RISING COST OF A SECOND HOME

TODAY’S BLOG

RISING COST OF A SECOND HOME

Second home owners face a clampdown over a tax loophole that can save them money by claiming the properties are available for holiday lets. Currently around 60,000 properties classed as holiday lets are liable for business tax rather than council tax, which in the vast majority of cases currently means paying nothing at all. The Treasury said it would “ensure that owners of properties that are not genuine businesses are not able to reduce their tax liability by declaring that a property is available for let but make little or no realistic effort to actually let it out”. It was announced as part of a raft of consultation documents on tax published by the Treasury which also included plans to shake up air passenger duty (APD).

SOLOMONS IFA RISING COSTS OF A Holiday Home

THE TAXMAN COMETH

The holiday lets move relates to properties in England which the owner declares are intended to be made available to let 140 days in the coming year, making them liable for business rates rather than council tax. In about 96% of cases, they have such a low rateable value that they qualify for small business rates relief which means they pay nothing at all.

There is currently no requirement for checks to verify that the properties are actually commercially rented out.

Following a consultation launched in 2018, the government said it would now legislate to tighten the rules. Also included in the series of consultations were proposals to cut down on inheritance tax red tape, reducing the paperwork families need to fill out. The government also published an interim report on its review of the business rates system – long the subject of calls for change from the retail sector – detailing responses from some firms. But a final report will not be published until the autumn.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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RISING COST OF A SECOND HOME2021-04-20T12:26:22+01:00

THE BUDGET 3 MARCH 2021

TODAY’S BLOG

THE BUDGET 03 MARCH 2021

The House of Commons was unusually civil during the Chancellors Budget Statement largely because hardly anyone was there due to social distancing and making the task rather easy to identify who is behaving like a spoiled child. Normally the Speaker has a harder job. As for the Budget – well, it’s a good job I am not a betting man.

The Chancellor believes that support over the pandemic will run to £407bn in various forms. This needs to be repaid if future generations are not to be saddled with debt forever, thereby hampering how future Governments can help them.

I did warn that taxes would rise, I thought capital gains tax would be the most obvious tax to increase. It has not. The only actual increased tax rate is Corporation Tax, which impacts business owners running profitable businesses (with profits over £250,000). Corporation tax will rise from 19% to 25% – that’s an increase of 31%. It may surprise you to learn that only 10% of businesses claim to make profits over £250,000.

Almost everything else stayed the same – but staying the same really means changing. Of course, this knock-on effect means reduced profit to share out in the larger businesses (like those you invest in via a fund) so returns may be dampened – but then this is simply a UK issue and most of your equity holdings are not in the UK now (your portfolio is global).

SOLOMONS IFA FROZEN ALLOWANCE BUDGET

THE SAME DOES NOT MEAN NO CHANGE

Pensions, Capital Gains, Inheritance tax all remain unchanged, which means that as incomes or the values of assets rise, the excess taxes begin to hurt rather more.

Those approaching retirement have the spectre of a 5-year freeze of the Lifetime Allowance at £1,073,100. Anything above this sees the excess taxed at 55% – so more likely. How much and how you can contribute to pensions is also frozen, as it is for ISAs and Junior ISAs. These are probably the “nice to have” problems if you are running a business that is struggling or have an income that has fallen dramatically due to the pandemic.

Your Personal allowance (income you can have at 0% tax rate) rises by £70 on 6th April to £12,570 but then stays at that level for 5 years. Higher rate and Additional Rate tiers also remain frozen. What this really means is that if your income rises due to inflation or promotion etc, you will pay more tax.

The most notable help to younger generations is the Apprentice Scheme and the re-opening of 95% mortgages by lenders, who have been given Government guarantees. There may be some window dressing here, a borrower will still be made to jump through a variety of hoops to prove that they can become an owner (or more accurately, a borrower) rather than a renter, with a 5% deposit. Those that have taken advantage of the reduce Stamp Duty ending in March, have a little longer to complete their purchase.

