This time around there is more reason than ever to undertake some early tax year end planning.
This year the Budget, tax year end and a general election will all occur within a two month period. The 2014/15 year end tax checklist is thus a combination of the familiar March exercises, together with a round of pre-election planning, some of which may be put in place after 5 April:
The year end planning focus for pensions is traditionally on you maximising contributions and tax relief. In 2015 this aspect is especially important because of the recent reduction in the annual allowance and the threat of a post-election cut to tax relief. If you want to top up your pension, make sure you talk to us first: there are bear traps amidst the tax-saving opportunities.
The current ISA contribution limit is £15,000, which will rise to £15,240 from 6 April. The changes introduced last July have further improved the attraction of ISAs:
- The full contribution can be divided between the cash and stocks and shares components as you wish.
- All income within ISAs is free of personal UK tax.
- There are no restrictions on switching between the stocks and shares component and the cash component or vice versa.
Capital gains tax (CGT) annual Exemption
In 2014/15 you can realise gains of up to £11,000 without CGT liability. From 6 April you could crystallise another £11,100. Washing out gains – and perhaps reinvesting via two years of ISA – could prove to be a wise move before the general election.
Inheritance tax (IHT)
The IHT nil rate band of £325,000 has been frozen since 6 April 2009, making it all the more important that you use your annual IHT exemptions, in particular the £3,000 annual exemption.
The value of your investment and the income from it can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.