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Technical articles

Shifting sands

16 February 2018
We suspected that a rise in market volatility was likely in 2018 – but of course, no-one knew how or when it would play out. That risk seemed very far from investors’ collective consciousness as global stockmar ...

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Settlors and problems with mental capacity

16 February 2018
The issues surrounding mental capacity are ever more topical which is not really surprising given the increasingly aging population. Financi ...

Tax-Year-End planning for individuals

05 February 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Income tax Capital gains tax Inheritance tax Using tax-efficient investments Pensions End of year tax planni ...

Pensions and divorce

02 February 2018
Pension simplification in 2006 and then pension freedoms in 2015 have changed the face of retirement so significantly that their impact on o ...

Seven scenarios for seven stockmarkets

23 January 2018
Global growth can easily be described as ‘humming’ and the world seems to have confidence in that growth, be that trade led or domestically ...

Trusts and attempts to avoid creditors »
One of the reasons for setting up a trust is to set aside property as separate from one’s personal assets. One of the benefits of this is that assets which are held in a trust are protected from creditors, for example should the settlor become insolvent or be declared bankrupt. However, there are limits on such protection as explained below.
2017 Pensions Round-Up »
As years go 2017 hasn’t been the worst year for pensions even with three Finance Bills being published but there have been some significant and some less significant changes to comment on. I can’t comment on all of the changes but here is a selection of some of those of more importance.
Please release me »
The increasing demand for equity release, which at the half way point of 2017 had increased in new customer numbers by 44% over the same period of 2016, shows no sign of slowing. Whilst a wide increase in demand for access to lending for those approaching, at or in retirement, is being fuelled by strong demand in existing usage areas the most dominant being home and garden improvement, mortgage repayment is starting to rise more than any other. We are all familiar with the fact that interest only maturities are driving this increase in demand, there is something else happening which is making lifetime mortgages specifically more attractive to would be borrowers and that is the fact that with the right insight and advice many of the current products on offer can replicate a more traditional mortgage.
The lucky ones »
Do you consider yourself lucky? I don’t, I never seem to win a prize in the raffle, if there’s a cancelled train it’s usually the one I’m meant to be on and don’t start me on last year’s holiday.
I can see into the future... »
It’s that time of the year again where the ‘crystal balls’ are hard at work. The next Budget is in sight and the rumours of culling higher rate tax relief are high on the prediction list. Not to be accused of predicting the same changes as last Budget(s), this time we are hearing that it may just be older people that will see the cut in tax relief with younger people possibly reaping the benefits.  Makes a change from hearing about PCLS losing its tax free status.
Tax planning - chargeable event gains on UK investment bonds »
In this article it is assumed that the reader is conversant with the general rules surrounding top-slicing relief which could apply when a UK investment bond (Bond) is encashed/surrendered.
Charitable gifts and trusts »
Last month we looked at a case involving a charity, who was the beneficiary in remainder under a trust, taking the trustees to Court to obtain information about the trust. In fact, there have been many cases reported recently where charities have been involved in litigation, for which many have been roundly criticised.
Charitable trusts and wills »
Last month we looked at the subject of charitable legacies and the various ways a Will can be structured to ensure that not only the lower (36%) inheritance tax rate is achieved but that the testator's practical aims are achieved. 
Chargeable event gains - Who is assessed and liable for tax? Part 2 »
In Part 1 of this series of 2 articles we explained that chargeable event gains made under life assurance policies (which includes capital redemption policies) owned by individuals or held on non-charitable trusts established by an individual, are potentially subject to income tax. In that article we examined the position where a life assurance policy is not held under trust.
Pensions savings statements »
It’s that time of year again when pension savings statements will be issued. They should be issued by 6 October following the end of the relevant tax year. So pension savings statements will shortly be issued for the 2016/17 tax year.
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