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In the complex world of investment, timing appears to be crucial. However – unless you are gifted with foresight – you cannot consistently predict what the stock market will do. This presents a problem for investors: not only to decide when to invest, but also when eventually to pull their money out of the market. This is where the benefits of 'pound-cost averaging' – or, in la ...

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are tax-efficient savings vehicles that allow you to save and invest without having to pay income tax or capital gains tax. They can be a good way for people to start saving or to add to their existing portfolio of savings and investments. The ISA allowance for the 2017/18 tax year has risen from £15,240 to £20,000, offering a welcome additio ...

ISA

It was announced in the Budget that the Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. Dividends received by an individual are subject to special tax rates. The first £5,000 of dividends are charged to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates: 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers 32.5% f ...

One of the significant announcements Chancellor Philip Hammond made on Budget Day was the proposed increases to the main rate of Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) paid by self-employed individuals from 9% to 10% from April 2018 with a further increase planned from 10% to 11% from April 2019. The Chancellor subsequently announced that the government will not now p ...

Tax-Free Childcare, the new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare, will be launched from 28 April 2017. For every £8 a parent pays in, the government will pay in an extra £2. Parents can receive up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs making a total amount of £10,000. Higher limits of £4,000 and £20,000 apply for disabled ...

Tax

The Lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a longer term tax-free account that receives a government bonus. The accounts will be available from 6 April 2017. HMRC have produced a helpful guide on the account and some key points are outlined below: You can open a Lifetime ISA if you’re aged 18 or over but under 40. As with other ISAs you won’t pay tax on any interest, ...

ISA

Hundreds of thousands of savers have cashed in £9.2 billion from their pension pots since pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. In April 2015, the government introduced significant pension reforms giving people the ability to access their pensions savings how and when they want. Over 1.5 million payments have been made using pension freedoms, with 162,000 people acce ...

With the end of the tax year looming there is still time to save tax for 2016/17. We have set out some points you may want to consider. Make full use of your ISA allowance - ISAs can offer a useful tax free way to save, whether this is for your children's future, a first home or another purpose. Individuals may invest up to a limit of £15,240 for the 2016/17 tax year. A save ...

Tax

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed the thresholds for pension automatic enrolment for 2017/18.  The main qualifying threshold or ‘trigger’ for employees to be automatically enrolled will be maintained at £10,000 per annum. The lower limit of the qualifying earning band and will be £5,876 and the upper limit £45,000.  The written statement also includes:‘Automa ...

HMRC have released more unusual excuses from taxpayers who failed to complete their self assessment tax return on time. These include: ‘My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire’ ‘A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed’ ‘My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days’ ‘My dog ate my ...

Tax