Chartered Accountants
&
Business Advisers

Caledonia House
89 Seaward Street
Glasgow G41 1HJ
t: 0141 272 0000
f: 0141 272 0011
ca@maco.co.uk

Martin Aitken Financial Services Ltd appoints Janice Anderson as financial services manager

Janice Anderson 150x150 Martin Aitken Financial Services Ltd appoints Janice Anderson as financial services manager

Janice Anderson

Click Here
to see coverage in the CA magazine of Janice Anderson, who has been appointed as Financial Services Manager in Martin Aitken Financial Services Ltd.

Growing your own Business

How to secure support for growth

It’s a word which has been used sparingly by economic forecasters in recent years, but a flurry of recent business indicators have signalled that growth appears very much back on the agenda.

Click the image to read the insider article featuring comments from Adrienne Airlie

GROWING YOUR OWN BUS 2 Growing your own Business

Families needlessly give billions a year to taxman (Scotsman Article – 23-02-14 feat. Alasdair MacDougall)

Read the article on the Scotsman website

SAVERS and investors are set to gift billions of pounds to the taxman this year as they miss out on simple tax breaks that could deliver a boost to their finances.

Billions of pounds will be paid in unnecessary tax in 2014, the amount increasing even as many households continue to struggle with rising prices and low wage inflation.

Almost eight in ten people admit they’ve done nothing to legally reduce the amount of tax they pay, the TaxAction 2014 report by unbiased.co.uk found.

Among the most overlooked opportunities for tax efficiency are individual savings accounts (Isas), pensions, inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains tax (CGT).

Some £4.7 billion will be given to the taxman this year that could be saved with better planning and use of tax reliefs, the research estimates, equating to £161 for every taxpayer.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “While more people are confident with the idea of ‘shopping around’ and getting the best value for food and retail goods, the same cannot be said for their finances.

“We are still seeing millions of UK taxpayers putting their hard-earned cash into taxed saving and investment vehicles when reliefs, allowances and better rates are available to them.”

While the biggest missed opportunity is in pensions tax relief, perhaps the most glaring lies in the £1.1bn collected in tax on savings before annual Isa allowances have been used.

That includes £984 million in tax on savings accounts held by bank customers who haven’t taken out cash Isas. Another £160m goes on taxed stocks and shares investments that aren’t held in Isas.

Employees who don’t save into a pension are missing out on even more generous tax breaks. Around 4.4 million workers who aren’t in their employer’s pension scheme – despite the October 2012 introduction of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions – will miss out on an estimated £2.9bn in tax relief this year, according to the report.

It said the £3,260 put into a pension by the average worker includes £652 a year in government tax relief on contributions.

Another £530m will be paid in IHT that could have been avoided by better planning. The figure is increasing as rising asset prices drag more estates over the £325,000 threshold, above which 40 per cent is charged in IHT. With the threshold to be left at that level until at least 2019, the amount of IHT collected for government coffers is likely to rise dramatically over the coming years.

IHT can be avoided simply by placing life insurance under trust, whereby the proceeds are held outside the estate for tax purposes. Just one in four people feel confident in tackling IHT planning without taking financial advice, however.

AMD 150x150 Families needlessly give billions a year to taxman (Scotsman Article   23 02 14 feat. Alasdair MacDougall)

Alasdair MacDougall

“Depending on investors’ circumstances, income requirements and need for access to capital, an adviser can tailor a solution to individual needs,” said Alasdair MacDougall, director of Martin Aitken Financial Services. “Certain IHT solutions can immediately remove hundreds of thousands of pounds from an estate, saving tens of thousands in tax.”

Similarly, investors will pay £154m on CGT that could be avoided by the use of Isas – in which income and capital gains are tax-free – and annual CGT allowances, unbiased.co.uk found.

Yet, while almost four in ten people claim they are capable of saving and investing tax-efficiently without the help of advice, 77 per cent admit they haven’t taken any steps to cut tax over the past year.

That proves that most savers and investors would benefit from financial advice, said MacDougall. But many people have a negative view of tax-efficient Isas and pensions that costs them dear, he added.

“A tax-efficient wrapper is neither good nor bad; it’s the underlying investments that may or may not be suitable to an investor’s needs,” said MacDougall. “An Isa is not an investment, it’s only the tax wrapper into which your cash or investments are placed. Your timescale, investment goals and appetite for risk will determine what asset class will be most appropriate.”

