Help to Save scheme

The Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially launched in September 2018 and since then over 80,000 people have signed up. The scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus.


The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming Universal Credit and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period. Payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of household income.


Payments under the scheme can be made by standing order on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis and one-off payments by debit card are also possible. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After the 4 years the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.


There are no limits on how the savings can be spent but it is advised that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment. HMRC has also launched a new tool in the HMRC app that lets savers set their own savings goals and personal reminders, to keep on track and maximise bonuses using the scheme.

The Help to Save scheme for people on low incomes was officially launched in September 2018 following an 8-month trial. The scheme allows those in work entitled to Working Tax Credit and in receipt of Working Tax Credits or Child Tax Credits, to save up to £50 a month for two years and receive a 50% government bonus.

The scheme is also open to UK residents who are claiming Universal Credit and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for their last monthly assessment period. Payments from Universal Credit are not considered to be part of household income.

Payments under the scheme can be made by standing order on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis and one-off payments by debit card are also possible. Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another bonus. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 on maximum savings of £2,400 for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After the 4 years, the Help to Save account will be closed and savers will not be able to reopen it or open another Help to Save account. The account balances are expected to be rolled over into successor accounts.

There are no limits on how the money used can be spent but it is hoped that the money will be saved for urgent costs. Money paid into the account can be withdrawn at any time, but this could affect the size of the bonus payment.

An HMRC consultation paper on the launch of the new Help to Save scheme closed in July 2016. A response to the consultation providing more information on the scheme has been published. The government received 31 formal responses. Most respondents were broadly in favour of the scheme. These responses have now been analysed and the primary legislation necessary to introduce the scheme has been introduced to Parliament.

The new scheme will allow anyone in work and in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month and receive a 50% bonus after 2 years that can be worth up to £600. The scheme is expected to be in place by April 2018.

Account holders will then be able to continue saving under the scheme for a further 2 years and receive another £600 bonus. This roll-over will take place automatically. This could see those on low incomes receive a bonus of up to £1,200 over 4 years. After the 4 years have expired account balances will be rolled over into successor accounts.

The new scheme will be open to all adults in receipt of Universal Credit with minimum household earnings equivalent to 16 hours at the National Living Wage or those in receipt of Working Tax Credits. The Help to Save scheme could help an estimated 3.5 million people across the UK to save for the future. It has also been confirmed that the National Savings and Investments bank (NS&I) will be the sole provider of the accounts across the UK.

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Case Studies

The Tax Man

Minimise the stress of an investigation and make use of our extensive experience in securing best outcome for our clients

Business Valuation in Distress

Take advantage of our impartial and rigorous due diligence procedures

FD in The Cupboard

Our innovative ideas are here to improve your business performance and secure appropriate and cost effective funding

The Tax Man

The Tax Man

A new client was introduced to us via a recommendation with whom we arranged to meet on a regular basis in order to determine a number of changes that we felt were needed to their business structure. The client was at the time operating as a husband and wife partnership. The business was flourishing and had a number of large contracts with big organisations.

At the start of the process they were still heavily immersed in their day to day operations so we can get a full flavour for their ambitions, aspirations and growth plans. We quickly recognised there were sufficient tax savings which can be achieved by changing the structure from a partnership to a corporate entity. We carried out a business valuation and disposed of the goodwill from the old to the new business. Unfortunately, as often is the case with efficient tax planning, HMRC got involved and disputed our valuation.

An HMRC investigation can be a very stressful time for any client, even for those best prepared. However, our client had minimal input in the HMRC communication as we dealt with this professionally behind the scene. As an added benefit, our client could rest on the security that all work was covered by insurance and therefore all costs and time in dealing with this enquiry were covered by the fee protection policy we had put in place.

The initial approach taken by HMRC was very aggressive and they tried to present an argument that there was no goodwill in the business. We challenged HMRC’s view that the goodwill was worthless. After lengthy correspondence and numerous telephone calls, HMRC agreed 100% with our original valuation, which preserved our original tax saving plan for the client. Tax savings on this case where in the region of £75K at the outset, with ongoing savings of £6,000 per annum. We are pleased to add another happy client to our portfolio.

Business Valuation in Distress

Business Valuation in Distress

Selling a business is never an easy process, but when disputes arise, the need for a reliable third party due diligence process is even greater.

Tearle & Carver have extensive understanding of the requirements for remaining objective when managing a potentially difficult company buyout. In one such case, we were approached by the courts to act as independent accountant for an acrimonious business sale in which one partner was exiting the business and selling shares to the other. Given the circumstances, both sides had totally polar views of what their business was worth.

After arranging an initial meeting with the company, we were thorough in ensuring we completed due diligence, validating the figures in the accounting records, carrying out adjustments where appropriate, and drafting a set of reliable management figures within the framework required by the court.

A draft version of the report detailing our findings and conclusions was submitted to both parties, giving them the opportunity to voice any queries or concerns and ensure all relevant factors had been taken into account.

Through this process, we were able to submit a final report to the courts that was both binding and acceptable to both parties, effectively resolving what could otherwise have been a time consuming and costly process for all sides.

FD in The Cupboard

FD in The Cupboard

For smaller companies, it is often not possible or cost effective to pay for a full-time Financial Director.
Many of our clients therefore make use of Tearle & Carver’s extensive expertise to provide the services of an FD as and when required.

In this case, we were approached by the management team of an organisation looking to acquire the existing business via an MBO (Management buy out). Their business plan had proved ineffective for securing funding, and what they needed was financial expertise from someone with a developed understanding of the company’s internal workings.

Tearle & Carver helped deliver the solution our clients were looking through utilising our bank contacts in order to make the MBO viable, while also building a robust business plan and preparing our client for the rigorous vetting process. To help with cash flow issues, we introduced factoring which led to improved cash flow management.

We advised on the appropriate business valuation and structure, and continued to prepare monthly accounts to track profgress once the management were fully in command of all the information they needed to move their business forward.

In order to best assist these clients through the crucial first year of ownership, we attended board meetings on a regular basis, a service that we continue to provide to date.

With our continually developing understanding of their business, this client is able to remain confident that Tearle & Carver can provide any financial support they may need, now and in the future.