Au-tonomy: a shiny investment or tarnished goods?

Gold is having its day in the sun, but for how long? Source: Long before Bitcoin was even a twinkle in the eye of its alleged inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, there was gold. If you did not trust rulers, institutions or paper money, gold was what you owned to protect your finances. Its value/weight ratio […]

Probate fees on the rise

The fees for obtaining probate in England and Wales have increased. The fee charged to obtain probate in England and Wales has been increased from £273 to £300 (10%) and for confirmation in Scotland, which has a sliding scale by 2%. Northern Ireland revised its probate fees in November 2023. Whether the higher fees will […]

New British Savings Bond – worth the wait?

National Savings provides a glimpse of the new bond promised in the Spring Budget. Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget had an emphasis on Britishness with talk of “the great British pub”, ‘the British ISA’ (now a UK ISA) and ‘Great British Nuclear’. Included on the list of Britishness was the promise of a new ‘British Savings […]

Have you overlooked a changed tax status?

With allowances frozen or cut, you may have underpaid tax for 2023/24. Your tax position may have changed for the last year without you really noticing. Consider the following: *£1,000 for basic and nil rate taxpayers, £500 for higher rate taxpayers, and nil for additional rate taxpayers. Rising income – for example in the form […]

The WASPI saga continues

Many women born in the 1950s should be paid compensation for a shortfall in their pensions according to a new report. The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign has been running for nine years. In that time, it has consistently argued that women born in the 1950s were unfairly treated because of the way […]

The child benefit tax rule changes

One of the few surprises in the Spring Budget was the change affecting how child benefit is taxed for higher earners. The high income child benefit charge (HICBC or ‘hicbic’) was introduced in January 2013 to reduce child benefit payments for higher earners. It was considered an arbitrary piece of legislation by some as the […]

Out goes hand sanitiser, in comes vinyl…

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been sorting through its inflation shopping basket. Every year in March, the ONS announces the results of a review of the approximately 750 items which it uses to compute inflation indices, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The annual review is a reminder that the calculation of […]

The UK ISA slides into view

One of the many well-trailed announcements in the Spring Budget was the launch of a UK ISA. However, both its arrival and interest may be uncertain. Alongside the Budget, the Treasury published a consultation paper on a possible fifth ISA variant, the UK ISA. To quote the paper, the rationale behind the UK ISA is […]

The march of the higher rate taxpayer

New calculations issued alongside the Spring Budget show just how higher rate taxpaying status is becoming ever more common.The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) received plenty of attention leading up to the Budget. It was widely portrayed in the media as the body that placed constraints on the Chancellor’s tax-cutting options ahead of the coming […]

Born after 1978? Keep an eye on State pension age

An independent report suggests that the State pension age (SPA) should rise much faster than planned.The next SPA rise begins in under two years with a phased increase to 67 ending in April 2028. Yet, neither main political parties are likely to say much about further SPA changes in their upcoming election manifestos.The move from […]