Archive for January 2017

Good year for sterling investors in world stock markets

At first sight, the results from the world’s main share markets in 2016 appear mixed, but that’s before currency effects are considered. It has been a good year for Sterling investors. Index 2016 Change FTSE 100 +14.4 FTSE All-Share +12.5% Dow Jones Industrial +13.4% Standard & Poor’s 500  +9.5% Nikkei 225 + 0.4% Euro Stoxx…

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The residence nil rate band – not so simple

From April, the residence nil rate band comes into being.   It was nearly two years ago that the Conservatives’ manifesto for the 2015 election promised to “take the family home out of tax by increasing the effective Inheritance Tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1 million.” The legislation which starts the…

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The last Spring Budget date has been set

A spring time scene - the last Spring Budget will happen soon.

The Treasury has announced the date of the next Budget.   It may feel like Mr Hammond’s Autumn Statement was only a few days ago, but shortly before Christmas the Treasury announced that the last Spring Budget will be on Wednesday 8 March. In theory, this will be the last Budget to take place in…

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Tight turnaround for tax planning before Spring Budget

The Treasury has announced the date of the next Budget. On 15 December, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised its key short term interest rate by 0.25%, to a range between 0.5% and 0.75%. It had made the same increase 12 months previously. When the Christmas 2015 rate rise occurred, the central bank was implicitly…

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Automatic enrolment – seven million and counting

Automatic enrolment has reached a new landmark, but the path from 2017 onwards could be challenging.  When automatic enrolment (AE) into workplace pensions started in October 2012, there were some doubts about how successful it would be. A little over four years later, few would argue that AE has not been a success, at least…

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Pension flexibility – another annual allowance cut

The Autumn Statement revealed plans for another annual allowance cut – affecting pension flexibility. When pensions flexibility was announced in March 2014, it did not take long for tax planners to realise that it offered an interesting opportunity to “pay” the over-55s. The idea was that, instead of pay which is subject to national insurance…

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The cafeteria is closing – fewer salary sacrifice options

The Autumn Statement confirmed plans to limit the scope for salary sacrifice arrangements. In recent years, the number of employers offering ‘cafeteria’ remuneration has steadily increased. Under the system, employees can swap pay for benefits, which can range from anything from mobile phones through to company cars or gym membership. The advantage of visiting the…

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Deposit protection limits to rise in 2017

It looks likely that the deposit protection limit will rise at the end of January. At the start of 2016, the maximum amount of a bank or building society deposit covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was cut from £85,000 to £75,000. The reduction was a consequence of the review rules in the…

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