Standard Life has revealed that almost two-thirds (64%) of financial advisers believe tax planning advice has become more important for their affluent* clients in recent years.
Research carried out by the savings and investment company has shown more than half of UK-based financial advisers believe the current financial climate (65%) has made tax planning more important for their clients. This is followed by changes in tax legislation (54%) with the changes made to pension contribution limits coming third (42%).
Julie Hutchison, head of international technical insight at Standard Life, said: "There is a lot of talk about investment risk but very little about tax risk. The complexity of tax and the speed with which legislation can change means it’s becoming more and more difficult for the consumer to understand the impact it can have on their savings and investments. And this is where financial advisers can add real value to their clients.
"The Budget is on 21 March and undoubtedly there will be further changes made, which will impact advisers' clients. And the fact the Office of Tax Simplification is continuing to delve into the UK's tax system shows further changes are on their way. This means advisers must keep a close eye on any changes and understand how they could impact their clients. Highlighting their knowledge and insight to their clients could be significant in this important year of change in the industry."
In order to assist financial advisers, Standard Life is launching a new tax planning hub, which will provide advisers with a source of technical support and practical solutions on tax changes.
Julie Hutchison said: "In addition to useful case studies and technical briefings, the site will be updated as we move through the tax year end period, with a close eye on the Budget. This will ensure advisers have a rich source of content to help them guide their clients through the tax world."
To view the new tax hub, please visit: www.adviserzone.com/tax.
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Notes to editors:
*The term affluent was up to the individual adviser to interpret for their own client base, therefore there is no definitive value associated with it.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 213 IFAs. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3-13 January 2012. The survey was carried out online.
Methodology: This survey has been conducted using an online interview with administered members of the YouGov Plc GB panel of 280,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. An email was sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample according to the sample definition, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to the survey. (The sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females"). YouGov Plc normally achieves a response rate of between 35% and 50% to surveys however this does vary dependent upon the subject matter, complexity and length of the questionnaire.
About Standard Life:
Standard Life is a long term savings and investments company headquartered in Edinburgh and operating internationally. Established in 1825, Standard Life offers annuities, savings and investment products, such as pensions, stocks and shares ISAs and an investment risk questionnaire, to around six million customers worldwide.
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