News & events

  • Autumn Budget 2017 - How does it affect you?

    Here are the key points from Wednesdays scintilatingly interesting Budget!

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  • Warning of HMRC tax phone line 'collapse'

    MPs have warned that HM Revenue and Customs services plan to move services online could lead to another potentially

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  • Fascinating Autumn Budget Statement - Highlights

    By way of an update I enclose below some of the scintillating points from Mr Hammondís first and probably last Autumn Statement.

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  • Budget News

    Here's the key points from Wednesday's budget including changes to the Personal Allowance and the announcement of a new 'Lifetime ISA' for those under 40.

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  • Confusing Pension Tax Reclaim Form

  • Conservatives Swing Back to Power

  • HMRC collecting record revenue from personal tax investigations

    The taxman collected a record amount of revenue last year from investigations into personal tax due to a renewed focus on ordinary taxpayers and a more Ďheavy handedí approach.

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  • HMRC to lift tax owed directly from pay packets

    HM Revenue & Customs are now able to collect up to £17,000 a year of tax debt directly from higher earners pay packets

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  • Lawyers join calls to scrap tax powers

    The Law Society has joined calls by accountants and building societies for HMRC to scrap plans to seize money directly from individual’s bank accounts.

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  • French try to shed reputation for rudeness

    The socialist government in France is rolling out a plan to end their country’s reputation for rudeness to foreigners in an attempt to boost the tourist industry. 

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  • 5.5m PAYE errors made by HMRC

    Errors made by HM Revenue and Customs have resulted in 5.5 million people being charged incorrectly according to the Daily Telegraph.

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  • French train size blunder costs 50m euros

    Train operator SNCF has admitted that it failed to verify measurements it was given before ordering its new rolling stock.  As a result of the mistake, the latest 2,000 trains on order will be too large for many of the platforms they are due to arrive at.

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  • Money matters for you and your partner

    In these tough financial times, talking about money has never been more important, but many of us still struggle to bring up finances in our relationships. 

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  • Top German football boss Uli Hoeness jailed for tax fraud

    President of Bayern Munich Uli Hoeness has dropped his appeal against tax fraud and started a three and a half year jail sentence with immediate effect.

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  • Optimism grows for recession's end in July

    A report published today claims that the longest downturn for at least a century will end this summer as the UK economy finally recovers the ground lost in the recession.

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  • Property lettings campaign targets hidden income

    HM Revenue & Customs are hoping to raise awareness of the tax arising from property ownership and letting as part of a new campaign.

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  • Beware - online tax refund scams on the increase

    HM Revenue & Customs have issued a warning to taxpayers after seeing a 47% surge in online tax refund scams.

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  • Portugal hopes to boost revenues with tax lottery

    The Portuguese tax authorities will begin holding weekly lotteries in April for consumers who ask for their tax numbers to be printed on their receipts.

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  • One in three mums would quit work if they could afford to

    New research has revealed that one in three working mothers would quit their jobs to raise their families if they could afford to.

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  • Could longer school hours mean Tory election win?

    A former policy advisor to Number 10 believes that longer school days, shorter holidays and a 45-hour school week be the ‘perfect manifesto’ to win the Tories the next election.

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  • How does the taxman know you've been cheating?

    HM Revenue & Customs are using ever more creative means to spot ‘invisible’ income and underpayment of tax.  As the January deadline for Self Assessment approaches, we look at the methods – some high-tech and some very traditional – that HMRC use to snare the unwary.  

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  • Future banking and energy predictions from Arcus

    Predictions for 2014 are everywhere right now, but given that the year is now upon us, we thought it might be more interesting to look a little further into the future and consider what the banking and energy markets might have in store for us by 2024.

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  • Re-mortgage boom funds Christmas spending

    Homeowners are using the equity in their homes to find spare cash for Christmas as remortgage deals reach record levels.

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  • Children of the 60s and 70s face meagre retirement

    A new report has revealed the generation that came of age under Margaret Thatcher have not saved enough to be better off in retirement than their predecessors. 

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  • Make Christmas Charity Giving Count

    There are more ways than ever to give to charity this year, but have you ever stopped to wonder how much of your cash will actually reach the good cause you’ve chosen to support?  In some cases it could be very little.  Here’s a few ways to make your festive giving go further.

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  • Food budgets as little as 20 pounds a week for low income families

    Poorer households are spending as little as £2.10 per person per day on groceries to cope with rising bills and shrinking incomes.

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  • Cost of state pensions to quadruple over next 50 years

    The cost of providing state pensions to the UK's ageing population is set to grow more than four-fold  to 9.4% of GDP by 2063.