If you are asking me what I would have done differently, (you aren’t) well there is a very long list and most of it involves simplifying pensions and tax rates. Complexity enables some to thrive and others to become rather entangled. HMRC are due to have a whopping £180m spent on further technology to help ensure you report your taxes correctly with fairly dire consequences for those that do not. I do hope that the track and trace lot are not “awarded” the HMRC technology contract.

DETAIL IS A DEVIL

Politicians rely on our short-term memories, they must do otherwise so few would ever be re-elected. When you cut through the words it is best to look at the numbers. These are some key forecasts that I have pulled from the Budget Statement (which you can see here).

SOLOMONS IFA BLOG BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS

How you view life will likely influence how you select data from the table above (which is all lifted directly from the Budget) I have only shown the year on year changes as a percentage and drawn attention to some of the data (of which there is a lot!). Long story short, we will be paying more income tax. The Chancellor seems to be expecting unemployment  to increase by 500,000 over the next 2 years before reducing, but still above current levels. Inheritance tax receipts peak in the coming tax year perhaps reflecting the consequences of the fatalities from the virus.

The property market looks predicted to return to normality shortly, but really picking up next year. Council tax looks likely to increase rather faster than inflation. Fuel duties will begin to rise, and oddly over the next 12 months, once hopefully this is over, duties from alcohol actually fall in 2021/22 (which I think is odd unless you have all been knocking back the booze over the last year or so more than normal with a plan to cut back).  Air Passenger duty has rather obviously collapsed and will likely return to pre-pandemic levels in 4-5 years time, that’s quite a slow recovery.

Corporation tax will really bite in 3-4 years time. Business rates also begin to pick up, which when combined with loan repayments and more VAT, I imagine that some business owners may be looking at cost reductions. There may well be “pent up demand” and a good supply of labour, the Chancellor is understandably encouraging investment in growth, through new technology and digital business combined with Apprenticeships. It (business growth and development) is certainly what needs to happen, but whether it will remains to be seen.

Every Budget has lots of assumptions about the future, but you will be paying more tax, so use the allowances you can.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

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THE BUDGET 3 MARCH 20212021-03-15T15:41:08+00:00

TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING – OVERVIEW

It probably goes without saying, but the tax year end is something that we are always mindful of. There has already been a lot of coverage in the media about what the Chancellor might do. We get to find out on 3rd March 2021. The reality is that due to the pandemic and enormous spending by the Government (and some very expensive contracts awarded to Conservative party donors), there is a obvious pressure to refill the public purse.

Last year, Autumn arrived without an Autumn Budget. To be fair, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, had already presented one 2020 Budget – in March – and the pandemic made forecasting for 2021/22 all but impossible. The result was that, for the second year running, the Budget was deferred to the Spring. Whether Mr Sunak’s reading of the economic runes will prove any easier on 3 March 2021 is a moot point.

It is equally difficult to assess what the Chancellor might do in his second Budget. On the one hand, he will be ending the current financial year with a record-breaking government deficit of around £400bn. On the other hand, he will be wary of trying to fill the large black hole with the near inevitable tax increases until an economic recovery is well under way. It could be one of those Budgets where the bad news is announced but has a deferred start date or is, at least initially, targeted at the more affluent.

Every year there is speculation about tax relief reducing or ending. Every year. Every year I largely ignore the speculation. However this year, to be blunt, the changes to taxes are more likely than any in the last 3 decades. There are some things that we can consider together. In truth as the Budget is 3rd March, time is against us. Whilst normally we expect Budget announcements to forewarn of rules for the following April, George Osborne was one of the few Chancellors to initiate immediate pension changes. You have been warned. As the tax year end is on the Easter Bank Holiday, the reality is that the last week of March is really your deadline. If you make allowance for slow post, many working from home, the normal efficiency of a tax year end is arguably “not as normal”… so the sooner you take action on anything important the better.

GET TUIT TAX YEAR END PLANNING SOLOMONS IFA

PENSIONS

A change in the personal tax relief on pension contributions from marginal income tax rates to a single flat rate is a regular pre-Budget rumour. That could mean a cut from a maximum rate of relief of 45% (46% in Scotland) to perhaps a flat rate of 20%-25%. Higher and additional rate taxpayers would thus lose out.

