Pension: Expert offers advice on how to easily track multiple pensions

Pension saving can be undertaken in a number of ways to provide multiple income streams for when a person chooses to finish their working life. The State Pension is provided by the government and is often considered as an income safety net to help with the cost of retirement. However, many Britons accumulate a number of workplace or private pensions throughout their lifetime.

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These streams of income are provided, in part, by an employer who contributes to employees’ pension pots as a form of reward for service. 

The law now dictates every workplace should offer a pension scheme by law, however, it is easy to rack up a number of schemes throughout one’s working lifetime. 

But how can savers keep track of multiple pensions to be able to claim the full amount to which they are entitled upon retirement? 

Express.co.uk spoke to Peter Wood, Partner at Prudential Financial Planning, who provided more insight into the matter, and developments in the pipeline which could help many Britons. 

He said: “At this time, tracking a range of pension will involve multiple statements. Or, if you have a financial adviser, they can track for you. 

“The government has been working with the industry to develop a Pensions Dashboard. This will allow clients to see all of their pensions, including their state pension, online, and will therefore make tracking pensions a lot easier.

“Having one central pension can make life easier, however financial advice should always be taken before switching.”

Mr Wood stated this advice would allow pension savers to understand if any potentially valuable benefits could be lost on transfer.

He added this option also assists in individual circumstances such as charges, fund choice and flexibility. 

However, some may decide multiple pension arrangements are still the best option for them.

In this case, Mr Wood stated there is a potential benefit to be had from keeping this arrangement. 

Mr Wood said it is possible for those who have more than one pension to obtain a 25 percent tax-free drawdown on each pension arrangement. 

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An income drawdown allows savers to take income from their pension fund while the pot remains invested.

This allows withdrawals, whilst helping the pension to continue to benefit from investment growth.

And Mr Wood pointed out a key tip which could help savers.

He stated the tax free drawdowns can be obtained from different pensions at different times.

This may help those who run into difficult circumstances at various times of life, or just need an extra boost in cash.

For those who may have lost track of pensions throughout their lifetime, the government has provided a helpful tool.

The Pension Tracing Service allows pension savers to find contact details for personal or workplace pension schemes.

While the service does not provide information on the value of the pension, or whether someone has a pension, it can assist with contact information.

Developments Mr Wood mentioned are likely to help pension savers to keep track in a more efficient way. 

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Universal Credit: Challenge to ‘absurd’ rules could affect benefit amid coronavirus crisis

Universal Credit was recently given a boost by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, in a measure intended to help those adversely affected in terms of finances by the lockdown measures. However, one woman has argued the changes have left her worse off, and is now taking her case to court. The single mother of four children, who chose not to be named, launched her case against the government, after arguing she was left £123 out of pocket in comparison to before the crisis.

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The woman, living in the north-west of England, said she had been left with £100 a month to live on after her rent and bills were paid.

Under the coronavirus crisis boost, the woman saw her Universal Credit payment fall from £1,397.92 to £1,275.

The reason behind the drop is because the increase rose her household income past the benefit cap threshold. 

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit Britons can receive, and applies to the majority of people in the country.

Legal representatives for the woman, Leigh Day, have argued the benefit rules are “perverse” and far too “stringently applied” during this unprecedented time. 

She also highlighted advance payment deductions, which she argued were as a result of someone stealing her identity to claim the benefit in her name last year. 

The woman has written to work and pensions secretary, Therese Coffey, to discuss her circumstances and put forward her case for judicial review. 

Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “I have only one meal a day, and it’s been like this for ages. 

“I live off toast. I’d rather my kids eat than me. I can’t even remember when I last bought clothes for myself. I’ve been stressed. It’s been horrendous.

“The changes to benefits in the pandemic have left me worse off when in fact they were supposed to help me during this difficult time, how can that be right?”

Solicitors have also asked Ms Coffey to explain the decision behind the retention of the benefit cap and advance payment deductions, despite the coronavirus crisis.

It is thought the case could pressure ministers to review the benefit cap, a policy which has often been unpopular. 

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The benefit cap was intended to encourage those who are unemployed to find work, however, it has been viewed as unfair on marginalised communities such as single parents and carers for children.

It is also thought to be superfluous in a time where Britons are finding it all but impossible to gain new employment. 

