Nationals roundup: Expect calls this week from home flippers, higher-rate tax payers, gifters and last minute ISA hunters.
The papers have been overflowing with financial news over the weekend ahead of Wednesday's Budget and the end of the tax year on 5 April.
Every paper carried stories on these five issues.
1) Tax changes already planned for 6 April
Higher-rate taxpayers face paying hundreds of pounds more in income tax and national insurance (NI) from 6 April, regardless of any new measures that may be announced in the Budget, as NI jumps a percentage point and the 40% tax threshold is lowered. Avoidance methods could be a hot topic in meetings.
2) ‘Flipping' to avoid CGT
'Flipping' is where a person designates a second property as their main residence to cut the capital gains tax bill when it is sold (a main residence is not subject to CGT). HMRC's manual previously said people with two homes could change the elected main property for just "one week" before flipping back, cancelling the gain for the previous three years for CGT purposes in the process. It now says "a short space of time", suggesting it could be the target for a clampdown in the Budget.
3) IHT reliefs
An IHT relief potentially up for review is the passing on of assets to the next generation tax free, provided the donor lives for seven years following the gift. The number of years could be upped or other restrictions applied on Wednesday, so clients could be eager to make gifts now just in case.
4) Interest rates
Financial markets are now expecting the Bank of England to raise interest rates in August, not June as previously forecast, following a slew of weak economic data including the OECD cutting UK growth projections last week. Good news for borrowers, not so good for savers - both will need their options spelt out.
The end of the tax year is just days away but there is still time for clients to take advantage of the annual allowance of £10,200 (£5,100 of which can be in a cash ISA) allowing all holders to ringfence greater sums from potentially higher tax rates.
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