Government triggers Article 50 to begin Brexit

In our January newsletter, we outlined Theresa May’s 12 objectives as she laid out her vision post-Brexit Britain.

Since then, there have been a handful of developments in the UK leaving the EU.

Article 50 has been triggered, which formally begins the Brexit process.

EU Council President, Donald Tusk, has since said the other European countries “already miss [the UK].”

Upon hearing Mr Tusk’s comments, Theresa May said: “We’ll still be part of Europe, although we’ll be leaving the EU institutions.”

The triggering of Article 50 means Brexit is scheduled to officially take place on 29th March 2019.

Alan Mellor said: “It’s still difficult to know how Brexit will affect our client’s investments. We do though keep a close watch on the balance of client’s investments, the key is to have a sensible long term investment plan and a diverse range of investments in a broad range of assets and geographies.”

We’re one of Caldy Cricket Club’s Nifty 50!

We’re proud to announce our new partnership with Caldy Cricket Club.

The renowned Wirral club, set in National Trust land with stunning views over the Dee Estuary to Wales, is inviting local businesses to become part of its ‘Nifty 50’ scheme.

Nifty 50, so-called to mimic a batsman who raises his bat on reaching 50 runs to acknowledge the support he has received, allows us to work closely with Caldy Cricket Club as well as the wider Caldy Sports Club community, which includes Caldy Rugby Club and Oxton Hockey Club.

Caldy Cricket Club plays in the Liverpool & District League and welcomes teams from across the Wirral, Liverpool and Lancashire to its playing ground, Paton Field.

The club is also affiliated with the Cheshire Cricket Board and regularly hosts age group representative matches.

Caldy Rugby Club, meanwhile, play National League Division 2 and Oxton Hockey Club run senior teams for men and women, with the Men’s 1st team playing in the Men’s Hockey League Conference North.

Alan Mellor said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this fantastic community initiative.

“This partnership represents our commitment to the region and we are very much looking forward to working with Caldy Rugby Club this year.”

An image of coins stacked on a desk in our tax changes news piece

Dividend tax blow announced for shareholders and business owners

Last month’s Budget saw the news that business owners who pay themselves in the form of dividends, rather than a salary, will see their tax-free allowance cut from £5,000 to £2,000.

The announcement also affects investors who have portfolios of shares held outside Isas or pensions.

The change will come into effect in April 2018.

Alan Mellor said: “This announcement will come as a blow to shareholders and business owners who are going to be paying more tax.

“Whilst there is not a lot we can do to combat the change, we invite clients to contact us and see what their options are.”

Philip Hammond said investors will benefit from the recently revised increase in the Isa allowance, implemented on April 6th, to £20,000 and a further increase in the tax-free personal allowance to £11,500.

The higher rate income tax threshold has also risen from £43,000 to £45,000.

And although it has since been withdrawn, Alan Mellor said business owners need to stay aware of their tax structures, with the chancellor initially announcing a rise in Class 4 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.

“It’s on the Government’s radar, so could be revised at any point,” Alan said.

Alan Mellor can be contacted on 0151 353 1066.

A photograph of a woman with a child on her back outdoors on a pension transfers article

Earn more than a £60,000 salary? Make sure you opt out of child allowance

We all know that, should your or your partner’s individual income exceed £50,000, you must pay a tax charge on your child allowance.

But many people earning a salary of more than £60,000 aren’t claiming child allowance at all, and this could be having a significant impact on their state pension.

As a parent, you have a choice over whether to obtain Child Benefit payments or not, but you should still fill in the claim form because if you don’t, you could lose National Insurance credits, which count towards your state pension.

Filling in the form, and then opting out, also ensures your child is registered to receive a National Insurance number after their 16th birthday.

It costs nothing to fill in the form and will help you and your family further down the line.

Alan Mellor said: “Many people choose not to obtain child allowance at all when they reach a salary of more than £60,000, but it is really important that you fill in the claim form and then opt out to ensure you don’t lose out in the future.”

If this affects you and you would like some help planning your finances, contact Alan and the team on 0151 353 1066.

A photograph of a man writing on a piece of paper for our chartered status article

Have you included a discretionary trust in your will?

Philip Bates & Co Financial Services has issued a stark warning to those who have included a discretionary nil rate band trust in their wills.

Changes introduced by the Government on 6th April means having done so may mean missing out on the new family home allowance.

We will now see the inheritance tax nil-rate band gradually supplemented with the new main resident nil-rate band – and trusts are excluded.

Only residential properties left to a ‘direct descendant’ can qualify for this new family home allowance.

Direct descendants include children, stepchildren, adopted and foster children and grandchildren, but not trusts.

The aim of the policy is to give an additional IHT allowance in addition to the usual £325,000 per person.

So, by the time the changes have been fully implemented in the 2020/21 tax year, a couple will be able to pass on a property worth up to £1 million free of tax.

But it has been suggested that the changes will affect hundreds of thousands of people who have established trusts as a way of limiting inheritance tax liabilities.

Alan Mellor said: “It is impossible to estimate exactly how many people this will affect, but our advice is to seek legal advice on your will without delay.”