A look ahead to the Budget

The Budget will soon be on its way.

It was announced last year by the Chancellor Philip Hammond that the Budget was to be moved back to the autumn to simplify the process of setting taxes and government spending.

This is the first year of the new system being in action.

As with previous years, Pension Tax Relief is under review, but it is unlikely that this will come to anything.

Currently, if a person is paying contributions into particular types of pension scheme and the contribution isn’t treated as paid net of basic rate income tax relief, they can claim back all the tax relief that’s due (both basic rate and any higher rate relief) from HMRC.

The Budget is expected to take place at the end of November.

The time has come for reviewing and fine-tuning accounts

The time of year has come for us to review and re-balance client accounts.

Once or twice a year, the team at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services will review and rebalance accounts to ensure that everything is in working order or if any tweaks should be made.

When we welcome a new client, we concentrate on putting the right plan in place for them and continue to update this plan to ensure that it remains relevant to your particular financial situation.

As part of our relationship, we have regular reviews with our clients to ensure that each individual plan is on track. This takes into account any changes in circumstances.

After speaking with you, we may decide that a couple of changes should be made here or there, which will help your investments in the long-term.

If you would like more information, contact Alan Mellor on 0151 353 1066 or find out more about how we work here.

Meet the team: Helen Brown

Helen Brown is a Senior Financial Planner at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services, having joined the team in June 2009.

“My whole career has been spent in the Financial Services industry; starting off as a mortgage adviser and then progressing to full financial advice,” Helen said.

“I have always worked for banking institutions but, for the last 15 years have worked in smaller independent firms.

“When I started with Phillip Bates & Co, I specialised in arranging pension income for clients who were retiring. This became my principle role within the business however, with the changes to pension legislation in April 2015, the pensions marketplace started to become much more investment based which means that I have now evolved into investment as well as pension advice and planning.

“I am currently working towards my Chartered qualification, which is recognised in the industry as the gold standard. I am currently half way towards achieving this and hope to be fully qualified in mid-2018. These are advanced financial planning qualifications and, as such, demand a high level of technical knowledge in pensions, investment and tax planning.

“The part of my role that I enjoy most is interacting with my clients. I take great care in looking after them and their interests and am enjoying building long-term relationships that I hope will last for many years to come.

“I Iike to offer a warm and friendly service and hope that my clients would agree that this is what they receive. My very favourable reviews on the website ‘Vouched For’ do seem to reflect this and I am very proud of that.

Connect with Helen by contacting her here.

Inheritance Tax & the property nil rate band

Inheritance tax remains a topic of confusion for many.

Essentially, inheritance tax refers to a tax on the estate of someone who has passed away.

The estate might consist of a person’s property, money and possessions.

If your estate is valued at below the £325,000 threshold or you opt to leave everything to your spouse, civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club, there will usually be no Inheritance Tax to pay.

If you decide to pass your home onto your children (including adopted, foster or stepchildren) or grandchildren, your threshold will increase to £425,000.

Some estates qualify for an additional threshold, sometimes known as the property nil rate band. This was introduced earlier this year and states that if someone were to pass away with an estate that is above the basic Inheritance Tax threshold, the estate could be entitled to an additional threshold before any inheritance tax is due.

This additional amount, for 2017 to 2018, is up to £100,000. This figure will go up annually.

If you have a question about inheritance tax and would like to ensure that your affairs are being organised in the best way, contact Alan Mellor on 0151 353 1066.

How will tensions in North Korea and Brexit affect financial markets?

If you have seen the news lately, you wouldn’t be able to miss the ongoing tensions in North Korea.

How will this, coupled with a still uncertain Brexit, affect financial markets?

“It is difficult to say,” said Alan Mellor, Managing Director at Phillip Bates & Co Financial Services.

“Financial markets have been pretty steady and solid. It’s ongoing noise that affects confidence, so the best thing to do is to accept that there will always be short-term issues, but understand that these may or may not have an impact on the world’s economy.

“We will be keeping a close watch on events in North Korea and continue to monitor our client’s accounts and the impact that this could have on their investments.

On August 7th, Conservative MP Kit Malthouse said that Brexit will provide an opportunity for the UK to develop an “independent voice” on foreign policy and claimed that engagement with North Korea and Russia was “absolutely key.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, he added: “Brexit is a big opportunity for us to be a more independent voice and obviously as part of the EU we were finding more and more and more that our foreign policy approach was compromised by their need for a collective action.”

On August 29th, Theresa May insisted that China must do more to help bring North Korea’s “illegal and provocative” weapons testing to an end.