Carolin Ott, a solicitor for the woman, said: “Our client argues this is unlawful as it is irrational and discriminatory. 

“The benefit cap is a measure intended to encourage benefit claimants into work, but it is absurd for it to deprive individuals of much needed support during a time when it is entirely unrealistic for them to enter into employment.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said the department is working hard to ensure people are supported during the crisis.

A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Universal Credit adapts to your personal circumstances and the vast majority of claimants are better off on it. 

“We estimate that 2.5 million households receiving universal credit will benefit straight away from the increase in the standard allowance.

“We have also taken steps to help ease the burden of debt repayments including reducing the maximum deduction from 40 percent to 30 percent of a claimant’s standard allowance.”

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Billionaire SELLS all stakes in US airlines amid coronavirus pandemic

The billionaire has admitted he made a mistake investing in the heavily damaged industry, which saw mass loss in profits this year.

Mr Buffet spoke at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting where he announced the news.

He said: “We made that decision in terms of the airline business.

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“We took money out of the business basically even at a substantial loss.

“We will not fund a company… where we think that it is going to chew up money in the future.”

The multinational conglomerate based in Nebraska had previously held sizeable positions in the airlines.

According to the company’s listings, it held an 11 percent stake in Delta Air Lines, 10 percent of American Airlines Co, 10 percent of Southwest Airlines Co and a nine percent of United Airlines at the end of 2019.

The company was also one of the largest individual holders in the four airlines and in 2016 disclosed it had begun investing in the four carriers after avoiding the aviation sector for years.

Buffett said Berkshire had made the mistake of investing around $7 billion (£5.5bn) or $8 billion (£6.3bn) acquiring stakes in the four airlines.

He said: “We did not take out anything like $7 billion or $8 billion and that was my mistake.

“I am the one who made the decision.”

The billionaire investor said he had previously considered investing in additional airlines.

He added: “It is a blow to have essentially your demand dry up… it is basically that we shut off air travel in this country.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to airline stocks becoming deeply impacted by the near collapse of US travel demand as countries across the world remain in lockdown.

US airlines have cut hundreds of thousands of flights and parked their planes.

The demand for US travel fell by around 95 percent.

There is currently no clear timetable for when travel will return to pre-crisis levels.

US housing secretary Robert Jenrick said during a press conference on Saturday that the government wanted to support the aviation sector “in any way we can”.

He said the industry was “grappling with what the longer term demand for its services might be in an age in which social distancing will be important and in which business travel, for example, might be different”.

According to information from Dollar Flight Club given to the Express, airlines are set to lower airfare prices in the coming years by up to 35 percent to try and entice customers back.

These prices would then climb back 27 percent higher through to 2025.

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UK property warning: House price slump not all good news for first-time buyers – expert

Analysts are predicting drops of between three and thirteen percent this year as a result of the economic turmoil created by the pandemic and its aftermath. But experts have warned house hunters previousy priced off the property ladder that cheaper does not always mean more affordable.

In some ways this has created opportunities for first-time buyers

Vadim Toader

Hansen Lu of research firm Capital Economics, which predicts a price drop of three percent in 2020, said: “If there is a significant fall in house prices, something has really gone wrong with banking or with the economy.”

He said an economy in a long-term recession would put many first-time buyers’ jobs and with wages at risk will be harder for them to get lending.

There would also be very few homes available as over-borrowed homeowners get trapped in negative equity.

Mr Lu said: “If you are then in a sweet spot position where you can buy at a discount, it’s more because you are lucky.

“If there are enough of those people, that’s what stops house price falls in the first place.”

Most analysts are predicting short-term drops rather than a housing market crash.

Vadim Toader, chief executive of equity loan lender Proportunity which specialises in first-time buyers, said: “In some ways, this has created opportunities for first-time buyers.

“Some are sniffing some price cuts but I think there’s going to be a bit of a wave of disappointment.”

The Centre for Economics and Business Research has forecast disposable incomes will fall by five percent this year and Mr Toader said such loss to income will be multiplied because it will affect how much buyers can borrow.

But Oliver Knight, residential research associate at Knight Frank, said first-time buyers will still have an advantage because of the stamp duty exemption.

He said: “One of the biggest barriers to moving is already removed.

“The big issue will be stock. When prices fall, sellers clam up.”

