The end of the 2017/18 tax year is fast approaching, so Lewys has prepared this short checklist to make sure you have made the most of all available allowances before they are lost. Contact your adviser if you need to discuss any of the below.
All of our clients will be familiar with the ISA. Introduced over 18 years ago, all growth and withdrawals from an ISA are tax-free. This usually makes them the first step in financial planning. The ISA Allowance for the 2017/18 tax year is £20,000, and if you don’t use it, you lose it! Be sure to make any final contributions to your ISA before the 5th April.
Pension Annual Allowance
All pension contributions receive tax relief, making them the most tax-efficient investment wrapper available, if you are comfortable tying up the funds until at least age 55. The standard Annual Allowance is the lower of your salary or £40,000. However, the Annual Allowance is reduced if you have previously accessed Flexi-Access Drawdown. You can also ‘carry forward’ your remaining Annual Allowance from the last 3 tax years.
This is a particularly attractive investment option for higher rate taxpayers, due to the higher rate tax relief available. This could potentially be taken away in a future Government Budget, so don’t postpone taking advantage of higher rate tax relief while you can. Speak to your financial adviser if you have surplus funds that you would like to contribute to a pension.
Capital Gains Tax Annual Exemption
Gains made on sale of assets such as shares, or investment properties will be subject to Capital Gains Tax at a rate of 10%/20%/18%/28% depending on the type of asset and your personal tax rate. However, the first £11,300 of gain is tax-free – this is known as the CGT Annual Exemption. If you have shares or multiple assets that you are looking to sell, spread the sale over multiple tax years to take advantage of multiple Annual Exemptions. Your adviser can ensure you dispose of your assets in the most tax-efficient way possible.
IHT Annual Gifts
If you have a potential Inheritance Tax issue, reducing your estate will be your main goal. There are a few options available to reduce your estate for IHT, the simplest being the £3000 annual gift allowance. Again, speak to your adviser if you have concerns about IHT and wish to make preparations to avoid a future problem.
Whilst not necessary before the end of the tax year, it is never a bad time to review your will. Let us know if you do not have an up to date will and we can arrange writing a new one.