Categories
World News

Pension scams: DWP deny issue as LBC launch their ‘Consumer Hour Scam Awareness Campaign’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Pension scams were addressed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) recently, as it was revealed in August that more than £30million had been lost to pension scams since 2017. According to their analysis, individual losses ranges from less than £1,000 to as much as £500,000.

Additionally, the National Audit Office and other organisations have found the pandemic has created an environment for fraudsters to take advantage of coronavirus fears and target savers.

With these worrying findings emerging, Angela Eagle, a Labour MP for Wallasey, found it prudent to ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her department has made of trends in the number of pension scams during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In response to the query, Guy Opperman, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the DWP, had the following to say: “DWP is working across government and with regulators to monitor and respond to any increases in transfers or pension scams.

“To date, this monitoring has revealed little evidence to demonstrate an increase in either transfers or scams across the industry as a whole as confirmed by the independent regulator.

“This has been confirmed by responses from industry. The Government will continue to monitor and respond to any emerging evidence.

“The Government established Project Bloom, a cross-government taskforce that brings together law enforcement, government and industry to share intelligence, raise awareness of and the reporting of scams through public communication campaigns, and take enforcement action where appropriate.”

He went on to provide evidence for his assertion: “The Government continues to work with Regulators and enforcement agencies to prevent scams and take appropriate action.

“In the period March – July 2020, 116 reports of possible pension fraud were received by Action Fraud, compared to 179 for the same period in 2019.”

DON’T MISS:
State pension warning: Starting amounts may be lowered [WARNING]
Martin Lewis on the ‘complicated’ state pension inheritance rules [EXPERT]
Martin Lewis breaks down ‘important’ pension tax rules
 [INSIGHT]

While it remains to be seen if the government’s efforts will curtail pension scam issues, steps have been taken elsewhere to protect consumers in the run up to Christmas, a period where transactions typically rise and as such, so do risks.

On October 23, LBC launched: “The LBC Consumer Hour Scam Awareness Campaign” in an effort to raise awareness of the most common scams doing the rounds in the run up to Christmas.

Dean Dunham, the Host of LBC’c Consumer Hour, had the following to say: “We need to do more to stop innocent people, often the vulnerable, falling victims to scams. Leading up to Christmas tens of thousands of people will be caught out by a scam and lose their hard-earned money.

“If we can forewarn people about as many scams as possible, we will reduce the number of victims.”

The campaign will focus on three main areas:

  • To raise awareness about as many scams as possible, in the hope that it will help consumers to avoid these scams
  • To provide useful advice and tips on how to spot a scam
  • To provide useful advice on how to get money back if a person is scammed

The campaign will run up to Christmas on LBC and the station is calling on those that have fallen victim of a scam, or know someone that has been a victim, to get in touch with their story which can be shared to make others aware.

To get in contact with LBC, people can contact the organisation by going to www.lbc.co.uk/radio/special-shows/consumer-hour/.

Additionally, they get in touch by tweeting @deandunham or by calling Dean between 9-10pm on Fridays during the LBC Consumer Hour on 0345 60 60 973, or by texting 84850.

Dean concluded the launch with the following comments: “One victim of a scam is too many, but if this campaign helps to save at least one person from losing their money to a scam, it will be a huge success”.

“People need to let others know about scams and this campaign is the best and most visible way of doing this. Together, we can make a real difference”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Virgin Money is offering 2.02% interest rate – but key detail to note with account

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

The Bank of England Base Rate is currently being maintained at a historic low of 0.1 percent, meaning many savers may well be keeping a close eye on the accounts currently offering market-leading interest rates. When it comes to current accounts, some may be looking to boost their bank balance by earning interest, and there are a number of options to do this.

Among them is the Virgin Money current account.

At the time of writing, this account pays 2.02 percent AER (two percent gross per annum variable) – although it’s important to note a key detail for getting this rate.

That is, this rate only applies on the first £1,000 that is paid into the account.