Read the article on the Scotsman website

Martin Aitken sponsors the Community Award at this year’s Scottish Dental Show

Leading accountancy and business advisory firm Martin Aitken & Co Ltd has announced the sponsorship of The Community Award at this year’s Scottish Dental Awards – hosted by Scottish Dental magazine – which will take place at the Glasgow Science Centre on Friday, 9 May 2014.

sds awards 690w Martin Aitken sponsors the Community Award at this years Scottish Dental Show

Commenting on this sponsorship, Jayne Clifford, director of Martin Aitken & Co, said:

“We are delighted to sponsor The Community Award at this year’s Scottish Dental Awards. The dentistry profession plays an increasingly important role in local communities and we would like to acknowledge the huge amount of fundraising, voluntary and community work being achieved across Scotland. The Martin Aitken & Co’s Community Award will be awarded to the practice, team or individual who has made a significant difference in their local community. We’re looking forward to learning more about the great work being achieved. So please send in your nominations today.”

With its dedicated, Director-led-team managing dental practices and related services across Scotland, Martin Aitken & Co is one of Scotland’s market leaders in servicing the dentistry market. Jayne Clifford and Stephen Neville, her fellow Director, head up the team and have over forty years combined experience advising dental clients.

In addition to sponsoring the Award, Martin Aitken & Co is also The Scottish Dental magazine’s main sponsor, demonstrating the accountancy firm’s commitment to the dentistry market in Scotland.

Bruce Oxley, Editor of The Scottish Dental magazine, commented:
“We are very much looking forward to this year’s Scottish Dental Awards and pleased to have Martin Aitken & Co’s continued support and commitment to the dentistry community. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the successful community activities being managed by dental professionals across Scotland. Our Awards are free to enter, so make sure you submit your application.”
Online nominations are now open for the 2014 Scottish Dental Awards. This is the second year in which The Scottish Dental magazine has hosted this expanded awards ceremony, which now has 11 different award categories focussed on recognising the achievements of individuals and teams in the dentistry profession throughout Scotland. The Scottish Dental Show takes place on Friday, 9 and Saturday, 10 May at the Braehead Arena.

Nominations for the awards are FREE again this year and can be made online at:
www.scottishdentalshow.co.uk/awards or by emailing scottishdental@connectcommunications.co.uk

Charity Newsletter – Feb 2014

Please click below to read our latest Charity newsletter

charNews Charity Newsletter   Feb 2014

MARTIN AITKEN FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPANDS TEAM

Janice Anderson 150x150 MARTIN AITKEN FINANCIAL SERVICES EXPANDS TEAM

Janice Anderson

Martin Aitken Financial Services Limited has strengthened its team with the appointment of Janice Anderson as Financial Services Manager.

Janice has more than 28 years’ experience within the Financial Services Industry and has been an Independent Financial Adviser since 1993, gaining a wealth of experience providing advice to both corporate and high net worth clients on a wide range of protection, investment, pension and taxation issues.

Her background, which includes working within the insurance and accountancy professions for such firms as Grant Thornton and PKF, will be a welcome and valued addition to the firm’s experienced team of two advisers. Janice will work with the other advisers to further drive high levels of professional advice to assist with personal and corporate wealth management.

Commenting on her appointment, Adrienne Airlie, Chief Executive of Martin Aitken & Co, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Janice to our growing team. Janice has joined us at a great time as we continue to demonstrate to our clients our firm commitment to make quality customer service our number-one priority.”

Janice has attained a number of industry qualifications and is qualified to diploma level under the Personal Finance Society Qualification regime. She is currently working towards achieving her Chartered status.

As part of Janice’s commitment to her charitable work with St Andrew’s Hospice, she has walked the Great Wall of China, climbed Kilimanjaro and canoed down the Amazon.

CA Magazine article – Apples and Oranges ft Adrienne Airlie

apples CA Magazine article   Apples and Oranges ft Adrienne Airlie

Please click the image to read the article featured in February’s CA Magazine.

 

In the doghouse – funds lose UK investors millions (Scotsman Article – 25-01-14 feat. Ian Finch)

Doghouse 300x288 In the doghouse   funds lose UK investors millions (Scotsman Article   25 01 14 feat. Ian Finch)

Click the image for full-size scan.

 

Are Retirement annuities the next big mis-selling scandal?

logo insider11 Are Retirement annuities the next big mis selling scandal?
Please click here to read the this article on Business Insider’s website.

Martin Aitken Large jpegs 14 200x300 Are Retirement annuities the next big mis selling scandal?