Depending upon where the Treasury pitched the flat rate, it could save billions while making most pension contributors – basic rate taxpayers – better off or at worst unaffected. Even without the revenue benefit, the result has a clear appeal to a government that regularly talks of ‘levelling up’.

Last year Mr Sunak increased the cost of pension tax relief by adding £90,000 to the two income thresholds that govern the tapering of the annual allowance. That could mean in 2020/21 you have an opportunity to make a higher contribution than in previous tax years. In any case, it is worth checking whether you have scope to take advantage of unused annual allowances from the past three years (back to 2017/18) at current rates of tax relief.

ISAs – INDIVIDUAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Plans to put a cap on ISAs were reportedly considered by the Treasury in 2013, an idea that was recently revised by the Resolution Foundation in a paper examining ways to repair public finances. As with reforming pension contribution relief, the main impact would be on those who pay tax at more than the basic rate. For most basic rate taxpayers, the combined effect of the personal savings allowance, dividend allowance and CGT annual exemption is to render ISAs of little relevance.

If you pay tax at more than the basic rate, all types of ISA offer a quartet of tax benefits:

  • Interest earned on cash or fixed interest securities is free of UK income tax.
  • Dividends are also free of UK income tax.
  • Capital gains are free of UK capital gains tax (CGT).
  • ISA income and gains do not have to be reported on your tax return.

In addition, if you are eligible, the Lifetime ISA (which the Resolution Foundation said should be scrapped) gives a 25% government top-up on contributions.  The overall total contribution limit for ISAs has been frozen since April 2017 at £20,000 (of which the Lifetime ISA ceiling is £4,000). However, the limit for Junior ISAs was more than doubled to £9,000 in last year’s Budget.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

In July 2020,Rishi Sunak asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The request came out of the blue but arrived at a time when increasing the CGT tax take was being discussed by several think tanks. It had also been proposed in the 2019 Election manifestos of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Sunak would not be the first Chancellor to ‘borrow’ money-raising ideas from the Opposition.

The OTS published the first of what will be two reports on CGT reform in November. Its suggestions included:

  • ‘More closely aligning Capital Gains Tax rates with Income Tax rates’, which could mean more than a doubling of the current tax rates in some instances.
  • Reducing the level of the annual exemption from the current £12,300 to an ‘administrative de minimis’ of between £2,000 and £4,000.
  • Removing the rule which gives a capital gains tax uplift on death. As a result, if you inherited an asset its base value for CGT purposes would be that of the deceased, not the value at the date of death.

That trio of measures, which could be introduced with immediate effect on 3 March, is a good reason to review the unrealised gains in your investments as soon as possible. Although it is no longer possible to sell holdings one day and buy them back the next to crystallise capital gains, there are options which can achieve a similar effect, such as making the reinvestment via an ISA or a pension.

INHERITANCE TAX

A report on CGT is not the only OTS document on capital taxes occupying the Chancellor’s in tray. On taking over the job last February, he inherited a pair of reports on Inheritance Tax (IHT) which had been commissioned by Philip Hammond. These had been expected to feed through into last year’s Spring Budget. They may still do so in the forthcoming Budget, possibly alongside – and complimentary to – CGT reforms. The consequence could be a radical restructuring of capital taxation.

Ahead you should consider using the three main IHT annual exemptions:

1.    The Annual Exemption Each tax year you can give away £3,000 free of IHT. If you do not use all of the exemption in one year, you can carry forward the unused element, but only to the following tax year, when it can only be used after that year’s exemption has been exhausted.

2.    The Small Gifts Exemption You can give up to £250 outright per tax year free of IHT to as many people as you wish, so long as they do not receive any part of the £3,000 exemption.

3.    The Normal Expenditure Exemption  The normal expenditure exemption is potentially the most valuable of the yearly IHT exemptions and one most likely to be reformed. Currently, any gift is exempt from IHT provided that:

a.     you make it regularly;

b.    it is made out of income (including ISA income); and

c.    it does not reduce your standard of living.