The interest on this account is paid monthly.

In addition to the opportunity to earn interest at this rate, it’s possible to open a linked savings account.

This account currently pays 0.50 percent AER (0.50 percent gross per annum variable) on the savings account, with interest being paid quarterly.

There is no monthly service fee to pay for this current account.

Another current account which currently pays interest is the Nationwide FlexDirect account.

Following a rate reduction earlier this year, the Building Society’s current account pays two percent AER interest fixed for the first 12 months.

This interest is paid on the balance up to £1,500 – 1.98 percent gross a year.

After the year is up, the interest rate will drop to 0.25 percent AER (0.24 percent gross variable).

Conditions do apply – and this includes needing to pay in £1,000 a month.

This is not counting transfers from other Nationwide accounts or Visa credits.

Amid the announcement of changes earlier this year, Sara Bennison, who oversees Nationwide’s products and propositions, said: “We know that this is a tough time for savers, particularly after two cuts in Bank Rate in quick succession taking it to an historic low of only 0.10 percent.

“In order to preserve the long-term sustainability of the Society for all our 16 million members, we have had to take these decisions on the interest rates we can offer on a number of our accounts.

“We have tried to remain as competitively priced as possible, with our FlexDirect account, for example, remaining one of the best in the market for credit interest and our savings prize draws helping people into good savings habits.”

Recent analysis by Moneyfacts has found there has been a slight recovery on average saving rates across the spectrum over the past two months.

It means they have pulled away from the record lows that were seen in August 2020.

However, Rachel Springall, Finance Expert at Moneyfacts, has nevertheless issued a warning regarding accessing the best deals on the market.

“It seems the volatile savings market may well continue in the months to come, especially if savers decide to withdraw their money from National Savings and Investments when rates drop in November,” she commented.

“Providers will have to review their savings range carefully and remain resilient in these uncertain times, and savers will need to act quickly to be in with a chance to acquire the best deals.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

State pension: Will pension credit also increase in 2021? DWP ensures rise with new bill

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

State pension payments will rise every year by the higher of 2.5 percent, inflation figures or averaged earnings and these measures are taken throughout the year. For current year, both inflation and earning increase have been, understandably, low and as such it has been confirmed that payments will increase by 2.5 percent from April 2021.

This rise mainly concerns regular state pension payments some claimants may also be receiving pension credit.

Pension credit is a state benefit that will boost pension payments for those who are retired but on a particularly low income.

These credits top up weekly income if it falls below £173.75 for single people or £265.20 for couples.

A “guarantee credit” will top up payments to these levels and some claimants may also receive “savings credit” of up to either £13.97 or £15.62 if they’ve saved money for retirement.

The triple lock has been called into question several times in recent months as some feared the rules may be scrapped in light of rising costs.

Despite the worries, the Thérèse Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, introduced a technical Bill in the House of Commons in early October which ensured the government can up-rate state pensions even in the face of dire economic circumstances.

In digging into the details of this announcement, the following was confirmed on pension credit: “This Bill is necessary to ensure that pensioners can be supported with an increase in State Pension and Pension Credit rates for 2021/22.

“Survivors’ benefits in Industrial Death Benefit are also included in the scope of the Bill.

DON’T MISS:
State pension warning: Starting amounts may be lowered [WARNING]
Martin Lewis on the ‘complicated’ state pension inheritance rules [INSIGHT]
Martin Lewis breaks down ‘important’ pension tax rules
 [EXPERT]

“Without this legislation, that would not be possible since the decline in the average earnings data means that the Secretary of State would have no ability to increase these rates. This Bill gives her that ability.”

In commenting on the bill, Thérèse Coffey had the following to say: “The Government has worked hard to protect all age groups during the pandemic, strengthening the welfare safety net, introducing furlough and income protection schemes, as well as supporting those who have lost their jobs back into work.

“It is only right, then, that we also ensure pensioners can see their incomes protected as we build back better.