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  • Retirement age nearing 70 for the young

    Youngsters will be working into their 70s and those in their 40s will have to wait until they are 68 before they can retire, according to plans announced in last week’s Autumn statement.

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  • Millions 'living beyond their means' but won't give up satellite TV or takeaways.

    New research shows millions of Britons overspend by £150 a month but refuse to consider giving up their mobile phone contracts, takeaways or satellite TV subscriptions to keep their finances in check.

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  • Late Returns decline due to tougher penalties

    The numbers filing late tax returns in the UK have dropped 21% since HM Revenue & Customs introduced harsher penalties for late submissions.  

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  • HMRC blunders mean one in three could be paying wrong tax

    New research has found that basic errors made by HMRC employees mean that one in three taxpayers might not be paying the right amount of tax.

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  • MPs grill HMRC chiefs over lost tax

    The credibility of HM Revenue & Customs’ tax avoidance figures were questioned earlier this week as officials faced challenges by a parliamentary select committee.

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  • Record numbers of women failing to save enough for a pension

    Fewer women than ever are saving for a pension due to the costs of raising children and looking after their elderly parents, according to a new report.

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  • CTF holders may be able to switch funds for a better deal

    The Treasury has hinted that six million Child Trust Fund holders may soon be able to  switch their savings to much better deals.

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  • Pensioners with more than 23k savings not eligible for care scheme.

    Pensioners with savings of more than £23,000 could have to run them down before becoming eligible for a scheme designed to prevent people from having to sell their homes to pay for social care.  

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  • Higher rate taxpayers missing out on 230m pensions tax relief

    Many higher rate taxpayers with personal pensions are failing to claim higher rate tax relief on their pension contributions according to new research.  

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  • Four million married couples to benefit from tax break

    Plans for married couples to get tax breaks worth up to £200 a year have been announced by David Cameron. 

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  • Parents and landlords need to act now to avoid tax penalties

    Parents and landlords need to act now to avoid penalty charges and take advantage of amnestys from HM Revenue & Customs.

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  • New record figures for tax tribunal waiting list

    The number of tax disputes headed for litigation set a new record last year, with official figures showing that the number of outstanding cases has doubled over the past four years.

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  • Things they don't tell you at university

    With higher education costs soaring many of this year’s freshers have accepted student debt as a way of life, but may have given little more thought to their financial future after they graduate.

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  • UK recovery the right kind for growth?

    As growth forecasts for the remainder of the year increase from 0.8% to 1.5%, it looks as if the UK has turned a corner and on the road to economic recovery.  But are we heading for the right kind of sustainable growth?

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  • Penalties loom for parents receiving Child Benefit with income over 50k

    The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) are reminding parents with income over £50,000 a year for 2012/13 that they have less than one month to register for Self Assessment with HM Revenue & Customs in order to avoid a penalty.  

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  • Taxman using consumer data in business tax clampdown

    HMRC can now access data on card payment transactions to UK firms to check against the values officially reported.

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  • HMRC offers alternative dispute resolution

    A new facility to resolve disputes before they reach tribunal has been launched by HM Revenue & Customs.

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  • Prosecutions on the rise for small time tax evaders

    More small-time tax evaders are facing criminal investigation by HM Revenue & Customs with successful prosecutions doubling last year.

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  • HMRC proposes daily checks on tax avoidance firms

    The taxman plans to clamp down on accountants who set up aggressive tax dodging schemes by checking rogue firms on a daily basis.

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  • One in three still paying off mortgage in their 60s

    One in three of us will still be paying off mortgages in our 60s, compared to the generation before which cleared their mortgages at an average age of 51.

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  • 'Tax Return Catch Up' - latest amnesty from HMRC

    Self Assessment taxpayers who have not yet submitted overdue returns are being given a window of opportunity to settle their affairs in HM Revenue & Customs latest amnesty scheme 'My Tax Return Catch Up'.

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  • Payday lending relied on by 1 in 20 families

    Family debt levels have reached their highest since 2011 with one in 20 relying on payday loans to get by.

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  • Self Assessment amnesty from HMRC

    Self Assessment taxpayers who have not yet submitted overdue returns are being given a window of opportunity to settle their affairs in HM Revenue & Customs latest amnesty scheme.

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  • UK economic confidence reaches new high

    Surveys show that business confidence in the UK has reached a 13-month high, fuelling hopes that the economy has turned the corner.

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  • HMRC faces budget cut and higher targets

    HM Revenue & Customs is to see its budget cut from £3.4bn in 2014/15 to £3.3bn in 2015/16 in last month’s government spending review, whilst also being given a £1bn increased target to raise £24.5bn from tax avoidance and evasion in the same period.

