Image courtesy of Flickr_Sheila Sund

Finance Bill: September 2017

Further to the Spring Budget, the Treasury has published its second Finance Bill of 2017 to legislate for proposals made in this year’s Budget that were abandoned when the Government called June’s General Election.

Key announcements include:

  • The money purchase annual allowance reduces to £4000 from 6 April 2017.
  • The dividend tax allowance reduces to £2000 from 6 April 2018.
  • The introduction of an income tax exemption to cover the first £500 worth of pensions advice provided to an employee in a tax year. The advice can cover not only pensions, but also general financial and tax issues relating to pensions.
  • A process for policyholders who have part surrendered life policies to apply to HMRC to recalculate chargeable gains where the part surrender has resulted in a ‘wholly disproportionate’ tax charge.
  • Provisions for certain non-domiciled individuals to be treated as if they were domiciled in the UK for the purposes of income tax and capital gains tax from 6 April 2017.
  • Changes to the domicile rules for IHT which come into effect from 6 April 2017:
    • Anybody who has been resident in the UK for at least 15 out of the previous 20 tax years is to be treated as UK domiciled for IHT purposes. It was previously 17 years.
    • Anybody who was born in the UK with a UK domicile of origin but has acquired a domicile of choice elsewhere is to be treated as UK domiciled for IHT purposes if at any time they are resident in the UK and have been resident in the UK in at least one of the two previous tax years.

Another Finance Bill is due at the end of November or start of December when the Chancellor delivers the first Autumn Budget.

If you have any queries or if I can be of any other assistance please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Kelly on 020 8681 4994.

PK Partnership cost of financial advice

The importance of reviews

Several important changes to tax and benefits were introduced at the beginning of 2017/18. It makes sense to review your financial planning regularly to make sure it’s still fully effective. After all, last year’s sensible strategy could be this year’s tax trap.

Disciplined planning It’s a good idea to check your investment portfolio at pre-determined intervals. This is preferable to looking at it almost daily when markets are soaring or falling through the floor, as those are just the times when your emotions can override your good intentions to be a long term investor.

You will get more out of these reviews if you make a short list of what you want to discuss, to supplement our agenda. You can start with basic things like checking your use of the current ISA allowance. This tax year there have been two important developments to ISAs: first and most important, there has been a big increase in the annual amount you can invest in ISAs, now £20,000 – up from £15,240.

Efficient saving

The other big change is the introduction of the new Lifetime ISA or LISA (see page 3). You can start with one if you are between the ages of 18 and 40 and you can either use it for buying a first home worth up to £450,000 or leave it to be drawn till you are 60. The good news is that the contribution (up to £4,000 each tax year) qualifies for the equivalent of basic rate tax relief.

Reviews can prompt you to consider some of those things that sometimes get left undone – such as your will, which might still need to be arranged or updated. Or perhaps there is a lasting power of attorney that has not been progressed or a life assurance policy that should be placed under trust. Life has a habit of springing unpleasant surprises on us when least expected.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice. The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate will writing and some forms of estate planning.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investing in shares should be regarded as a long-term investment and should fit with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

 

 

Arranging insurance for the Gumball 3000 rally from Riga to Mykonos

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PK Partnership Budget Savings and Pensions

Financial Focus: Summer 2017

In the summer issue of Financial Focus learn more about:

  • The ISA family grows again The Lifetime ISA was launched on 6 April and is an important addition to the ISA family.
  • Budget tax changes – set for a comeback? The Spring Budget contained a few surprises, but came before the big surprise – a snap election.
  • The residence nil rate band – not all it seems.  The inheritance tax residence nil rate band is now available and will potentially cut the inheritance tax bill on your estate by £40,000.
  • Just one more year.  The next increase in State Pension Age has edged nearer.
  • Diversifying your investments. How can you arrange your investments to cope with future uncertainty?
  • Think before you phase retirement Phasing retirement is not as easy as you may think.

 

Click here to download your copy.

 

Our first Gumball 3000: An Insurance Broker’s View from the Cockpit. By Amit and Anjana

Our first Gumball 3000: An Insurance Broker’s View from the Cockpit. By Amit and Anjana

We have just completed our first rally as the official insurance partner for Gumball 3000. The journey began for PK Partnership almost a year ago when we were approached to find an insurance market that would insure such a big risk and provide the widest level of cover should something go wrong.

Registration began in Riga, Latvia where we met with the drivers of 140 cars that had signed up to this year’s Riga to Mykonos Gumball 3000 rally. We had quoted and put on cover many on the drivers before the start, including vehicles such as but inevitably there were going to be a few that required last minute specialist insurance cover, a strict stipulation for the rally by Gumball 3000. This resulted in a total of £30m risk premium made up of supercars, modified and imported cars, along with celebrity status drivers.

On the rally we were joined by big names such as Afrojack, Celo Green and many other famous faces, but our eyes were on ensuring we were there throughout the rally in case of any issues or unfortunate claims along the way.

