Going, going… still time before it’s gone!

Spring is in the air, lambs will shortly be in the fields and come 5 April we will be at the end of yet another tax year. With this in mind, have you used all of your allowances and exemptions yet?

ISA

ISAs allow your savings to grow tax-free. Make sure you put the money in by 5 April and you can make investment decisions later. The allowance this tax year is £20,000. Use it or lose it.

Also consider maximising your child’s Junior ISA limit, which is £9.000 this tax year.

Pension

Pension contributions attract valuable tax savings, particularly for higher-rate tax payers. Dependent upon your earnings, you can put up to £40,000 into a pension, inclusive of any employer contributions. It is worth seeking advice as you may be able to put more in depending on previous years’ unused relief.

However, note that, for those who have previously taken all the Tax-Free Cash from their pension and are taking taxable income, the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA), results in any future contributions being limited to £4,000 p.a. in any tax year.

You can also contribute up to £2,880 into a pension for a spouse or child, irrespective of their earnings. This will be topped up by the pension provider to £3,600 thanks to 20% tax relief.

Crystalise gains

You can realise £12,300 worth of capital gains this tax year without incurring capital gains tax (CGT), but it’s a case of use it or lose it.

Once you have maximised your own gains, consider gifting assets to your spouse or civil partner so that they are able to make the most of their own £12,300 CGT exemption.

If you have assets that have fallen in value, you may be able to claim a capital loss, even if you have not yet disposed of them, and offset this against capital gains, saving tax of up to 28%. Where the capital losses relate to shares in unquoted trading companies, it may be possible to offset the loss against income, providing tax relief of up to 45%. Please contact our tax department; they will make sure disposals are dealt with correctly.

Make IHT gifts

If your estate is likely to be worth more than £325,000, or £650,000 for married couples and civil partners, you could face inheritance tax (IHT). You can minimise the tax by gifting money or assets now, as long as you live for at least seven years after the assets or money are handed to the beneficiaries.

You can make gifts of up to £3,000 each year without any IHT implications. If you didn’t use your £3,000 allowance last year, you can carry it forward so that the maximum available exemption is £6,000. However, if this is not used in the following year, it disappears altogether.

For further advice please contact Nathan or Ainslie at Carlisle on 01228 530913 or Phil at Penrith on 01768 864466.