Around 373,000 property transactions, with a total value of £82 billion, are now on hold due to coronavirus lockdown measures, according to estimates from Zoopla.

The majority of the sales, which Zoopla said are worth just under £1 billion in estate agency fee income, were agreed between November 2019 and February 2020.

They would have been set to complete between April and June.

Zoopla said the number of sales being agreed is running at a tenth of the levels recorded in early March, with volumes similar to what would be expected around Christmas time in late December.

The Government has said that, where a property is currently occupied, home-movers should do all they can to amicably agree on alternative dates to move.

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People can still continue to move in limited circumstances, such as in cases where the property is vacant.

Zoopla said the rate of sales falling through peaked on March 23 – the day stricter social distancing measures were imposed.

Demand from would-be buyers fell by 70 percent between the start of March and the week ending March 29.

The fall in demand bottomed out in early April and has since seen a slow improvement.

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Warren Buffett bombshell: How billionaire revealed ‘best investment you can ever make’

The billionaire made the claim in a 2019 interview with Yahoo! Finance as he discussed the secrets to his success and offered investing advice. Mr Buffett said that “by far the best investment you can make is in yourself”. He added: “First, learn to communicate better both in writing and in person, they increase their value at least 50 percent. “If you can’t communicate to somebody, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark. Nothing happens.

“You have to be able to get forth your idea”.

His second piece of advice was to take care of your body and your mind when you are still young.

The 88-year-old continued: “If I gave you a car, and it’d be the only car you get the rest of your life, you would take care of it like you can’t believe.

“Any scratch, you’d fix that moment, you’d read the owner’s manual, you’d keep a garage and do all these things.

“You get exactly one mind and one body in this world, and you can’t start taking care of it when you’re 50. By that time, you’ll rust it out, if you haven’t done anything.

“So it’s just hugely important. And if you invest in yourself, nobody can take it away from you.”

Despite offering the advice, Mr Buffett admitted people should do as he says rather than what he does, given his investments in Coca Cola and McDonalds.

He added: “I’ll get a certain criticism for not living it.”

His final piece of advice was to not relate success with money, saying that “I’ve said many times that If you get to be 65 or 70 and later and the people that you want to have love you actually do love you, you’re a success”.

The Wall Street stalwart has also revealed his investing advice in various interviews.

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In a 2018 interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box show, Mr Buffett said: “Now if they think they can dance in and out [of the market] and buy and sell stocks, they ought to head for Las Vegas. I mean, they can’t do that.

“But what they can do is determine that there’s a number of solid American businesses, a great number of them, and if you own a cross section of them and particularly if you buy them over time, you basically can’t lose.”

He added: “I know what markets are going to do over a long period of time: They’re going to go up.

″I will say that in 10 or 20 or 30 years, I think stocks will be a lot higher than they are now.”

Another piece of advice is to diversify your investments – buying shares in different types of companies.

He said: “The best thing with stocks, actually, is to buy them consistently over time.

“You want to spread the risk as far as the specific companies you’re in by owning a diversified group, and you diversify over time by buying this month, next month, the year after, the year after, the year after.”

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Will the Government extend furlough again?

The Government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is due to run for four months from March 1, until the end of June. The JRS was announced on March 20, and its aim is to enable employers to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries rather than laying them off in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. This is also known as furlough. Social distancing measures are likely to continue for the next year in order to avoid a second wind of the virus, and this means businesses will be impacted for a long time. Will furlough be extended in June?

What is furlough?

Furlough is supporting firms hit by coronavirus by temporarily helping to pay the wages of people who can’t do their jobs due to the virus.

It allows employees to stay on the payroll, even though they aren’t working.

The Government is offering to pay 80 percent of employees wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month before tax.

The company can top up this pay to 100 percent if it chooses, but is under no obligation to do so.

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Will furlough be extended?

The JRS is backdated to March 1, and applications opened on April 20.

The Government initially said the scheme will run until at least the end of June and will be extended if necessary.

Hundreds of British businesses could be forced to make a multitude of redundancies without a second extension, they warned.

During a Parliamentary update on Monday, chancellor Rishi Sunak said the JRS could be extended once more after it expires on June 30.

He said: “I am determined to make sure as many people as possible return to work after this crisis.

“I want to make sure that as we emerge from this crisis, we can bounce back to the lives we once knew.”

