Views

Our latest news, views and opinions for the business, financial and investing sectors, including personal finance.

Why Make a Will?

Ahead of Will Aid in November, we look at the rules that apply on intestacy: where someone dies without making a Will, and some of the key reasons why it’s worth making a Will.  In England and Wales, the rules on intestacy were amended in October 2014, so that when…

Deferring the State Pension – is it worth it?

With the decline in active membership of final salary pension schemes and with its inflation-based increases, the state pension is becoming a more important part of retirement income for many clients reaching retirement. Of course, some clients have stopped working some years before state pension age (SPA) and here our…

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Registration Fees to fall

On 1 April 2017 the registration fee for a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or enduring power of attorney in England and Wales will reduce from £110 to £82. The fee for a repeat application to register an LPA will also fall from £55 to £41. According to the Office of the…

New National Savings 3-year Bond Confirmed

In the Budget last month, the Chancellor also confirmed the new National Savings and Investments (NS&I) bond, which will have a three-year term and will offer an interest rate of 2.2%. The maximum investment limit, however, is low at £3,000.  The bond will be subject to a minimum investment limit…

Capital Taxes: Inheritance tax v Capital Gains Tax

Inheritance Tax (IHT) was formerly known as Capital Transfer Tax. It is worth knowing that the capital gains tax (CGT) liability on an asset is usually extinguished on death and the beneficiary inheriting the asset is deemed to acquire the asset at probate value. This can lead to a dilemma…

Pension Transfers in Ill Health – HMRC lose appeal in legal case

In the case of Mrs Staveley deceased, Mrs Staveley owned a “section 32” pension plan which she transferred into a personal pension plan with AXA. At the time the transfer occurred Mrs Staveley already knew she was in serious ill health and following her death shortly afterwards, HMRC claimed inheritance…

Small firms expect shift in retirement ages

The third Interim Report of the 2016 Smaller Firms Pension Survey, conducted by the Association of Consulting Actuaries, has found that over the last two years there has been a big shift in firms’ expectations of the typical retirement age of employees over the next decade or so as State…

Deduction of tax on Unit Trust interest payments

Since the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance with effect from 6th April 2016, 95% of taxpayers have no tax to pay on their savings income, including interest.   Because of this, the obligation on banks and building societies to deduct tax at source from payments of interest on accounts…

Banning Pension Cold Calling

The advent of the Pension Freedom rules introduced in April 2015 has unfortunately led to an increase in the number of scams seeking to deprive clients of their pension funds.   Following a campaign launched by a Derbyshire-based financial adviser and which was supported by a number of industry bodies…

Self-Assessment First-Timers need to Register

HMRC is urging first-time Self-Assessment customers to register for a Personal Tax Account. The changes to the taxation of investment income (including dividends and bank interest) mean that many taxpayers will now no longer need to submit tax returns but those who are basic rate taxpayers and who have more…