If you have the surplus capital available, you should also think about making large lifetime gifts. This could include gifting investments, thereby also using your CGT annual exemption. One of the OTS reform suggestions was the abolition of the normal expenditure rule and the introduction of an annual limit of IHT-free lifetime gifts.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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TAX YEAR END 2020/21 PLANNING2021-02-01T12:02:09+00:00

TAXED INCOME ?

TODAY’S BLOG

TAXED INCOME?

We have all applauded those that work in the NHS to help reduce deaths and improve recovery of anyone suffering from COVID19 or frankly any other life-threatening condition. We have also become aware of our reliance on people, who are not terribly well paid, but ensure that our local food is picked, packed, stocked, stacked and delivered and or course countless other services.

We have marvelled at the amount of money raised by a man aged 99 who celebrated his 100th birthday and was honoured for his efforts. These are all good things, but it must surely leave you wondering why the extra money is needed to pay for the NHS. Blaming multinationals like Amazon is all too easy, perhaps we need to reflect on our own tax system.

Here is my problem – we know that taxes are required, but we also know that the State wastes money. We all have an opinion on who, what, why and how our taxes should be made available to. My job is to help you to ensure that your money outlasts you. I do this by using investments, getting you to think and plan ahead for all manner of possibilities and I use the prevailing legitimate tax system properly.

INCOME TAXED

£2,500 A MONTH – THE NEW BASE LINE?

The Government seem to believe that most people can survive on £2,500 a month (taxable), that’s £30,000 a year. In practice excluding national insurance, that would be a net income of roughly £26,500 with basic rate tax paid of £3,500. I have also excluded any pension payments or charitable giving. You will recall that there is a personal allowance of £12,500 (0% income tax) for those with income below £100,000.

By way of simply showing how an adviser can achieve this level of income for you (tax free) here are some options. Doing them all would far exceed the target £26,500 income, but hopefully you will see my point.

  • If aged 55 but not yet drawing a State Pension. You could crystallise £16,665 of an investment-based pension. This would generate £4,166.25 as tax free cash and £12,498.75 as taxable income, but as it is within the £12,500 threshold there would be no income tax to pay. However you would then find yourself restricted to a maximum £4000pa of new contributions to pensions (called the Money Purchase Annual Allowance or MPAA).
  • Alternatively, you could simply crystallise £106,000 of an investment based pension, take 25% (£26,500) as tax free cash and leave the balance to grow.
  • An investment portfolio will regularly have gains (that’s the point after all). A growth of say 5% over a year on a fund of £234,000 can use £12,300 of the capital gains tax allowance – 0% tax. Trigger a larger gain and the gains above £12,300 are taxed at a lower rate of 10% or maybe 20% (but not if you do these other things).
  • Perhaps rent a room for a tax free £7,500 a year
  • Draw 5% of your capital back from an investment bond, so a Bond of £100,000 would provide £5,000
  • Any money drawn from ISAs would be tax free, but taking say £8,535 from an ISA would take the total “income” from all these to £50,000 and not a penny of income tax would be paid.

EARNED INCOME IS TAXED MORE

Yet if this was earned income in 2020/21 income tax of £7,498.20 would be due with a further £4,860 of National Insurance a total of £12,358.20 leaving a net income of £37,641.80. This is makes full use of the basic rate tax, any income above this would be taxed at 40% or 45%.

The point I am making is that how much tax is paid is very much dependent on where your money is and how it is generated. It’s certainly the case that not everyone has these sums of money (which are likely to have been taxed before). However, this is only the basic stuff and exposes the problem of a complex tax system that punishes those earning income far more than those with capital.

IF YOU ARE NOT A CLIENT

If you are reading this and not a client, do not conclude that the above is advice to you, it is not. The calculations that we do can be complex and relate to each individual situation, never rely on generic information about money, except for spend less than you earn.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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TAXED INCOME ?2020-05-01T17:24:47+01:00

RISHI TO THE RESCUE

TODAY’S BLOG

RISHI TO THE RESCUE

Well – I, perhaps like you have just watched Friday (20th March 2020) evening’s PM announcement. It included a huge set of commitments and financial stimulus from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. I’m just going to leave it here, with a slight lump in my throat, that this is fantastic news. Compassion and help. The enormity of his financial package will eb scrutinised and assessed, but the point is bluntly – a shot of confidence, we are in this mess together and we will help each other out of it.

