Monday, 20 February 2017

PENSION FACTS

If you pay into a personal pension, for every £100.00 you put in, the Government adds £25.00. And, if you are a higher rate taxpayer, you will get a further £25.00 off your tax bill. This makes saving by means of pensions a very attractive option – particularly for those paying higher rates of tax. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, however, do be advised that the Government is seriously considering reducing pension tax relief for higher earners.


It would be a good time to look and see about maximising your pension contributions. You can pay up to £40,000 each year into a pension (subject to your earnings) and may also be able to catch up pension payments from the last 3 years if you have not paid the maximum in each of those earlier years.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

ATTACKS ON THE BUY-TO-LET MARKET!

Over the past 12 months there has been a deliberate effort by the Government to make buying properties to let less attractive.



First, there was the announcement that the Stamp Duty payable on second properties would be 3.0% more than that payable on residential properties. That is a very significant amount of money. Then there is the progressive reducing of tax advantages on the interest on mortgages on let properties – ultimately dropping from as much as 45% for Additional Rate Taxpayers down to a level of 20% for all. This effectively raises the costs for many landlords who are higher rate taxpayers.

There are further changes. In 2017 we will see the affordability calculations for Buy-To-Let mortgages significantly increased – the bottom line being that the amount of mortgage available based on the monthly rental, will go down from the levels they have been. This could make buying and remortgaging more difficult. Do contact us if you need any remortgage calculations. All in all the
Government may be shooting itself in the foot with these actions as the result could be a stagnant housing market with reduced levels of house building and sales.




Monday, 6 February 2017

LIFETIME ISA (LISA)! YET ANOTHER ISA, BUT PRETTY ATTRACTIVE

From 6 April 2016 there will now be the new Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account)available to anyone aged between 18 and 40.



You can put up to £4,000 into it each year. Up to age 50 any amount you put in will have a further 25% bonus added by the Government. For example, if you put in the full £4,000, the Government will add £1,000 at the end of the tax year, so you would have £5,000 in your Lifetime ISA. You can invest the money in cash or in stocks and shares.


This Lifetime ISA is meant to be a tool either for buying a first home or for use to help fund retirement from age 60. You can withdraw money at any time, but if it is withdrawn before age 60 and is not used to buy a first property, it will suffer a 25% penalty – in effect it is the Government taking back its bonus. From age 60 onwards you can take money out as you wish and it is not subject to tax. You can have a Lifetime ISA for up to £4000 per year if you qualify age-wise (18 to 40). It will count towards your total annual ISA allowance from next April of £20,000.

There is an ISA Helpline – 0300 2003312 – for those with questions about the Lifetime ISA or the other ISAs available. It is becoming rather complicated and it is good to have a point of contact to get questions answered.













Friday, 27 January 2017

THE AUTUMN STATEMENT!

There was not much that was new announced in the Chancellor’s November statement

but it is worth taking note of the key tax changes from the 6th of April 2017:


Personal Tax And Benefits Changing From 6 April 2017



The Personal Allowance will increase from the present £11,000 to £11,500. (This is the amount



of money you can earn before you start paying any tax at all.)


The amount you can earn over and above your Personal Allowance and pay only 20% tax will



increase from £32,000 to £33,500. (If you include the Personal Allowance from next April of £11,500, it means that you will have to earn in excess of £45,000 before you start paying 40% tax.)


You will pay 40% from that level up to £150,000, and over £150,000 you will pay the Additional



Rate of Tax – 45%. (Note: If you earn £100,000 or more, your entitlement to a Personal Allowance

will be lost progressively until it is gone completely for those earning £122,000 or more.)


The Individual Savings Account (ISA) contribution limit will rise from £15,240 to £20,000.


The Government announced its intention to launch a savings bond with a £3,000 limit and an



interest rate expected to be about 2.2% over a three year period.


We understand that the Rent-A-Room relief will continue at the level of £7,500 per annum.



This is income you can earn from letting a room in your personal residence which will not be

taxable if it is less than £7,500 in the year. If you have any questions how this works, go to

www.gov.uk/rent-room-in-your-home/the-rent-a-room-scheme.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Sovereign Finance

Sovereign Finance enters its 36th year of trading in 2017. We look forward to a busy year helping our clients achieve their objectives and enjoy financial security.

It will be an interesting year. We still have to see how BREXIT will progress and affect the economy, and we have a new US president who, for better or for worse, is not an experienced politician. While these matters are not within our control, we can continue to work hard and flourish and prosper on our own and together with others in companies or groups in which we are involved.

The basics of a successful and happy life remain the same.







Monday, 21 November 2016

USING OUR EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE


Our purpose is to help our clients to achieve their objectives and enjoy financial security. We can call on many years of experience and expertise and seek to deal with all matters in a speedy and efficient
manner with the greatest degree of professionalism possible. Here are some recent client comments:


“Wanted someone with a track record of stability and we knew the owner. Absolutely met our expectations.”
Mr & Mrs R R of West Sussex



“Many thanks for all your patience, guidance and expertise in arranging this for us.Your help is very much appreciated.”
Mr & Mrs PL of Surrey




“I wanted to improve on the high interest rate I was paying. Sovereign Finance gave me sound advice on how to achieve this and I am thrilled with the outcome and results.

Mrs AG of East Sussex


“I am impressed.Many thanks for the good work.”
Mrs KC of West Sussex

Monday, 14 November 2016

SOME TIPS FOR THOSE OF US GROWING OLDER (OR WITH FRIENDS OR RELATIVES GROWING OLDER!)

• If income is tight, consider the possibility of renting out a room or two. You can earn up to £7,500 a year from this free of any tax.


• As we reach a point where some help is needed with our affairs, we should consider taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney to ensure there is someone who will be able to assist when needed.


• Make sure you are not paying more tax than you need to. The new taxation of savings income and of dividends may work out in your favour.