PK Partnership Team 106 passed through Croatia, Latvia, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Athens arriving at the end of the week in Mykonos. We were driving 12 hour days in our Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S amongst the other cars we arranged insurance for including modified and highly sought after models such as McLaren 675 LT Spyder, Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 488 GTB, Ferrari 599 GTO, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead and Twisted Land Rover.

It was a full jam-packed week and we are already planning the insurance risk aspect of next year’s rally, a 20th anniversary celebration of Gumball 3000.

If you have any insurance requirements that you don’t think will fit standard insurance please feel free to contact us as specialist and unusual risks are our specialism.

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We’re excited for Gumball 3000 Riga to Mykonos

PK Partnership are excited to be heading off to Riga later this week and look forward to meeting Gumball teams at the Drivers Registration on Saturday.

We are team 106 on the grid and will be piloting a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S.

It has been a busy month for us talking to many Gumballers about their rally insurance and we’re pleased to say a large number of entrants have already been put on cover.

If you haven’t yet sorted your insurance, there is still time. Your Gumball insurance policy needs to be effective from 1 July 2017 and will cover your vehicle for the entire duration of the rally. It is advisable to have cover in place prior to travel. If you haven’t already contacted PK Partnership to arrange your insurance for Gumball 3000, it is important to do this as soon as possible.

Upon registration this Saturday 1 July you will be required to present proof of insurance that matches the required limits to take part in the rally. PK Partnership, the appointed insurance broker to Gumball 3000, can provide you with a tailored quotation to meet your personal requirements.

If on the day you don’t have the correct level of cover this can delay you for up to an hour whilst documentation is processed. For an insurance quotation from our appointed broker please contact PK Partnership on 020 8681 4994

We look forward to meeting Gumballers on Saturday!

 

Image courtesy of szeke, Flickr

The Triggers for writing your Will

Is age or life changes the more significant factor?

To some extent, the age at which someone should write a Will very much depends on individual circumstances. You can make a Will any time after you are 18 years old, but there are some life events that you might think of as triggers for the preparation of a Will.

Financial Independence

Some people find that they become financially independent from their parents quite quickly, whereas others continue to be dependent on them well into their twenties, perhaps because they are attending university or are in post-graduate study.

Under the intestacy rules, if an unmarried person without children dies without writing a Will, their assets will go to their parents (or other relatives if the parents are deceased). This might not be a problem while you continue to be dependent on your parents, but, on achieving financial independence and acquiring some assets of your own, you may begin to think differently. Perhaps there are other people or groups you’d like to leave assets to?

Getting Married

Marriage, civil partnership or even the recognition that a couple is in a long-term relationship might be a trigger for the making of a Will. Those triggers may have less to do with age than an acknowledgement that you want to provide for your spouse or partner in a manner that is different to what the intestacy rules would dictate. That might be especially true for long-term couples who are not married or in civil partnerships, but who own a house together or otherwise have arrangements that would be disrupted if the intestacy rules were to apply.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average age for first marriage is around 30 for men and 28 for women. That, of course, can vary enormously, but it would seem reasonable for people in their late 20s or early 30s to consider making a Will.

Having Children

When you have children, you are likely to have two main concerns about what happens if you should die. First and foremost, who will look after them? And secondly, what assets will be available to provide for their welfare? A Will enables you to address both these points, as you can use it to appoint guardians for your children and to allocate money and other assets (by way of a trust or otherwise) for the benefit of your children.

Re-marriage

A person who re-marries, either after a divorce or the death of a spouse, will want to make a new Will, as any prior Will (other than one made in anticipation of the new marriage) will be automatically revoked by the new marriage. This applies equally to civil partnerships.

Terminal Illness

A person with a terminal illness who does not have a Will may want to make one rather than have their entire assets pass under the intestacy rules. It sometimes happens that people with terminal illnesses have a particular desire to make a charitable bequest to a hospice, a charity related to their disease or to the care and treatment they have received.

How can we help?

Although a mentally competent person can make a Will any time after the age of 18, it is more likely to be a life event, rather than attaining any particular age, that will lead him them to write a Will. When anticipating events involving family relationships, children or an unmarried partner in a long-term relationship, one will want to consider making a Will. To find out how we can help, please contact us today – we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Image courtesy of WooWork.com, Flickr

Estate planning for unmarried couples: what you need to know

There is a misconception that unmarried couples who have lived together for a long time – and maybe even had children together – will, for legal purposes, be treated as a married couple. However, this simply isn’t true. And when it comes to estate planning, the ‘default’ legal positions for married and unmarried couples are very different.

In general, unmarried couples who do not have Wills and do nothing about estate planning can expect to pay a higher rate of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and may face intestacy rules that force the disposition of their assets in a way that they might not want or intend.

Why it’s important for unmarried partners to have wills

Consider, for example, an unmarried couple who have lived together for many years and who have several children.

If one of them were to die without a Will, the intestacy rules would apply. Under those rules, the deceased’s entire estate would go to the children in equal proportions. The surviving partner would have no automatic right to any part of the estate and would need to make an application to the court in order to claim some share of the deceased’s estate.

