YOUR MONEY; DEAR TRICIA Need some practical financial advice? YOUR MONEY Editor Tricia Phillips and her team can help; 5 pages of SOUND advice.
Byline: Edited by TRICIA PHILLIPS Get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org
Q I have been awarded payment protection insurance compensation, from which tax will be automatically deducted. I'm self-employed, earning less than PS8,000, so I'm not usually liable for tax. Do I have to wait until I submit my tax return to claim this money, or can I claim it now?
A You can do either. The part that is taxed is the interest element of the claim and this can be reclaimed via the form R40 or online via gov. uk/claim-tax-refund.
Q I've been turned down for a loan. The firm wouldn't tell me why. Is there anything I can do to find out what may have put them off lending to me?
A Usually this is because someone doesn't fit the criteria of the loans firm, ie you don't earn enough or have too much credit already. Or it can be that you have a poor credit score or history. It could also be that something is recorded against you that you're unaware of. This is why it is vital for people to keep an eye on their credit report, so they know where they stand, can ensure there are no mistakes and spot early signs of fraud. You can check your score for free via firms such as Experian, Clearscore and Noddle.
Q I'm in my 50s and I'm really unsure about when I'll actually get my state pension. It all seems very confusing and things keep changing.
You can get a state pension forecast which lets you know Awhen you are due to get your pension and whether you are entitled to the full amount. Go to yourpension.gov. uk, or call the Future Pension Centre on 0800 731 0175.
Q If I take out equity release on my home, can I gift the money to my children without facing any inheritance tax issues?
A You can gift your children as much as you want. But any gifts over your annual allowance of PS3,000 per year will be classed as a 'potentially exempt transfer' and the seven-year clock will start ticking. After the full seven years have elapsed the whole gift will fall outside your estate for IHT purposes.
Q I'm thinking of taking out life insurance as I've just got married. Is this the right time?
A Protection is very important and having appropriate life, income and family cover for your needs is what I'd consider. Not too much, not too little. You may get some cover via your job if you are employed by a company. So talking to an independent financial adviser to examine what you already have and seeing if it needs a top-up is a wise move.
Thanks to our independent financial advisers - The Money Map (0800 848 8250) and PMI's John Stewart (0800 018 3751). For independent advice write to Your Money Independent Advice Bureau, Daily Mirror, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AP. Please give your age, income, family circumstances and details of financial products you want advice on, along with your phone number.
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