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  • Middle class workers face stealth tax to curb deficit

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that over five million middle-class workers could face stealth tax rises of £600 each after the next election to fill the £25 billion gap in Government finances.

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  • Rent increasing faster than rate of inflation

    The cost of renting a property in England and Wales is rising faster than the rate of inflation.

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  • Public Sector parents hit worst by austerity drive

    Parents working in the public sector will suffer the largest cuts to their incomes from government cuts and wage freezes according to research from the Trades Union Congress.

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  • A million more in poverty due to fall in real incomes

    A report released last week has shown that real incomes fell by 3% per annum for the last two years, wiping out modest gains made in the previous eight years and pushing an extra million people below the absolute poverty line.

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  • Rise in tax revenues suggests economy 'on the mend'

    A 'tentative' increase in tax revenues earlier this year has led some experts to suggest the economy is on the road to recovery.

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  • Consumer rights bill good news for UK shoppers

    A new 'Bill of Rights' for consumers means buyers can get replacements or refunds if phone apps and ebooks go wrong.

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  • Wage cuts for UK workers biggest since records began

    Many UK workers have sacrificed pay to hold onto their jobs due to the deepest wage cuts for a generation, according to data from a UK think tank.

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  • Retirement Income falls short for new pensioners

    Pensioner are facing a 40% fall in their average income in retirement to £11,600 compared to an average working wage of £19,000 according to new research

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  • Jaguar Land Rover announce record profits

    Jaguar Land Rover unveiled record pre-tax annual profits of £1.67bn this week as total world sales increased 22% to almost 375,000 vehicles.

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  • Bailiff visits increase as Council Tax benefits cut

    According to Citizens Advice, increasing numbers of low income households could be at the mercy of aggressive bailiffs because of recent cuts in council tax benefits.

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  • UK 6 hours from 'lights out' in March

    Britain was only six hours away from the lights being switched off in March as gas supplies ran 'dangerously low' in the cold weather according to a report from Crown Estate.

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  • First time buyers increase by 20%

    The Council of Mortgage Lenders has said that the number of fist time buyers has increased by 20% from 15,900 in February this year to 19,100 in March.

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  • 3.5 million due tax refund

    According to HM Revenue & Customs up to 3.5 million people could be owed a tax refund averaging between £350 and £500.

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  • Children as young as 10 saving for university

    Children as young as 10 are starting to save early for key milestones in their lives such as buying property, starting a business and going to university.

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  • Minimum wage increase below inflation for under 21s

    The minimum wage is due to increase by 12p per hour for adults but only 4p and 5p for under 21s.

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  • Gold coins at 'bargain' price causes record demand

    Dealers are reporting a surge in demand for gold coins due to a record fall in the  price of bullion.

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  • One in six Britons run online business from home

    Eight million people in the UK are now running an online business from home and may be unaware they qualify as retailers for tax purposes.

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  • April house prices hit record high

    The average house asking price increased 2.1% to £244,706 in April according to Rightmove property website, setting a new record for the time of year.

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  • Letting agents face tougher regulation

    The government has finally agreed that tenants and landlords need better protection from unscrupulous letting agents.

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  • Older workers to carry on until 70 to fill skills gap

    The government has suggested that employees will need to remain in their jobs up until the age of 70 to fill a shortage of qualified staff.

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  • Construction probe yields results for HMRC

    Investigations into the financial affairs of construction industry workers has led to an 18% increase in tax collections for HM Revenue & Customs.

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  • Why are the French so unhappy?

    The long held ‘joie de vivre’ of the French has been called into question by a Professor at the Paris School of Economics who has revealed that contrary to popular belief, the French are suffering from a ‘great unhappiness’.

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  • Real-time PAYE requirements relaxed for small businesses

    Small businesses now have until October 5sup>th/sup> to file their real-time PAYE information in a reprieve from HM Revenue & Customs.

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  • 2013 Budget - key points

    Chancellor George Osborne insisted he would continue to ‘hold to the right track’ as he delivered Wednesday’s budget against a grim economic backdrop of dwindling growth and higher borrowing.

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  • HMRC to shut enquiry centres

    HM Revenue & Customs have announced they will close all 281 of their enquiry centres which give face-to-face advice.

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  • HMRC criticised by MPs for poor service

    HM Revenue & Customs have been accused of ‘woeful’ customer service by MPs for failing to answer 20 million calls costing taxpayers £136 million in call charges.

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  • Life expectancy gap hits pension plans

    A report published this week has highlighted a widening gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor and is expected to lead to fuel political opposition to increasing the state pension age.

