HMRC's compliance crack down has netted £34 billion

New figures show HMRC’s compliance crack down 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” – how much HMRC raised from its work in countering tax avoidance schemes, tax…

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The pension age has been forecast to rise to 75

Is a state pension age (SPA) of 75 looking more likely?  Recommendation The 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 is set to rise to 66 by 2020 (Pensions Act 2011), to 67 between…

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Lengthy probate delays are causing problems for bereaved families.

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. Instead of the current flat fees of £155 for applications through a solicitor and £215…

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Stock market prices mimicked a rollercoaster ride in August

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, there were plenty of sharp lurches, up as well as down.  Inevitably the downward trends…

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