NEW: Updated Features, June 2018
We’ve updated a few features in the individual tax diagnostic – as well as improving a couple of general features. These changes are designed to improve your experience once you have completed a tax diagnostic, helping you choose the correct tax issues to take forward, and explain the value of tax advisory work to your clients.
Check them out below.
01 UPDATE: SELECTING TAX ISSUES
You might recall that we’ve been trialing changes to the tax issues page of the corporate tax diagnostic. We wanted to improve ease of use for non-tax specialists and lighten the load for the experts. Your feedback was really positive (thank you!) and we can now confirm that this has been rolled out to the individual tax diagnostic.
How it works…
When you reach the Tax Issues area of the software, you will notice that a small number of tax issues are grouped at the top of the list, and highlighted by an asterisk (*). We call these the “general issues”. Each general issue is accompanied by a group of between 1 and 6 “subsidiary issues”.
Why? We wanted to do away with any “umming and ahhing” when choosing which tax issues to prioritise… now you can simply focus on the “general” version for the follow-up!
(We’re now focusing our efforts on refining and improving the Action Summaries for these General Issues even further – watch this space!)
A client with a valuable main residence who wants inheritance advice might see the following:-
General tax issue:
*Main Residence (IHT) – NRB (Unavailable / Insufficient)
Based on the responses provided, the “main residence” nil rate band will be unavailable or insufficient to relieve the value of the home from IHT. The conditions for this relief should be considered, to ensure the maximum advantage is secured.
Subsidiary tax issues:
Main Residence (IHT) – NRB (Not Direct Descendant)
As the taxpayer’s main residence will not be passed to direct descendants, the main residence nil rate band will not be available.
Main Residence (IHT) – NRB (High-Value Estate)
The taxpayer’s estate currently exceeds the combined nil rate band threshold (£2million). Reducing the estate – for example, by making gifts – can allow the main residence nil rate band to be accessed.
Main Residence (IHT) – NRB (Underutilised)
The main residence nil rate band will only be available to the extent that an individual owns, or has owned, a main residence of equivalent value to the “main residence nil rate band” itself.
We can see how picking through each individual Tax Issue can be time-consuming! – you can now simply prioritise the relevant General issues.
02 UPDATE: DEMONSTRATING VALUE WITH EXAMPLES
We’re also pleased to announce, we have updated the individual tax diagnostic report, to include comprehensive worked examples, yay!
This is something we have been wanting to do for a while to improve the value of the report, both to the client and to you as the user. We’re sure you’ll agree this makes a huge difference.
Below is an example calculation to demonstrate what we mean:
Sharing Assets Between Spouses
Sharing income-generating assets between spouses (or civil partners) can often create substantial tax savings.
Where your spouse/civil partner has unused personal allowances, or pays tax at a lower rate, tax savings can often be achieved through redistributing income-generating assets.
Consider a taxpayer who owns an investment portfolio, which has grown over time and is now generating dividends of £25,000 each year. The owner is a higher rate taxpayer earning £85,000, whereas the spouse works part-time earning £8,000 (1):
The taxpayer suffers an effective tax rate of 37.9% on the dividend, with only £15,525 retained after taxes (2).
If instead the portfolio were held by the spouse, the effective tax rate would be reduced to only 5.75%, with £23,564 retained after taxes (3).
In this example, transferring assets to the spouse result in significant savings of £8,039.
Although in this example the entire portfolio was transferred, any steps to equalise income between spouses will often yield favorable results.
Tax rates for 2018/19
Loss of personal allowance (income exceeds £100,000) increases the rate of tax above marginal 32.5%
Lower rates of tax, below marginal 7.5% due to the availability of unused personal and dividend allowances.
03 UPDATE: REMOVAL OF PDF ACTION SUMMARY
We’ve taken the decision to remove the option to download a PDF version of the action summary. Why, you ask?
Well, this feature is intended to provide you with a template to create your client follow up. We believe follow up is the single most important step of the process and it’s important that you personalise the document to each client. Use this document to really show off and demonstrate your understanding of their deeper needs.
04 UPDATE: PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS
We’ve had a number of users report their frustrations when completing the preliminary questions – “how do I know which required question I have missed without looking back through each tab?!”
Wow, this must have been annoying! Thanks for letting us know 😊
Now whenever you click the ‘next’ button, the status of the tab will change to a ‘✔’ if everything is complete, or a ‘!’ if there are responses missing. There may still be further improvements we can make to this but for now, we hope this does the trick!
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR FEEDBACK.
We’ve built a great tool, hand in hand with our customers. Keep it coming and we will not stop improving.
We already have our next changes in the pipeline and will update you when they go live…
Until then, take care!