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  • Vodafone to end F1 sponsorship

    Vodafone have announced they are to pull out of Formula One racing at the end of the season after a long running sponsorship deal.

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  • Second home sales targeted by HMRC

    HM Revenue & Customs has launched a campaign to target those who sold second homes without declaring their profits to the taxman. 

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  • Landlords targeted in HMRC campaign

    Residential landlords are the focus of HM Revenue & Customs latest campaign to uncover tax avoiders. 

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  • UK economy grew in 2012 - but only just!

    Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that the UK economy did not flat-line last year as had been suggested, but instead grew by 0.2%. 

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  • Four in ten homeowners forced to sell at a loss

    41% of homes bought since 2007 have been sold at a loss in the UK housing market. 

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  • Older workers lead surge in self employment

    Older workers are leading a surge in self employment that has helped keep the jobless total down.

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  • Tax evaders named and shamed by HMRC

    HM Revenue & Customs has intensified its crackdown on tax evasion by publishing names and addresses of “deliberate tax defaulters” on its website for the first time.

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  • 850,000 fined for late tax returns

    Almost a million taxpayers will be liable for £100 penalty payments for failing to submit their Self Assessment Tax returns by the 31sup>st/sup> January deadline.

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  • Britain's wealthiest 14% pay for 60% of tax spending

    Britain’s wealthy are expected to pay 60% of the money raised by the Treasury from income tax, even though they account for only 14% of taxpayers, official figures have shown.

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  • Pension saving not seen as priority by private sector workers

    A government report has revealed that nearly seven out of ten private sector workers  do not currently pay into a retirement scheme.

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  • Impact of changing consumer tastes

    Magazine, newspaper and book publishers are facing major changes to retail channels they once counted on as media and entertainment retailers all over the developed world continue to disappear.

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  • Child tax breaks delayed

    Parents with children under five hoping for tax breaks were disappointed last week as plans for tax relief were postponed amid disagreement between ministers.

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  • Middle-class tax avoiders target of new clampdown

    The Crown Prosecution Service is joining HM Revenue & Customs in a new initiative to reduce middle class tax evaders who push or invest in dishonest schemes.

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  • Fairer pensions for stay-at-home parents

      A new government white paper will set out plans to introduce a ‘single tier’ pension of around £144 per week which will benefit those to stay at home to look after children. 

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  • Child Benefit reforms leave parents with tax nightmare

      Up to 850,000 parents may be required to fill out their own Self Assessment Tax Returns after missing a deadline to declare they no longer qualify for child benefit.

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  • RDR brings greater transparency of financial advice in the New Year

      The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which comes into effect tomorrow will change the way investment advice is paid for.  Financial advisers will now take fees direct from consumers instead of in the form of commission from companies whose products they sell.

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  • Housing market up 5% on last year

    More homes were sold in 2012 than expected as a result of greater mortgage availability.

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  • 20m calls go unanswered at HMRC

    A report from the National Audit Office has revealed that 20million calls went unanswered by HM Revenue & Customs in 2011/12 with callers incurring £33m of charges whilst on hold.

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  • Workers could get 62,000 in exchange for state pension benefits

    Better-off workers could get lump sums of up to £62,000 from the government to buy out their entitlement to the top-up state pension according to a senior actuary.

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  • Britons waste 420 staying loyal to their credit cards

    New research has found that Britons are wasting up to £423 per year by staying loyal to their credit card provider.

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  • Richest 10% of UK owns 40% of wealth

    A report from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that the richest 10% of households in the UK are 850 times wealthier than the poorest.  Those at the top own an average of £1.2m in property, cash and pensions whilst those in the bottom 50% own just £4,400.

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  • Record numbers use payday loans to cover Xmas spending

    A record four million people intend to take out payday loans to cover the cost of Christmas.

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  • Taxman to check your spending

      Up to two million people are to have their credit files checked under a crackdown on tax evasion to help the government raise another £10 billion in tax revenues.

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  • Worker exploitation linked to misuse of limited companies

     Campaigners are warning that ‘ordinary workers’ are increasingly at risk of exploitation around the misuse of limited companies

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  • Pension pots fall by up to 40% under new rules

    Savers can expect to see the estimated value of their retirement pots plunge by almost 40% after the Financial Services Authority ordered pension firms to cut their growth forecasts due to the global economic slowdown.

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  • One in three parents raid their children's savings

    Young investors beware!  A study by Moneysupermarket.com has uncovered that 30% of parents with under 18s have taken or borrowed money from their children’s piggy bank or savings account.

