January 24, 2017

From 6th April 2016, the Lifetime Allowance for pensions reduced from £1.25m to £1m. This sounds like a large figure but it can be surprisingly easy to breach what, on the face of it, seems like a very generous allowance.

In essence, the Lifetime Allowance is intended to cap the level of tax advantaged pension funds that an individual can accumulate within their lifetime. As you might imagine, a tax charge is imposed for benefits accrued in excess of the Lifetime Allowance.

It is not the first time the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) has been reduced; in April 2012 we saw it reduce from £1.8m to £1.5m, followed by a further reduction in 2014 to £...

January 18, 2017

Politician’s can hardly resist tinkering with pensions for 5 minutes, and in April 2016 came a number of changes, one of which is the introduction of the Tapered Annual Allowance.

What is the Tapered Annual Allowance?

At present, individuals are able to contribute up to £40,000 (the current Annual Allowance) into a pension each year. Where the Annual Allowance has not been fully utilised in the previous three tax years, the unused allowance may also be carried forward.

With effect from 6th April 2016, individuals with taxable income of greater than £150,000 in a tax year will have their Annual Allowance tapered for that tax year. The tapering will mean th...

January 3, 2017

Without fail, HMRC receives numerous bizarre excuses from individuals to explain why they could not submit their Self Assessment tax return on time. Here are the top ten excuses for the 2014/15 tax year.

“My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire"

“A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed"

“My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days"

“My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders"

“I couldn’t complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant"

“My child scribbled all over the tax ret...

January 3, 2017

At the start of 2016, the limit for deposit protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was cut by £10,000 to £75,000. By the end of January 2017. It is almost certain to be back at £85,000. The reason embraces two of this referendum year’s most contentious items: EU law and the euro.

The European Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (EDGSD) sets a minimum level of €100,000 or the local currency equivalent on deposit protection. For non- Eurozone EU members, such as the UK (for the time being), the Directive requires a reassessment of their local currency cover level every five years, taking account of prevailing exchange rates. Th...

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