Sue Unerman is the co-author, alongside Kathryn Jacob, of The Glass Wall, a book that offers advice for women seeking success at work.
Homeowners stuck in a property tax trap because of coronavirus have been offered a reprieve by the Government after Telegraph Money highlighted the loophole. HMRC has pushed back the deadline for additional stamp duty refunds for house sales that were delayed because of the property market freeze. The extension will be a particular lifeline for people who had spent time building a new home for themselves before selling their old one. One couple in West Yorkshire told Telegraph Money they spent three years building their dream house and faced an extra stamp duty bill of £40,000 if they could not sell their old property by June. The tax trap was inadvertently created by the property market being frozen. In April 2016, the Government introduced an extra 3pc stamp duty surcharge on properties purchased in addition to a main residence. Buyers could apply for a refund of the extra tax they paid while purchasing a second home if they sold their old property within three years, and the new one became their primary home. This refund model was thrown into chaos when the Government froze the housing market because of lockdown on March 27. Buyers were forced to delay transactions unless they were legally bound to proceed and a new completion date could not be negotiated. Now, anyone whose three-year deadline was from January 2020 onwards will be granted an extension if they write to HMRC, outlining a valid reason for how coronavirus delayed the sale. Extensions will also be granted if a public authority has taken an action that delayed the sale. Since the market reopened after a seven-week pause on May 13, many sales cannot be picked up where they left off. Buyers are spooked by forecasts of house price falls and are trying to renegotiate. According to a Zoopla survey, 41pc are shelving their plans altogether due to the new uncertainty. If a sale has fallen through, it can take several months to find a new buyer and complete a sale. Even those that can still go ahead will face delays as surveyors and valuers grapple with a seven-week backlog of work. Laura Suter, of investment platform AJ Bell, said: “Considering the extraordinary circumstances at the moment and the unprecedented impact on the housing market, it’s sensible that the Government has given these homeowners some breathing space to sell their homes.” However, the guidance on what constitutes a valid reason is vague. There are no explicit notes or examples of what the Government will consider a delay caused by coronavirus. Ms Suter added: “This could leave the door open to confusion about what constitutes a valid reason. Hopefully more clarity will come from the Government on this to help homeowners who don’t have a clear-cut situation.”
UK workers under 25 have seen the steepest decline in work, with many working on precarious zero-hour contracts and in sectors hit hardest by the lockdown.
Here’s why June could be the right time to buy FTSE dividend stocks in an ISA as you plan for retirement, especially if you're in your 40s.The post No retirement savings at 40? I’d buy FTSE dividend shares in an ISA in June appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
One year after Neil Woodford was forced to suspend his flagship Equity Income fund, and later close down his investment business, investors are still waiting for around £500m to be sold and savings returned to them. More than 300,000 investors have had just £2.3bn back so far, as the fund – valued at £3.7bn when it was suspended in June last year – is yet to be fully wound up. There are fears the remaining unlisted assets could be worthless by the time a buyer is found, adding to investor losses. Before a string of misplaced bets caused the fund to tank, it had amassed assets in excess of £10bn. Those who stuck with the once fêted manager to the bitter end are still reeling. Nicholas Heleine, 55, an engineer from Cambridge, invested £50,000 with the manager, including some of his wife’s life savings, and lost more than £20,000. He said his dream of early retirement had been crushed and he would now have to work longer to make up the damage. He also said he would find it harder to help support his son who is studying at university in America, where tuition fees are especially high. “It’s certainly changed the way I invest,” he said. “I no longer believe in the idea of ‘the star fund manager’ and that one guy can beat the market. I’m putting most of what I have left in the markets into passive tracker funds.” It was easy to see why investors trusted the manager with their hopes, dreams and hard-earned cash. At his peak this century, Mr Woodford turned £10,000 into £45,000 whereas the market only returned £18,000. By the time he was fired in October last year he had cut this down to £26,000 – almost the same as what investors would have made from a cheap and basic tracker fund.
Close to nine million workers have been placed on furlough as part of the Government’s job retention scheme, according to fresh Government data.Around £17.5 billion has been claimed by 1.1 million employers to furlough their staff.
The majority of employees are open to working from home full time and never going back to the office, according to a survey.
Morrisons executives David Potts and Trevor Strain are set to receive a 24% pension contribution rate this year but advisors urge investors not to back it.
Government advisers have expressed concern about plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England from Monday. The fears come as people flock to beaches and enjoy the weekend's warm weather.
Cash in the time of coronavirus: how to get in financial shape for the new normalGuardian Money helps you put your finances in order while adapting to a new way of living
Employers will have to start paying 10 per cent of furloughed workers' wages in September and 20 per cent in October, the chancellor has announced, as he laid out how the government will unwind its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.People on furlough will be able to come back to work part-time from 1 July, a month earlier than had previously been announced - a move that was welcomed by unions and business groups.
The surge in US joblessness notched up another staggering record yesterday. The number of Americans to have claimed new unemployment benefits passed 40m since the Covid-19 crisis struck. One other number provides American workers a glimmer of hope, however. Close to 80pc of US workers that lost their job in April believe they have only been temporarily laid off, one survey found. If they are correct and the ties between employers and workers have not been completely severed, the American jobs market could bounce back quicker than many are expecting. The first hints of recovery can already be seen in the unemployment benefits data. While another 2.1 million workers filed new claims for jobless benefits, the number of those continuing to ask for support unexpectedly dropped back.
Meet the woman who quit her day job to design the perfect 'three way' bag for women. Sarah McGill made it her mission to make a bag with no compromises for working women who wanted style and comfort.
If US firms decide to let employees continue to work from home, they could save $4.5tn annually by 2030.
The extraordinary spike in US unemployment could be over as more Americans appear to have got back to work than joined the ranks of the jobless. Another 2.1m filed initial jobless claims last week, taking the total who have done so since the pandemic lockdowns began to more than 40m. However, the number of continuing jobless claims dropped sharply from 25m to 21m, indicating that limited economic reopenings have begun to take effect and allowed jobs to return. “The peak in continuing claims is a first sign that the economy is transitioning from net job loss to net job gain as businesses reopen and rehire furloughed workers,” said economist Andrew Hollenhurst at Citi. “Roughly speaking, this suggests job loss of 5m or less in May and a rise in the unemployment rate to about 17pc.”
“What this pandemic has shown companies is that lots of roles they thought couldn’t be done remotely — can be.”