Beware the Autumn Statement

Posted: Sep 19, 2016

This year's Autumn Statement will be the Treasury's first post-Brexit set piece. It will not be an easy exercise.

 

Before the referendum, the then Chancellor George Osborne warned that a Leave vote would be followed by an emergency Budget with £30bn of tax increases and spending cuts. After he found himself on the losing side, Mr Osborne abandoned not only his Budget plans but also his target to end fresh government borrowing by 2020.

 

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Auto-enrolment: The fines continue to grow

Posted: Sep 19, 2016

The latest report from the Pensions Regulator shows that as automatic enrolment spreads through smaller employers, warnings and fines for 'non-compliance' are soaring. In the second quarter of 2016 the regulator issued nearly 3,400 compliance notices, more than 850 fixed penalty notices of £400 a piece and nearly 38 escalating penalty notices (which can be as high as £10,000 a day).

Make sure you are prepared for your employer responsibilities or you could be adding to those numbers in the future.

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Brexit Fallout: what are the implications?

Posted: Sep 18, 2016

The implications for investors of the result of the UK referendum on EU membership will be played out over the months ahead and it is very likely that volatility will persist in the near term. Although we understand investors' concerns, you should not need to make dramatic changes, provided you have a well-diversified portfolio.

 

 

Financial risk needs a different reaction

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Budget 2016 tax changes: new moves

Posted: Jun 29, 2016

This year's Budget contained many measures which could affect your long term financial planning.

Budgets have become a regular feature of the financial landscape. The March 2016 Budget is the third in twelve months and it revealed some important tax changes:

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How much lower for longer?

Posted: Jun 24, 2016

March 2016 marked the seventh anniversary of a 0.5% Bank of England base rate, but other interest rates are still falling. 

"Lower for longer" is now a commonly used phrase when economists and bankers discuss the future of interest rates. The view is supported by banks and other deposit takers, which continue to reduce savers' rates. Shortly after Easter, National Savings & Investments (NS&I) joined the rate cutters. From June Income Bonds and the Direct ISA will then pay only 1%.

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Buy-to-let: strike five

Posted: Jun 24, 2016

The buy-to-let sector is under Treasury attack

The government appears to have taken aim at buy-to-let investors in its efforts to help "generation rent" become first time buyers.

In the last year there have been five important announcements:

1. A phased reduction in tax relief for mortgage interest down to 20% by 2020/21;

2. The replacement in 2016/17 of the 10% wear-and-tear allowance with one based on costs the landlord has actually incurred;

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Pensions Regulator 22,900 : Swindon Town 0

Posted: Jun 24, 2016

The potential costs to a business of not complying with the rules for automatic enrolment were recently highlighted in press reports about Swindon Town football club. In the words of The Pensions Regulator, the club repeatedly failed to comply with its automatic enrolment duties, and was ultimately fined £22,900. If your business is yet to start auto-enrolment, you need to begin preparation early to avoid incurring penalties. Occupational pension schemes are regulated by The Pensions Regulator.

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Auto-enrolment fines rise, don't be caught out

Posted: Feb 19, 2016

As auto-enrolment into workplace pensions enters its fourth year, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) has started to hand out more reprimands and fines. In the third quarter of 2015, TPR issued more unpaid contribution notices than it had sent out over the whole of the previous 33 months and more than 100-400 fixed penalty notices for employer non-compliance.

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Highlights from the Autumn Statement

Posted: Feb 19, 2016

The Chancellor's third set piece of last year was almost another Budget.

After a Budget in March and another in July, it might have been thought that Mr Osborne would have little new to say in his Autumn Statement, but this proved not to be the case in two important areas.

Tax and additional homes

In his July Budget the Chancellor announced two measures aimed at individual investors in the buy-to-let market and the Autumn Statement added two more.

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