Martin Aitken & Co Ltd News & Developments

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Uncertainties removed on two key personal taxes

The future of two important personal taxes – inheritance and capital gains – has finally been clarified, simplifying aspects of year-end planning. The extended wait highlights the difficulty of changing useful revenue-raising measures in uncertain times.

Four years ago, in January 2018, when there seemed to be both appetite and scope for reformation of the tax system, the then Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, asked the Office of Tax Simplification to review inheritance tax (IHT). Of two reports submitted in November 2018 and July 2019, the second was the more interesting, making several proposals to reform and simplify the tax, including restructuring some of the current exemptions and scrapping the relief for lifetime gifts made within seven years of death.

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Focus on tax year-end planning

With Christmas and New Year behind us, tax year-end planning should now be on your radar.

The 2021/22 tax year will end on Tuesday 5th April. This year there is no Spring Budget and Easter arrives on 15th April, so no obstacles stand in the way of year-end tax planning. Nevertheless, the sooner you start the better, as some decisions cannot be made quickly. Among the areas to consider on this occasion are:

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Lessons from rising inflation & interest rates

As 2021 drew to a close, inflation finally forced the Bank of England’s hand. What will higher rates mean for you?

The November inflation figures, released in mid-December, once again exceeded the Bank of England’s expectations. At the start of November, the BoE had said that CPI inflation was “expected to peak at around 5% in April 2022”. Six weeks later, and the tune has changed: “Bank staff expect inflation to remain around 5% through the majority of the winter period, and to peak at around 6% in April 2022”.

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How well do you understand inheritance tax?

A survey by HMRC published in May 2019 concluded that the public have a relatively poor knowledge of inheritance tax (IHT) rules and lack of confidence in what they do know.

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