If the couple had no children, then the deceased’s estate would go to other family members of the deceased. Again, the surviving partner would have to apply to the court to make a claim against the estate for financial provision*.

So it’s easy to see why it is particularly important for unmarried partners to have Wills, at least where they are concerned about making financial provision for the surviving partner when one of the partners dies.

The good news is that where both unmarried partners are still alive, they can plan for the disposition of their respective states by making Wills, and by getting appropriate tax advice and putting it into effect.

They can also consider items such as living Wills and lasting powers of attorney, which may assist one partner in caring for a partner who becomes incapacitated.

*The legislation governing such applications applies only in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there may be remedies for a surviving cohabitee under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

 

 

 

Image Courtesy of Patrícia Almeida on Flickr

WannaCry Cyber Attack: Important information

In what is being called the biggest ransomware attack ever, over 200,000 computers around the world have been affected in the past week by the WannaCry cyber attack. The attack hit over 150 countries, encrypted the data of 200,000 computers and affected organisations such as the NHS, putting lives in danger.

This is not the first cyber attack and won’t be the last – and only serves to highlight what a major issue cyber security is for businesses and individuals.

With cyber-crime becoming such a common and widespread problem, it is becoming crucial that companies of all sizes are educated on cyber security to avoid being left vulnerable to attacks.

WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft, who released a software patch to fix it in March, however many users fail to install updates and patches on their computers meaning vulnerabilities can remain open a lot longer and make it easier to exploit.

Cyber security threats can affect all sizes of company. It is critical that staff are educated on the implications of cyber security as a business risk.

What is Ransomware?

There are two main types of ransomware – lock screen ransomware, where screens are locked to bar access, and encryption ransomware, where files are altered and opening prevented until an encryption key is applied. Either way, a ransom – usually payable in Bitcoins – is demanded, and which affected organisations must pay, or lose critical data.

As cyber criminals become ever more sophisticated, businesses can be infected by ransomware via a number of routes but typically email, through accessing malicious websites or due to flaws in installed software (and omitting to apply patches).

Top tips to protect your business

The recent attack was a warning of the dangers that cyber-crime presents. Most businesses will have in place some of the measures IT professionals believe are essential for protecting businesses from cyber crime:

1. Install anti-virus, web filtering and firewalls

2. Keep software updates patches applied

3. Backup your files and data

4. Keep your employees trained – Be careful what you click on! It’s essential to keep reminding employees of these potential ransomware threats. (The malware of this attack was distributed by phishing emails)

Cyber crime originating through email is common, often sent as mass random communications. Therefore, it’s worth ensuring employees receive regular training to remind them of potential hazards. Emails incorporating malicious links still create issues for many businesses. Some tell-tale signs to look for include:

• You should only click on emails that you are sure came from a trusted source

• Emails claiming to be from well known, reputable organisations. These may have email ‘from’ addresses that differ very slightly from the official address – i.e. a 0 replacing O

• Emails may have been sent by one of your contacts, whose own accounts have been hacked. These can often be identified as they contain a short – often nonsensical message – and (malicious) link

• Social media networks or instant messaging may also contain links to malware

• Increasingly, malware is distributed via every-day type documents that invite users to enable macros. A robust policy regulating download privileges, defining rights per employee can extend protection across the business

5. Formalise security policies

6. Instigate a robust password policy

8. Turn off computers immediately if suspicious activity is detected

Aside from financial losses, the reputation of an organisation can be greatly damaged.

We are advising businesses to obtain a cyber liability insurance quotation. Please contact PK Partnership on 020 8681 4994

 

Image Courtesy of Flickr_Ishan Manjrekar

PK Partnership… do good, have fun!

 

Education is vital for the social and economic wellbeing of any country. Our focus is specifically on basic education and skills development.

We believe charity starts at home and our mission is to empower disadvantaged communities through education.

In the midst of poverty, inequality and unemployment, this ideal sounds unachievable however, we are committed to giving back to the communities in which we have become grateful to and have helped put us where we are today.

Our chosen charity this year is Old Kampala Alumni Scholarship Fund (OKAS). This charity is close to our heart as our founder Prakash Patel was educated there and is now an ambassador for the project. Our aim is to work together with Old Kampala Alumni Scholarship Fund to achieve “what it did for us”.

Objectives

The project we are sponsoring this year is to raise enough funds for each student to have a set of text books. The amount required for this project is £70,000.

The overarching objective of OKAS is the improvement of the quality of life and the future of Uganda.

We want this positive impact to turn the students of today into ambassadors of the future, just like us.

To find out more about OKAS please click here.

PK Partnership Focus Areas

At PK Partnership, we believe that volunteerism is our most sustainable resource and we will be visiting the project and reporting our progress through our regular client newsletter, In Focus.

Prakash Patel – Ambassador, OKAS Fund and Founder of PK Partnership

Registered UK Charity No. 1159825.

 

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