Tax and Financial Planning

  • Are You a Sophisticated Investor?

    In March 2005, the rules relating to approaching people regarding financial promotions were relaxed so that so called ‘sophisticated investors’ and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) could be more easily approached with a view to making...
  • Avoiding Inheritance Tax with Discounted Gift Schemes

    Inheritance tax (IHT) is payable at 40 per cent on the net value of a person’s estate above £325,000 (the nil rate band for 2013/14 and 2014/15). It affects an increasing number of people owing to the rise in house prices in recent years. One...
  • Capital Gains Tax for Owners of Two Homes

    Ownership of two homes in the UK is becoming more commonplace as couples who both own houses marry, houses are inherited, parents buy houses for their children to live in, or people just buy a place in the country, either to let or to escape to at weekends. ...
  • Equity Release

    Managing an active retirement can present significant problems for the many people who are blessed with good health but cursed by the effects of the poor performance of pension funds and low annuity rates over the last two decades. This combination of...
  • Fiscal Help for your Student Children

    If you have children going away to university there are money saving options worth considering, if you are in a position to take advantage of them. The cost of accommodation is a financial burden for any student. If you can provide funds to buy a home near...
  • HMRC Guidance on Tax Residence

    Following changes in the tax legislation governing the income tax payable by non-domiciliaries, and some relevant tax cases, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have issued a guidance booklet (HMRC 6) . This replaces the old guidance, which was contained in...
  • How Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages Work

    For people who have money tied up in their homes who wish to release capital for expenditure, or possibly to give to family members, the drawdown lifetime mortgage (DLM) is a possible vehicle. A DLM is simply a mortgage, but one which is drawn down over...
  • How Inheritance Tax Works

    Inheritance Tax (IHT) is paid on your estate when you die and also when money is transferred into some trust funds. Some other transfers during one’s lifetime may also be subject to IHT. The first £325,000 (at 2014/15 rates) of the estate is...
  • IHT Guidance From the Tax Man

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offer useful guidance on the mechanics of the transfer of the unused IHT ‘nil rate band’ between spouses or civil partners and gives several examples of this complex relief. One important point for executors is...
  • IHT Planning and the AIM

    In recent years, Inheritance Tax (IHT) has affected more and more families, largely due to rising house prices. IHT is payable at 40 per cent on the net assets of an estate where these exceed £325,000 – the current (2013/14) nil-rate band....
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney

    In October 2007 there was a fundamental change on the way in the way powers of attorney are created and the powers that they can give attorneys, when the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). EPAs are no...
  • Paying For a Permanent Home Care Place

    Many people, as they grow older, worry about where they will live if they are no longer able to manage in their own home. For some, the need will arise for nursing home or residential care. The cost of care varies greatly, depending on the kind of care...
  • Putting Cash into a Family Business

    When younger members of a family start a business, they often ask other family members to provide part of the necessary capital. If you are approached to do this and are willing to provide funding, it is often difficult to know how best to provide the cash....
  • Should I Buy To Let?

    With property values recovering and market returns for many investments quite modest, the buy to let market may seem an attractive proposition. In this article we look at some of the more practical, but less often mentioned, aspects of buy to let which...
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax: Beginner's Guide

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a self-assessed tax. The onus is on the taxpayer to make the necessary land transaction return, calculate the tax and pay it across. This is a fundamental change from the old Stamp Duty regime which taxed documents of...
  • The Enterprise Investment Scheme

    Successive governments have recognised that the spirit of entrepreneurialism, though deeply ingrained in the UK’s culture, is not really very well supported by the financial institutions. In an attempt to provide more ready access to investment capital...
  • Unit-linked or With-profits: What's the Difference?

    If you’ve ever had a session with a financial planning adviser, you will have heard about unit-linked and with-profits investments, but what does the jargon actually mean in practice? Unit-linked Investments These put the sum invested directly into...
  • Unlocking Your Equity - the Choices

    There is a bewildering variety of equity release schemes on the market and, judging by the letters pages of the financial press, they are not well understood. Releasing equity in a house can be an effective way of supplementing your income or releasing spare...
  • What is Phased Retirement?

    Phased retirement is the term given to the process by which retirement pensions are split into segments, which are then treated separately. It makes use of the rule in the UK that allows a retirement policyholder to take each pension policy at a time of...
  • What is Taxable?

    With the Government seeing fit to make HM Revenue and Customs a payer of benefits (pension credit etc.) as well as a collector of taxes, it is no wonder that people are becoming confused as to which sources of income are taxable and which are not. It is...

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