Tax Day 2021

The Spring Budget on 3 March was not the end of the taxing story. The run up to the March Budget was accompanied by much press speculation about changes to capital gains tax (CGT), inheritance tax (IHT) and pension tax relief. The first two had been the subject of reports from the Office of Tax…

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ESG comes into its own

ESG is an important factor in investment decisions

Three letters, ESG, have become a major driving force in investment decisions.  ESG – environmental, social and governance – considerations are playing an ever-increasing role in investment decisions. What used to be classed as ethical investment, socially responsible investment (SRI) and green investment have now to some extent merged under the ESG banner. The table…

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Should you incorporate?

The planned increase in corporation tax has changed some of the mathematics on incorporation. The Budget announced a significant change to corporation tax from 2023:  Small companies, with profits of up to £50,000, would continue to pay the tax at the current rate of 19%, subject to adjustments for associated companies and financial periods of…

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Global dividends in 2020

A recent report showed that global dividend payments held up much better than those in the UK in 2020.  For investors in UK shares and funds investing in UK companies, 2020 was a grim year when it came to dividends. The pandemic cast a long shadow over the pay outs to investors:  Early on, the…

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The twenty-year IHT freeze

The freeze on the inheritance tax (IHT) nil rate band will mean more tax from more estates.   In March 2006 the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced that the IHT nil rate band for 2009/10 would be £325,000. Announcing the change over three years before it would happen was seen by some as a political tactic,…

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NMPA: Were you born after 5 April 1971?

Plans are in hand to raise the normal minimum pension age or NMPA

A new consultation paper has set out more details of an increase in the normal minimum retirement age or NMPA.   In February the Treasury and HMRC published a consultation paper on implementing an increase in the normal minimum pension age (NMPA) from 55 to 57. The NMPA sets the earliest age at which retirement benefits (lump…

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UK interest rates quadruple in two months

Government bond interest rates quadruple in January and February.

The UK base rate may be stuck at 0.1%, but there is interest rate movement elsewhere.  The Bank of England has kept its base rate below 1% for over 12 years now. The rate first dropped to 0.5% on 5 March 2009, during the financial crisis. It did briefly rise to the dizzying heights of…

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CPI – Inflation at a turning point?

Inflation measured by the CPI may be set to return

We could see a jump in inflation soon. The pandemic has posed problems for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) when it comes to calculating the rate of inflation. For example: How do you measure the price of an item or service when a lockdown means it is not for sale? Two good examples are the…

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Pensions lifetime allowance devaluation continues

The The Budget announced a five-year freeze to the standard lifetime allowance or SLA

The Budget announced a five-year freeze to the standard lifetime allowance for pensions. The standard lifetime allowance (SLA) is an important pensions number. It effectively sets the maximum tax efficient value of all your retirement benefits, in the absence of any legislative protections (of which there are many). To the extent that the SLA is…

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