Equity release on a roll!

In 2016, the value of funds released from the capital value of homes in the UK exceeded £2 billion for the first time. It appears that most of the money is being used to fund home and garden improvements and a smaller proportion to pay for holidays or to repay credit card and loan debts […]

Thank you for small mercis

An exception is made to the new provisions for benefits in kind which are classified as ‘Trivial Benefits’. To qualify, these must satisfy three conditions: The value must be no more than £50 per recipient, or an average of £50 if the benefit is provided to a group of employees and the exact value to […]

Premium bonds improved

The total pool of money from which premium bond ‘prizes’ are paid has been reduced, but a greater proportion of the pool from which ‘prizes’ are paid is now allocated to £25 prizes than to £50, £100 or larger prizes and consequently the chances of winning a £25 prize have increased. Interestingly, the laws of mathematics […]

Benefits in kind

Despite the Chancellor’s u-turn on National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, the subject of NI has clearly not been removed altogether from his agenda. Currently, some benefits in kind are exempt from NI contributions and may also permit the employee’s charge to income tax to be based on a lower figure. However, a provision in […]

State pension to start at 70?

Having previously been ruled-out, reductions in tax relief for pension contributions are once again being discussed as a possible means of addressing the Chancellor’s Budget deficit. Also being considered is an increase in the minimum age at which the State pension can be drawn. The Government currently spends some £100 billion annually on State pensions […]

Probate tax

The Government has announced that the cost of obtaining probate of deceaseds’ estates is to be changed and will in future be linked to the value of the estate. At present, the fee is £155 when applications for probate are made by solicitors, and £215 when made by other people. In future, there will be […]