Category Archives: Estate Planning & Will Services





Here are the latest Updated Key Guides; we have reviewed all of the Key Guides for relevant developments, some have not needed amending but here are the Nine Updated Key Guides for your information and guidance.  Contact us if you need any further guidance and/or assistance.

You can access the whole series of KEY GUIDES through the downloads in the Recent News section of our website here: –

The amended Key Guides are: –

Accessing your company profits

  • An updated introduction advises that the possibility of new, environment-related taxation may be on the horizon for businesses.
  • An example regarding national insurance contribution calculations has been revised for greater clarity.
  • Information is given about the forthcoming changes to personal service company (PSC) IR35 rules for private sector businesses.
  • Updated information about the taxation of company cars, in line with the government’s environmental policies, is given.
  • A warning is also given about the need to keep abreast of Brexit developments over the coming year and its potential impacts on business planning.


Making tax digital

  • Information about the types of roll-out for different areas of tax has been made clearer.
  • MTD for VAT became compulsory in April 2019, with an agreed delay to October 2019 and early 2020 for certain types of business; the key guide has been updated to reflect this deferral, explaining its implications for public sector bodies who use the GIANT system of tax reporting.
  • Fuller details about the MTD VAT situation in general have been given.


Making the most of fringe benefits

  • An update to the introduction makes the point that the Conservative party re-election in December 2019 makes changes to the taxation of benefits in 2020/21 very unlikely.
  • The introduction also reiterates how the company car, traditionally a popular benefit, has become less tax efficient, with the introduction of the UK’s first zero-emissions street a good indicator of the future of motoring.
  • The guide explains one way to improve efficiency is for employees to contribute up to £5,000 for a new company car which may allow them to afford a car with much lower emissions.


Starting and selling a business

  • Updated introduction touches on implications of the UK general election and the consequences of an orderly or disorderly exit from the EU on the UK’s economic growth
  • Updated advice regarding tailoring business plans to take EU exit into account for 2020
  • The latest information on the expansion of the IR35 rules to the private sector set for April 2020.
  • A new mention of the proposed further discounts (to 50%) to retail business rates.
  • Update to regarding the annual 2% write-off for the construction costs of commercial property which is now set to increase to 3%.
  • New mention of an increase to employment allowance.
  • Inclusion of the government’s announcement to conduct a “review and reform” of entrepreneur’s relief.


Strategies for a high tax environment

  • Updated information from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility has been given
  • The latest situation based on the Conservative party manifesto regarding increasing the NICs threshold has been added.
  • An additional comment regarding Entrepreneurs’ relief and the potential ‘review and reform’ it may undergo has been inserted.
  • An update regarding the abandonment of the plan to cut Corporation tax to 17% has also been added.


Tax allowances for business investment

  • An update regarding the upcoming increase in structures and business allowance (SBA) from 2% to 3%
  • Up-to-date example figures used to explain how to calculate the annual investment allowance (AIA)


Taxation of property

  • An updated introduction touches on the performance of the housing market in 2019, the projected rise in house prices and the implications of Brexit following the general election result.
  • A change to the information on corporation tax which is now remaining at 19%.


Working through personal service companies

  • An updated introduction touches on the forthcoming expansion to the private sector of the IR35 rules for personal service companies (PSCs), including the government’s review of the implementation.
  • Further advice on the CEST tool which has been updated by HMRC with 30 new or updated questions, in addition to a contract review process.
  • An additional section on retaining your personal service company.


You and yours – estate planning

  • An update on the shelving of probate fee changes and delays in processing applications.
  • A comment on whether the Office of Tax Simplification proposals on inheritance tax will be integrated into the March 2020 Budget is added.


Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup

Updated KEY GUIDES now published – August 2019

Updated KEY GUIDES now published – August 2019



We have reviewed our series of KEY GUIDES and published updated versions where appropriate.

You can access the whole series of KEY GUIDES through the downloads in the Recent News section of our website here: –

KSK – Recent News

The latest amended versions are as follows: –

Buying and selling a business

  • Some stylistic tweaks have been carried out.

Investing tax efficiently

  • Some clarification on wording around the dividend allowance and current phase of property income interest relief changes.

Making Tax Digital

  • Rules surrounding when it is acceptable to record a collective invoice statement and when each transaction must be recorded separately are explained, and which businesses are affected.
  • Expanded list of businesses whose start date is deferred.

Working through personal service companies

  • Number of recent IR35 cases won by contractors updated to four, showing a growing trend for outcomes in favour of contractors.
  • The consultation regarding the extension of the IR35 rules to the private sector has been concluded.

