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IHT hit for homeowners in eight years

The average UK homeowner could be liable for inheritance tax in eight years if house prices continue to grow at the present rate according to Stroud & Swindon Building Society.

Research from the building society shows that the average homeowner in Greater London will be liable for IHT in one year, those in the South East in four years and in East Anglia it will take six years if house prices continue to rise at the current rate.

But the research found that homeowners are likely to breach the IHT threshold even sooner when other taxable assets are taken into account.

Stroud & Swindon Building Society sales director Paul Chafer says: “Many ordinary consumers still assume that they do not have sufficient assets to be liable for inheritance tax. However, this research shows that in eight years if a person owns the average UK home, they are likely to be liable for inheritance tax at 40 per cent of everything over the IHT threshold.

“This is potentially a huge amount and when consumers have already been paying tax on their income their whole lives, seems a completely unjustified penalty.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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