“In these difficult times, I want to give pensioners peace of mind about their financial health.”

Pension credit can be claimed for by those who have reached state pension age and who live in England, Scotland or Wales.

When working out income levels for eligibility, may forms of income will need to be taken into account, which includes:

  • State Pension
  • other pensions
  • most social security benefits, for example Carer’s Allowance
  • savings, investments over £10,000 – for these £1 is counted for every £500 or part £500
  • earnings

Claims for pension credit can be made up to four months before reaching state pension age.

They can also be backdated by up to three months, which means up to three months’ worth of payments could arrive at once for certain claimants.

Pension credit can be claimed online, over the phone or by post and the following information will be needed:

  • A National Insurance number
  • Information about income, savings and investments
  • Bank account details

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Mrs Hinch fan shares best oven cleaning hack to remove grease and grime

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Mrs Hinch rose to fame after sharing cleaning hacks online. Now with nearly four million followers, she continues to influence her fans across the world. Her followers now regularly share their own cleaning hacks on their dedicated cleaning Facebook pages. Posting on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips page, one cleaning fanatic shared the best way to clean an oven as well as the oven racks. 

They wrote: “Love how fab the pink stuff is for cleaning the oven!

“Used to take me ages to do before I started using this.”

The Mrs Hinch fan then shared a photo of her sparkling oven that she had just finished cleaning.

The Pink Stuff paste is a thick cleaning product that can be used to clean almost anything.

It can be purchased in stores such as B&M, Home Bargains as well as many supermarkets.

The thick paste can also be used on stainless steel items like taps as well as work surfaces and hobs. 

The company behind the miracle paste, Star Brands said: “Perfect for hard surfaces, tough on stains, penetrates and removes grease and grime leaving shiny clean results using 100 percent natural cleaning particles.

“Whether you’re cleaning tiles, glass, paintwork, outdoor furniture, cookers or sinks, The Pink Stuff range will rid your surfaces of stains with ease.”

DON’T MISS:
How to get rid of house spider: Mrs Hinch fans share top cleaning tips [INSIGHT]
How to clean and protect your home office space from coronavirus [EXPERT]
Money saving tips: Cut the cost of your cleaning routine by doing this [EXPLAINER]

The woman sharing the hack also shared a photo of her Scrub Daddy sponge that she used to scrub the inside of her oven.

The textured sponge, which is in the shape of a smiley face, is part of Mrs Hinch’s essential cleaning tools. 

It changes consistency when under different temperatures of water, making it the perfect all-rounder. 

Warm water makes the sponge go soft and this is great for removing excess product off of a surface.

Cold water stiffens it, making it perfect to target the larger more stubborn stains.

The sponge can be picked up in supermarkets as well as B&M for around £2.50 and the company behind the sponge says it can be used without any water at all. 

Fans were quick to rush to the comments on the post, asking for further advice as well as some cleaning fans issuing an important warning over the hack.

One fan asked: “Can you use it on all surfaces of the oven?”

The woman replied and said: “I use it on everything except the bits like the element and the light.”

Another Mrs Hinch fan commented: “Don’t scrub the glass, it’s protected by a film so it won’t shatter, it’ll just scratch.”

However one other fan said: “It’s not advised you use pink stuff in your oven, especially the door. A few people have posted on here used this and the glass shattered after.”

The woman behind the hack replied and wrote: “Really? I didn’t know that. I’ve used it for well over a year now and never had any problems. I’ve read the packaging and it doesn’t say anything about not using on the glass.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Furlough warning: Employment tribunals skyrocket – how legal fees may cost you ‘thousands’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Furlough rules were introduced to keep workers employed and supported where possible but in the process, the new circumstances upended working arrangements. This was likely made more complex as July rolled around and “flexible furlough” updates were issued.

Reportedly, both employers and employees ended up trying to abuse the new system through either saving month or using the government funds inappropriately.

