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Technical articles

The reform of the tax treatment of dividends - part one »
This is the first of two articles on the subject of dividends and the reforms announced by the Chancellor in the Budget of 8 July 2015. In this article we look at the background to dividend taxation, how the new regime will operate from 2016/17 and the impact on individual investors.  In the second article we will look at the position for business owners and trustees.  Both articles are based on material published to date by HMRC/Treasury, which is sadly thin on detail. The necessary legislation is not due to emerge until Finance Bill 2016, so we are unlikely to learn much more until the draft Bill emerges, probably shortly after the Autumn Statement at the end of the year.
Mortgage Professional Issue 7 »
In the seventh issue of Mortgage Professional, Gary Little heads up a host of articles covering an overview of the mortgage market, buy-to-let, mortgage credit directive and more.
To be or not to be a trustee »
Many of those involved in financial services are also active members of their communities and this will often involve acting on boards of local associations, schools, churches and charities. A local sports club for young people will often be set up as a charity.  Those who advise on trusts are often asked by their clients to act as trustee and that alone may cause a variety of potential problems, more on which later. But what does it actually mean to be a trustee in practice? Can anybody be one? Should you be one if you are asked? 
Metal madness »
Have you ever considered investing in Antimony, Cadmium or Zirconium? Could you identify which was which out of a collection of similar looking lumps of metal? Would you even be interested in doing so? I suspect for most investors the answer to all three questions above is a "no" - and a fairly disinterested one at that. However if you could achieve the long-held dream of alchemists and add a few extra electrons, protons and neutrons to the above metals, you'd end up with gold. Now that's a metal that gets investors excited.
Pension reforms - matters arising »
As we continued to digest the new flexibilities introduced by last year's Taxation of Pensions Act and this year's Finance Act, the Chancellor picked up where he left off in his July Budget.
The summer budget July 2015 - a summary »
Two months and a day after the general election, George Osborne presented his seventh Budget which was the first purely Conservative Budget since Ken Clarke's finale back in November 1996.
The rights of beneficiaries and challenging trustee decisions - part two »
Last month we looked at the rights of beneficiaries to information about the trust they benefit or may benefit from in the future. Having received that information, what if the beneficiary is not happy about what has happened? This month we look at the beneficiaries´ rights to challenge trustee decisions and to seek a remedy for a breach of trust. We will also consider how trustees can limit the risk of a challenge by a disgruntled beneficiary.
A month head start »
Immediately following the election, the Conservative Party gained a month head-start on its term in power. Prior to the election, a coalition of some kind seemed all but certain and so the whole month of May was blocked out in political calendars for wrangling about the future government - yet come the morning of May 8th, David Cameron found himself with an entire month more than planned to think about the future policy.
ISA update »
The increase in the subscription limit from 6 April 2015 combined with the increased flexibility of the ISA which, while valuable to all who qualify, will be particularly welcome for those who are:
The single-tier pension – back to the future »
Once upon a time, the state paid older people a flat-rate state pension. Then the government added an additional earnings-related component which developed into SERPS in 1978 and the state second pension in 2002. On 6 April 2016, another overhaul will see a return to a new flat-rate, single-tier pension. 
The age of the Chartered Professional »
Chartered status has become a key feature of the market's commitment to raising professional standards over and above the regulatory minimum. Niall Boyd looks at its history - and its future…
2015 Budget »
The Chancellor's recent pre-election Budget brought the usual raft of changes to taxation for individuals and businesses alike. John Woolley looks at what's new…
Enhanced support for members »
Supporting the membership is key to the PFS's mission. Mark Hutchinson explains what the Society is doing in 2015 to meet the needs of its three largest member groups.
Insistent Clients »
The new pension freedoms give rise to a potential mis-selling debacle as insistent clients push for a defined benefits transfer even if it is against their adviser's recommendation. Keith Richards explains what the Personal Finance Society is doing to help its members avoid getting dragged into a scandal…
Legislative changes in the UK and the US during the past 10 years have increased the complexity of dealing with US-connected clients.With more and more US citizens coming to the UK and British citizens moving the other way, Cormac Naughton asks what do advisers need to know before they can successfully deal with such clients?