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  • HMRC to send out RTI advice

    HM Revenue & Customs is due to send out letters to every UK firm that did not take part in the recent Real Time Information (RTI) pilot, informing them of the steps they must take to prepare for the biggest change to the PAYE system for over 60 years.

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  • First time buyers rely on bank of Mum and Dad

    Almost 20% of first time buyer sales in 2011 would not have happened without funding from parents.

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  • Fresh food prices force consumers to shop around

    Government figures have confirmed that UK food prices have risen by almost a third between 2007 and 2012 with fresh food in particular rising 22% higher than the EU average.

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  • HMRC targets doorstep sellers

    Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has launched a new campaign to target tax evasion by people selling directly to customers either on the doorstep or to businesses.

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  • Women take control of major financial decisions

    A new study suggests that increasing numbers of British women are more likely to manage important issues such as choosing a financial provider and making provision for future spending and savings than men.

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  • Top rate taxpayers Self Assessment deadline is here

    Top rate taxpayers who have yet to submit their Self Assessment tax returns now face stiff penalties from 2sup>nd/sup> October.

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  • Travel savings to make your money go further

    The summer holidays may be a distant memory, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your next getaway.  If you’ve ever thought you could be getting a better deal on your holiday, have a look at our money saving tips to help your travel budget take you further.

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  • Holidaying Brits spend 2.8bn at the airport

    British travelers’ spend a total of £2.8bn at the airport before their holidays even start according to new research from Asda Money.

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  • Tax benefit for those who have kept jobs in recession

    Those who have kept their jobs during the financial crisis have seen their pay rise by two thirds more than the amount of tax they pay.

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  • Hard times force adults to holiday with parents

    Parents are increasingly taking their grown up children on holiday as they struggle to fund a break themselves.

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  • Home repossessions predicted to rise

    The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has predicted a 20% increase in home repossessions in 2012 despite the fact that they fell in the first half of the year.

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  • Women open more accounts but save less than men

    New research by the Halifax has revealed that whilst women open more savings accounts than men, their contributions are falling behind. 

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  • Taxman watches rural investments

    Accountants have been warned that Inland Revenue officials are to closely investigate those who buy farmhouses and agricultural land as a means of avoiding inheritance tax (IHT).                  

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  • Household budgets to recover in 2013

    The pressure on family budgets will ease next year as inflation falls and tax-free personal allowances go up according to predictions by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR).

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  • US drought fuels food crisis fears

    Whilst the UK is having its wettest summer for decades, drought conditions in the US and record cereal prices are fuelling fear of a global food crisis.

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  • Dairy farmers in crisis as price of milk falls

    Dairy farmers across the UK are in crisis as they struggle to sell milk for more than it costs to produce. 

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  • Britain's main export market is outside EU

    For the first time since the 1970s British companies are exporting more to countries outside the EU than inside.

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  • Jubilee fails to excite consumers

    The poor weather dampened consumer spending in June with below expected sales for the Jubilee festivities. 

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  • Unemployment falls as Olympics boosts jobs

    The UK unemployment rate has fallen to a nine-month low as the Olympics helps create thousands of private sector jobs.

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  • UK house prices still falling

    UK house prices continued to fall in June according to a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

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  • Where did our summer go?

    As we look out the window and see yet more clouds and rain, we wonder what happened to our summer and whether we can expect to see sunshine any time soon.

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  • Families need to earn more to afford 'decent' living standards

    Couples with two children need to earn almost £37,000 a year to afford basic food, clothes and leisure activities, according to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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  • High profile tax avoidance doesn't pay

    As the latest media storm surrounding Jimmy Carr’s alleged tax avoidance dies down, Arcus Taxation accountant Andrew Cross says that clients need to be aware of similar ‘aggressive’ tax avoidance schemes.

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  • Middle income families suffer most in recession

    The average disposable household income in the UK fell by £200 in 2011 according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  Middle income families have been hit hardest by the fall  with many seeing their disposable incomes down 4.3% from £25,500 to £24,400 last year.  

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  • Tax Implications of renting out your property

    There are always tax implications to consider before deciding whether to rent out part or your entire home to a tenant. Failure to inform HM Revenues & Customs of income from rental properties could incur fines and penalties.  Below we address some of the common concerns.

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  • Thousands due Inheritance Tax rebate

    Thousands of Britons may have paid more inheritance tax (IHT) on residential property than they should have.

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  • Average Briton pays 149 days salary in tax

    UK workers are paying £12.6bn in unnecessary tax each year, losing nearly five months' salary to the taxman.

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  • HMRC's new Tax app fails on launch day

    A website aimed at showing taxpayers how the Government spends their money crashed just hours after its launch.

