In financial services, spring means two things; the Spring Statement and the end of the tax year on Friday, April 5.
It’s important to carry out financial planning before the end of the tax year, this is so you can make the most of your tax allowances and organise your tax affairs as efficiently as possible.
Individual savings accounts
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are one of the most popular ways to save.
With exemption from income tax and capital gains tax it’s easy to see why they are the main choice for savers.
The ISA savings limit for the tax year 2018/19 is frozen at last year’s limit of £20,000.
There is also a Junior ISA, which will provide a child with a tax-free lump sum when they reach the age of 18; this allowance has been raised from £4,260 to £4,368.
Have you used the carry forward rules in order to benefit from any unused allowances from the previous three tax years? This is generally the difference between £40,000 and the pension input each year.
Capital Gains Tax
Capital Gains Taxis the 'forgotten' tax relief - people who religiously use their full ISA allowance completely fail to utilise their CGT allowance.
For the current tax year everyone has a CGT allowance of £11,700, meaning that capital gains made on investments such as shares are free of tax if they are within this limit.
Husbands and wives can gift assets to each other without incurring a CGT charge.
Like the ISA allowance though, the CGT allowance is an annual one, and cannot be carried forward to a subsequent tax year.
The current individual limit for Inheritance Tax is £325,000 (2018/19).
Remember though, that you can make gifts during a tax year and these will be exempt from IHT if they fall within the Revenue limits: the limit is £3,000 per person, so £6,000 for a married couple.
Although these amounts are small they can still help to reduce the value of an estate.
There are, of course, far more complex and sophisticated Inheritance Tax planning measures such as the use of trusts; if you feel that you would like specialist advice in this area then we will be happy to help.
For every £2 that adjusted net income exceeds £100,000 the £10,000 personal allowance is reduced by £1.
Pension contributions and Gift Aid can help to reduce adjusted net income and save tax at an effective rate of 60%.
Take advantage of the Annual Investment Allowance before your business year end to provide 100% tax write off for equipment.
For further details on any of the points raised in this article contact Peter Way-Rider, tax manager at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers on 01244 343504.
*Figures from HMRC correct as of March 2019