In January 2021, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government unveiled sweeping changes that they plan to implement to the home ownership rules that, according to their press release will be part of “the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years, fundamentally making home ownership fairer and more secure”.
Freehold or leasehold – what’s the difference?
Owners of flats and houses in England and Wales can either own the freehold which means they own the property and land it occupies or the leasehold which means they own the property and have a legal right to occupy the land but the land is owned by a third party. These reforms are aimed at leasehold property.
When Diego Maradona passed away in November 2020, speculation was rife in the press as to whether he had a valid Will and, if he did, whether it provided for all of his children with some newspapers reporting he had fathered eight children whereas others had the figure as high as 11!
While the Maradona situation is thankfully not commonplace, sorting out the estate of a loved one when they die can be a daunting task. If they had a Will in place that should make things easier but what if the Will doesn’t make adequate provision for all of the dependants or if you are concerned that the Will has not been interpreted correctly?
As we await the Budget, still scheduled for 3 March 2021, speculation continues in the press as to whether it will bring a rise in tax and in particular Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
CGT is currently paid at a rate of 20% by higher rate taxpayers on most gains but can be reduced by various reliefs such as Entrepreneurs Relief (which allows business owners to take the first £1 million of gains at a CGT rate of 10%). A recent Treasury report recommended aligning the CGT rates with the Income Tax rates including top rates of 40-45%, a shift that would take us back to the position in early 2000s when the rates were much more closely aligned.
The latest Insolvency statistics
The latest insolvency stats have just been released by the Insolvency Service and it comes as no surprise to see the figures for the past nine months have been historically low- about 40% lower than normal- as companies continue to benefit from the Government support measures and the temporary restrictions on the ability to issue statutory demands and winding up petitions.
The rise in corporate (but not personal) insolvencies in the month of December 2020 did come as a bit of a surprise. There were a total of 1,228 registered company insolvencies, which comprised of: