The Occasional Bad Apple

The Occasional Bad Apple

Apple decided a few months ago that they were going to make fairly radical changes to their App Store. This would result in many thousands or millions of applications either ceasing to work or require a dramatic overhaul.

Our own, rather successful app has been thwarted by this issue and as a result the IT crowd that created the app for us have been working away behind the scenes to ensure that it doesn’t suffer from the bad apple syndrome. Sadly, we cannot keep our unique icon or button.

I am delighted to report that the new, all-singing, all-dancing (well, maybe not) app is ready for you to use. It remains free of charge to you and anyone that you suggest might be able to gain some benefit from it. You will need to delete the existing app on your smartphone or ipad, irrespective of whether you use the Apple IOS or Android platform.

Your Next Step

All you need do is head over to the appropriate place and download the new version. You will find an app called “My IFA” and you will be prompted to input a code… which is solomons. Any questions, please email us.

Why Bother?

The app is rammed with very useful calculators and details about tax deadlines, as well as the more important HMRC allowances and keyfacts. There’s a mileage tracker for drivers claiming allowances, a receipt log and… well frankly, just have a look and play with it. Importantly it enables us to contact you directly (and vice versa) with relevant information (not junk spam). This is called push notification and its something that we would like to use more effectively as most of us spend a lot of time with our mobile devices.

Anyway, enjoy our free gift, let us know what else you’d like added to it if you get the chance.

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

Email me to get in touch
The Occasional Bad Apple2018-05-01T20:57:54+01:00

Is HMRC watching you?

Is HMRC watching you?

In an ever connected world, it should come as no surprise that HMRC are using technology to catch those that do not properly declare their income. In essence they are watching you (and me). I am informed that a new “snooper computer” is being rolled out this month, in time for those that are submitting information about their income for 2015/16. Whilst Government departments have rarely bought or invested wisely in computers (I guess suppliers see them coming… in fact I know they do)… this represents a £100m project.

Why is this important? well…. failing to accurately report and pay your taxes is one of those crimes for which you can expect a custodial sentence. Indeed HMRC powers have increased so much over the last 10 years that they can take money from your bank account until you can demonstrate that you don’t owe it to them (I kid you not).

Declaring Your Income

Under self-assessment we are all responsible for reporting and declaring our income. As everyone has observed, the UK, like most countries, has rather a lot of debt and is currently living beyond its means. The basic reality of maths is that either more income (taxes) has to be generated or less has to be spent and debts renegotiated. So as 31st January 2017 looms as the deadline for declaring and paying income from the 2015/16 tax year (ended April 5th 2016) expect little sympathy from the Government, HMRC or indeed most voters.

The new computer system is a way for HMRC to focus attention on those that appear to declare modest income, whilst also having involvement with organisations where money is clearly involved. So if you’ve bought a house (as I did in 2016) then you had to pay stamp duty… where did this come from? (data triggered from the Land Registry) or you are fairly active on e-bay, do some Airbnb, or rent a property, perhaps sold some things at a car boot sale, or have a Paypal account, bought a car… and, and, and… in short they are looking proactively for various sources of income that you are not declaring.

So what income have you forgotten about?

Income is paid on dividends from shares, invariably these are taxed at 10% automatically, but higher rate taxpayers will need to pay more. Have you declared all the income from those privatisation shares you’ve had for years? how about from non-ISA accounts? Auto enrolment (or workplace pensions) has begun for most firms, so this is yet another opportunity to see data about income. Interest from savings (don’t laugh!) is also income and taxable – except for the first £1,000 – which means most people will not pay tax on it.

For what its worth, you are likely to be the sort of person that is worried about not paying your tax properly. The threat or fear of possibly going to prison is more than sufficient to keep most people “on the straight and narrow” yet there will be some, for whom prison is no real “threat” – frankly that’s probably the very rich, who can afford to live outside of the country and legally avoid UK laws… such as top sportstars, business people that you’ve actually heard of or those that are the beneficiaries of mega Trust Funds (so dont own the assets – the Trust does) such as the Duke of Westminster. Perhaps I’m being a little cynical, but doubt that my remark is far off the mark.

Of course our app (which is free to download) has a load of calculators and tools, loads of tax tables and useful information which is designed to help you to not forget to report your income properly. You can get it on either the Android or itunes platforms, just search for Solomons Financial Planning.

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

Is HMRC watching you?2017-01-10T17:06:35+00:00

Have you tried our new App?


Have you tried our new App?app icon

If you are an iphone, ipad or android user, you can now try our new app. We have invested in new technology to help clients and their friends by placing a really useful tool kit directly in their hand. The app is completely free to download from the itunes store and comes with a stack of useful features. This includes financial calculators – so that you can work out how much income tax you should be paying, how much a change in interest rates will impact your mortgage, what your IHT liability might look like and the impact of inflation on your finances, to name just a few.

Tax year information

app splash

We have also included the 2014/15 tax year information, including all of the important changes from the Chancellors 2014 Budget last month. You should gain a better understanding of tax and why we attempt to reduce this for our clients where appropriate. There are also key dates for the tax year in terms of when payments need to made or filed.

Independent thinking

I have also included a bit about us and what we do, as well as links to the website and this blog, along with a link to Morningstar, who provide independent investment research, which we also use to complement the work we do with Cormorant as part of our investment committee work.

Don’t keep it a secret…

I’d be really grateful if you would leave a rating and review of the app on itunes if you like it and can see its usefulness. Of course do let your friends and colleagues know too – after all its a free app that is really useful. If you have any problems or suggestions, please email me or pick up the phone and let me know what they are. We are already planning improvements and added features to make it a really valuable tool, but want to make sure that our clients can benefit from this fully.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Have you tried our new App?2017-01-06T14:39:37+00:00

In your pocket


In your pocket

I am delighted to announce that we are working on a helpfphotoul piece of kit that will fit into your pocket, or rather on your smart phone or tablet.We are working on a new app, for our clients and their friends. I’m quite excited about it and hope that it’s a great aid to our clients. The new app is being constructed and we are working on the title page. I wonder if you would like to have a preview? You will be able to use the app an iphone and ipad or any android device. Its rich with lots of features, financial calculators, budgeting stuff and of course means that you can contact us easily. We are constantly seeking to utilise proven technology where possible and if it makes sense.

We have another innovation as well that I shall be speaking to clients about, but only for those that use the internet for banking and would like a clever, secure way to view banking, credit cards and investments all in one place safely.

If this is of interest to you please get in touch.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

In your pocket2017-01-06T14:39:40+00:00
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