The Atticus Papers

Bringing clarity to finance

Friday 9th July, 2021

What are investment wrappers? - a guide to investment tax structures in the UK

What is meant by an investment tax wrapper? Financial advisers are often accused of using obscure industry jargon, when talking to clients. I know that I am sometimes guilty of this and I think any professional tends to unintentionally fall into the phrases that they feel most comfortable with, when trying to explain something which may be quite complex. For the adviser, this may be fine, but for the client it can be incredibly frustrating and confusing. One of the phrases most often bandied about by financial advisers is the term “tax wrapper”. When I look at it objectively, it is a very confusing phrase. It sounds like something you should get if HMRC suddenly started their own clothing line! However, it is a remarkably important phrase and it is crucial that investors understand it, as it goes right to the heart of how an individual makes their portfolio as tax efficient as possible. In the article below, I will explain what a tax wrapper actually is, highlight some of the more common tax vehicles and explain some of their most important features. This can be quite a complex area, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions. We are always happy to help.

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Tuesday 6th July, 2021

How much can I contribute to my pension? - A guide to funding your pension (UK)

How much can you contribute to your pension each year? This is a crucial question, as knowing the answer will put you in a strong position to build your pension pot and take advantage of the fantastic tax reliefs on offer. However, there are also many pitfalls and if you contribute too much to your pension, this can result in an unforeseen Annual Allowance tax charge. It is therefore very important that you have a broad understanding of the rules relating to pension contributions and what your options are. The article below will explain the pension Annual Allowance, pension carry forward principles, The Tapered Annual Allowance for high earners, the Money Purchase Annual Allowance and the impact of exceeding your annual pension allowance. It will also cover how contributions are made and tax relief provided.

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Monday 5th July, 2021

Pensions and divorce - how are pensions treated when a marriage breaks up?

"Do pensions form part of the marital assets?" This is a question I am frequently asked by clients who are unfortunately getting divorced. It is a really important question, as pensions are often the most valuable asset that has been built up during the course of a marriage, quite frequently worth more than the couple's house. Unfortunately, these are assets that are also frequently ignored in divorce discussions and the final financial settlement, leaving at least one of the parties in an unenviable position when it comes to funding their retirement in the future. In the article below, I will discuss which pension benefits may be taken into consideration when getting divorced, how they are valued and the options available when dividing the benefits between the two parties.

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Wednesday 30th June, 2021

Property versus investment – which is best?

"Property versus Investment - Which is better?" This is the perennial debate in finance. Should you invest your funds into a portfolio of investments or a portfolio of rental properties? It is an argument that is as old as the hills and can get quite emotional. In the following article I will compare the two asset classes in an attempt to determine which asset class truly reigns supreme as heavy weight champion of the asset classes. It's not quite Duran versus Leonard, but the results should be interesting.

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Monday 28th June, 2021

Should I stop paying into my pension if it exceeds the Lifetime Allowance?

"Should I keep paying into my pension if it reaches the Lifetime Allowance" This is a question I am frequently asked by clients who are approaching (or have exceeded) the pension Lifetime Allowance threshold and are concerned that they may trigger a 55% tax charge on their pension. This is a very valid concern, but for many people, the implications of exceeding the Pension Lifetime Allowance are not as horrendous as they may think and there may be far more benefit in continuing to fund their pension. In the article below I will discuss the various options available when the Lifetime Allowance is exceeded. I will also highlight through calculations and examples, circumstances in which it is potentially better to continue funding your pension.

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