Shock National Insurance U-turn

In a shock move, that will come as a pleasant mid-week surprise to many, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that the government will not proceed with the increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed. The main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions, applicable to the self-employed, was to be increased from 9% to 10% in April 2018, and then to 11% in April 2019. The pressure being applied to the government during the last week has clearly had some effect, with many saying that the increase directly broke the Conservatives’ ...

State Pension: Do you understand yours? Thousands don’t

Businessman Drawing Question Mark SignA new report has claimed that thousands of people do not understand how State Pensions are calculated and that they won’t be entitled to the full flat rate State Pension when it is introduced. The Works & Pensions Committee, led by veteran MP Frank Field, has said that 55% of people will get less than the £155.65 flat rate State Pension, mainly because of gaps in their National Insurance record. The Committee also said that "failures of communication mean that too few people understand it". The report comes after ...

State Pensions: Don’t miss the six month window to top up your State Pension

iStock_000007329749XSmallThe introduction, from 2016, of the new flat rate State Pension, will benefit millions of people retiring in years to come. Until now it was thought that people retiring over the next two years, or who are already drawing their State Pension, would miss out, but new proposals have revealed how these people will be able to top up their State Pension. The flat rate State Pension, also known as the single-tier State Pension, will be available ...

Tax: Inheritance tax bills at highest levels for six years

taxesNew figures show the amount of money being paid in Inheritance Tax has risen to levels not seen since the financial crisis. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) collected rose to £3.1 billion in the 2012/13 tax year, up from £2.9 billion in the previous year. Whilst receipts from IHT still dwarf those from Income Tax and National Insurance, they have now risen for the last three years and are up by nearly ...