Clearview National April 2019 - Issue 209 - Page 90

BUSINESSNEWS Get the max from your tax » » WITH ANOTHER TAX year closing this week, taxpayers in the UK have been offered expert guidance on maximising their various tax-free allowances. David Redfern, Managing Director of DSR Tax Claims Ltd has advice to assist taxpayers in making the most of the various tax efficiencies available to them in the 2018/19 tax year. He states “Taxpayers are entitled to a number of tax-free allowances which allow them to maximise their tax relief on investments and savings so it is essential to good tax planning to ensure that households make full use of these allowances where possible. Individual taxpayers are allowed to invest up to £20,000 per tax year in an ISA, or a range of ISAs, with a couple having a combined allowance of £40,000 between them and these tax-free savings allowances can’t be carried over to the following tax year. This means taxpayers should investigate whether they are using their full allowance”. As with tax-free savings allowances, pension contributions are also subject to an annual tax-free allowance. Redfern states “Taxpayers are allowed to save up to £40,000 per tax year tax-free through private pension contributions. If you’re not sure how much you have paid into your pension during this tax year, the GOV website has a handy calculator to allow you to check whether you have used all of your personal allowance for any given tax year.” Redfern also encouraged taxpayers to check whether they are receiving all the tax relief they are entitled to. He added “If you are entitled to Marriage Allowance because either you or your spouse have earnings below the personal tax allowance, you can transfer your unused Marriage Allowance to the spouse earning above the personal tax allowance.” Marriage Allowance can be worth up to £238 per tax year by allowing the low-earning spouse to transfer up to £1,190 of unused personal allowance to their spouse. It is open to all couples who are either married or in a civil partnership as long as the higher-earning partner is a basic-rate taxpayer. Taxpayers were also reminded to check they were making the most of their Gift Aid contributions in order to maximise their tax relief options, with tax relief on charitable donations also able to be backdated for 4 years. Sick Building Syndrome » » WITH INDOOR AIR POLLUTION continuing to impact the health and wellbeing of UK workers, employers are taking greater responsibility for the workplace environment in a bid to limit the effects of sick building syndrome – situations where employees or other building occupants experience acute health and discomfort levels that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. A YouGov survey commissioned by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) reported that almost 70% of office workers believed poor air quality in their place of work was having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being*. “The health impacts of poor outdoor air quality are well-documented and have been linked to respiratory tract infections, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Indoors you’ll find these same pollutants intermingled with dust, carpet fibres, fungal spores, cleaning products, photocopy residues or building materials, which create quite an unhealthy cocktail of 90 » A PR 2019 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M contaminants that eventually permeate across the workplace,” said Steven Loughney of Siemens Building Technologies. “And with most of us spending 90% or more of our time indoors it is little wonder that some people claim work is literally killing them – this might not be the case, but indoor air pollution is certainly having a detrimental effect on our long-term health.” Air quality improvements can be made through the deployment of advanced HEPA and carbon-activated air purifiers to screen harmful pollutants while air-quality monitors, sensitive to PM2.5 warn of foreign particles <2.5 micrometres Ø that are small enough to travel deep into the lungs. Physical redesigns of buildings might involve adding ventilation to take advantage of prevalent winds or creating windows to exploit aspects that take advantage of natural light. Converted older buildings may have issues with heating, ventilation and air conditioning with access and power limitations. For complete internal environmental control, total room automation solutions offer a fully integrated system that maintains the perfect environment. A network of high accuracy self-calibrating sensors feed real-time information back into these systems to manage HVAC, lighting and CO2 levels. Symptoms of sick building syndrome may include: • headaches • blocked or runny nose • dry, itchy skin • dry, sore eyes • rashes • tiredness and difficulty concentrating * workers-complain-about-poor-air-quality/