Taxation

It Could Get More Expensive to Die

It could get more expensive to die for the wealthy, or less if you are poor. There are proposals to raise the cost of filing for probate substantially for larger estates. It currently costs £215 in Court fees to apply directly for probate, or £155 if filed through a solicitor. That is a flat fee which is the same for everyone, unless the estate is worth less than £5,000 when the charge is zero. But the Ministry of Justice is proposing ...

What’s Spooking the Commercial Property Market?

There was an interesting article in the Financial Times yesterday (12/2/2016) by Vanessa Houlder on the possibility that deduction of interest costs against profits will be disallowed by the Chancellor in his next budget. Is this is what has recently spooked the commercial property market? The British Land share price is down 25% since last November, Land Securities is down a similar percentage, and even well diversified property investment trusts such as TR Property are down 16%. Surely property companies should ...

The Budget – How Will It Affect Private Investors?

George Osborne announced the Government's Budget yesterday (8/7/2015). These were the main changes that might affect individual investors: - Personal income tax allowance will rise from £10,600 to £11,000 in 2016-17. The Higher Rate Threshold will increase to £42,385 in 2015-16 with further increases in subsequent years. - Dividend taxation will be substantially changed. Dividend tax credits will be abolished and be replaced by a new Dividend Tax Allowance of £5,000 with tax rates on dividend income above that at 7.5% for basic ...

A Dream Become a Nightmare – And a Plug for ShareSoc

There was a good article in the Daily Telegraph on Sunday (17/5/2015) explaining how Thatcher's dream of a share owning population has become a nightmare. She tried to create a nation of investors by privatisations and regulatory changes to improve business competition but instead many companies have ended up being sold to foreign buyers. Even worse there has been a collapse in private share ownership. The reported proportion of UK shares held by individuals has collapsed from 20% in 1994 to 11% ...

The Chancellors Budget – Gin and Tonics All Round!

For private investors the Chancellor's Budget is mostly good, and we can all drink his health in spirits on which the tax is cut. The other good news is as follows: - The personal allowance will rise to £11,000 over two years from which all taxpayers will benefit and the threshold for higher rate income tax will also rise. - There will be a new flexible ISA where you can take money out and then put it back in within the same tax ...

Inheritance tax giveaway by the Chancellor

The announcement by George Osborne yesterday (29/9/2014), that a tax on pension funds is to be scrapped is a major giveaway for investors. It would seem we are already into the 2015 election campaign. At present anyone holding a SIPP (the most cost effective way to hold your pension fund) or other defined contribution pensions (e.g. personal pensions), faces a hefty tax bill when they die after the age of 75, or earlier if the fund is already in "drawdown", i.e. paying ...

At first glance a good budget for private investors

Is the Chancellor's budget good for private investors? At first glance it appears to be so, although more analysis of the detail will be needed in due course because like all Chancellors Mr Osborne's hand outs might be taken away elsewhere in the small print. But there are some very positive things:- The ISA investment limit will be raised to £15,000 with cash and stocks/shares ISAs merged. There is no obvious cap on ISA contributions which was rumoured as a possibility.- ...

Eurofinuse adopts manifesto

Eurofinuse, a representative body for European shareholder organisations of which ShareSoc is a Member, has adopted a "Better Finance Manifesto". They are launching this before the European Parliament elections in May to try and influence politicians to adopt policies to protect savers and investors over the coming years.Although some of the manifesto policies are focussed on problems in other countries in Europe than the UK, there are many meritorious aspects. Here's just a few of the issues they cover:1. That there ...

VCTs – Stopping the tax relief abuses

The Government has published its response to the public consultation on share buy-backs in Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs). In particular the proposals put forward were aimed at stopping "Enhanced Share Buy-Backs" where VCTs were buying back shares from investors and immediately reinvesting the cash paid to investors in a new shares issued to the same investors, thus enabling them to obtain tax relief on the same original cash more than once.There was a general acknowledgement in the responses to the consultation ...

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – What’s in it for investors?

You may well be worse off if you are dead. The Government is to clamp down on the payment of state pensions to people who are dead, which is apparently a particular problem when they move overseas upon retirement.Otherwise these are come of the changes and how they may affect individual investors:- As expected, there is to be a restriction on Venture Capital Trust (VCT) "enhanced share buy-backs" upon which there was a recent consultation. In future VCT investments that are ...