PPI Claims

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Self Assessment Tax – Plan Ahead!

Do you need to complete a tax return?If you have relatively straightforward tax affairs and already pay tax through PAYE (Pay As You Earn) you probably won’t need to complete a tax return. But if you have more complicated tax affairs – or income  from several sources – you may need to complete one. Click here for a full details from HMRC.

I speak to a lot of clients around this time of the year about their tax returns. Most people leave it to the last minute, and worst still, haven’t made sufficient provision to pay the tax due. Remember, you have to pay the tax and an amount on account for next year by the 31 January. The exception is if your tax liability is below £1000, then you don’t need to pay anything on account for next year.

If you plan ahead, you can make this a stress free process. Contrary to what you might think, HMRC are actually very helpful. They won’t give you advice but very good with general guidance. Hopefully most of you have already submitted your return if you need to complete one. If you are self employed or run a small business, your accountant or tax adviser should have dealt with this on your behalf.

Finally, it is important that you have the funds to pay the tax that is due. This has to be paid by the 31 January. I am sure you are all aware of this. If you have had difficulty paying or raising the money to do so, be aware of the penalties. Like the title of this article, if you plan in advance, you can avoid this in the future. Please contact me by email for details on how you can plan ahead so that you have the funds to pay your tax on time in 2013. Check out the website also for other useful information.

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First Time buyer Stamp Duty – March 2012!

The government has declined to extend the Stamp Duty holiday for first-time buyers as it claims the policy has failed to increase the number of first-time buyers entering the market.

In chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement today, he failed to extend the Stamp Duty holiday beyond its end date of March 2012, despite calls to do so from industry bodies such as the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The autumn statement says: “The government is publishing analysis showing that the Stamp Duty land tax relief for first-time buyers has been ineffective in increasing the number of first-time buyers entering the market.

If you are a first time buyer (FTB), then you have until March 2012 to benefit from a stamp duty saving of 1 % up to a purchase price of £250,000.

First Time Buyer  

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Private rented sector on the increase!

If current trends continue,  the private rented sector will account for 20 per cent of the housing market by 2020, according to Savills Research director Yolande Barnes.

First time buyers are finding it difficult to raise a sufficient deposit to get on the ladder, and second time and subsequent buyers are finding that they don’t have the equity to provide the required deposit to obtain a competitive mortgage deal. With the social housing sector static, more people are moving to the private rented sector.

As interest rates are set to remain low for the foreseeable future, bank and building society deposits are paying next to nothing. Add a measure of inflation at nearly 5%, although this is predicted to fall sharply next year, money in deposits are actually depreciating by about 3 to 4 percent per annum in real terms. Pensioners and savers are taking a massive hit. As Mervyn King said, he sympathises with this group but his hands are tied as he is under pressure to stimulate the fast ailing British economy. Is it time to look at “buy to let” (BTL) property investment as an alternative?.

The buy-to-let market will hit an estimated £13bn or 10% of total lending by year-end, with product numbers rising from 505 to 800 over the next 12 months, according to estimates from The Mortgage Works (Nationwide’s BTL Lender).

This is not for everybody, and I strongly recommend getting proper advice if you are considering this.  BTL best buy

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Why Offshore!

An offshore or international bank is simply a bank based in a jurisdiction outside of your country of residence. You can choose to have an account in US Dollars, UK Sterling, Euros or a multi currency account in all three currencies.

But what exactly is offshore banking? Contrary to accepted wisdom, an offshore bank does not have to be in the Bahamas, or any other tropical place for that matter. The word offshore simply means in a country other than your own. It means doing your banking “overseas”. For example, if you currently live say in Australia, then banking in the USA is “offshore”. And if you live in the UK, banking in Singapore is offshore.

Offshore banking involves choosing a country with good financial standing and practices, and opening a bank account there – instead of down the road. But isn’t this inconvenient? Perhaps it was – once. But not anymore. With the Internet you can conduct all your personal or business banking needs with ease, using online access, tele-banking and even your mobile phone. Your offshore bank will give you a credit or debit card (like any other bank), to enable to you access your funds at will from any ATM machine in the world. And transferring money in and out is a relatively simple matter.

Always best to get professional advice!

More Info

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