With careful planning, a variety of savers could put offshore investments to good use

For the appropriate investor looking to achieve capital security, growth or income, there are a number of advantages to investing offshore, particularly with regards to utilising the tax deferral benefits. You can defer paying tax for the lifetime of the investment, so your investment rolls up without tax being deducted, but you still have to pay tax at your highest rate when you cash the investment in. As a result, with careful planning, a variety of savers could put offshore investments to good use.

Taking advantage of the increased savings allowance

If you are considering your Individual Savings Account (ISA) options, the good news is that the permitted contribution allowance will be extended for investors over the age of 50 from 6 October this year.

Don’t miss these deadlines

The deadline for submitting your 2008/09 tax return by post is 31 October 2009

Returns filed manually after this date will result in a £100 fine. Paper returns must reach HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by this date so that it can calculate the tax you owe before the 31 January payment deadline. The end of October is also the final submission date for paper returns if you want the tax you owe to be collected through your tax code. This is possible if you owe less than £2,000.

The flexibility to decide on your pension investments at all times

If you want to be more in control of your own pension fund and have the flexibility to make your own investment decisions for retirement, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) could be one option to discuss with us. Although SIPPs are more sophisticated vehicles for accumulating retirement funds, they are no longer the elite product they once were.

Higher rate taxpayers should talk to us now

If you are a higher rate taxpayer it may be prudent to talk to us sooner rather than later about your retirement planning provision, following remarks made by the government’s pensions spokesman, Lord McKenzie. He refused recently to allay the concerns of individuals earning below £150,000 that they may also see their ability to claim income tax relief on pension contributions restricted by lowering still further the threshold announced during Budget 2009.

Tips to make your finances more financially savvy

Follow our quick guide to structuring your financial affairs more tax-efficiently.

What you need to know

Additional State Pension
The earnings-related part of the State Pension built up in the State Second Pension and/or the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).

The first step to ensure that your estate is shared out exactly how you want it distributed

It’s easy to put off making a will. But if you die without one your assets may be distributed according to the law rather than your wishes. This could mean that your partner receives less, or that the money goes to family members who may not need it.

Making ethical choices when it comes to your finances

More and more people are taking an interest in green and ethical issues according to the Investment Management Association, covering subjects as diverse as environmental improvement, climate change, genetically modified foods, gambling and the destruction of rain forests. Nowadays, you can choose to actively support or avoid these causes through everyday activities such as buying organic food, donating to particular charities or using recycled products. There are also increasing opportunities to make ethical choices when it comes to your finances.

Will you have to work until you are almost 80 year of age?

According to research from fund management group, Fidelity International, many Britons hoping for a comfortable income at retirement could find themselves working until they are almost 80 years of age.

Meeting the distinct and changing needs of you and your business

Did you know that we provide a comprehensive planning service designed to meet the distinct and changing needs of you and your business? We understand that having a sound financial plan is vital to the success and growth of your business, and to your own personal wealth and security.

Assets Generally, everything that you own.

Beneficiary A person, or organisation, to whom you leave a gift in your will.

Now is a great time to discuss your problem with us

The fall in the value of assets such as shares, buy-to-let properties and holiday homes to their lowest levels in years, combined with a historically low capital gains tax rate, may be prompting more and more taxpayers to give away surplus assets to minimise future inheritance tax (IHT) bills. If you are considering tackling a potential IHT issue, now is a great time to discuss this with us.

Don’t miss out on the extra tax relief available this year

Research from Unbiased.co.uk, has found that UK workers in company pension schemes are missing out on huge sums by neglecting to save more tax-efficiently.

As a result, higher-rate taxpayers, who are members of their employers’ occupational pension schemes will miss out on an extra £720m available in tax relief this year by failing to make Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).

Navigating through the minefield of choices

If you’re thinking of retiring soon, we can help you navigate through the minefield of choices that you are likely to face and ensure that you receive the pension and other benefits you are entitled to.