News

Time to start your year end tax planning

The Autumn Budget may have been deferred, but the tax year clock is still ticking The deferral of the Autumn Budget, originally due on 6th November 2019, created several problems.  It meant that the political parties went into the election … Continue reading

What price our tax reliefs?

When you look at your annual tax statement, have you ever wondered about the overall cost of the tax reliefs you enjoy? HMRC has published its latest annual assessment of the cost of various tax reliefs, and there are some … Continue reading

Probate fee increases abandoned

The planned reform of probate fees in England and Wales has been scrapped. A year ago the government tabled proposals to increase the level of probate fees in England and Wales. The idea was to move from the current single … Continue reading

UK dividend growth continues, but for how long?

Recent data show that dividends from UK shares rose by nearly 7% year-on-year in the third quarter. Source: Link Asset Services The latest Dividend Monitor from Link Asset Services, the share registrars, shows that dividends from UK shares continued to … Continue reading

New thinking for Labour on taxes?

New proposals for reforming capital gains and income tax have been published by an influential think tank which could make their way into an election manifesto. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is “the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank”, … Continue reading

Could your protected pension allowance tip over the edge?

An obscure adjustment to old pension benefits, mandated by the courts, might cost some pension owners many thousands in additional tax. The problems caused by the tapering of the annual allowance have been making the pension headlines for some time. … Continue reading

Blue chips take a knock as Marks & Spencer relegated

Marks & Spencer was demoted from the FTSE100 in September. Source: London Stock Exchange The FTSE100 is subject to a quarterly review of its 100 constituents. The process is not quite as simple as picking the 100 largest companies listed … Continue reading

Interest rates back on the slopes

In September the US and European central banks cut interest rates, again. When the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, cut its main interest rate by 0.25% at the end of July, it was the first reduction in over 10 … Continue reading

Annuity rates hit 25-year record low

Annuity rates hit their lowest level since 1994 in September, with implications for those making retirement decisions. Since the introduction of pensions flexibility in 2015, annuities have become much less popular as a way of converting a pension fund into … Continue reading

Who are the top 1% of income tax payers?

A recent report looking at who pays the most income tax reveals some interesting findings. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a briefing note in early August with a detailed answer to the question of what it takes to … Continue reading

Cracking down on compliance pays for HMRC

New figures show HMRC’s “customer compliance” efforts are yielding substantial sums. In early August, HMRC issued its annual report and accounts for 2018/19. While not everyone’s choice of holiday reading, it did contain some eye-opening information about the “compliance yield” … Continue reading

How do you feel about taking a pension at 75?

Is a state pension age (SPA) of 75 looking more likely? RecommendationThe SPA should better reflect the longer life expectancies that we now enjoy and be used to support the fiscal balance of the nation. The SPA in the UK … Continue reading

Probate delays affecting estate settlements

There are currently long delays in gaining probate on the estates of the recently deceased. Late in 2018, the government issued a written statement announcing its intent to go ahead with controversial increases in probate fees for England and Wales. … Continue reading

A bumpy ride for August on the markets

Stock markets, as well as some family holidaymakers, experienced a rollercoaster August. The traditional holiday month proved to be anything but quiet on the world’s investment markets. As the graph of the major UK and US stock market indices shows, … Continue reading