This month’s newsletter includes the introduction of the National Living Wage later this year and Capital Gains Tax planning.
National Living Wage (NLW)
From April 2016, all workers aged 25 or over must be paid the new NLW of £7.20 per hour.
This compares with the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) for this age group of £6.70 per hour.
Workers aged less than 25 years must continue to be paid the NMW. The current rates are:
For employers with significant numbers of workers aged over 24 this will represent a 7.5% increase in the cost of labour. Contrast this with a reported annual increase in real wages of 2.7% in April 2015.
HM Treasury have created a National Living Wage website that sets out employers’ responsibilities in more detail:
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) planning
Most of our readers will be aware that they can make chargeable gains of up to £11,100 in the tax year 2015-16 and pay no CGT. This exemption cannot be transferred to a future tax year or carried back to a previous tax year if it is not utilised.
Many will also remember that it is no longer feasible to sell shares before 6 April 2016 in order to crystallise a CGT loss or a gain that is covered by the above exemption, if those shares, or part of them, are reacquired within 30 days of the disposal. However, it is still possible to reacquire holdings, within the 30 days period, if you use an ISA or self invested personal pension (SIPP) to make the buy-back.
Transfers of chargeable assets for CGT purposes are exempt between spouses and civil partners. Also, the annual exemption is available to both parties. This combination means that couples may be able to share the gain on a disposal of assets and reduce their overall CGT charge.
This strategy, of transferring partial ownership to a spouse, can also reduce an overall CGT charge if the transferring partner/spouse is due to pay CGT at the higher 28% rate (as their gains fall to be taxed in the higher rate tax band) and the receiving partner/spouse would only be liable to pay CGT at 18% (as their share of a transferred gain would fall into their free basic rate band).
And don’t forget, CGT is assessed and payable as part of your Self Assessment. Any tax payable for 2015-16 will be due for payment 31 January 2017. On the same day you will also have to pay any other underpayment of Income Tax for 2015-16 and your first payment on account for 2016-17.
If you own assets that are subject to CGT on disposal, and you, and possibly your spouse, are struggling to fully utilise your CGT annual exemption, or you would like to discuss ways to minimise any CGT payable, please call to discuss your options.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Contact Morris Cook Chartered Accountants, 6 Salop Road, Oswestry SY11 2NU - Tel: 01691 654545
Member since: 10th July 2012
A quick introduction - I'm John Waine, Director of TheBestOfOswestry. Having lived in this beautiful area for around 20 years now, I have decided to stay. :)
With kind thanks