There is fantastic news for employers, with a scheme to pay 80% of salary up to £2,500 a month. That is a huge commitment. July 31st self-employed tax payment can be deferred until January 2021 and VAT is also deferred by 3 months. This is not saying that taxes will not be paid but giving a very direct and real injection of cash into the system to protect each one of us.

The detail we will turn to, but for now, I’m going down the path of the optimist and if my hunch is right, Rishi has just scored a hat trick in the world cup final… well the equivalent. I hope you agree that this is good news. We rise together.

RISHI TO THE RESCUE

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

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RISHI TO THE RESCUE2020-03-20T17:43:21+00:00

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

TODAY’S BLOG

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

In order to save you time, I watched the Budget and even had a neat little animated logo designed for the occasion. Prior to the Budget I had hopes of some significant pension reforms – to simplify pensions whilst also hoping for the possibility of a fairer tax system, which means different things to different people – I would probably settle for a more straight-forward one.

In fairness to Rishi Sunak, becoming Chancellor when he did must have felt rather like a “hospital pass”. By which I mean a term used in rugby, where you are passed the ball so that you are the last one to face some enormous opponent who will surely flatten you and send you to hospital for treatment.

As he prepared for his Budget, we were all aware of the gathering momentum of “coronavirus” and the global collapse of the stock markets as investors seem unable to comprehend the impact on trade and the current oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. No small matters and certainly sufficient to cause significant “alarm”.

The Budget

INCOME TAX

Rates remained unchanged – so depending on whether you are a glass half empty or half full, if you allow for inflation, that’s worse, but better than an increase.

  • Personal Allowance: £12,500
  • Basic rate (20%) on the next £37,500
  • Higher rate (40%) on income up to £150,000 (but loss of personal allowance at £100,000 ars previously)
  • Additional rate (45%) on income over £150,000

The only allowance to improve marginally was Capital Gains tax (increased from £12,000 to £12,300), which will be of little comfort today.

PENSIONS

The Lifetime Allowance has increased by inflation to £1,073,100. The precision of this number speaks volumes of the Treasury’s desire to collect every penny.

Anyone earning over £300,000 can only contribute £4,000 to a pension (including employer payments). Otherwise, some relief for Hospital Consultants as the Tapered Annual Allowance was inflated by £90,000 to impact those with incomes over £240,000. This keeps tax calculations complex and required, but likely to kill off public sympathy for the cause to simply abolish the Tapered Annual Allowance. If you really don’t understand this, it probably doesn’t impact you.

ISAs

There remain at a very healthy £20,000 of tax-free growth and tax-free income when withdrawn, unlike a pension which has tax relief and provides taxable income. This also tells you something about the Treasury.

A Junior ISA (JISA) has been greatly increased to allow for a significant £9,000 into a JISA each tax year from 2020/21. No real benefit for adults, but of course a bit of a nod to those funding University. Though this could turn into a large fund over time and some thought ought to be given to how most 18 year-olds handle money.

INHERITANCE TAX

No changes

BUSINESS OWNERS

Those wishing to sell a business that they built will now have much higher taxes to pay on sale as entrepreneurs’ relief was slashed. The 10% tax rate on sale of a business still applies but only on the first £1m rather than the first £10m. That idea that your business is your pension… well, think again the new allowance is lower than the Lifetime Allowance.

CORONAVIRUS – CORVID19

Various special measures have been “initiated” to enable people to have some form of basic minimum income (statutory sick pay) from first signs of illness and self-isolation. This is an attempt to head off concerns that those needing to earn cannot afford to be ill and therefore continue to pose a “threat” to the rest of us. Whether it works remains to be seen – I suspect call centres will be jammed for some time.

