Taxation

Expensive Dividends – National Grid and Electra Private Equity

National Grid (NG.) are returning some of the cash received from the sale of their stake in a gas distribution business to shareholders via a large special dividend. And some will be returned via market share buy-backs, the wisdom of which may be questionable. But the real concern for private investors is that dividends are taxed as income even though this is in essence a "return of capital". It is not being paid out of operating profits, but simply from the ...

Finance Bill and Tax Changes

Double Taxation and Broken Promises

The most recent changes to dividend taxation in the Chancellors Spring Budget are a major attack on private investors. The simple change to reduce the Dividend Tax Allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 only a year after it was introduced will have a big impact on the tax paid by many investors. It's also another example of a broken promise about "no increases in taxes" made in the Conservative manifesto. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has already had to back-track on the increases to ...

It’s a Budget – But Not As We Know It

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered his Spring budget yesterday. But as most of the big changes have been moved to the Autumn, this was a "steady as you go" statement in essence. However there were some significant changes for private investors. The biggest is that the tax free allowance on dividends has been reduced from £5,000 to £2,000. So if you rely on dividend income, say in retirement, this will cost you substantially more - over £1,000 extra in tax in some ...

AIC Press Release on VCTs

To follow on from my last blog post, another interesting press release from the AIC today was that on the performance of Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs). That's particularly so when everyone is considering their tax bills at this time of year, i.e. those just paid and how they can avoid such big ones for the current year and next. VCTs do of course offer upfront income tax relief when investing in new shares, and also tax free dividends thereafter. Many have been ...

Brexit, Industrial Strategy and Productivity

What next now that we are committed to Brexit? Well first we need an "industrial strategy" to help us develop a new place in the world and possibly to pay for the up to £60 billion that might be demanded by the EU (as settlement for outstanding commitments if you believe that - yes divorce can be expensive). Now it just so happens that the Government has just published a Green Paper entitled "Building our Industrial Strategy" on that topic which ...

Losses From Withholding Taxes on Dividends

An issue that has come to the notice of ShareSoc is the problem of the Withholding Tax introduced on dividends in South Africa. Even though Pan African Resources Plc (PAF) is registered in the UK, it is dual listed on AIM and the Johannesburg Exchange (JSE). Because of the way South Africa introduced the tax change, any shareholder is going to get 15% deducted before payment (or 10% for UK residents under a dual tax treaty). To get the lower rate, you ...

Stamp Duty Review

The Office of Tax Simplification is currently undertaking a review of Stamp Duty. Stamp Duty is paid on share transactions, although there are numerous exceptions and ways to avoid paying it. Although this review seems to be primarily focussed on technical aspects and how to remove paper processes (still needed for off-market transfers for example), ShareSoc argues that the tax should be scrapped altogether. (more…)

Chancellors Autumn Statement – How Does It Affect Investors?

The Chancellors Autumn Statement yesterday was effectively a cold shower for those who might be positive about the economy. Government debt is going to be allowed to rise so...

Pension Protection – It’s Easy

The question of whether to apply to HMRC for “Pension Protection” is something that investors might wish to consider. With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement coming up on Wednesday (23rd...