Tax Year End Financial Planning

As the impact of Coronavirus continues to play out, causing much political, social and economic uncertainty, the approaching financial year end for 2020 may feel comparatively insignificant.

However, it is still worthwhile, where possible, to assess any final opportunities available to improve the tax-efficiency of your finances.

None of these strategies require you to take market risk, and it can be assumed that cash is a perfectly reasonable option in the short term if you wish to use allowances but without equity exposure.

Here are some simple ways you can make the most of your annual allowances ahead of the 5 April deadline.

USE YOUR ISA ALLOWANCES

You can save or invest up to £20,000 in a cash or stock and shares ISA (or a combination of the two). You can also make use of your spouse’s allowance if you have used up your own. If you have children aged 16-17, they get two allowances – the adult cash ISA limit of £20,000 and the Junior ISA allowance of £4,368.

TOP UP YOUR PENSION

You can pay up to £40,000 per annum into your pension before it is subject to tax. If you have not used up your allowance, consider topping it up. You can also carry forward unused allowance for up to three years. If you earn over £100,000 you could start to lose some of your personal allowance; topping up your pension could get you some of your allowance back, as the income on your tax return will be lower to take your extra pension contributions into account.

REDUCE INHERITANCE TAX

If your estate is valued over £325,000, consider gifting money or possessions up to the value of £3,000 so they are no longer included in the value of your estate. You can also carry this (individual) allowance forward for one year, so a couple who did not gift in the previous tax year, could make up to £12,000 worth of gifts before 5 April 2020.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX

Everyone has an annual allowance of £12,000 which, like an ISA, does not roll over. Couples have a joint allowance, so it may be worth transferring assets into joint names to stay within your individual allowances.

MAKE CHARITABLE DONATIONS

By donating to charitable causes, you can claim full tax relief on your contributions at your current rate of income tax. If you are a higher rate taxpayer at 40% or 45%, you can claim back the difference between the tax on your donation and what the charity got back.

If you would like to discuss any elements of your financial plan or take advantage of any unused allowances you may have, please contact us.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation or trust advice. Articles on this website are offered only for general information and educational purposes. They are not offered as, and do not constitute, financial advice. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking advice from a professional.

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