These difficulties were reflected in government figures released in late September which showed the number of employment tribunals involving individuals increased by almost 20 percent between April and June 2020.

Many experts within the field detailed this rise was the result of furlough confusion and unfortunately, with the support set to reduce at the end of this month, additional employment problems may emerge.

As Tim Hayes, a Legal Director in the Employment Law team at BDB Pitmans, explained: “The rise in tribunal claims is causing increasing concern among both employers and claimants.

“The numbers are highly likely to keep on rising as the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic filters through to workplaces up and down the country over the coming months.

“Most significantly, individuals now face the prospect of a lengthy battle in the employment tribunal if they want to assert their employment rights, with claims, particularly the more complex ones, potentially taking years to reach a final hearing.

“The impact of these delays on accessing justice is clear and considerable: claimants may simply be put off from taking action in response to breaches of their workplace rights, if they know that it may take years to do so.

“The delays also pose problems for employers.

DON’T MISS:
SEISS updated: New rules on how HMRC will verify eligibility [INSIGHT]
Inheritance tax warning: Reliefs may be reduced by HMRC [WARNING]
Martin Lewis urges savers to ‘lock in’ deals before BoE decision
 [EXPERT]

“Staff are more likely to be engaged on long-running tribunal claims, potentially using up valuable resources and management time.

“Witnesses may also find it much more of a challenge to recall events happening so long before hearings or those witnesses may simply have moved on to other jobs in the interim.”

Tim went on to breakdown just how much these long tribunal cases may end up costing employees: “Lengthier Tribunal processes can mean that the cost of making and defending claims increases, if legal representatives have to spend more time proceedings due to the passage of time.

“It is also becoming increasingly common for Tribunal hearings to be postponed at the last minute, meaning that the parties can incur fees for barristers who may be scheduled to attend the Tribunal on their behalf even though a hearing doesn’t go ahead.

“Those fees can amount to thousands of pounds.”

Under the current rules, employees are able to report potential fraudulent activity to HMRC.

HMRC may be able to intervene if a claim is upheld, with the following being examples of how employers may be abusing the system:

  • They’re claiming on an employees behalf but not paying them what they’re entitled to
  • They’re asking the employee to work while being on furlough
  • They’re making a backdated claim that includes times when the employee was working

From November, furlough rules will be replaced by a “Job Support Scheme”.

This scheme was recently announced by Rishi Sunak and it is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce.

The scheme will open on November 1 and will run for six months under current plans.

Under this scheme, the government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third.

This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77 percent of their normal wages, where the government contribution has not been capped.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Pension: Early ‘dipping’ could cost you £40,000 – withdrawals at 55 reach record high

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Pension pots can be accessed from the age of 55 under current rules, while state pensions cannot be received until a person reaches 66 at the earliest. Of course, many people are unlikely to actually retire at 55, meaning dipping into a pension early could be detrimental if a person ends up needing additional income down the line.

This may prove to be an issue for many people as in 2017, the FCA revealed 72 percent of consumers under 65 had accessed their pensions, with most of them taking lump sum payments.

Additionally, the recent retirement income market data bulletin from the regulator showed a record number of pension pots were accessed for the first time, with 56 percent being fully withdrawn.

This isn’t being done by those near traditional retirement ages either, with the data revealing 55 percent of those accessing a DC pension did so in their 55th year.

On this, Just Group produced analysis on pension withdrawals which highlighted how accessing pots early may not be the best option.

They broke down the impact of making withdrawals, even for a person just looking to take their tax-free cash.

The following calculations highlight what could happen to a 55 year old person thinking of taking their full tax-free cash amount from a £100k pot, assuming returns of five percent after charges and a guaranteed income for life (annuity) rate of four percent:

  • Leave the £100k pot to grow = £180,000 fund at age 67 (could buy around £7,200 a year guaranteed income for life)
  • Take £25k (equivalent to 25 percent tax free lump sum) at age 55 and leave rest to grow = £135,000 fund at age 67 (£5,400 a year guaranteed income for life),
  • By taking the 25 percent of the pot at age 55, the saver is giving up the chance to have 33 percent more income at age 67. Effectively, the cost of taking £25,000 is a pension that is worth £40,000 less 12 years later.

