Written by Steve Falla   
Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:05

Calculating a Client's Tapered Annual Allowance

The annual allowance for pension contributions is currently £40,000, and after the recent budget announcement, it has been confirmed that this will stay the same into the 2018/19 tax year as well.

However, for anyone who is deemed a higher earner, this allowance may be restricted/tapered anywhere from the full £40,000 down to £10,000, based on the individual's Adjusted Income amount.

The calculations can be relatively easy for an individual with a simple salary and pension arrangement, but they can quickly become almost indecipherable and time consuming when an individual has a mixture of income types, occupational pension schemes, personal pension schemes etc, and you need to work out the individual's Net Income, Threshold Income, Adjusted Income, and then get confused between Adjusted Income and Adjusted Net Income and a multitude of other amounts required for a full Income Tax Calculation.taperedannualallowance1

The good news is that JCS can do all that work for you with a click of a button. Just make sure that you have selected to let JCS calculate Income Tax and NI Automatically for the client in question, and then click on "Details" next to Income Tax.

Looking at the full details of the Income Tax computation, it is possible to see total pension inputs, employer contributions, the calculation of the Annual Allowance (in this example, this has been tapered), as well as the amount of excess contributions and the charge made against excess contributions, in the current tax year.

So the next time you find yourself trying to calculate a client's Tapered Annual Allowance on a scrap of paper, plug the details into JCS and let it do all the hard work instead.

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Written by Steve Mahy   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10:17

Copy and Paste Charts

Here’s a quick tip, which may save you some time.

If you want to insert a chart produced by JCS insert into a Word, Excel or Powerpoint document:

1) Move the mouse pointer over a white area of the chart. Right-click and a drop down menu will appear with various options.
2) Click on Copy. This doesn’t appear to do anything, but the chart will now be copied to the Windows clip board.
3) In the document where you want to place the chart, right-click and select Paste.

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Written by Steve Falla   
Friday, 14 July 2017 10:19

Fidelity Funds Network Changes

If you use the Fidelity FundsNetwork platform, I am sure that you will be aware that there are big changes being made very soon. By now some details will have been communicated to you directly by Fidelity, but in summary the following will be happening:

• Legacy ISA tax years no longer supported
• Consolidation of some products schemes
• New cash management services available from Q4 2017
• New share dealing services available from Q4 2017

The changes to the Legacy ISA tax years and consolidation of product schemes will be ready to go live on Monday 17th July. Later this year, firms will be migrating to Fidelity's new operating system on a one by one basis, meaning you may not see the new products for Cash Management and Share Dealing until later this year.

Full details of each change, and how they affect your handling of Fidelity policies in JCS are listed below.

Legacy ISA tax years no longer supported

Back in 2013, Fidelity no longer allowed the separation of ISAs by tax year from the tax year 2013 onwards, but allowed advisers to keep historic ISA plans separate. Since changes last year stopped any renewal commission from being paid out from these legacy tax year ISA plans, Fidelity believe that most advisers will have consolidated all of these legacy plans already, and so the impact will be minimal.

Impact in JCS: All legacy ISA tax year fund holdings will be reported as held under the main ISA plan when performing either a bulk valuation or an RTV. To prevent duplication of these funds holdings, the original tax year plans should be merged in JCS with the main ISA plan to copy over all notes, contributions, documents, history, diary etc.

Please note you should only do this AFTER Monday 17th July.
 

Consolidation of some product schemes

Historically, Fidelity split unit trust/OEICS holdings into separate plan references based on whether the holdings were on-platform or off-platform. Fidelity unit trusts would use the scheme name of UKUT, and Funds Network unit trusts would use the scheme name of ISM. This was causing some confusion for clients and advisers, so Fidelity offered the option of product consolidation to ensure both used the same external scheme name of “Funds”. The new service will only offer the consolidated version, where all unit trusts use the scheme name of “Funds”.

