“Holy nightmare”, exclaimed Robin.

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WED, 27 MAY 2020

In a surprising turn of events, HMRC won its appeal battle over tax relief being claimed on in-specie contributions. However, what was even more surprising, was the judge’s comments on HMRC’s pension tax manual and how in essence, the HMRC guidelines can be challenged…by HMRC themselves. As the caped crusader’s wingman would say, “You can’t …

The three golden rules on expressions of wishes

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TUE, 26 MAY 2020

It’s a difficult time. We all know that, and we’ve probably said these exact words to family, friends, clients and colleagues a thousand times already throughout this coronavirus crisis. Our lives are currently consumed with the developing situation we face, and it’s understandable that certain topics are not at the front of people’s minds. Sadly, …

Tampering with tapering

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WED, 13 MAY 2020

Effective financial planning and the tapering of the annual allowance are almost completely at odds with one and other. However, the recent change to tapering afforded advisers an opportunity to potentially mitigate an annual allowance charge for at least some of their clients. There has been a fair amount of column inches written over the …

The Budget’s good news on gains

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MON, 20 APR 2020

Tucked away in this year’s Budget was quite an important change in relation to the taxation of life insurance bonds which could spell good news for many. The amendment to the legislation was driven by the decision in the recent First Tier Tribunal case of Marina Silver v The Commission for HMRC (2019) UKFTT 0263 …

Accounting for the Annual allowance charge

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MON, 24 FEB 2020

Notifying HMRC that they are liable for an AA charge can be a daunting prospect for clients, but advisers can provide the helping hand. The annual allowance (AA) is a mechanism for restricting the tax relief available on pension savings with any ‘excess’ tax relief being recouped via the associated charge. It should be noted …

The tax quirks of jointly held investments between spouses

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THU, 20 FEB 2020

Previously I’ve looked at how married couples and civil partners could consider transferring investments from one party to the other to maximise unused allowances and lower tax rates. Whilst tax planning is relatively easy where investments are held in an individual’s own name, care is needed when it comes to jointly held investments between spouses. …

Will the tax advantages for married couples and civil partnerships remain a happy home?

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TUE, 14 JAN 2020

Historically, married couples and those in civil partnerships have been in a more tax privileged position – such as with income, capital gains and inheritance tax – than those couples who cohabit. Many see this, understandably, as outdated and unfair, and the recent challenge of the Marriage Allowance by Labour also reflects this view. There …

Is it all PIE in the sky? Part 2: Lifetime Allowance

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FRI, 20 DEC 2019

A pension increase exchange (PIE) is where an individual is offered a one off higher scheme pension with no further non-statutory increases. The acceptance of a PIE by the member may not always be straightforward, as intimated in my previous article on its potential impact on the annual allowance. In this second article, I consider …

Brexit, birthdays and buy-outs…

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THU, 19 DEC 2019

We can all agree that parliamentary chaos and the ensuing bumbling around Brexit created an extended stint of market uncertainty. This has undoubtedly impacted investor sentiment and resulted in lower inflows and growth across the platform sector, in a way that we’ve not seen for some time. But amidst all the doom and gloom there …

Sometimes it’s not as easy as PIE – Part 1: Annual Allowance

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MON, 18 NOV 2019

Obligations facing sponsoring employers of defined benefit schemes have led many to consider ways to mitigate their liability, and in effect de-risk the scheme. One such method is to offer a pension increase exchange, or ‘PIE’, where an individual is offered a one-off higher pension with no further non-statutory increases. The PIE is in lieu …