You and yours – estate planning

  • The Office of Tax Simplification has published its review of IHT, which include the following proposals:
    • Combining the main annual exemption and wedding gifts exemption into an overall ‘personal gifts allowance’ of £11,900 a year, up from £3,000.
    • Removing the regularity requirement for gifts and introducing a personal allowance.
    • Replacing the exemption with a higher personal allowance.
    • Scrapping taper relief and reducing ‘look back’ for gifts from seven years to five years.

There are also some other important downloads added recently.  These include: –

Off-Payroll Workers in The Private Sector

HMRC’s latest challenge to the so called IR35 regime is extended from the Public Sector into the Private Sector with effect from April 2020.

VAT – New Rules for Construction Industry

Builders who are within the Construction Industry Scheme need to be aware of new rules for charging and accounting for VAT which are introduced from 1st October 2019.

Contact Paul Southward for further information.

Paul Southward

Key Guides January 2019

Key Guides January 2019


Updated Key Guides now available

We are delighted to make available to you our updated and freshly designed Key Guides.  There are eleven updated Key Guides publications, covering a wide range of topics that we hope you will find interesting.

Each guide offers you an essential introduction to a key topic of financial planning, covering the latest developments announced in the 2018 Budget, and coming in to effect in April with the new tax year.

With key headline announcements coming into effect in April, such as the personal allowance increasing ahead of schedule, it is just as important as ever to make sure you are getting the latest advice. With the new tax year bringing deadlines for key allowances, you should make sure you’re making the most of the opportunities available to you.

Our updated Key Guides include: –

  • The 2018 Budget: With changes announced to the personal allowance, income tax thresholds, capital gains tax, property transaction taxes and more, our full set of guides covers the latest tax situation.
  • Updated planning points: Our handy pop-out tips have been updated across the range, helping you to ask the right questions about your financial planning.

The Key Guides are designed to give an insight into each topic covered and highlight some of the more important issues.  If you need any further information on any of the topics covered, contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

The download to each of the updated Key Guides can be found here: –


Key Guide – Investing Tax Efficiently


Contact: Paul Southward direct for the latest news and updates on preparing your business for Making Tax Digital


Key Guide – Pension Tax Planning


Key Guide – Fringe Benefits


Key Guide – Starting and Selling a Business


Key Guide – Strategies for a High Tax Environment


Key Guide – Tax Allowances for Business Investment


Key Guide – Accessing your Company Profits


Key Guide – Taxation of Property


Key Guide – Personal Service Companies


KEY Guide – Estate Planning

If you have any difficulties accessing the Key Guides or have any queries, contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward

Paul Southward

Updated Key Guides published 23rd August 2018

Updated Key Guides published 23rd August 2018


Whilst most of us bask in the hottest summer for over half a century, the government is busy running consultations and trying to prepare for what Brexit will eventually mean. But that is no reason for us not to be busy, whilst we await the announcements of the Budget, and the result of the negotiations.

The latest update for our Key Guides series brings you fully revised guides giving you essential explanations of key topics across business, tax and retirement planning. We understand how confusing it can be to get a clear understanding of how complex rules and reliefs affect you, so our guides will give you everything you need to get started in one place.

Our current update includes new examples, tables, graphics and case studies throughout, to make each topic as accessible and easy to get to grips with as possible. The new range will give you real world examples of complex rules and calculations, including fresh advice on inheritance planning and gifts.

Investing tax-efficiently

  •  New example on timing of CGT gains and losses
  •  Added reference to the OTS review of savings and investment income tax

 Making Tax Digital

  • Updates on latest timetable announcements from HMRC
  • Updated section on MTD pilot schemes
  • Restructured to focus on VAT and preparing for MTD

Pensions tax planning for high earners

  • New clarification and example on tax on pension withdrawals
  • New example on SIPP borrowing for property investment
  • Clarification on income tax relief on contributions in Scotland

Starting and selling a business

  • New tables covering:
  • Business financing options
  • Advantages and disadvantages to limited company structure
  • Payment options on sale of a business
  • Loan notes
  • VAT treatment of going concerns

Strategies for a high-tax environment

  • New example highlighting differing CGT rates between residential property and other assets
  • New graphic on maximum tax-free income allowances
  • Updated OBR forecasts

Working through personal service companies

  • New table summarising tax deadlines for deemed salary under IR35 rules
  • Restructuring of ‘Tax planning and pitfalls’ section
  • Summaries of recent IR35 rulings
  • New section on consultation on IR35 rules in the private sector

Estate planning

  • New example on the application of lifetime gifts and gifts from normal income

The latest Key Guides can be downloaded here:-

Tax Planning for High Earners

Tax Planning for High Earners

Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Making the most of Fringe Benefits

Making the most of Fringe Benefits

Strategies for a High Tax Environment

Strategies for a High Tax Environment

Investing Tax Efficiently

Investing Tax Efficiently

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital

Personal Service Companies

Personal Service Companies

Starting and Selling a Business

Starting and Selling a Business

For more information contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward

IHT Planning

The need for IHT Planning is highlighted by record tax receipts.