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  • Half of all firms refuse flexible working

    Just one in 10 companies will allow workers to watch key Olympic Games events on television at work or online and half are denying any flexible working practices.

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  • Do you eat the same sandwich every day?

    If you like to take the same sandwich to work every day, research by the Whole Foods Market company has revealed you are not alone.

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  • IMF calls for rate cuts to dig UK out of recession

    Head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has called for Britain to make tax and interest rate cuts to 'bolster demand before low growth becomes entrenched'. 

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  • Young people increasingly shut out of first jobs

    A report from the Work Foundation has found that increasing numbers of young people are finding it more difficult than ever to move from education to work because they lack the right skills.

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  • PPI complaints reach record levels

    The Financial Ombudsman received 160,000 PPI complaints in the 2011/12 financial year.

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  • Civil Servants paid off payroll for over 10 years will not be named

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander is due to announce today that dozens of civil servants who have been avoiding paying their fair share of tax for over a decade will not be named.

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  • UK companies face 100bn pension top up

    According to new research, British businesses face a £100bn drain on their finances over the next three years to top up ailing final salary pension schemes.

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  • Today's children face up to 60 years of working life

    Today's children could have a working life of up to sixty years as the state pension age rises to 77 and beyond, according to research from PWC.

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  • 90% of widows unaware of state aid

    Nearly nine in ten consumers are unaware that there is financial help available from the Government should their spouse die, according to new research.

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  • Taxpayer to top up charity buckets

    In plans outlined in the Queens speech, taxpayers will top up donations to charities and voluntary groups that rely on small donations under £20.

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  • Mortgage payment rise would mean one in five 'couldn't afford food'

    According to research by consumer group Which?, one in five UK residents 'couldn't afford food' if mortgage payments rose.

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  • Deadline looming for employers

    The deadline is looming for UK employers to get their 2011/12 annual returns to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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  • Is tax the new football?

    High profile tax news stories have recently been in the headlines and are gaining popular interest like never before.

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  • One in four tax helpline calls unanswered

    A quarter of all those who ring the taxman hang up in frustration as the average wait on the HM Revenue and Customs hotline hits five minutes.

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  • Reasons for completing a Self Assessment Tax Return

    Do you need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return?  The list below sets out the main reasons why you would need to fill in a Tax Return.

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  • Taxpayers sent wrong penalty warning

    More than 10,000 people have been sent incorrect penalty notices by HM Revenue & Customs stating that they are incurring costly daily penalties.

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  • Cost of higher education reaches record levels

    With the cost of higher and secondary education reaching record levels, many parents are understandably worried about how they are going to fund their children's future learning needs.

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  • Disposable income shrinks to three year low.

    Report shows that the average family has only £144 a week of disposable income. 

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  • Child benefit claimants paying higher tax than millionaires

    The government has admitted that families will be left paying higher tax rates than millionaires because of the changes to the child benefit system.

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  • Elderly care funding could force library closures.

    Councils across the UK are warning that the crisis in funding elderly care could lead to the closure of libraries, parks and leisure centers.

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  • Health risk fear over new coins.

    Experts warn that Britain's new 5 and 10p nickel-plated coins have not been tested for the health risks they might pose.

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  • Taxpayers face 'May Day' fines for late payment

    HM Revenue & Customs are urging taxpayers to file their online returns for 2010/11 as soon as possible or face a £10 per day late payment charge from 1st May.

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  • Charities urge rethink on tax relief cut

    Charities and philanthropists are urging Chancellor George Osborne to rethink plans to restrict tax relief on charitable donations.

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  • New PAYE system promises to end shock tax demands

     Taxpayers should face fewer surprise tax demands in future if the launch of new PAYE system is successful.

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  • How to use tax rules to your advantage

    Wealthy individuals can still rely on simple tax planning measures to maximise their income and investment returns, despite government scrutiny of the avoidance schemes used by some of the UK's highest earners.

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  • Ministers' Tax Affairs no longer private

    The Tax Returns of senior ministers could become common knowledge as increased numbers of leading public figures say they have no problem ‘in principle’ with publishing their full annual tax statements. 

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  • Tax reform project runs into difficulty

    A leaked report has disclosed that a project to support far-reaching reforms of the tax system have ‘critical’ weaknesses that need ‘immediate attention’.

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  • Happier adolescents 'likely to have higher income' as adults

     Academic research finds that a happy childhood is linked to increased income and success in later life.

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  • Tax implications of renting out your property

    span style="font-size: 12px">There are always tax implications to consider before deciding whether to rent out part or your entire home to a tenant.  Failure to inform HM Revenue & Customs of income from rental properties could incur fines and penalties.  In this article (featured in Rutland and Market Harborough Living, April 2012) Arcus Taxation Accountants’ Director Andrew Cross addresses some common concerns./span>

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  • Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget for the coming year

      Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Budget for the coming year at 12.30pm today. Here we round-up the key announcements.