As far as I can tell today, a few things are in short supply and probably more expensive than a week ago – toilet paper, hand sanitiser and wisdom.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 20202020-03-12T16:59:07+00:00

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR TAX ALLOWANCES

TODAY’S BLOG

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR TAX ALLOWANCES

The government has committed to an awful lot of new spending. But the money has to come from somewhere. The unwritten rule of electioneering is to announce the spending increases during campaigning, and wait for the first post-election Budget to reveal the bad news about tax. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen suggestions of everything from some form of ‘mansion tax’ on more expensive homes, to changes in capital gains tax and tweaks in pension tax relief.

Sajid Javid’s resignation as chancellor – the person in charge of the Budget – might have derailed some of the plans in progress, but commentators are divided on what’s likely to happen next. Some think fiscal (tax) rules will be relaxed, so there’s less pressure to balance the books and spending can rise alongside tax cuts.

TAX ALLOWANCES

Let us not forget the small matter of an election manifesto pledge to get rid of ‘arbitrary tax advantages’ for the wealthy. Unfortunately we don’t have a working crystal ball to know what tax changes if any will come to fruition. We think the best way to shelter yourself from any potential tax changes is to take as much advantage as you can with the appropriate current breaks, while they still last:

  • Take advantage of ISAs (£20,000)
  • Consider a Lifetime ISA (£4,000)
  • Don’t forget Junior ISAs (£4,368)
  • Top up your pension (£40,000 and the abilty to use up unused allowances from the 3 previous tax years)
  • Consider salary sacrifice (employer pays your reduced NI and tax into your pension)
  • Take advantage of your spousal exemptions (share capital gains etc)
  • Claim the marriage allowance (transfer £1,250 to your spouse)
  • Consider your annual gifting allowance of £3,000
  • Use your 2019/20 Capital Gains Tax Allowance of £12,000
  • VCT, EIS, SEIS investment options for those that are more adventurous

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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HOW TO PROTECT YOUR TAX ALLOWANCES2020-02-25T12:09:14+00:00

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 3

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 3 – IHT

Inheritance Tax is one of the most unpopular taxes, yet it is a tax that you will not pay – your estate might. There are various solutions to reducing or avoiding inheritance tax – talk to me if you want to know more about them. However, each tax year you get some basic allowances that you can use to pass on wealth without any inheritance tax.

  • ANNUAL EXEMPTION

Each tax year you can give away £3,000 free of IHT. If you do not use all of the exemption in one year, you can carry forward the unused element, but only to the following tax year, when it can only be used after that year’s exemption has been exhausted.

  • SMALL GIFTS EXEMPTION

You can give up to £250 outright per tax year free of IHT to as many people as you wish, so long as they do not receive any part of the £3,000 exemption.

  • NORMAL EXPENDITURE EXEMPTION

The normal expenditure exemption is potentially the most valuable of the yearly IHT exemptions and the one most likely to be reformed. Currently, any gift is exempt from IHT provided that:

    • you make it regularly;
    • it is made out of income (including ISA income); and
    • it does not reduce your standard of living.

One way to combine the use of your CGT annual exemption with IHT planning could be to make an outright lifetime gift of investments. Such gifts would count as a disposal for CGT purposes and a potentially exempt transfer for IHT. The recipients of the gifts would start with a base cost for the investment equal to the gift’s value and there would be no IHT to pay at any time, provided you survived for the following seven years (possibly reduced to five under OTS proposals).

ANNUAL GIVING

ISAs – INDIVIDUAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

There are five important tax benefits which are common across the different types of ISA:

·         Interest earned on cash or fixed interest securities is free of UK income tax.

·         Dividends are free of UK income tax.

·         Capital gains are free of UK CGT.

·         There is nothing to report on your tax return.

·         On death, the income tax and CGT benefits of your ISAs can effectively be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner.

The overall maximum that can be invested in all ISAs in 2019/20 is generally £20,000 (£4,368 for Junior ISAs). There are no carry forward provisions, so like the CGT annual exemption it is a case of use it or lose it.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 32020-02-18T19:26:04+00:00

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 2

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 2 – CAPITAL GAINS

2019 was a good year for nearly all investors in share or bond-based funds. Even the Brexit-buffeted UK stock market, something of laggard in global terms, grew by over 14%. If your portfolio does not show some decent capital gains for the year, it is probably in need of a serious review.

