10 top tax year-end tips

The 2017-18 tax year ends on 5 April. Here are ten easy tips to put into action sooner rather than later.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail   by Peter Brennan, 1st March 2018

For individuals

  1. Consider buying an ISA (maximum £20,000). Remember to also add back any ISA funds withdrawn after 5th April 2017 and don’t forget Junior ISAs for children under 18 with their £4,128 allowance.
  2. Review your portfolio dividend income. The dividend allowance is falling from £5,000 to £2,000 on 5th April. Consider switching off part of this dividend income and replacing with savings income or using regular capital withdrawals to replace this income.
  3. Remember that it’s possible to gift cash of up to £3,000 per tax year (£6,000 in the first year) and be immediately free from Inheritance Tax.
  4. Make use of annual capital gains tax allowances (currently £11,300 each) to rebase portfolio profits or consider drawing part of your income as regular capital gains. Use it or lose it.

For couples

5. Would capital gains be less if transferred to your spouse/partner before sale? It is possible to transfer assets to a spouse/partner without triggering an immediate tax charge (they will be treated as owning the asset from the outset for tax purposes)

6. If one spouse/partner is a lower rate taxpayer than the other consider transferring investment income or capital to the lower rate taxpayer.

For your pension

7. Consider make a top-up pension contribution, higher rate relief is still available despite rumours to the contrary. This is the last opportunity to use earnings in 2014/15 tax year if you are able to make contribution in excess of £40,000.

8. If your taxable income is in excess of £100,000 for 2017/18 you will lose part of your personal income tax allowance. Similarly if you earn more than £50,000 and you or your partner receives child benefit, a personal pension contribution can significantly reduce the effective rate of income tax.

9. If you do not have earnings you can make a pension contribution of up to £2,880 and still qualify for basic rate tax relief uplift (even if you do not pay this tax).

10. If you have applied for one of the pension protections, please consider carefully before making a new pension contribution.

 

If you would like some expert advice, please get in touch or you can get started with an ISA here.

About the author: Peter Brennan

Peter has been helping clients since 1980. He specialises in all aspects of private client work including managing personal and family wealth, helping trustees measure and achieve investment objectives, tax planning, managing life’s risks and complementing advice from legal and accounting professionals.

Peter has an impressive portfolio of professional qualifications. He was among the first to be granted the title Chartered Financial Planner, is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society, an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Peter has a simple maxim: “you can only arrive at the correct answer by listening more than speaking” and is a firm believer in keeping solutions simple, timely and to the point.

Peter is married and has four children. Outside the office he enjoys golf and walking.

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