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Personal Finance Society
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Technical articles

Guide to mortgages in a low-interest environment »
The guide explores what shapes mortgage rates, what will happen if the Bank of England reduces the base rate to 0 per cent and what advice you should give clients in the current low interest rate environment.
The capital gains tax annual exemption - a valuable asset »
Following the reduction, with certain exceptions, in the rates of capital gains tax (CGT) from 6 April 2016, the CGT annual exemption still remains valuable, particularly if it can be used each year. For tax year 2016/17 the annual exempt amount is £11,100 for individuals and £5,550 for trustees, subject to dilution when the same settlor has created more than one trust (see below for more on this).
Inheritance tax and trust review for non-UK domiciled individuals »
Last month we looked at the proposed changes to the tax treatment of non-UK domiciled individuals resident in theUK(non-doms) and the key areas affected. This month we will consider specific planning points for such individuals.
Life after FURBS »
Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefit Schemes (FURBS) became part of the pensions landscape when the earnings cap was introduced for approved pension schemes in 1989. HMRC recognised that those subject to the 'earnings cap' (initially a limit of £60,000 on pensionable earnings) would still wish to make some kind of pension provision and by introducing FURBS to the available options, HMRC was able to exercise some control over those options.
Personal portfolio bonds »
At the 2016 Budget it was announced that the government would review the categories of permitted investments which could be held in a policy of life insurance, life annuity or capital redemption policy without it becoming taxable as a personal portfolio bond (PPB).
Inheritance tax and trust review for non-UK domiciled individuals »
Despite the previous announcement of the end of this series, I am delighted to continue sharing my trust and estate planning thoughts with you.
Markets misbehaving nicely »
The real difficulty is not in predicting whether markets will react or how they react, but by how much they will react. In July last year, the population of Greece voted to reject the bailout terms proposed by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. This was a major event since it was Greece's first referendum since 1974. The bailout was rejected in all regions of Greece, as well as across all Greek constituencies, giving the country's government an exceptionally strong mandate with which to repudiate its obligations. Bad news for the stability of the Eurozone? You would think so, and so did the European stockmarket falling 9% between the date of the announcement of the referendum and the vote to reject the bailout.
Back to business »
With the Brexit Referendum a distant memory it remains to be seen how pensions and employment legislation will be affected. Against this background, Parliament is due to return from summer recess on 5 September, at which point the report stage of the Finance Bill will commence, although this will of course be interrupted again when the party-conference season starts. Here is an explanation of what we are expecting from the Bill.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Buy to Let Complaints »
So your firm does the occasional bit of buy to let mortgage finance for investor landlords (BTL). BTL products are not and never have been regulated - right?
Brexit and Investment »
Where now for the UK? The referendum asked us whether we wanted to be 'in' or 'out', but not what kind of 'out' we wanted. This is unfortunate, as the question is a critical one for the future of our country. Politicians will have to infer an answer, knowing that the question was never properly debated. Do we want the 'lite' form of Brexit enjoyed by Norway, Switzerland and others, where nothing much changes? Brexit-lite would minimise economic uncertainty by maintaining existing trade arrangements with the European Union (EU); it would probably help foreign investment into the UK to resume and the Pound to recover much of its losses. Or do we want a more extreme, Canadian-style arrangement where we are clearly in control of immigration from the EU but, commercially, more isolated? This would take longer to negotiate, maximising economic uncertainty and prolonging weakness in the Pound.
Business succession planning »
The trust and taxation-related article in the previous issue highlighted the key points to bear in mind in connection with business protection trusts used in business succession planning.
Last word on business protection trusts »
As this is my last article in this series, I have been looking at the topics covered in the past, trying to decide which topic seems to be the most problematic and so deserving having one final go at.  Just then I received an enquiry about a shareholder protection arrangement which sounded distinctly odd. It was to be a share purchase arrangement involving a limited company effecting   a policy under a business trust and a cross option agreement.  So here goes.
Brexit and Pensions »
Let's be honest. Nobody forecast the result of the referendum with confidence and nobody has forecast the consequences with confidence. There will undoubtedly be an impact on pensions over the longer term (we are still members of the EU) and the markets will probably twitch at regular intervals in the absence of certainty as to their destination. Those twitches will be magnified further by the sheer difficulty of trying to divine how significant is the latest economic shock or encouragement.
Brexit - Let's not persuade ourselves into a depression »
Since the vote to leave the EU we've clearly entered a period of uncertainty, which some may consider to be 'open-ended'.
Surviving a critical illness »
Most homebuyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but only a minority obtain another form of financial protection that they are five times more likely to need before they reach retirement.