Mr Sunak said the JRS “will be extended” if necessary, depending on how employers react to the continuing crisis.

How to furlough staff

A staggering seven out of ten businesses in the UK have furloughed staff so far, and many others are contemplating the idea.

Managing Director of Cartridge Save, Ian Cowley, told Express.co.uk how to furlough staff strategically and empathetically.

He said: “We’re hoping that we’re not going to have to furlough. We’re very fortunate in that we are still doing a lot of orders.

“However, the current uncertainty means that could all change overnight. To that end we’ve got a plan in place.

“We hope we don’t have to use it but if we do it’s because we want to ensure staff have jobs to come back to.

“In terms of accessing the funds, the process looks very simple. It’s based on the PAYE system and will be administered online via a dedicated portal, soon to be launched.

“For anyone who’d like extra guidance, I’d recommend signing up to a HR subscription service where you can access advice at a fixed rate.

“The complication with furloughing though is ensuring a strategic and empathetic approach, in order to protect the business in both the long and short term.”

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Mr Cowley added: “My recommendation is to base your plan on forecasted cash flow. For us, by forecasting the number of orders, we can work out the resources needed in each department.

“Things are so fast moving that we need to forecast on a weekly basis, but by forecasting labour and the need for resources you can make a logical decision.

“Be prepared to implement furlough in waves, reducing resources in line with the needs of the business.

“When it comes to who, I’d recommend a two-tier approach.

“Firstly ask for volunteers, as finding willing people will help manage the process positively. Some employees will welcome the opportunity for health or childcare issues.

“Secondly, if you do not have enough volunteers, it’s time to look at the people whose work has disappeared or who can’t work from home.

“In most businesses your ultimate decision will be based on the skills needed, and ensuring you have the right mix to service demand.

“Furloughing is a brand new concept and there are no precedents to guide best practice.

“As a result, businesses should deal with furloughing in a similar way to redundancy to avoid the potential for any claims in the future.

“Be very careful to document your decision making process, as it’s essential to keep a record showing why you’re doing it and how you’re communicating the decision.

“Additionally, seek advice from a solicitor with HR expertise – the Law Society has a useful database. Investing now will help future-proof this process.”

Mr Cowley emphasised the importance of communicating empathy with your staff when you make the decision to furlough them.

He said: “Clearly explain to everyone why you’re taking this decision and get them to look at the bigger picture with you.

“You’re making this decision to protect their jobs for the future. It’s likely that managers will understand but less senior employees may not have the insight needed to see the wider context.

“For this reason, make yourself available to all staff members, whether they’ve been furloughed or not.

“To make sure we treat all staff with empathy, manage communication through your heads of departments, who have close, personal relationships with their team.

“Get them to deliver the news on a one-to-one basis, telling furloughed staff ahead of their colleagues, and ringfence time to make them available for follow up questions, either by email or on their phones.

“It is important that these heads let furloughed staff know that they can speak to your HR team at any point, and that they share a clear timeline on when the situation will be reviewed.

“Keeping furloughed staff engaged will be very hard. Just do all you can to keep lines of communication open.

“Managing the remaining workforce will also require skill. Some will be very worried that they will be furloughed in a further wave, while others may feel they’ve now got too much work to do.

“That’s why we will only furlough if we really have to, and we will use a cashflow forecast to make the decision for us.”

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How Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne turned one ice cream van into £280m fortune exposed

Mr Bannatyne came into the public gaze when he joined the BBC’s programme, Dragon’s Den, where successful entrepreneurs choose which start-ups to invest in. The Scottish businessman starred on the programme from 2005 to 2015, and invested in 36 new companies during that time. As Britons look to grow their savings during the pandemic, an interview from 2013 reveals how Mr Bannatyne transformed his life and became a business magnate.

Presenter Alex Belfield quizzed the entrepreneur for Celebrity Radio and asked: “It seems to me that people like yourself are very canny, you make certain decisions — I’m sure you make mistakes as well, but isn’t it seeing an opportunity when it’s presented to you?”

Mr Bannatyne replied: “Yes, but everybody sees these opportunities more than once in their life.

“I did, and I’ve turned them down before, and I’ve taken the opportunity to do it and built up a great business.

“Anyone can do it.”

