Posts by Richard Jackson

The next steps in automatic enrolment

The government has published a review on automatic enrolment in workplace pensions which makes important proposals for employers. Automatic enrolment of employees in workplace pensions has been a greater success than many predicted when it was introduced in October 2012. To date over nine million employees have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension and…

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HMRC v Airbnb – rent-a-room relief in the spotlight

An HMRC paper promised in the Budget could be bad news if you use Airbnb. The government has set out a call for evidence relating to rent-a-room relief in response to the rise in short term rentals facilitated by Airbnb and its competitors. Rent-a-room relief is typical of some of the neglected parts of the…

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Scottish income tax unveiled in Caledonian budget

Last month saw another Budget – for Scotland, this time.  The Scottish Budget in the middle of December contained potential omens for the whole of the UK. The budget proposed changes to income tax bands and thresholds. In the foreword to the main Budget document, Derek Mackay, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the…

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Better returns from National Savings

Fancy your chances at 1 in 24,500? National Savings & Investments have increased their interest rates – and boosted a chance of winning. National Savings & Investments (NS&I) beat many of its banking competitors by announcing a 0.25% increase in its variable rate products. These took effect from 1 December and are shown in the table…

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Venture capital schemes and the Budget

The Autumn Budget included a raft of measures focused on venture capital schemes. The writing was always on the wall after a Treasury consultation issued in August posed the leading question, “Are there areas where the cost effectiveness of current tax reliefs could be improved, for example reducing lower risk ‘capital preservation’ investments in the…

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Quiet increases in national insurance contributions

The first Budget of 2017 in March hit a serious obstacle when the Chancellor attempted to raise national insurance contributions (NICs) for the self-employed. This time around he was subtler in his approach. When Mr Hammond announced an increase to Class 4 NICs in the spring Budget, partly to offset the end of Class 2…

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Interest rates rise – after 3,773 days…

November marked the first rise in the Bank of England Base Rate in over ten years. At the start of November, the Bank of England raised its base rate for the first time since 5 July 2007. Just over a decade ago, the previous increase was 0.25%, from 5.5% to 5.75%. This time around the…

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The buy-to-let Budget headline you didn’t see

The Autumn Budget contained more bad news for many buy-to-let investors which went largely unnoticed.  April 2018 will see the next step down in mortgage interest relief for investors in buy-to-let (BTL) residential properties. The amount of interest that can be offset against rental income drops from 75% to 50%, with a corresponding increase to…

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Abenomics – a different ending for Japan’s election gamble

Abenomics to continue? Not all snap elections turn out the same way… A right of centre Prime Minister calls an election before the end of the government’s term to take advantage of rising poll numbers and seeming disarray amongst the opposition parties. What could possibly go wrong? In the UK, the answer was close to…

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UK share dividends rising rapidly Has your income risen by 14.3% over the past year?  Statistics show that from UK share dividends are still rising rapidly. The latest quarterly ‘UK Dividend Monitor’ from Capita Asset Services paints a rosy picture for income-seeking investors in UK shares. As Capita noted, “Companies are very cash-generative, which is strongly…

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