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


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 …

The angst of the High Income Child Benefit Charge


MON, 04 NOV 2019

One thing I never had to contend with in reality was the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) as fortunately my daughter ceased to qualify for Child Benefit just before the charge came into force in January 2013. HICBC applies where an individual or their partner receives child benefit, and either of them has income …

The winners and losers of simplifying IHT


WED, 28 AUG 2019

A year and a half after the then Chancellor, Philip Hammond, wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) asking them to review inheritance tax (IHT), their second report titled ‘Simplifying the design of IHT’ has finally been released. The OTS’s first report focussed on feedback from their consultation and ways of simplifying the administration …

Is BoJo’s tax break promise good news or another potential red bus calamity?


THU, 04 JUL 2019

When Boris Johnson announced that if he becomes the next Prime Minister he will increase the 40% tax threshold from £50,000 to £80,000, there was a degree of scepticism as to whether he could deliver on what at first appears to be an exceptionally generous promise. Might this just be another exaggerated claim similar to …

The cash conundrum


TUE, 11 JUN 2019

Back in February – in the days when the original Brexit date was imminent – we spent 4 weeks touring the country and saw 361 advisers and paraplanners across 12 of our Masterclasses. With Brexit and market volatility in mind, we wanted to find out from our audiences of financial planners, whether they are providing …

Shifting through the gears of gifting


MON, 10 JUN 2019

HMRC’s recent study titled, ‘Lifetime gifting: reliefs, exemptions, and behaviours’ set out to explore peoples’ awareness of Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules and exemptions and to what extent these factors drive gifting behaviour. The results, published in May, gave an interesting steer as to what motivates individuals to gift, and it appears it was not as …

IHT and the gifts that keep giving


WED, 22 MAY 2019

Giving gifts is never easy, but when inheritance tax is involved it becomes a hell of a lot trickier and if not managed appropriately, a simple gift could bring unintended consequences to beneficiaries In the run up to the end of the tax year I received a lot of questions on the use of the …

The Agony of the Annual Allowance


TUE, 23 APR 2019

Recent articles reporting the furore around the annual allowance (AA) and how it ‘unfairly’ impacts on certain individuals in public sector defined benefit (DB) schemes piqued my interest. Adding fuel to the fire was the news that the British Medical Association (BMA) is reportedly calling on the government to reform both the AA and the …

Is government winning the tax avoidance battle?


TUE, 02 APR 2019

As part of the Spring Statement, the government issued a policy paper headed “Tackling tax avoidance, evasion, and other forms of non-compliance” which set out its approach and achievements in tackling these issues. The paper reveals some interesting facts and clearly demonstrates that HMRC is making significant headway. It is hard to believe that since …

You can lead a horse to water…


TUE, 12 MAR 2019

As we approach the end of the tax year, advisers’ attentions are drawn to maximising clients’ ISA and pension contributions. For many it is a manic time of the year, with additional stresses of getting clients to do their part to meet the tight deadlines. However, one issue that can be overlooked at this time …