Mr Belfield then asked: “What I was reading about you was your first venture, which was an ice cream van, one ice cream van, that then turns into a hundred ice cream vans and the next thing, you’re making money.

“How do I do that then, do I look for something that’s missing in a market, start small, and then grow slowly?”

Mr Bannatyne agreed and said it was key to start with one business and gradually increase.

He continued: “Some people will go out, and they want to have the biggest hotel chain and they’re going to get money from this equity provider and this bank. What’s the point?

“Get one, own it, run it properly.

“Open a second one, it doesn’t matter what the business is, take your time and build them up.

“Fantastic, you know what you do — go and do it.”

Mr Bannatyne was recently reported to be worth £280million, according to the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List.

He has released seven books throughout his career, such as ‘Anyone Can Do It’, ‘How to be Smart with your Money’ and ‘How to be Smart with Your Time’.

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The Dragon’s Den star spent most of his twenties hopping between jobs, including acquiring a HGV licence and repairing tractors.

During the BBC programme, he once stated that he did not have a bank account until he was 30.

Mr Bannatyne then moved to Stockton-on-Tees and purchased an ice cream van for £450.

He explained on his website, bannatyne.co.uk, that he “soon expanded by buying more vans and eventually sold the business for £28,000, founding a care home business instead”, called Quality Care Homes.

By 1996, Mr Bannatyne was able to sell on this business for £26million and moved into a children’s nursery chain called Just Learning before acquiring Health Clubs.

By August 2006, he had 26 Health Clubs, making him “the largest independent chain of Health Clubs in the UK”, according to his website.

He was later awarded with an OBE for his charitable contributions.

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UK property: Homeowners with gardens given huge boost as demand for outdoor space soars

Estate agents say many of their clients want to spend time outside now that spring has sprung and the days are growing longer. But they acknowledge lots of people are struggling to spend enough quality time outside and are finding it particularly difficult in the current coronavirus lockdown period.

Having a garden is often a rarity for many rental properties in larger cities

Rightmove spokesman

Searches by renters looking for a garden are the highest they have been this year on Rightmove – and are now almost double the level compared to the first week of lockdown.

Some renters don’t have direct access to a garden or even their own private balcony and so are restricted to just one form of outdoor exercise a day, as permitted by the government.

Over the longer-term, rental searches for gardens are now 16 percent higher compared to the average seen in January and February, and are also up 26 percent on the same week last year.

A Rightmove spokesman said: “Having a garden is often a rarity for many rental properties in larger cities, and so it may be that during lockdown people are rethinking their needs and location and are searching for some outdoor space and tranquillity.

“That allure may draw them further away from where they have habitually lived and travelled to work from, however.”

The property market has been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus lockdown restrictions with agents unable to show potential buyers or renters around available homes.

But agents report they are now helping landlords line up new tenants ready to physically view properties when restrictions are lifted and are also seeing a lower but steady level of tenant referencing taking place.

The Rightmove spokesman said: “Those properties with a garden are likely to be able to fill any landlord voids more quickly post lockdown.

“Understandably most of the rental market has hit the pause button right now except where there are essential moves taking place, and so we haven’t seen an indication of price movements yet.

“If there is a spike in demand that exceeds supply when lockdown ends this may underpin rental prices.”

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Industry analysts said although overall search activity in the rental market was still lower than usual, it is starting to recover and is now running at around 20 percent down on normal levels.

Total stock available to rent is up 2.6 percent in the second two weeks of lockdown compared to the first two weeks, as some agents re-list properties they have let out previously in order to line up new tenants for when lockdown ends.

Some agents have video of their rental stock, and some prospective tenants are happy to secure a property and start an application and referencing process now to save time.

Source: Read Full Article

Sturgeon crisis: North Sea panic after warning for ‘bleak future with 30k job losses’

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faces a crisis after a report by Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) found 30,000 offshore workers could be out of work after the price of Brent crude dropped to 20-year lows in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The OGUK warned jobs be lost in the next 12 to 18 months if the industry does not have help to “weather this storm”.

The news is a massive blow for Scotland, which relies heavily on oil revenue to prop up its economy.

Scotland possesses 96 percent of the UK’s crude oil and 63 percent of natural gas production.