DON’T MISS:
State pension warning: Starting amounts may be lowered [WARNING]
Pension warning: Savers ‘unprepared’ for retirement [INSIGHT]
Martin Lewis breaks down ‘important’ pension tax rules
 [EXPERT]

Professional/expert analysis of this nature is being sorely missed by a large number of retirees, which evidently could cost them dearly.

Throughout 2019/20, 673,831 defined contribution pensions were accessed, with 340,133 of these being accessed without regulated advice or guidance.

Stephen Lowe, a director at Just Group, commented on this: “Dipping into pension money is becoming more popular but most people are shunning the professional support that is available to help them make good choices, even when that support is free.”

Stephen went on to explain how people should think of their pensions to ensure longevity: “People should think of their pensions as fortresses rather than prisons for retirement savings.

“Money within a pension is protected from taxes and scams.

“Pensioners need income to pay the bills and the State Pension is not enough to meet most people’s lifestyle aspirations.

“Every pension saver should work out how much private income they are going to need, on top of the State Pension, to cover their essentials and make sure they preserve enough of their pension savings to provide that, before they start thinking of accessing cash earlier.

“Anyone thinking of taking pension cash early should ensure they take the government-backed free, impartial and independent guidance offered by Pension Wise and ideally regulated advice.

“These will highlight the options available and the pros and cons of each course of action so people can make informed decisions.

“More than half (57 percent) of those who undergo a guidance session change their eventual retirement choices, highlighting the importance of a sense-check before making a decision that they may end up regretting.”

The government appeared to address some of these issues recently as it was confirmed the pension freedom age will rise to 57 in 2028 in light of rising life expectancies.

On top of this, the state pension age is set to rise to 68 by 2048. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Martin Lewis urges savers to ‘lock in’ deals before negative rate decision – best options

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Martin Lewis, 48, recently appeared on his Money Show and addressed the latest news immediately. A person called Sue asked Martin for his advice given the fact that the Bank of England has asked retail banks if they’re ready for negative rates which, understandably, may make regular savers nervous.

Before detailing the best options for savers who may be affected by these changes, Martin clarified exactly what’s happened at the Bank of England: “This week the Bank of England wrote to the high streets bank to say, if in the unlikely event that we were to cut UK interest rates so they were negative, are you technically prepared for that to happen?

“Now, even if that were to happen that doesn’t mean savings rates are also going negative”.

Martin went on to explain that as a rule, savings rates tend to be much higher than the Bank of England base rate but he acknowledged it remains a possibility that savings rates may be reduced by income negative rates.

However, in answering Sue’s question on what savers can do if negative rates come into play, he responded with: “Very little”.

He went on to highlight savers may be able to lock in fixed savings rates if they’re worried.

These will lock in cash and make it inaccessible but the rate on the account should remain the same, and Martin went on to highlight where the best offers are at the moment for these products: “DF Capital is 1.18 percent for one year which is quite a lot higher than the rest of the market so I don’t think it will last very long.

“And for two years, Aldermore 1.15 percent, for three years, UBL is 1.4 percent but don’t wait until they drop.

“If you think that’s plausible and it worries you lock in now, because once rates drop you won’t be able to lock in as high is the likelihood”.

DON’T MISS:
ISA rates: The account that’s seen an interest rate increase [iNSIGHT]
Martin Lewis warns on mortgage problems with ‘no fool proof solutions’ [EXPERT]
Martin Lewis issues urgent warning on ‘above inflation’ price hikes
 [WARNING]

Recently Sam Woods, the deputy governor of the Bank of England wrote to UK banks.

