Are Innovative Finance ISAs as bad as they are painted?

When George Osborn, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the launch of Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs) back in 2016 there was much hype about how they would be an exciting new way to invest, bringing investments previously only open to the ultra high net-worth investor to the ordinary investor.  Invested money is used by the […]

Taxing Times on Inheritance

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has reported a new record high for Inheritance tax (IHT) receipts in 2017/18 with around £5.2 billion being received, a £400 million year on year increase in the amount received in 2016/17 last tax year, around an 8% increase.  And this despite the introduction last April of the main residence […]

Cyber Insecurity

A recent report by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) shows that millions of us are using passwords, on sensitive accounts, that are almost laughably easy to crack.  The NSCS conducted an analysis of passwords found in public databases of previously breached accounts to see what the most frequently occurring passwords were.  In 2018, […]

Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS)

An alternative investment to VCTs, or one that could run alongside them, are Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). Launched in 1994 (a year before VCTs) EISs offer the opportunity to invest directly into small and developing companies in a tax-efficient manner. The companies must be unquoted, have less than £15 million of assets, less than 250 […]

The market for Venture Capital Trusts

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) appear to be becoming a more commonly exercised investment choice for an increasing number of high earners. VCTs are tax-efficient, closed-end UK collective investment schemes that are listed on the London Stock Exchange. They invest in private and up-and-coming companies which are not themselves listed. They were introduced in the 1995 […]

Revisiting Interest-Only Mortgages

Interest-only mortgages have been used for some time to give clients a way of affording properties that are more appropriate for the requirements of themselves and their families. However, as has always been the case, due consideration should be given to the intended method of mortgage repayment. The consideration of an individual’s ability to repay […]


Even though they do not of course attract tax relief on contributions, ISAs are still popular. The maximum ISA contribution remains unchanged at £20,000. This could be directed solely into a cash, investment or innovative finance ISA, or split across them. The last of these has been available since 2016, and we are now seeing […]

Personal Allowances and Savings

The increase in the personal allowance to £12,500, as well as the widening of the income band charged at basic rate tax by £3,000, means that higher rate tax is now not charged until taxable income reaches £50,000 (note that rates for Scotland differ slightly). Whilst the basic rate tax band has been widened by […]

Preparing for a New Tax Year

The end of the 2018/19 tax year is now less than one month away. While there may still be time to act on certain measures to optimise the use of HMRC-approved tax breaks and reduce personal tax liabilities for 2018/19, this article looks ahead to the position for the new 2019/20 tax year. We have […]

Probate Fees to Increase

The government did not proceed last year with plans to increase probate fees to a maximum of £20,000. However, following consultation, they are to go ahead with replacing the flat fee of £155 with a sliding scale of fees ranging from £250 up to a maximum of £6,000. At present, a one-off fee of £155 […]

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