Ms Sturgeon had pinned her independence hopes on being able to secure sole ownership of the oil fields, which sit in the UK’s territorial waters, to underpin the Scottish economy with the support of the Union.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “Like so many industries, our members have been profoundly impacted by Covid-19.

“With historic low oil and gas prices coming so soon after one of the most severe downturns our sector has experienced, these findings confirm an especially bleak outlook for the UK’s oil and gas industry.

“If the UK is to maintain its supply of domestic energy, protect jobs and build the critical infrastructure it needs to transition to a net zero future, ours is an industry worth fighting for.

“It’s why OGUK is today outlining a three-stage framework with a range of measures for governments and regulators to support industry now, stimulate a recovery and accelerate the transition to a net zero future.”

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The report also warned Capital investment by North Sea oil and gas companies is now expected to fall more than a third this year to as little as £3.5bn, which OGUK saying this was “amongst the lowest levels of investment seen since the early 1970s”.

Money from North Sea oil was a major element of the SNP’s campaign for an independent Scotland in 2014, with former leader Alex Salmond claiming the reserves were worth £1.5trillion.

North Sea’s Brent crude, the international oil standard, has been decimated amid a raging crude price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the coronavirus.

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Inheritance Tax could rise after coronavirus crisis – rules which might affect you

Many campaign groups have lobbied for the tax to be radically overhauled, including a cross-party parliamentary group which proposed significant changes. However, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the tax could well be increased in order to make up revenue lost due to the hard hit economy. A drastic increase in state spending to fund support programmes and benefits has led to speculation taxes could significantly rise to cover the costs and keep Britain out of the red.

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The Treasury has received £2.2 billion less in tax receipts this year when compared with 2019, in a notable economic slump.

Inheritance Tax (IHT), then, could soar in an attempt to balance the books.

The tax, which is applicable to estates valued over £325,000, was last radically altered during the Second World War to tackle significant public debt.

Then known as Legacy and Succession Duties, the tax was raised to 80 percent following the war, and reached 85 percent in 1969.

Inheritance Tax, often described as a wealth tax, currently stands at 40 percent, but taxation experts believe this could rise, at least somewhat, in the unprecedented circumstances.

Gestures towards an increase in Inheritance Tax have been displayed by Tax Research UK, who have called for a wealth tax to fund the COVID-19 recovery.

Director Richard Murphy told the Telegraph: “This would be those in the top deciles of income earners and wealth owners in the UK.

“Tax increases impacting the income of those in other deciles would be very hard to justify if measures to increase tax on wealth and income derived from it did not also happen.”

And tax columnist for the Telegraph, Mike Warburton, also stated he believed an increase in the tax was inevitable.

Shortly before the budget, rumours surfaced that newly installed Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, could claw back up to £1 billion in Inheritance Tax to fund the Prime Minister’s desire for a drastic increase in post-Brexit infrastructure spending.

However, the cost of coronavirus coupled with the Prime Minister’s goals proves an ambitious project.

While Inheritance Tax plans did not appear in the budget, they could potentially resurface.

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Britons shelled out an eye-watering £5.4 billion in Inheritance Tax in the 2018/19 year, with more people now paying the tax than ever before. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has campaigned for a number of months for the government to radically overhaul the Inheritance Tax system to provide relief to many families who are hard hit.

Shortly before the budget, John Stevenson, the Conservative chair of the APPG said: “The huge complexity around how the tax is levied, and the reliefs available on it, leads to lots of confusion and a strong sense of injustice.

“The rich get away with not paying, and IHT is perceived as an unfair penalty on hard working savers.

“Our bold proposals for reform seek to address this unfairness by simplifying the system and ensuring that the higher value estates that currently take advantage of so many reliefs and exemptions actually pay some IHT.”

Under current Inheritance Tax rules, approximately five percent of estates are subject to Inheritance Tax.

There is usually no tax to pay if the estate’s value is below £325,000 or if everything above the threshold is gifted to a spouse, civil partner or charity. 

However, the tax could still hit the pockets of the deceased’s loved ones, if the gift is given less than seven years before the person’s death. 

This process has been described by families as controlling of income, and there have been calls for the tax to be scrapped altogether.

The government has previously said all proposals suggested by the APPG and the Office for Tax Simplification will be considered.

However, the priority of getting Britain back on the straight and narrow after COVID-19 could potentially outweigh alternative opinions and proposals. 

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