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  • Will Osbourne hit you with a tax hike on Wednesday?

    Chancellor George Osborne has a vital Budget to deliver this week, as he attempts to steer the economy away from a 'double dip' recession following the final quarter contraction in 2011. 

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  • Labour urge Chancellor to 'ease the squeeze' on families

    The Labour leader Ed Miliband has challenged George Osborne to use this week’s budget to ‘ease the squeeze’ on families by reversing cuts to tax credits.

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  • HMRC team to tackle web criminals

    HM Revenue & Customs are setting up a team to tackle criminals targeting its online systems used by the public to apply for the repayment of VAT, self-assessment and other forms of tax which they have overpaid.

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  • Changing cars? Remember to check company car benefit rules

    A restructuring of the 2012 company car benefit table means that those who have chosen low emission models could face a 50% tax rise compared to 2010/11 charges.

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  • Stay at home mums could lose out on pensions

    Research commissioned by the TUC estimates that more than 350,000 stay-at-home mothers will face cuts to their state pensions because of their link to child benefit, which is being withdrawn from families with at least one higher rate taxpayer next year.

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  • Osborne urged not to tax pensions

    HM Treasury’s tax advisers have suggested that more than five million middle-class retired people could be freed from paying income tax on their state pensions.

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  • Lending rates hit all time high

    Record high interest rates on mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts are placing household finances under increased pressure, despite the Bank of England base rate being at an all-time low.

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  • Wealthy homeowners face mansion tax to pay for 50p rate scrap

    Business secretary Vince Cable said that there is a ‘broad understanding’ in the Coalition that the 50p rate can only be scrapped if it is replaced by a mansion tax on wealthy homeowners.

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  • Families urged to accept pay cut to avoid losing child benefit

    Many families would be better off it they accepted lower wages or waived a pay rise to avoid being hit by the Government’s child benefit cuts.

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  • Osborne vow over stamp duty avoidance

    Chancellor George Osborne has committed to use the forthcoming Budget to crack down on stamp duty avoidance by people buying and selling homes.  He said that he found it ‘unacceptable’ that wealthy people were able to avoid the levy.  

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  • Protect your pension from 55% tax

     Higher earners and investors with large pension funds are being urged to take action to preserve the value of their retirement income ahead of big cuts to the ‘lifetime allowance’ (LTA) for pension plans.

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  • Tax clawback opportunity for high earners

    High earners still have an opportunity to claw back unclaimed tax relief on personal pension contributions amounting to tens of thousands of pounds, even though the deadline for submitting self-assessment tax returns passed on January 31sup>st/sup>.

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  • Ken Livingstone accused of high level tax avoidance

    Ken Livingstone is the latest public figure to be accused of using a personal company to potentially avoid paying higher rate tax, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

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  • Quarter of house buyers are first-timers

     According to figures from the National Associate of Estate Agents, 23% of house sales in January were to first time buyers, up from 21% in December 2011.  Numbers of first time buyers are now their highest since May 2011. 

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  • Childcare costs rise by nearly 6%

    Nursery costs have risen by nearly 6% in a year, while 44,000 fewer families are getting help with childcare bills since the April tax credit cut, according to figures compiled by the Daycare Trust.

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  • HMRC star Moira in tax furore

    The BBC newsreader, Moria Stuart who fronts the Self Assessment advertising campaign with the catchphrase "tax doesn't have to be taxing", has attracted media attention for channelling her fees through a personal services company.

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  • Tax code check is worthwhile

    Although many individuals assume that their tax code is correct, it is worth taking the time to make a few basic checks, since mistakes can occur.  By taking a few minutes to check your code, you may be able to identify problems early on and prevent paying more than you owe.  

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  • HMRC launches contractual disclosure facility

    Under a new arrangement by HM Revenue and Customs, taxpayers who are not under investigation but want to admit to tax fraud can come clean in exchange for not being criminally investigated.

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  • Childcare loans plan could boost tax revenue

    A cross party think tank has proposed that parents be helped to pay for childcare by borrowing up to £10,000 from the Government, repayable through the tax system. 

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  • 850,000 Tax Return penalty notices are issued

    HM revenue & Customs have today issued 850,000 tax return penalty notices to taxpayers because of late submission of 2010/11 Self Assessment Tax Returns.    

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  • HMRC amnesty for electricians

     Under a new HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) amnesty, tax-dodging electricians are being given the chance to pay what they owe and escape with a reduced fine of 10% of their unpaid bill.

