Finance 2010

HM Revenue and Customs: Last orders, please

By Howard Freedman, December 13, 2010

Current volatility in the property market can make investment decisions challenging. And this may be further complicated by tax increases in the pipeline. Investors should consider bringing forward any plans to refurbish or buy property, to take advantage of the current tax rates and minimise payments to HMRC. Investors should also remain abreast of new regulations and legal principles.

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Investment: On fertile ground

December 13, 2010

A new trend has swept Israel off her feet - trading in agricultural lands. Entrepreneurs and private investors are eagerly seeking and buying lands for investment. But why are agricultural lands so sought-after?

Many people are unaware of the fact that 93 per cent of all lands in Israel are owned by the government's Israeli Lands Administration. That leaves only seven per cent of lands that are private and therefore tradeable, of which the most profitable part is a 1.5 per cent strip of prime land in the centre of the country.

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Investment: Raising the bar

By Adrian Ash, December 13, 2010

The world's biggest gold buyers are India and China, but not via their central banks. Instead, it is the private households that lead, buying three times as much gold between them in the course of the last five years as the Indian and Chinese governments hold altogether.

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Charities: Big plan

By Anthony Epton, December 13, 2010

Talking to charity clients at present, I find that the aftermath and consequences of the CSR (Comprehensive Spending Review) are uppermost in trustees' and finance directors' minds. There were, however, a few positive announcements from the CSR. The Chancellor reiterated the Coalition's promises of a bigger role for the charity sector. This is to be achieved through its vision of "Big Society", which aims to place more power and opportunity into people's hands.

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Business Travel: Upwardly mobile

By Anthea Gerrie, December 13, 2010

Is business class travel a non-essential luxury, which should be ditched to save money in these credit-crunched time? Successful entrepreneurs, for whom every minute counts, will tell you the upcharge is justified in terms of working time saved and minimising the impact of travel stress on body and soul.

The advantages start even before you make your journey, with faster check-ins for business passengers and lounges with work-stations at main line stations as well as airports.

However, rail passengers are unlikely to get the superb facilities available at the best airport lounges.

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Investment: Spread the word

December 13, 2010

If you are a retail investor with an opinion on the price of anything from the FTSE 100, the euro against the dollar, the price of BP shares to gold, oil and other commodities, you will struggle to find a better way to exercise those opinions all in one place than by opening up an account with a financial spread betting firm. Despite there being more than 20 financial spread betting companies in the UK, a vast majority of the financial investment community is still unaware of its existence. The time has surely arrived for the public to become better-educated.

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HM Revenue and Customs: An eye on your pie

By Neil Harris and Geraint Jones, December 13, 2010

Though most of the media attention on the Coalition's latest spending round was focused on cuts in public spending, it did not go unnoticed, at least to tax practitioners, that the Chancellor was increasing the amount of money available to HM Revenue & Customs to fund additional staff to combat "tax evasion".

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Investment: Generous rewards

By Anna Sofat, December 13, 2010

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet declared recently that they intended to leave a large percentage of their fortunes to worthy charitable causes. They expressed a deep-rooted intention that many people have - to help people who have not been as privileged or fortunate. For many women, though, looking at how to invest, distribute and manage their investments, there may be many different considerations that traditional financial advisors could disregard.

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Investment: Angel delight?

By Nick Winters, December 13, 2010

Angel investing is an essential source of finance and support for a large number of early-stage businesses who may have exhausted help from family and friends and may not yet be able to attract funds from venture capitalists. A business angel is a Dragons' Den style individual, who provides funding by way of an equity investment to help businesses grow. This can also be a rewarding business interest for the investor.

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HM Revenue and Customs: Sweet charity

By David Barker, December 13, 2010

The crisis in the UK economy and the impending spending cuts have caused much disquiet in the charity sector. At the very time when these events are likely to create heavy demand on the sector's resources, donors are also going to feel the pinch and will be less inclined and less equipped to provide funding. But there is a silver lining for donors.

Oddly, this is to be found in consequence of a tax increase. Since April 6 2010, high-earning UK tax payers have faced two new thresholds:

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