What investors need to know. Now that the media attention has died down, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the 2016 Spring Budget welcome changes introduced for savers and investors.
Whilst the adult Individual Savings Account (ISA) limit for the current tax year remains at £15,240, savers and investors will be able to choose to invest in cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs, or an ISA which operates through peer-to-peer lending platforms, or a mixture of the three, up to the permitted allowance. Barrington Howe will shortly be announcing an ISA offering to maximise your tax allowance with one of the best cash ISA opportunities. A great opportunity for investors looking for the best ISA rates.
From April 2017 the ISA allowance will rise to £20,000; this is clearly good news for savers and investors looking to put more of their money into tax-efficient investments.
Increased personal allowances
The personal allowance, the amount you can earn before paying income tax, is increased to £11,000 in the current tax year and will rise to £11,500 from April 2017. The higher rate tax threshold is increased to £43,000 for this tax year and will rise to £45,000 in the 2017-18 tax year.
Capital Gains Tax
The first £11,100 of gains made in this tax year will be free from Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The Chancellor announced more good news in the form of a rate cut for those liable to CGT in the current tax year. In changes that the government hope will encourage further investment in business, a basic rate taxpayer will see the rate drop from 18% to 10%, and higher rate tax payers will see it fall from 28% to 20%. However, those who own a second property will continue to pay at either 18% or 28% when that property is sold.
The Chancellor decided to leave pension tax relief alone, meaning that the incentives to save remain in place.
Scams are on the rise
The tactics used by scammers to encourage people to part with their hard-earned savings and pension funds are often highly-sophisticated and constantly changing, so it’s very important for you to be fraud aware. One example has been outlined by Action Fraud1, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime. It has issued a warning about a new scam that has recently come to their attention targeting people in their 50s and 60s. This involves fraudsters offering investments in property in Cape Verde. Often the cold calling companies are over selling these opportunities and in some cases they are fictitious.
How to avoid Fraudulent companies?
There are a number of ways to avoid such companies if you are looking for an investment.
Meet the companies involved. Often people are stand offish. You get more from a face to face meeting than you do on the phone Gain a bit of knowledge. Try to understand the investment. Anyone with more knowledge on a subject can be more comfortable but more importantly make an informed decision.
Ask for a due diligence pack or further background information. Make your own enquiries. Do an internet search and see what is being written about them.