The cricket season may only now be slowly getting underway, but May saw the Chancellor score two centuries which, in different times, would have deeply worried investors, with implications for tax planning.  Every month the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes a detailed summary of the public sector finances, showing how much the public sector…

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The debate about the relative benefits of investments trusts and investment funds (unit trusts and OEICs) could be coming back into focus.  Investment trusts have a history going back over 150 years, long before the first unit trust appeared in 1931 or, later still, the birth of the open-ended investment company (OEIC).The major difference between…

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The state pension triple lock may not survive much longer. The impact of Covid-19 on earnings could mean a change in the way that state pensions are increased in each year. If nothing is done, it could give pensioners a large income boost, but cost the government dearly. At present, the new (single tier) state…

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The adoption in the UK of a transatlantic approach to income tax could appeal to a cash-strapped Chancellor. “…only the little people pay taxes.” That 1980s comment by the New York Hotel owner Leona Helmsley sums up an attitude that many taxpayers still believe to be true. Today the same idea often manifests itself in…

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The second quarter of 2020 saw a substantial switch back from the falls of the first quarter. Index 2020 Q2 Change FTSE 100 +8.8% FTSE All-Share +9.8% Dow Jones Industrial +16.4% Standard & Poor’s 500 +21.8% Nikkei 225 +17.8% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) +16.0% Shanghai Composite +8.5% MSCI Emerging Markets (£) +17.7% 2020 so far…

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When a 75-year run is broken, something significant has probably happened. If you are of a certain age, ‘Keep going well…’ could have you instantly remembering the rhyming counterpart; ‘Keep going Shell’. At the end of April 2020 that 1960s advertising slogan suddenly looked particularly jarring to many investors. Royal Dutch Shell, to give the…

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The Covid-19 pandemic has created problems for the statisticians who calculate the rate of inflation. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), fell sharply in April to just 0.9% against 1.5% in the previous month. The main reason for the drop was energy costs: Ofgem’s new price caps for gas and electricity standard…

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Deadline written on a calendar - July 31

The imminent payment on account does not have to be paid. The last Friday in July is the due date for the second 2019/20 self-assessment payment on account. At least, in theory it is… One of the many measures introduced by the government as part of its Covid-19 programme was the option to defer that…

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The fall in world stock markets has cut the value of many pension pots. Which would you choose as investment performance, assuming a £10,000 investment that would be untouched for 10 years? A steady return of 5% a year throughout the period; or Two years of 20% annual losses followed by eight years of 12.39%…

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The covid crisis may see the introduction of negative interest rates says a recent survey

Could UK interest rates head into negative figures? Source: Bank of England The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, suggested in mid-May that negative interest rates were one possible response to the economic fallout from Covid-19. The comment was surprising because in the past the Bank has been opposed to the idea that its…

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