With the current revelations about offshore trusts, tax havens and the disclosures about our political leaders tax affairs you may think that tax planning is all but dead and gone.  This is certainly not the case, some sensible steps based on sound, legitimate and lawful advice could knock thousands of pounds in inheritance tax (IHT) for you and your family.

The need for IHT planning is highlighted by the fact that IHT receipts leapt to a record £4.6bn in the year to February 2016 a rise of 21% on the previous year’s total of £3.8bn.

A part of that increase is probably down to increases in property values bringing many more estates within the charge to IHT.  The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that the starting threshold for paying IHT has remained unchanged for almost 7 years.

So where do you start?  Whilst we would recommend that you only take IHT Planning action after taking expert advice, there are things that can be done to ‘prepare the ground’ this will make it easier for your adviser to focus on the specific needs of you and your family and provide advice that is relevant to you and your family.

So here are some simple steps that will get you started:-

1. Make a list of all your assets and make an estimate of each asset’s current value.  If you are married or in a civil partnership make a separate list for each party, split the value of jointly owned assets according to your share.

2. Consider future inheritances you may receive are you likely to be the beneficiary of a will or perhaps a trust?  Do you own or have an interest in any capital assets that are likely to be sold within the next 5 to 10 years?  Make a separate list.

3. Make a list of all your income sources and the yearly income received from each source.  Also make a list of all your outgoings.

4. Think about significant future outgoings you may incur over the next 5 years or so, education costs, weddings etc. and make note of these.

5. Have you already made gifts to your family?  You should keep a record of any significant gifts that you have made.

6. Think about your path in life over the next 5 to 10 years and consider where it may take you, and where you would want to be.

7. Now draw up your current family tree include all from whom you may benefit, current dependents and others who you wish to benefit from your estate.

Now you can give us a call and we can lead you on to the next leg of your journey by providing you with the sound, legitimate and lawful advice you need to plan for your and your family’s future.  We may not save you any tax but the peace of mind you will achieve will bring rich rewards.

ICAEW approves KSK for probate work

1st February 2016

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has licensed Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants to carry out probate work.

As one of the regions leading independent practices we are proud to be one of the first accountancy firms in Bedfordshire to become licensed by the ICAEW as an alternative business structure to carry out probate work.

We have been providing advice and guidance in connection with estate planning work for many years and for some clients spanning generations.  The latest addition of probate work to the services we can offer enhances the overall package of estate planning services we provide.

Our probate services are provided by our Managing Partner Paul Howkins through our office in Luton, although the service is available to clients from all our offices across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Paul says:

“We have been providing inheritance tax and succession planning advice for a long time now and the firm has a reputation of trust and understanding of providing for our clients needs.  The addition of probate services allows us to offer a more straightforward ‘whole’ service without the need to rely on third parties.  This strengthens our position as one of the leading providers of professional services in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.”

Estate Planning, Probate Administration & Will Services

We have for many years provided estate planning and advice on inheritance tax and succession planning; we have also assisted with the preparation of the required inheritance tax forms and computation.  However, until recently we have not been able to apply for a grant of probate, because this a was a reserved legal service, which could only be provided by a solicitor.

This changed in December 2014 when the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) became an approved regulator for probate services.  This meant that once licenced, an approved Chartered Accountant and ICAEW member can now provide clients with a full probate service.

As a leading local independent firm of Chartered Accountants we are pleased to be licensed to provide Probate Services by the ICAEW.

We offer these services on a standalone basis or part of our overall Estate Planning services.

About our Probate Services

* Our fees are based on time spent (and not the value of the estate); this means that you will only be charged for the professional time incurred in dealing with the probate and any advice required.

* The service we deliver will be clear and concise and is designed for you to fully understand the process without jargon.

* Our Probate Services are headed up by our Managing Director Paul Howkins who has passed the necessary exams required by the ICAEW in order that the firm can be licensed.

The benefits of using Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants Probate Service

* Accessible and structured fee costs.

* Professional and experienced advice given by an expert who has a wide range of expertise in all aspects of estate planning.

* Established professional firm with a long history of providing expert business and financial advice and guidance.

* Peace of mind at a time that may be stressful and unfamiliar to those charged with administering the estate that everything will be taken care of by expert and caring professionals.

* For existing clients, an in depth knowledge of your business, personal and family affairs allowing us to tailor the service directly to your needs.