The shifting balance of home-ownership

The shifting balance of homeownershipSince the financial crisis, the personal finance pages have been awash with stories that is harder than ever for younger people to get onto the housing ladder. The main issues facing first time buyers, have been rise in property values since the crash and the size of the deposit generally needed. The problem has been made even more acute following the Mortgage Market Review, which in many circumstances, has tightened lending criteria and made it even harder for first time buyers to find a mortgage lender. Despite Government incentives, ...

Retirement: Tax-free lump sum to be capped?

Retirement: Tax-free lump sum to be capped?People approaching retirement will be dismayed to hear new calls for the Government to cap the amount of tax-free cash available from their pension. Currently up to 25% of the accumulated pension pot can be taken as a tax-fee lump sum at any point after the age of 55. Many pensioners use the lump sum to repay debt, make alterations to their home, top up savings or invest to provide an additional income....

Everything you need to know about the “Granny Tax”

Up until lunchtime last Wednesday the term “Granny Tax” had rarely if ever been used, now everyone seems to have an opinion about it. “Granny Tax” was quickly trending on Twitter and with headlines like “Pensioners robbed”, “The great granny tax grab” and “Robbed”, there was no doubt what the newspapers thought. But what is the “Granny Tax”? How will it affect you? How much will it cost you? Read on to answer all these questions and more. What has changed? The changes were made to the age related Personal Allowance, which is the amount an individual can earn before paying tax....

Budget 2012 Reaction: More people dragged into Higher Rate Tax

Research has shown that even people of “relatively modest salaries” will be dragged into higher rate tax as a result of this week’s Budget. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that as many as five million people could be paying higher rate tax, at 40%, by 2014; by contrast last year 3.7 million people paid tax at the upper rates. In the Budget George Osborne also announced the end of age related allowances for those people over 65. The IFS said the “granny tax”, as it has quickly been dubbed, would cost pensioners approximately 0.25% of the annual income in ...