As his correspondence detailed: “For a negative bank rate to be effective as a policy tool, the financial sector – as the key transmission mechanism of monetary policy – would need to be operationally ready to implement it in a way that does not adversely affect the safety and soundness of firms.

“As part of this work, we are requesting specific information about your firm’s current readiness to deal with a zero bank rate, a negative bank rate, or a tiered system of reserves remuneration – and the steps that you would need to take to prepare for the implementation of these.

“We are also seeking to understand whether there may be potential for short-term solutions or workarounds, as well as permanent systems changes.”

It was stressed the letter was not an indication the central bank would be implementing negative rates but the central bank has admitted in recent months that the option is “in the toolbox”.

The next decision on changing this will occur on November 5.

Additionally, Martin also covered HM Treasury’s recently announcement of allowing consumers to get cashback from retailers without needing to make a purchase.

This is being introduced to protect cash use which is crucial for the elderly and vulnerable.

John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, welcomed the proposals with the following comments: “We know that cash is still really important for consumers and businesses – that’s why we promised to legislate to protect access for everyone who needs it.

“We want to harness the same creative thinking that has driven innovation in digital payments to maintain the UK’s cash system and make sure people can easily access cash in their local area.”

Full details on this can be found on the government’s website. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Property: The common feature that could knock £49,000 off the value of your home

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Property prices can be affected by lots of different factors. An expert has revealed the features that could be knocking more than £49,000 off the cost of your home.

When selling a house, making big renovations can add value to the property.

Simple touch-ups that don’t cost a lot of money can also boost the value of a house.

While making changes to a home can make it more appealing, there are some features that could put buyers off.

Experts at Hammonds Furniture have discovered the features that could be knocking money off the selling price of a property.

The research found that mould or damp on the walls would deter 62 percent of potential buyers.

While many homes will experience this, the experts stressed the importance of getting mould dealt with quickly.

Fifty-seven percent of homeowners also explained they would be reluctant to buy if there were any signs of pest infestation.

Michael Patterson, Managing Director of WeBuyAnyHouse, explained these issues could knock the value of a house by 20 percent.

With an average house costing £247,355, this could mean a price drop of £49,471.

Michael said: “Mild cases of mould may not affect value too dramatically if all is needed is a dehumidifier and some mould-resistant paint.

“But, very severe cases can reduce a property’s value up to 20 percent.

“Pests can also cause extensive damage, especially rats that are prone to chewing through electrics and wooden beams, which you would need to repair.

“Depending on the damage done, you could be looking at between five to 20 percent of a decrease in value.”

Not only are features like mould and pests off-putting, they can cost buyers a lot of money to put right.

These costs can be factored into the buying price and ultimate drive down how much money the seller gets.

A messy garden was also shown to put off those looking to buy a house.

If hoping to add more value to a property, the expert explained homeowners could add thousands by updating the garden.

Larger renovations like a loft conversion or conservatory can also be of value to potential buyers.

Michael said: “A nice sized garden can add up to 25 percent more on a house price, especially if it is well maintained with a seating area for the summer.

“A carriage driveway can add up to 15 percent, and an attractive conservatory can add up to 10 percent to a house price.

“If a loft conversion can be used as an extra bedroom, it can add 20 percent to a property price.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Furlough fraud: Deadline to report incorrect claims to HMRC is days away – who is at risk?

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Millions of jobs have been placed on furlough leave this year, as businesses were hit by the financial impact of coronavirus and the subsequent UK lockdown. The scheme is now winding down, following a number of changes coming into force in recent months.

It will end altogether on October 31, 2020.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a different scheme will launch the following day – known as the Job Support Scheme – and this is something which was expanded last week.

Ahead of this though, there’s a very significant date that some will need to note.

That’s because today marks one week until the end of the 90 day period for individuals and businesses to disclose incorrect furlough claims to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Should taxpayers not come forward and disclose their errors by Tuesday October 2020, they risk a “gloves off” investigation from HMRC, accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has warned.

