16th December 2019 - David Herbert

Not shaken, nor stirred

Over the last month or so, financial journalists have been desperately looking for stories containing ‘news’ on anything other than the B word. A great deal of excitement has therefore been generated in the financial media from possible changes in the rules on Inheritance Tax.

The Office of Tax Simplification (I wonder what their Christmas parties must be like) have published the findings of an independent review carried out by the Chancellor, concluding that, amongst other things, the “seven year rule” should be reduced to five and annual allowances, unchanged since the 1980s should not only be brought up to date but radically changed.

Whereas I think this sounds like a great idea, what I object to is that this is being reported as some kind of “shake-up” with “winners” and “losers” already identified by journalists and letters to the editor have been in full flow.

Now, the legislative risk our clients take – and have to accept – within their Financial Plans are something we do take very seriously, but we are certainly not shaken, nor stirred. In the last 30 years we have had 9 Chancellors of the Exchequer and over 30 Finance Acts (we had 3 in 2010 alone – yes, I looked).

At times like these it’s best to focus on another word, back there in paragraph 1: possible. You can rest assured that we have a watchful eye on every budget, every Finance Act and yes, every possible outcome of the B word.

If there’s anything that concerns you, we’re here to help, please do let us know. In turn, if we think you need to have anything brought to your attention because it has a material effect on your personal Financial Plan, rest assured, we will be in touch.

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