As a general rule, it makes sense to realise gains up to the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exempt amount each tax year. The exemption, covering £12,000 of gains in 2019/20, cannot be carried forward: use it by 3 April (the tax year ends on Sunday 5 April), or you lose it. Systematically using the exemption can help avoid building up large gains over the years which attract tax. Currently, the maximum tax rate on gains is 20% for higher and additional rate taxpayers (28% for gains involving residential property and carried interest).

If you want to crystallise gains to use your exemption, but would prefer to retain the same investments, you cannot simply sell them one day and buy them back the next. Anti-avoidance rules prevent this from being effective, but there are alternatives that achieve a similar result, such as reinvesting in an ISA or self-invested personal pension.

CAPITAL GAIN

CAPITAL GAINS TAX IN PRACTICE

CGT applies to nearly all forms of investment, the notable exceptions being ISAs, Pensions and Investment Bonds. In simple terms, you want to trigger gains by selling an asset that has increased in value. Ideally you want to trigger as close to the allowance (£12,000) as possible. Thats a gain. So by way of example, if you invested £10,000 in 2010 and the investment is now worth £22,000 you would need to sell the entire investment to trigger a gain of £12,000.

The important issue is to know when you invested and how much. This is often more complicated than it appears because funds or holdings may well generate income which might have been paid to you, but may well have been re-invested. Over time the sums get very complicated.

We do a lot of work for clients that have a portfolio that we gradually convert into ISAs. Each year we trigger gains to move over into your ISA, ideally until the taxable investment has nothing left as it has all been moved into a tax-free ISA pot. This is a good way to gradually convert a portfolio into a tax-free portfolio.

A married couple have their own allowance each, but this is only relevant if the investment is jointly owned. Trusts also have a CGT allowance, but only at half the rate of the personal allowance (£6,000 in 2019/20).

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 22020-02-18T19:01:25+00:00

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 1

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 1

As you will have gathered, the Chancellor Sajid Javid resigned on 13 February just a month before his first Budget. There will be many that offer reasons for this, perhaps some of them will be something resembling the truth, but as they say “a week in politics is a long time”. We have a new Chancellor – Rishi Sunak (who?) … who sent most of us into a google spin. He’s the 39 year-old who worked for Goldman Sachs immediately following graduating from Oxford in 2001, who he left in 2004 to become a Hedge Fund 2006-2010. He became an MP in 2015 taking over William Hague’s seat in Richmond, Yorkshire.

As a result of the rather sudden changes in arguably the most important job in UK politics, there was concern that the Budget may have to be resceduled. However we have been reassured that 11 March remains the date for the 2020 Budget date. We also have an effective deadline for tax-year-end planning. There could be a range of measures announced on 11 March (normally operative from the beginning of Budget day) which could impact on such planning. The Government has loosened the purse strings on capital investment, but in terms of day-to-day spending it has little room for manoeuvre. The Treasury may thus be tempted to make some subtle tax changes to boost its coffers.

Rishi Sunak - UK Chancellor

PENSIONS

More than in most years, 2020 is the year to ensure you make your pension contributions before the Chancellor delivers his speech. As explained earlier, the risk of a major pension tax reform, potentially reducing higher rate tax relief, is greater now than for some while.

One important point to check is whether you have any unused annual allowance from 2016/17, when the maximum annual allowance (before tapering) was £40,000. You have until the end of 2019/20 to use up this past allowance, or it is lost forever. However, it can only be utilised once your full annual allowance for the current tax year is exhausted. So, for example, if you are not affected by the taper rules and you have £10,000 annual allowance unused from 2016/17, to mop it up completely would require a total contribution of £50,000 in 2019/20 – £40,000 for the current tax year and £10,000 carried back three years.

Unused relief can also be used from later years, but once you have paid the current year ‘entrance fee’, the excess contribution is offset in chronological order, starting with 2016/17. Under current rules unused relief can be carried forward for three tax years (hence the 2016/17 deadline), but that principle – and the rate of tax relief – could change.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 12020-02-18T18:46:52+00:00
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