Election 2019: what do the main political parties offer investors?

In these times of momentous political upheaval, old certainties suddenly look less sure. Just ask Christian Schultz, chief UK economist at Citibank, and Oliver Harvey, head of Brexit research and UK macro strategy at Deutsche Bank.

The duo made headlines in September with pronouncements that a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government could actually be a safe option for the UK – safer than a no-deal Brexit for sure, and maybe even safer than a Conservative government led by a fiscally profligate Boris Johnson.

Four tax clever tricks that work a treat

There’s a raft of different tax breaks on offer in the UK, but a few are often overlooked by savers and investors. Using them correctly means you can reduce your tax bill and keep as much of your investment returns as possible. Here is a guide to some of the possible tips and tricks you could use (but speak to a financial adviser for proper tax planning advice).

Ask Money: how do I arrive at the right capital gains calculation?

October 17, 2019

In 2011, my civil partner inherited his mother’s house, which had a probate value of £89,000. In December 2018, we transferred the house into joint ownership between my partner and me, using a solicitor. We have just sold the property for £125,000. The house was rented between being inherited and being sold. We spent about £3,000 on central heating and electric upgrades when we acquired it. 

Ask Money: where do I stand on paying savings into a pension?

October 2, 2019

I retired a few years ago and immediately started drawing a defined benefit pension. My only forms of income now are the pension, company dividends and savings interest. When I came to fill out my tax return using the HMRC website, I wondered if it might be advantageous to invest my savings into a new pension. 

Playing with the tax return form, it showed I could reduce my tax liability. However, it seems you can only use “relevant earnings” to be able to get tax relief. Pension payments, dividends and savings are not relevant earnings. I’m not getting any other monies.

Ask Money: where do I pay tax on dividends?

September 12, 2019

I am resident in Scotland, so I’m subject to Scottish tax rates. I have a state pension, an armed forces pension and dividend income. Can you please advise me whether, as a taxpayer in Scotland, I must pay Scottish rates on my total income or – as a friend suggested – Scottish rates on my pension income and English rates on my dividends?
Garry Barnett, by email

What will Boris Johnson do for your money?

If painful experience has taught us to take politicians’ pre-election promises with a pinch of salt, what do we make of the pledges made by party leadership candidates, which aren’t even recorded for posterity in a manifesto we can scrutinise later on? Bear that thought in mind this autumn as you ponder what impact prime minister Boris Johnson might have on your finances.

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Ask Money: what’s the tax position on this gift?

June 24, 2019

I plan to gift £200,000 to my 50-year-old daughter, who has learning difficulties and no income. I propose to invest it for her in the City of London investment trust through a Halifax trading account at a platform fee cost of £12.50 a year. The dividends should generate about £8,000 a year for her bank account, which would cover the cost of a leasehold studio flat and living expenses. My wife and I are 74 and own other assets that will attract inheritance tax. Will the £200,000 gift be a potentially exempt transfer? Or will our daughter have to pay tax on the gift?