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The first election tax stories

It’s early days yet, but some pointers on tax have emerged from both the main parties. Within one week of the surprise firing of the general election starting gun, both the Conservatives and Labour have been promoting their tax plans. We can expect more to emerge in the coming weeks and in the manifestos, which
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Dow Jones breaks through 40,000

In mid-May 2024, the Dow Jones Index crossed the 40,000 threshold for the first time.   Source: Investing.com You might have noted headlines in May that the Dow Jones Index of US shares had broken through the 40,000 mark for the first time. It may have sounded like a significant landmark, but for professional investors,
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Not in the NIC of time

A useful new web tool has emerged, a little late in the game, in a joint effort from two government departments.   In early 2023, HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found they were unable to cope with the volume generated by a 5 April cut-off date that had been set a
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Inflation’s stubborn cumulative effect

April’s yearly inflation figure fell from 0.9% to 2.3%, so why does inflation still feel high?   Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) April’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed annual inflation had fallen to 2.3%, its lowest level since July 2021 and significantly below the October 2022 peak of 11.1%. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak,
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How to raise tax revenue without raising tax rates

As we count down to the general election in July, be wary of those manifesto promises not to raise tax rates. The Conservatives and the Labour party are going into the next election with the same key fiscal rule. This states that in five years’ time, total government debt (currently about £2,700 billion) should be
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‘798 years on hold’: navigating HMRC’s customer service issues

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on HMRC customer service which isn’t a happy story. Source: HMRC historic data, Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates A common tactic for grabbing a headline, be it a politician or organisation, is to take a relatively modest number and then multiply it by the large

Financial Christmas gifts for children

It’s that time of year again when financial gifts may be given… and HMRC is watching. Tax is never far away from anything you do and making gifts to children at Christmas is no exception. There are a few key tax areas you should bear in mind. Inheritance tax (IHT) As with any gift you

Inflation pledge met, but what’s next?

The Prime Minister has met his pledge of halving inflation, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Source: ONS, Ofgem. In the first week of 2023, the then still new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, set out “five immediate priorities” for his government. The first of these was: “We will halve inflation this year to

Magnificent Seven 2.0 rides again

Forget Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen et al. There is another more significant septet in the United States these days. The original version of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was released in 1960 and remains to this day an iconic Western film. However, the term ‘Magnificent Seven’ now has a very different meaning for many in the US.

Getting a head start: retirement planning attitudes in 2023

A survey of 6,000 people, aged 18 to 80, revealed starkly different views on retirement across the generations. According to the Office for National Statistics, the median age of the UK population in mid- 2021 was 40.7 years, up from 39.6 in mid-2011. Perhaps that gradual ageing and the impact of Covid-19 on working patterns
  • ‘798 years on hold’: navigating HMRC’s customer service issues

    The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on HMRC customer service which isn’t a happy story. Source: HMRC historic data, Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates A common tactic for grabbing a headline, be it a politician or organisation, is to take a relatively modest number and then multiply it by the large

  • How to raise tax revenue without raising tax rates

    As we count down to the general election in July, be wary of those manifesto promises not to raise tax rates. The Conservatives and the Labour party are going into the next election with the same key fiscal rule. This states that in five years’ time, total government debt (currently about £2,700 billion) should be

  • Inflation’s stubborn cumulative effect

    April’s yearly inflation figure fell from 0.9% to 2.3%, so why does inflation still feel high?   Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) April’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed annual inflation had fallen to 2.3%, its lowest level since July 2021 and significantly below the October 2022 peak of 11.1%. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak,

  • Not in the NIC of time

    A useful new web tool has emerged, a little late in the game, in a joint effort from two government departments.   In early 2023, HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found they were unable to cope with the volume generated by a 5 April cut-off date that had been set a

  • Dow Jones breaks through 40,000

    In mid-May 2024, the Dow Jones Index crossed the 40,000 threshold for the first time.   Source: Investing.com You might have noted headlines in May that the Dow Jones Index of US shares had broken through the 40,000 mark for the first time. It may have sounded like a significant landmark, but for professional investors,

  • The first election tax stories

    It’s early days yet, but some pointers on tax have emerged from both the main parties. Within one week of the surprise firing of the general election starting gun, both the Conservatives and Labour have been promoting their tax plans. We can expect more to emerge in the coming weeks and in the manifestos, which

  • Au-tonomy: a shiny investment or tarnished goods?

    Gold is having its day in the sun, but for how long? Source: Investing.com 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