The same was also true of offshore plans where the plan could be split into the scheme names of FIDF, FIDC and FIDM. The product consolidation option allowed these to be consolidated into the one scheme name of “Offshore”. The new service will only offer the consolidated version, however, they have gone one step further to merge with the rest of the unit trusts as well, using the scheme name of “Funds”. The effect is that Fidelity now offer a single General Investment Account that holds on-platform, off-platform and offshore funds all in the same scheme name.

Impact in JCS: Any Fidelity plans that use the scheme name of UKUT, ISM, FIDC, FIDF, FIDC, Offshore and Funds should be merged in JCS to a single plan to copy over all notes, contributions, documents, history, diary etc. The resultant plan policy number/reference should contain the suffix of “:Funds”.

Please note you should only do this AFTER Monday 17th July.

New cash management services available

Clients will have access to a new cash account. This will use the scheme name of “CASH”. It will only contain cash and is used for moving money from and to external bank accounts, and to and from product cash accounts.

Impact in JCS: This cash account will appear in any bulk valuation, and can be mapped to an Interest Bearing Account in JCS. Any bulk valuation or RTV will update the balance of the case.

Each ISA and General Investment Account will also have additional cash holdings called “Product Cash” and “Phased Cash” used for account transactions and phased investments respectively.

Impact in JCS: These cash holdings will just appear as a “cash” holding in the list of funds within the ISA or General Investment Account, and will be named appropriately.

Please note that these additional cash holdings will only appear after your firm has been migrated to the new service later this year.
 

New share dealing services available

Fidelity will be launching new share dealing services that will enable clients to access a wider range of investments including: Investment Trusts, ETFs, UK Equities, Irish Equities, CDIs and UK Fixed Income Securities. These investments will be available from the ISA and General Investment Account.

Impact in JCS: Any shares found within an ISA or a General Investment Account during the valuation will be added as a holding of fund type “share” and included within the overall value of the case.

Please note that these additional share holdings will only appear after your firm has been migrated to the new service later this year.

 

As always, if you need assistance, guidance or help in this area please contact our Technical Support team.

 
Written by Gilbert Bishop-White   
Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:35

Update to HM Sanctions Dates

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Last year we added Client and Partner Sanctions List dates to the Initial Details Fact Find page. These fields enable Advisors to keep a track of their compliance with the UK financial sanctions regime. While the feedback on this addition has been very positive, we have had a number of adviser firms inform us that their workflow involves checking all their clients against the latest sanctions list at once, then going through each client and updating the sanctions dates.

We are pleased to introduce the Client Sanctions Dates report. This report gives you the ability to view and update the Sanctions Dates of either all clients or clients of a single adviser, allowing advisers to keep these fields up to date much more easily.

 
Written by Steve Mahy   
Monday, 26 June 2017 10:41

Fine Tune Your Lookups

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Back in June 2016, the Open Client Fact Find window was given a major overhaul and replaced with the new Find Clients or Cases window.

The response to the new lookup window has been overwhelmingly positive, with one happy user calling the ability to instantly see the clients and cases they had recently opened “life changing”.

Other users have commented how useful it is to be able to see the results from a search all at once (yes, the old window really was so clunky it only allowed you to view one client at a time.)

We have also been told how nice it is to be able to find clients or cases by using policy Reference Numbers and, although no one has mentioned the wildcard searches, we are hopeful someone will also find this feature useful.

Understandably, though, with such radical changes to the most frequently used page in JCS, a few tweaks were required to get it working as seamlessly as possible. Some users, who were quite content with the old window, suddenly found that the keystrokes they had relied upon for so many years were now leading them astray.

We have listened to your comments and in order to try to keep everyone happy, a number of preferences have been added for the Find Clients or Cases window. Click on the "gears" button, and you’ll find a variety of options, which you can use to customise how the lookup window works for you.

Perhaps you’d rather it didn’t automatically hide the search results when not in use, or maybe you don’t like the way client Fact Find pages automatically open. If so, there is an option for you.

Of course, if you have any further suggestions for improvements, Tech Support are happy to hear your comments.

 
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