … Continue reading

Bounce back quarter

The second quarter of 2020 saw a substantial switch back from the falls of the first quarter. Index 2020 Q2 Change FTSE 100 +8.8% FTSE All-Share +9.8% Dow Jones Industrial +16.4% Standard & Poor’s 500 +21.8% Nikkei 225 +17.8% Euro … Continue reading

Accumulated runs: two tricky hundreds

The cricket season may only now be slowly getting underway, but May saw the Chancellor score two centuries which, in different times, would have deeply worried investors. Every month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes a detailed summary of … Continue reading

An alternative tax

The adoption in the UK of a transatlantic approach to income tax could appeal to a cash-strapped Chancellor. “…only the little people pay taxes.” That 1980s comment by the New York Hotel owner Leona Helmsley sums up an attitude that … Continue reading

Calling time on the triple lock?

The state pension triple lock may not survive much longer. The impact of Covid-19 on earnings could mean a change in the way that state pensions are increased in each year. If nothing is done, it could give pensioners a … Continue reading

Summer Statement – 8th July 2020

HIGHLIGHTS A £1,000 Job Retention Bonus will be introduced when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends for employees who have been furloughed. A new Kickstart Scheme will cover employers’ costs for new six-month work placements for trainees aged 16-24. A … Continue reading

Keep going well…? Shell’s historic dividend cut

When a 75-year run is broken, something significant has probably happened. If you are of a certain age, ‘Keep going well…’ could have you instantly remembering the rhyming counterpart; ‘Keep going Shell’. At the end of April 2020 that 1960s … Continue reading