Richard Morley, Partner in Tax Dispute Resolution at BDO, commented: “On July 22, the Finance Bill received Royal Assent, which triggered the start of the 90 day period for businesses to notify HMRC that they received furlough scheme payments which they were not entitled to receive or retain.

“For claim payments received prior to July 22, 2020, the 90 day period concludes on October 20, and after this it will be ‘gloves off’ for HMRC to check up on any claim made and pursue incorrect claimants using both criminal and civil powers.”

So, who exactly could face needing to contact HMRC?

“This applies to both employers using the CJRS or furlough scheme, and the self-employed who applied under the SEISS (as well as those who received other direct support grants in error),” Mr Morley said.

He went on to suggest recently action taken by HMRC could serve as an important reminder to act sooner rather than later.

Mr Morley continued: “Given that HMRC has clearly started to actively follow up on tip-off’s and potentially incorrect claims, including recent arrests, businesses and individuals should start reviewing their furlough claims now.

“For business owners, many of whom may have implemented claims in a rush at the start of lockdown, check and double-check the amounts are right.

“Making sure the paperwork is accurate and Government guidelines are adhered to is key.

“For those where HMRC suspects fraud, we can expect more in-depth investigations into not just the furlough/SEISS claims but also the wider business and personal affairs of the individuals involved.

“The legislation includes powers to pursue company office holders where businesses become insolvent, with joint and several liability.

“As well as following up whistle-blower reports, we expect HMRC to use its ‘Connect’ computer system to flag anomalies in claims, while looking at industry and sector norms.

“Anyone needing to make a disclosure of an incorrect claim should seek specialist professional advice without delay.”

Back in August this year, HMRC announced it would be writing to selected CJRS claimants who they think may have claimed too much, based on information held by HMRC.

HMRC explained it would contact 3,000 selected employers each week from August 20 and they would be able to correct any mistake they’ve made without fear of a penalty, if they notify HMRC and repay the money on time.

The guidance explained: “The deadline to notify us is the latest of the following:

  • 90 days of receiving the CJRS money they’re not entitled to
  • 90 days of when circumstances changed so that they were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 October 2020 if they received CJRS money they’re not entitled to, or if their circumstances changed, on or before 22 July.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Cambridge Building Society is offering account with 3% interest rate – are you eligible?

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Setting aside money on a regular basis may well be a savings habit for many Britons. And for some, doing this may mean they can reap rewards – via market-leading interest rates.

Of course, a Regular Savings account may not suit all savers.

However, there are a number of options for those who are interested in this type of account.

So, which savings providers are currently offering the market-leading rates?

Moneyfacts.co.uk has compared 46 products of these products that are out there at this moment in time.

Currently at the top of its Regular Savings Accounts table is the Loyalty Regular Saver by Cambridge Building Society.

This one-year bond offers three percent AER, paid at £100, correct at the time of writing.

The interest on this account is paid on maturity, and the interest rate is fixed until this date falls.

“Your account will mature one year from the date of your initial deposit,” the website explains.

There are several limits to note with regards to this account.

First of all, there is a minimum opening amount of £100.

Subsequent monthly deposits can range between £1 and £100.

The Building Society directs customers to make all deposits they wish to between the first and the 25th of the month, to ensure the payments count for the relevant month.

Due to the aforementioned limits, the maximum a person can save in this account over the course of the 12 months is £1,200.

To open the account, those who qualify can do so either in branch, by telephone, or via post.

Who is eligible for this account?

To open the account, a person must be a member of Cambridge Building Society who has head a savings or a mortgage account with the Society for the last 12 months.

Furthermore, it’s only possible for customers to have one Loyalty Regular Saver with the Society at any one time, meaning those who already have one aren’t eligible to open another.

Additionally, there is a limit when it comes to the amount an individual can save with the Building Society.

The overall maximum holding by any one person “in respect of all accounts” with Cambridge Building Society is £2,000,000.

Source: Read Full Article