“The general Government gross debt was £1.763 billion at the end of the financial year ending March 2018. This is equivalent to 85.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 25.8% points above the reference value of 60% set out in the Protocol on the Excessive Debt Procedure”.
We know we have asked before, but it is now getting very close to crunch time.
After the 30th September 2018, HMRC will be receiving far greater, detailed information about UK resident’s overseas income and gains from a huge list of countries around the world as part of the “Common Reporting Standard”. This isn’t the Panama Papers, or Wikileaks. These are official agreements between the majority of governments around the world in a commitment to reduce the amount of tax evasion that is estimated to be occurring worldwide.
We have become accustomed recently to predictions about interest rate rises. However with uncertainties about the health of the economy and the impacts of Brexit, it is unlikely that we will see significant increases in the near future. The hunt for a home for your capital that will generate more than a mediocre return is likely to continue.
This popular bumper sticker remains true when we consider how many individuals continue to pay tax during their so called retirement. Indeed, almost 7 million pensioners have an average annual tax bill of £3,500 with the total tax paid reaching £24 billion (2015/16 tax year).
The main residence conversion trap – could you be caught for tax?
This article is the first in a series in which we focus on property issues in our bi-monthly e-newsletter for individuals and their families, Pathfinder – personal tax and wealth (sign up here). Over the next few editions of the e-newsletter we will further explore the most common property tax issues our clients are asking us about. Whether a landlord, or simply someone looking to utilise property as an investment for their (and their family’s) future, this series will seek to advise you on your options, and prevent you from falling foul of any unforeseen tax implications!
Most people want to decide their own way in life, so why do so many then leave things to chance when they die and choose not to make a Will? Only one in three people have signed a legally binding Will, yet surely their loved ones deserve to have some level of certainty in difficult times and also some guidance on their loved one’s last wishes.
I want to leave my estate to my spouse, but what happens if they re-marry or change their Will?
If you leave your estate to your spouse, they might change their Will after your death or re-marry and disinherit your children. This may be a concern if you have children from an earlier relationship.
I have heard about options for keeping my pension benefits flexible. How would this work?
The traditional method of drawing pension benefits is by-way-of annuity purchase which means that you give up your capital sum for a guarantee of an annual income for the rest of your life. With the advent of income drawdown and the latest version known as Flexi-access drawdown (FAD), you can retain your capital sum and instead invest this to achieve an investment return. A regular income can be paid from these monies and providing the investment return is sufficient, the pension pot can be maintained or even increased. This option allows flexibility over the level of income paid with potential for any residue monies to be available on death.