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Budget 2014: Grant Thornton UK's Budget Summary Print E-mail
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Written by Grant Thornton   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Grant Thornton's review of the 2014 Budget

10 Key Facts About Updated “Tax-Free” Childcare Regime Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:00


  1. Works in a similar fashion to the Basic Rate Tax Relief mechanism for personal pensions or Gift Aid: pay in £0.80 for every £1 and the government will contribute £0.20 to the pot.
  2. Unlike with personal pensions or Gift Aid, there appears to be no Higher Rate relief to claim through Self Assessment.
  3. For each child, the maximum government contribution is £2,000 – meaning that parents will have to pay in £8,000 per child to maximise the contribution. This is an increase of £800 per child on the original announcement.
  4. In a further improvement to the original scheme, implementation will be accelerated as it will be rolled out to under-12s within the first year, starting in Autumn next year.
  5. Applies to registered / approved childcare provision, including nurseries, childminders, nannies and school-based care.
  6. Available only where both parents work, or where the sole parent works – no relief where a parent stays at home.
  7. Available to self-employed as well as employed parents providing earnings exceed £50 per week – there is a “start-up period” for self-employed where the minimum income limit will not apply.
  8. Those with incomes exceeding £150,000 will be ineligible.
  9. The current Employer-Supported Childcare Schemes (ESC) will continue but will be closed to new members from August 2015. Those remaining in ESC may transfer to the new Scheme but will have to leave ESC.
  10. Those wanting to take advantage of the new Scheme will have to open an online account with NS&I, pay into the account and the government will contribute on a quarterly basis.
1 Million More to Pay 40% Tax Under Current Government? Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

The Independent Newspaper has reported that it expects the 2014 Budget is likely to result in even more people being "eligible" to pay the 40% tax rate, thanks to an anticipated below-inflation 1% rise in the Higher Rate Threshold. Continuing to maintain the Threshold, or to raise it only slightly, is projected to drag a further 400,000 taxpayers into the 40% net - a total of 1.1 million since 2010, according to the newspaper, reporting on research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

It also predicts that the Personal Allowance will be increased to £10,500.

However, it is also widely reported that the government is under pressure from its own benches to ease the tax burden for middle-income families.

HMRC Reminder to Fix Protection for High-Value Pension Funds by 5 April Print E-mail
Personal Taxes
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00

HMRC is reminding taxpayers and agents that claims to "Fix the Protection" for pension funds with values in excess of the reduced Lifetime Allowance (soon to be reduced from £1.5 million to £1.25 million) must be submitted by 5 April 2014.

There is an online application form in order to submit a claim; there are of course significant restrictions on any further pension savings which can be made if Fixed Protection is granted.

Further information can be found at Reminder to Submit Fixed Protection 2014 Applications by 5 April 2014.

EU Plans to Put Trust Details on Public Record? Print E-mail
Capital Taxes
Written by Lee Sharpe   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 00:00

The Telegraph has reported (EU to Force Britons to Publish Details of Wills and Property) that the scope of an EU anti-money-laundering bill has widened to include Trusts, which may require the formal registration of Trust assets, for potential scrutiny by any member of the public.

The bill is apparently due to be voted on tomorrow.

Trusts are, of course, a largely Anglo-Saxon device, and widespread in the UK (and America) but very much less so in the wider EU. Common examples are jointly-held property, and life insurance policies written into trust. There is concern that the proposed new laws will generate significant additional work and compliance costs for Trustees, for marginal real benefit, and will greatly intrude on people’s private affairs. While there has been high-level representation by David Cameron, it is uncertain whether or not European legislators appreciate, or are concerned with, the implications for the UK.

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