FINANCIAL INDUSTRY NEWS

​Spring Budget 2021:​
Key Points for Savers & Investors

Income tax

  • Personal Allowance increases to £12,570 and the threshold above which higher earners start paying 40% tax also increases to £50,270.
  • However, these allowances have then been frozen at these levels until 2025/26.

Pension changes

Standard Lifetime Allowance

  • The standard Lifetime Allowance for pensions will remain at £1,073,100. This level has also been frozen until 2025/26.

Annual Allowance

  • There are no changes to pension annual allowances (AA). The standard AA remains at £40,000 and the high income AA taper rules also remain unchanged. 

Individual Savings Account (ISA)

  • The ISA annual subscription limit for 2021/22 will remain unchanged at £20,000.

Capital Gains Tax

  • The Capital Gains Tax Allowance will remain at £12,300 and is frozen at this level until 2025/26.

Inheritance Tax

  • The Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band will remain frozen at £325,000 until 2025/26.
  • The Residence Nil Rate Band also remains frozen at £175,000 until 2025/26.

General Tax issues

  • Corporation Tax is increased to 25% from 2023/24 for Companies that make profits in excess of £250,000. Companies that make profits of less than £50,000 will maintain a Corporation Tax rate of 19%. Those companies that make profits between these two levels will pay a Corporation Tax rate that is somewhere between these two rates, but that rate has yet to be announced. 
  • National Insurance Contribution tax threshold increases to £9,568.

​Stamp Duty Holiday

  • The level at which Stamp Duty on house purchases is payable was increased from £125,000 to £500,000 last year. This Stamp Duty “holiday” was due to end on 31 March 2021 and has now been extended until 30 June 2021. It will then be reduced to £250,000 and won’t go back to £125,000 until 30 September 2021.

If you would like to discuss your current financial planning arrangements in light of any of these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Staying Vigilant - Financial Scams​

Sadly, as we live and work through the Covid-19 pandemic, cyber criminals remain active and we continue to hear of some distressing cases. Financial scams look and sound legitimate, which is why it’s easy to be tricked. We urge everyone to be on their guard and remain vigilant. If you are concerned about anything you receive by email or phone relating to your finances that you don’t recognise or aren’t expecting, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Financial scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in crypto assets. They may also be looking to gain access to your personal details, by asking you to download something on your phone or computer. Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a dedicated link within their website entitled scamsmart: which is designed to help people who have any concerns about a firm that may have approached them about a perceived opportunity.

  • “Good cause” scams. This is where investment is sought for good causes such as the production of sanitiser, manufacture of personal protection equipment (PPE) or new drugs to treat coronavirus.
  • Using the uncertainty around stock markets, scammers may advise you to invest or transfer existing investments into high return and high-risk investments.
  • Scammers may contact you claiming to be from a Claims Management Company (CMC), insurance company or your credit card provider. They may say they can help you recuperate losses by submitting a claim, for the cost of a holiday or event, such as a wedding cancelled due to coronavirus. They will ask you to send them some money or your bank details.
  • Cold calls, emails, texts or WhatsApp messages stating that your bank is in trouble due to the coronavirus crisis and pushing you to transfer your money to a new bank with alternative banking details.

Further to these, we are aware of some people receiving phone messages from individuals claiming to represent Amazon, who have concerns that somebody is trying to scam their Amazon account. They normally then encourage you to download some software to your phone or computer which will then provide them with the information they require to scam you. Interestingly, Amazon themselves actually have a section on their website about such a situation, highlighting how seriously they are taking this.

With so much happening at present, it is important to remain vigilant and our advice remains the same.

  • 1
    If you are unsure of anything about your finances, speak to us at County Financial.
  • 2
    Don’t do anything in haste. If in doubt, put the phone down or delete the email.
  • 3
    Never provide any personal information such as a PIN or password.
  • 4
    Ensure you use a strong password system

Finally, let’s spread the message about scams. Feel free to pass on this advice about scams to others. Everyone is vulnerable and sadly cyber criminals will remain active. By being aware of the signs to look out for, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim and you can also offer some guidance to others, through articles such as this.

We hope you have found the above helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

If you would like to print this article or download it to your computer as a PDF please click on the image here.

County Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No: 145831 www.fca.org.uk/register.

County Financial Limited Registered Address: Windmill Farm Business Hub, Bowstridge Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks HP8 4RG. Registered in England & Wales, No. 3467400.

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