Posts tagged ‘Threshold’

The Dilnot Report offers little help

It was thought that the Dilnot Report might help to reduce the cost that individuals have to contribute to Residential Long Term Care, but very little seems to have changed since the last report on this subject.

It looks as if a lot of people will still have their homes sold for Residential Long Term Care unless they plan effectively for such an eventuality.

 

The Report in Summary

The Dilnot Report is some 86 pages long with a substantial amount of supporting documents, but in short, the commission is saying:

  • Personal Care Costs should be capped between £25,000 and £50,000 with Dilnot’s preference being £35,000
  • An individual requiring care should be expected to pay between £7,000 and £10,000 per annum for “hotel/living” costs
  • Means Test threshold, currently at £23,250 or more should be switched to a sliding scale from £14,250 to £100,000
  • Estate cost approximately £2 billion each year on current care costs.

Some responses to the report have been:the man in the street

  • Too expensive
  • Cannot be taken seriously
  • Dead on Arrival
  • Lukewarm response from The Treasury
  • Pensioners face 2 billion granny tax
  • George Osborne wants to “strangle the proposals”

What it really means

The present proposals would not make much difference, for example, to an elderly lady who goes into a residential care home for four years, before she dies, and has a property worth £200,000 which is sold for the Care Home Fees.

Calculating average Care Home Fees, Personal Care, Hotel Costs, under the new scheme (capping at £35,000 and hotel costs not exceeding £10,000, the family would get £125,000 after all bills are paid.  Under present rules they would also have had to pay the council’s costs, so would receive £92,000.

 

The problem is getting bigger as we get older

Many who have to consider Residential Care Home fees have worked hard all their lives, were brought up believing they should save and buy their own home.  The expectation being that the “state” would care for them in their old age, and they would be able
to provide for their children and grandchildren.  Over 20,000 homes were sold last year to meet Care Home Fees costs, and this is only going to increase with an ever-growing elderly population.

Protect your home with professional planning

With proper planning these costs can be reduced, provided you have a professionally drafted will which includes the appropriate trust.  Or alternatively by setting up a Life Time Property Protective Trust (LPPT) you would be able to protect your house
from being sold and ring-fence your assets if you so desire.

The purpose for establishing a LPPT are manfold, and some are:

  • No Probate fees on the value of the property/assets in the Trust
  • No claim against the Trust can be made upon your death
  • Protecting the family assets from potential bankruptcy of beneficiaries
  • Financial protection from relationship failure

A side effect of a LPPT is that your property/assets are protected from being taken to pay for your care.  The LPPT offers effective protection from care fees provided that at the time the assets were protected it was not reasonably foreseeable that you would need to go into care.

Guest Author: Eric S Britt. Will Writer and Estate Planning Practitioner. Affiliated Member of The Society of Will Writers  Call 01480 270114 or Email: eric.britt@collectivelegalsolutions.co.uk for a confidential, no obligation review of your circumstances.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

 

If you are a tutor, a fitness instructor or make your money by selling through the internet, then the taxman may soon be taking a particular interest in your financial affairs.

More targeted investigations

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is stepping up its tax investigations of specific sectors where it believes tax is being underpaid.

A date for the investigations to launch has yet to be announced and there have been no guarantees of an amnarrow found the targetesty for those who forward to get their affairs in order wish to confess, although those who settle up any unpaid tax early are far more likely to get much better terms than those who are caught out.

Among those targeted will be private tutors and coaches who earn main or secondary income from private lessons, whether they are qualified or not, and ranging from national curriculum tutors to fitness or lifestyle coaches.

HMRC is also interested in individuals who use online marketplaces such as eBay to buy and sell goods as a trader or business without paying the resulting tax. This will, of course, not affect those who buy or sell in low volumes on eBay, such as private individuals selling unwanted items. HMRC is only interested in those who consistently use the online marketplace to make a profit.

Non-VAT registered businesses

Other traders who will come under the spotlight will be those whose turnover exceeds the £73,000 threshold but who have not registered for VAT. Don’t forget that now that the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise work together as HM Revenue & Customs, they share your business data.

Act early to mitigate penalties

As with any tax matter, it is always better to act now than to wait for the taxman to come calling.

If you fall under any of these sectors then George Hay can help you register with HMRC and get your affairs in order.

Disclaimer: This article is for general guidance only. All taxation planning should only be undertaken after appropriate professional advice. George Hay Chartered Accountants are registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

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If you found this post interesting/useful please share it with your social network and/or bookmark it.  Also, your comments are always valued and will help me to write new posts that are relevant to readers of this blog.

If you do not currently offer your employees a company pension scheme then you need to take heed of a new scheme announced by the coalition Government.


All employers

From October 2012, all employers, no matter how small, will have to enrol staff in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), unless they already offer a comparable pension scheme to their employees.

NEST

NEST is a scheme designed to give people more access to good quality pension savings, especially for those on low to middle incomes. The Government hopes that this will prompt people to start saving for their retirement, particularly with people now living longer with little or no savings.


Phased implementation

Each employer will be given a date from when the changes must be in place. The reform will be phased in over a four-year period to 2016, starting with larger firms and then working down through medium and then small and micro-employers. The size of an employer will be based on PAYE data.

A minimum contribution level will also be phased in gradually, with employers eventually contributing at least 3% of qualifying earnings by October 2017.

Eligibility

To be eligible for enrolment, staff must work in the UK, be at least 22 and under state pension age and not already be in a suitable pension scheme. They will have to earn at least £7,475 a year, which will be the threshold for paying income tax from April 2011.

Transferable and may be used by multiple-employers

Friendly, approachable, reliable professionals

The advantage of NEST is that it can travel with a person from job to job, with more than one employer being able to contribute to a member’s retirement savings pot at the same time.


If you are an employer or considering employing someone, then George Hay can advise on a wide range of pension and tax issues to help ensure you are fully prepared for the changes.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.


From 1st October 2010, workers who earn the national minimum wage will see a difference in their pay packet.

What’s changing?

  • The age threshold and the hourly rate are increasing
  • The hourly rate for young workers is increasing
  • Apprentices are now covered by the minimum wage legislation, albeit at a lower rate
  • Employers will be able to offset the national minimum wage by £4.61 for each day that accommodation is provided.

Planned changes

While these new rules come into effect on 1st October 2010, further changes relating to temporary workers are set to come into force from 1st January 2011.

In particular these regulations focus on “potentially exploitative arrangements” surrounding tips and expenses.

Need more information?

For full details of the changes and rates, please click here

If you are an employer, then George Hay  can advise you on what the new national minimum wage means for your business. We can also help you ensure you comply with the regulations and help you plan around any changes.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.