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  • Growing trend of high-level tax avoidance

     The case of a civil servant earning £140,000 but paying only 21% tax has highlighted the growing trend of high-level tax avoidance in the UK.  

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  • The cost of living longer

    The Office of National Statistics has announced a sharp increase in life expectancy, which could put further pressures on annuity rates and company pension schemes.  So, even though more of the population is likely to live into their nineties, it could come at a price.

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  • HMRC targets Building Trades

    HMRC has announced new plans to investigate roofers, brick-layers, carpenters and other self-employed tradesmen who do not file their tax returns but are liable to pay tax at the highest rate.

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  • HM Revenue & Customs reports record submission for on-time tax returns

    HM Revenue & Customs has revealed that a record total of 9.45 million Self Assessment tax returns were filed on time this year, of which a record 80% (7.65million) were filed online.  This means that 90.4% of taxpayers met the deadline and is the highest on-time filing result since HMRC was created.br />  

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  • Improvements to Tax helpline to cost 4m

    As the taxman promises to "improve services", HMRC tax helpline will cost £4m.

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  • HMRC will give Taxpayers longer to file their Return ...

    Potentially tens of thousands of people will be given longer to complete their tax return because of stike action by HM Revenue & Customs staff call centre staff on 31st January 2012.

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  • The Taxman received 368 million in penalties in 2011 from Self Assessment Tax Returns

    Last year, taxpayers handed over £368 million in tax penalities to the Tax man due to late Returns, incorrectly completed forms and surcharges for late payment of tax from previous years.  

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  • More mortgages aimed at first time buyers

    Low deposit mortgages are making a strong comeback.  However, it appears that demand for first time mortgages with a 90 or 95 per cent LVT (loan to value) is greater than the supply.  Deals are also becoming fully subscribed quicker than historically averaged.

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  • How much do you need to retire?

    For both private and public sector employees the end of final pension schemes is proving to be a worrying time.

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  • Parents fail to invest their free 50 Child Trust Fund voucher

    Over 100,000 parents have not invested the last Child Trust Fund vouchers allocated by the Coalition.

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  • HMRC warns of "tax rebate" email scam

    Uk taxpayers are at risk of a "tax rebate" email scam as thousands of phishing emails are sent out by fraudsters in the run up to the self assessment deadline at the end of the month.

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  • Six million households have only 250 in savings

    New research form First Direct warns that one in three UK households have less than 5 days of accessible savings.    

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  • Top Tips for Self Assessment Tax Return Success!

      The top tip for successful completion of your Self Assessment Tax Return is to treat it with respect. After all it is a legal document on which you are declaring to HM Revenue & Customs your income for the year.   Next be prepared!  Before starting on your Tax Return, make sure you have to hand all your records such as; ul> li> End of Year Pay Certificate (P60)./li> li> Benefits In Kind Statement (P11D)./li> li> Details of Dividends and Interest Received./li> li> Records of any Letting Income and Expenses./li> li> Personal Pension Contributions./li> li> Other Earnings./li> li> Details of GiftAid or other Charitable Donations./li> /ul>

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  • Repossessions set to rise in 2012

    The number of people losing their homes for failing to keep up mortgage payments is forecast to rise in 2012.  Rising unemployment levels is expected to counteract the effect of low interest rates and a raise in repossessions levels is expected.

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  • Savers fail to earn good return

    Savers continue to struggle to earn a real return on their savings, despite the fall in inflation in November, experts warn.  

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  • Over 50's fear for their children and inflation

    The latest Saga index, which tracks the trends of health, happiness and standard of living in the UK 21 million over fifties, has shown that many worry about inflation and that it will raise above 6% and they will need to help financially support their children.    

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  • Home owners in negative equity

    Up to 360,000 home owners who brought a property in 2007, prior to the credit crunch, are trapped in their first homes and are unable to move up the property ladder.

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  • HMRC Chief Executive has resigned due to ill-health

    Dame Lesley Straithe has resigned as HMRC chief executive due to ill-health.  She has been on sick leave for several months.  The offical announcement of her departure revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer in July this year.  she had intended to return to work in the autumn, but as her health deteriorated, she has decided to step down as chief executive to focus on her treatment.

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  • HMRC to crack down on holiday home owners

    A 200 strong team of tax investigators at HMRC are targeting rich Britons with overseas properties who are dodging tax in a new crackdown that could net the Treasury in excess of £500m.

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  • Tax Refunds

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  • Autumn Budget 2017 - How does it affect you?

    Here are the key points from Wednesdays scintilatingly interesting Budget!

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