Ian Finch, Director of Martin Aitken Financial Services Ltd

In recent years there have been a number of matters that have tarnished the pensions industry and hit consumers hard, such as The Maxwell scandal, SERPS, Stakeholder Pensions, pension liberation for the under 55s and the changes to Final Salary and Public Sector pensions.

Concerns arose after many consumers complained to the relevant governing bodies about the value of their funds declining due to adverse investment conditions coupled with high charges inherent within some retirement savings plans.

It subsequently transpired that in some cases the strict rules relating to advising on the most suitable retirement savings plan were not followed or consumers were misled about the nature of the contract or the income they could expect to receive in retirement.

It is little wonder then, that the bad press surrounding these issues and the perception amongst consumers, that pensions taken out have been poor value or not relevant to them has resulted in many claims against adviser firms for mis-selling pensions.

The threat of claims against advisers for mis-selling pensions has had to be weighed up against the dangers of not advising on and setting up pensions.

As many do not relish the thought of survival on State Retirement Pension alone and as pensions are still a very tax efficient way of saving for retirement, advisers must continue to discuss the pros and cons of pension plans.

In addition to Pensions Simplification and the Retail Distribution Review, the Government has introduced Auto Enrolment in a bid to encourage more people to take control of their own retirement provision.

However, this could become another mis-selling scandal in the future.

Many consumers will enter into such arrangements and as a result potentially lose out on other state benefits in retirement.

Also, individuals who hold some transitional protection may lose it and suffer financial penalties due to their employer automatically enrolling them.

If lessons can be learnt from past issues and the potential pitfalls with Auto Enrolment ironed out, we may have seen the end of pension mis-selling. I fear this is not the case, and I am not alone.

Existing savers approaching retirement are at risk of losing out when it comes to purchasing an annuity.

In January 2014, a Conservative MP voiced a warning that Annuities could become the next big financial mis-selling scandal, a sentiment with which many commentators concur.

He has questioned consumers’ ability to fully understand annuity products and the associated fees they would have to pay.

During a Westminster Hall debate he announced: “Since this is potentially the second biggest financial purchase of our lives, I believe the state of things is worrying.”

Given that the Financial Conduct Authority Consumer Panel has recommended urgent regulatory and government-led reform, which is long overdue, in order to protect and benefit millions of consumers his comments should not go unheeded.

Consumers may be tempted to purchase an annuity from their existing pension provider.

However, not all annuity providers are equal and whilst the pension provider may have been able to offer a good home for retirement savings, it doesn’t necessarily follow that that organisation is the best choice for an annuity when the time comes to retire, despite providing various permutations on how the annuity could be set up.

In many cases, consumers fail to realise that by exercising the Open Market Option, they could increase their retirement income by purchasing their annuity from another annuity provider.

It may be that, depending on their overall financial circumstances, a basic annuity might not be the best option for them at all.

Depending on their medical and lifestyle situation, an individual could achieve a far higher lifetime income if they qualify for an enhanced annuity.

Failure to be fully aware and informed could therefore result in an individual losing out on a higher income in retirement.

Clearly, in its current format, the annuities market is not working for large numbers of consumers.

It must be reformed to the extent that annuities will have a valuable role to play in financial planning going forward.

The Government is taking steps to improve the pensions industry for the benefit of future pensioners.

It should take this opportunity now, before the next election, to overhaul the annuities market and therefore benefit many more people with existing savings who are approaching retirement.

In the meantime, those individuals approaching retirement should ascertain if a basic annuity does in fact meet their needs. Even if it does, they should not accept the first quote offered.

It is important to shop around to get the best deal available and Independent Financial Advisers can assist with this.

Please click here to read the this article on Business Insider’s website.

INVITATION TO ATTEND OUR FREE SEMINAR FOR DENTISTS

“MANAGE YOUR ENERGY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS”

THURSDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2014 AT 5.30PM

What you will gain from this seminar:

  • Interactive session sharing advice on creating a business vision based on values
  • A model to assist you in understanding where you and your business are on the “Business Cycle”
  • Identifying the “energy” in the business for growth
  • Approved for ½ hour session of CPD and 1 hour vCPD

Speakers: Jayne Clifford, Director, Martin Aitken & Co Ltd
Robin Th’ng, Director, Shirlaws Scotland

Venue: Martin Aitken & Co Ltd
Caledonia House
89 Seaward Street
Glasgow
G41 1HJ

Arrival: 5:30pm – 6.00pm
Networking with drinks and food: 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Interactive seminar: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Places are limited so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment

To book your place, please phone Jayne Clifford, Director – Dentistry Team on 0141 272 0000 or email jfc@maco.co.uk

Switch to our mobile site