News

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

Inflation dips below the Bank of England’s target

UK inflation fell below 2% for the first time in two years. January 2019 saw the lowest level of inflation since January 2017, with the rate recorded at 1.8%. The data was slightly better than had been expected, with the … Continue reading

Money pouring in to VCTs, despite the risks

Investment in venture capital trusts (VCTs) is continuing to rise as we head in to 2019/20. VCTs have been growing in popularity in recent years, as the graph shows. Nearly £750 million was invested in VCTs in 2017/18, the highest … Continue reading

Inheritance tax reductions ahead of potential reform

Inheritance tax (IHT) will be slightly reduced for some from 6 April 2019, but greater reforms may arrive soon. The IHT residence nil rate band (RNRB) increases by £25,000, bringing it to £150,000 for the 2019/20 tax year. In theory … Continue reading

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