Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Surrey Wildlife Trust Pine & Dine 2018

On Wednesday 12th December 2018 the Ward Williams Financial Services team, joined the Surrey Wildlife Trust and other companies on a festive day to help remove invasive Scotts Pine from the heathland of Chobham Common.

The importance of the maintenance of this rare heathland was explained to us - Lowland heathland is only found along the fringes of northern Europe and is protected under European legislation.  Surrey has over 3,500 hectares of this internationally important natural resource and the Surrey Wildlife Trust cares for 64% of it. Chobham Common is one of the finest remaining examples of lowland heath in the world.

After a detailed security briefing, we all got to work sawing down trees and clearing scrub to make a home for wildlife that thrives in heathland.  We were able to bag the trees and take them home for Christmas or they were piled onto huge bonfires with the help of the lovely Surrey Wildlife Trust staff.

At lunchtime, we stopped to tuck into a hearty chilli, washed down with warmed spiced cider.  There was also the opportunity to toast marshmallows over the fire.

In the afternoon, we were able to get festive and make our own natural Christmas wreaths and the day was finished off with mince pies and more tea to warm up after a hard day’s work.

The day was enjoyed by all and we were able to clear 2 hectares of heathland to restore it back to its natural state.

We would like to thank the Surrey Wildlife Trust for hosting such a well organised and enjoyable day and for all their hard work in looking after Surrey’s countryside. 

Monday, 17 December 2018

Inheritance Tax Review by Office of Tax Simplification

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has published the first of two reports on inheritance tax.

The first report sets out an explanation of the issues and complexities of IHT, gives an overview of concerns raised by the public and professional advisors during the review and then makes recommendations. This first report examines the administrative issues that people complain about and which were raised in the responses. The second report covering other wider areas of concern to people will follow in Spring 2019.

The first report highlights the benefits of:

  • reducing or removing the requirement to submit forms for smaller or simpler estates, especially where there is no tax to pay;
  • simplifying the administration and guidance;
  • the advantages of banks and other financial institutions having standardised requirements;
  • automating the whole system by bringing it online.

Angela Knight CBE, OTS Chairman, said:

Inheritance tax is both unpopular and complicated. The basic design of the tax itself is for government, but at the OTS we can address that most frequent of all comments “at least make it easier for the families to fill in the forms”. The OTS has worked on ways to address these practical complexities, which have come through loud and clear.’

‘The recommendations in this report will make it easier for the majority, and would mean that in future, many may not have to do the forms at all. Improving the administration of this tax in these ways is important as having to deal with the current process can seem overwhelming to people at a time when they are both preoccupied and distressed.

Internet link: GOV.UK OTS IHT report

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on wwfs@wardwilliams.co.uk.

Photo Credit: Christian Vasile