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Technical articles

Business protection in 2015 »
Last month we looked at business protection trusts and how, if at all, these could be affected by the recently-announced changes to inheritance tax (IHT). This month we look at other matters related to business protection, as well as protection plans effected by businesses, in light of recent developments. Let's start with some fundamentals on key person cover.
Tax avoidance and evasion »
In advance of the Autumn Statement, which is to be delivered on 25 November, we thought it may be useful to provide a summary of the current position in the battle to stem tax avoidance and evasion on the basis that we may hear more on this subject in the Autumn Statement.  We look first at the "domestic" aspects and then the "international" aspects.
Overloaded! Can we really understand all of this information? »
In the haste to give the world data, GDP figures are rushed out within a month of the quarter ending, which leads to multiple GDP releases. Yet this first reading (or 'shot in the dark') often moves markets significantly as investors react.
The quality of advice: pension freedoms »
The new pension freedoms are now embedded and the providers, in the true spirit of competition, have taken different views on what options they wish to provide. Overarching this however, is the nature and quality of advice, if any, being given to members of pension schemes.
Helping your clients to choose a pension scheme »
Choosing a workplace pension scheme is one of the key tasks that an employer with staff to automatically enrol will need to undertake in order to comply with their workplace pension duties.
Business protection trusts in 2015 »
We have recently reviewed personal protection trusts and this month we look at business assurance arrangements and how, if at all, these may be affected by the recently announced changes to inheritance tax (IHT).
Recent tax developments »
In this month's article we take a look at:-
Mortgage Professional Issue 8 »
In the eighth issue of Mortgage Professional, Gary Little heads up a host of articles covering an overview of the mortgage market, the new budget, the implementation of the MMR and more.
The real value of active managers »
Just how many conferences have you been to over the years where they set up a 'key debate' between active and passive fund managers to see who is going to prove themselves as being better than the other? Frankly I find them really rather tiresome, and it normally ends up with an active manager being harangued for some poor stock choices and higher costs. Yes predictably the discussion ends up around cost which really doesn't get to the heart of the matter. The truth is of course in the makeup of what is actually inside the funds themselves, be they passive or active, which makes the difference. Thus there are both good and bad active and passive funds.
Transfer law has changed »
There has been much regulatory chatter since the new pension flexibilities were announced. Time then, to remind ourselves of what DWP and HMRC legislation has to say on the subject of transfers from occupational pension schemes.
The growing range of specialist mortgage options »
The range of specialist mortgage options available for personal or professional requirements is a growing business and for mortgage brokers, the challenge is how to meet consumer requirements and identify the right product solution. From second charge loans and buy-to-lets to commercial and bridging options the opportunities available is wide indeed.
Another reason to review a will – don’t forget the holiday home abroad! »
We have looked at the subject of wills several times over the last couple of years yet it seems that there is a never-ending stream of proposals that affect estate planning, the latest being the introduction of the residence nil rate band and the review of the use of deeds of variation.  We have looked at some of these issues in recent articles. There is, however, something else to consider this month - which is relevant to clients who own assets in other EU Member States - due to changes in the law which came into force on 17 August 2015.
Flexible pensions: the next stage »
The present government is showing a commendable commitment to getting the job done when it comes to pension flexibility. Those who thought that the original proposals to make pensions more accessible were more hot air have had to revise their thinking. Under a strategy that restricts pension saving for the better-off, the Chancellor has, at the same time made pension funds available to anyone of a certain age who chooses to cash-in (or in modern betting parlance, should we say 'cash out') their savings.
Back to basics with protection trusts »
Now that we have the Finance Act 2015 and so the uncertainty of the changes to the taxation of relevant property trusts is over, it may be useful to review the use of trusts with protection policies.  Which trusts are still suitable? Are there any new developments? Is IHT planning using the Rysaffe principle still valid? This month we look at trusts used with personal protection policies.
The truth about claims »
I like consumerism. It helps prevent consumers being ripped off and with a business like insurance, which is based around trust and the promise of future delivery if something nasty occurs, that's crucial.

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