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What you can do with your pension pot

Pension Wise is a free government service that was launched in 2015 to help provide individuals with general pension advice. However, the service does not answer specific questions relating to your pension. The main advice the service provides is generic and covers what you can do with your pension pot, the different pension types, how they work and what’s tax-free and what’s not. The website lists the following six options: Leave your whole pot untouched - You don’t have to start taking money from your pension pot when...

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When you can claim back VAT on purchase of a car

There are complex VAT rules that determine the amount of VAT that can be recovered when purchasing a new car. The usual rule is that when you purchase a car for your business then no VAT can be reclaimed. The main exception to this rule is when the new car is used solely for business use. This rule has been the subject of much case law over the years, but it has generally been established that to qualify for VAT recovery the car must not be available for any private use and you must be able to demonstrate that this is so. Accordingly, a car...

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Child Benefit charge if income exceeds £50,000

The High Income Child Benefit charge (HICBC) applies to a parent whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who is in receipt of Child Benefit. If both parents have an income that exceeds £50,000, the charge will apply to the highest income earner. The charge claws back the financial benefit of receiving Child Benefit either by reducing or removing the benefit entirely. If you or your partner have exceeded the £50,000 threshold during the last tax year (2018-19) then you must take action. If you or your partner continue...

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VAT and insurance claims

Insurance transactions are generally VAT exempt. However, there are many issues that can arise concerning the VAT liability of certain insurance transactions. One of these issues concerns the VAT treatment of insurance claims. Insurers are unable to recover VAT incurred in obtaining replacement goods or having repairs carried out for a policy holder. This supply is treated as being made to the policy holder regardless of who makes the payment to the supplier. However, a VAT registered insurance policy holder can, subject to the normal rules,...

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When are Class 1A NICs due

Class 1A NICs are paid by employers in respect of most benefits in kind provided to employees, for example, the use of a company car. There are no Class 1A employee contributions payable. Class 1A NICs are due in respect of most benefits provided to: directors and certain other persons in controlling positions, employees, members of the family or households of the above. Where a benefit is provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA), special rules apply and the Class 1A NICs are calculated as...

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How do you calculate adjusted net income?

To calculate adjusted net income, you will need to look at a taxpayer’s total taxable income, before personal allowances, and then deduct any trading losses, gift aid donations, gross pension contributions and pension contributions where the pension provider has already provided tax relief at the basic rate. Calculating the adjusted net income amount is necessary if any of the following apply: A taxpayer is liable to an income-related reduction to the personal allowance - when their adjusted net income is over £100,000...

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Pregnant women and new parents to get enhanced redundancy protections

The government has published its response to its January 2019 consultation on “pregnancy and maternity discrimination: extending redundancy protection for women and new parents” and has confirmed that it will now take action to address such discrimination. As the law currently stands, employees who are placed at risk of redundancy when they are absent on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave have an absolute right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, where one is available, in priority to other employees who are...

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Lowest paid to be eligible for sick pay

A new consultation launched jointly by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care, is seeking views on different ways in which both the Government and employers can take action to reduce ill health-related job loss. The consultation is examining a number of specific proposals including: Reforming Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that it is better enforced, more flexible and covers the lowest paid employees. This would extend SSP protection to around 2 million low-paid employees. Offering more support to...

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Visiting EU after 31 October 2019

Although we have a new Prime Minister, it would seem that so far nothing has changed to bring us any closer to a Brexit resolution. In fact, it appears that a no-deal Brexit is becoming more likely as we approach the 31 October deadline. HMRC has published guidance on visiting the EU after 31 October 2019. They have said that there will be significant changes to the rules for EU travel if there is a no-deal Brexit. This would affect you if you visit the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland from the time the UK is due to leave the...

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Last chance to join the Help to Buy ISA scheme

The Help to Buy ISA scheme will close to new savers after 30 November 2019. This leaves less than 4 months to open an account before the product is due to be withdrawn by the Government. Once opened, account holders can continue to save in their ISA account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions. Bonuses can be claimed until 1 December 2030. The scheme allows savers to claim a Government bonus of 25% on monthly savings of up to £200 on savings towards their first home. The bonus translates to an extra...

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