The push to Christmas and all things family

13 September 2019

It might just be me, however, with all the political noise that's going on, I think it's really easy to forget that the rest of the year will actually happen. We've gone 'back to school' this month, half-term will happen, Halloween will happen on 31 October (I am going to avoid any reference to Brexit dates), Bonfire Night will happen, and Christmas will happen. How much of a celebration each occasion will be is another matter, but many have prepared for the possible winter chill ahead.

We have noted before in our blogs that November each year has proved in the past to be our busiest business month in the annual calendar. I feel that I should apply 'past performance is not a guarantee of future performance' to this statement, but much of the financial planning we undertake towards the end of the calendar year is family focused, and for most the love of the family will not change ever, whatever the outside world is doing...or not doing!

One key focus in November seems to be inheritance tax and gifting funds to loved ones, particularly through the use of the annual gift allowance. In the big picture, this gifting allowance of £3,000 in a tax year may not make a big difference in reducing overall liabilities. However, it can make a real difference to the recipients at an expensive time of the year. Taking this further, if last year's allowance was not used, you can go back one year and gift £6,000. Both you and your spouse/partner can make these gifts if unused, and this could mean that £12,000 in total could be given away, which could make a notable reduction in an estate's value. In the new tax year, starting from 06 April 2020, a further £3,000 can be given away, so a couple could in this example, give away £18,000 over a 4-month period from December to April.

Taking into account that Guildford was high on the HMRC's list of donors to their cause for inheritance tax charges, any reduction, if affordable, is usually worthwhile, unless you prefer the Chancellor to your children. I very much doubt this. More on the amount Guildford has paid in inheritance tax can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45964915

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As we approach the winter, irrespective of the noise that happens in Westminster and beyond, don't forget the family this Christmas and be ready with your financial planning.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

CFP Chartered FCSI

Chartered Financial Planner

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