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Arcaria Financial Solutions
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Here is our commentary on last week - life isn't all doom and gloom. After all, England did win the 6 nations rugby!
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Republican debate heats up over Trump
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Here is this weeks Market Commentary - we are trying to find a suitable format to put this on facebook - so apologies if it isn't too clear! We will try to get better.
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Polly wishes everyone a very happy Chinese New Year! As you can see, she has gone East for a visit. Polly loves pagodas and will be studying her favourite one for the next week - back home next Sunday! See her live on http://bit.ly/1f9ZT0i
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We all wish everyone a very happy Christmas - and Polly has even decorated her tank with fairy lights! She still won't pose properly for her photo though. You can see her live on http://bit.ly/1f9ZT0i. Mind you, the link doesn't work on Edge or mobiles.
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We are very pleased to sponsor Circus Starr again this year. See them on http://bit.ly/1Qo1aBt . Fantastic work.
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Rusty Ventures outside for the first time - on his lead. He finds it all very exciting.
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OUR BUDGET SUMMARY

INCOME TAX
Personal Allowance: £11,000 in 2016/17, aiming at £12,500 by 2020, the threshold rising in line with the minimum wage*.
Higher rate income tax band: £43,000 2016/17, targeting £50,000 by 2020.
*Introduction of a new National Living Wage, from April 2016 £7.20 an hour for over 25s, rising to £9 by 2020 based on 30hours per week.
There will be introduced by legislation a tax lock to rule out increases in the main rates of income tax, VAT or National Insurance over the course of this Parliament.

INHERITANCE TAX
A new transferable nil-rate band is to be introduced from April 2017. This will apply when a main residence is passed on death to direct descendants, eg, children or grandchild. The allowance will be up to £100,000 in 2017-18, up to £125,000 in 2018-19, up to £150,000 in 2019-20, and up to £175,000 in 2020-21. This is in addition to the inheritance tax nil-rate band of £325,000, which will remain at this level until the end of 2020-21. Any unused main residence nil-rate band will be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner and means the effective inheritance tax threshold will rise to £1 million in 2020-21 for a qualifying couple.
The new main residence nil rate band will also be available when a person downsizes or ceases to own a home on or after 8 July 2015 and assets of an equivalent value, up to £175,000 in 2020-21, are passed on death to direct descendants.

PENSIONS
The Finance Bill 2015 introduces a tapered reduction in the annual allowance from 6 April 2016, for those with an 'adjusted income' of over £150,000. The 'adjusted income' definition adds-back any pension contributions, to prevent individuals from avoiding the restriction via salary exchange.
For those in defined benefit or cash balance arrangements, the value of the employer contribution will be calculated using the normal annual allowance methodology i.e. the pension input amount for the scheme, less the amount of any contributions made by or on behalf the individual during the tax year.
To provide certainty for individuals with lower salaries who may have one off spikes in their employer pension contributions, a net income threshold of £110,000 will apply. If the individual's net income is no more than £110,000 they will not normally be subject to the tapered annual allowance. Anti-avoidance rules will apply so that any salary sacrifice set up on or after 9 July 2015 will be included in the threshold definition.
The rate of reduction in the annual allowance is by £1 for every £2 that the adjusted income exceeds £150,000, up to a maximum reduction of £30,000. The carry forward of unused annual allowance will continue to be available, but the amount available will be based on the unused tapered annual allowance.
All pension input periods (PIPs) open on 8 July 2015 are closed on that date, with the next pension input period running from 9 July 2015 to 5 April 2016. All subsequent pension input periods will be concurrent with the tax year from 2016-17 onwards.

DIVIDENDS
From April 2016 Dividend Tax Credit will be replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance of £5,000 a year for all taxpayers. Dividend tax rates above this amount are going up from zero to 7.5% for basic rate income tax payers, from 25% to 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers, and from 30.56% to 38.1% for additional rate payers.

BUY-TO-LET INVESTORS
Buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief is reducing to 20% by 2020 and “wear and tear allowance” to be replaced by allowance on actual improvement costs.
In addition, the Government will increase the Rent-a-Room relief from £4,250 to £7,500 a year from April 2016.

CORPORATION TAX
Reducing to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020.

NATIONAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS
Small firms' NI contributions will fall, with a £3,000 employment allowance, no longer applicable to companies where the director is the sole employee.

INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX
Increasing from 6% to 9.5% from November 2015.

CHILDCARE
From September 2017, free childcare entitlement will be doubled from 15 hours to 30 hours a week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.

EQUITABLE LIFE
The Equitable Life Payment Scheme, which began making payments in 2011, will close to new claims on 31 December 2015.

STUDENTS
From the 2016-17 academic year, maintenance grants will be replaced with loans for new students from England, paid back when their earnings exceed £21,000 a year.

SUPPORT FOR MORTGAGE INTEREST
This Budget takes action to convert the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme into a loan, so that homeowners repay the financial support they receive.

Further information is available on the following link to the HMRC Executive Summary:
http://bit.ly/1eGuhiH

Those of you in need of a drink after reading all this will be happy to know it won’t cost you anymore as a result of this Budget!
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Meet Rusty – our new member of staff! He is 7 weeks old and totally adorable. We hope he will grow into the role of company mouse-catcher with distinction in the fullness of time – until then it’s just cuddles!
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2015-06-23
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Our new office picture - original lino cut by Penny Bhadresa. Beautiful.
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