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End of Tax Year planning

Our Tax Director Kevin Taylor has put together below some ideas for you to make the most of potential tax savings/planning opportunities, before the 2022/23 tax year ends on 5 April 2023. Please feel free to share with friends and colleagues.

Some of the current reliefs and allowances fall next tax year, so now is a good time to ensure they are used in 2022/23.

1. Take advantage of tax-free pension contributions

The standard amount that an individual can set aside tax-free each year for a pension is £40,000 – this is subject to income limits and any unused relief in the prior three tax years can be brought forward. There is also a lifetime limit of £1,073,100.

Exceeding the available annual allowance will mean a tax charge arises, so those with income above £200,000 should review the position to see if they are affected.

Higher rate tax repayments can be made on the annual tax return.

2. Use your ISA allowances

UK residents aged 18+ can invest up to £20,000 each and parents can fund a junior ISA or child trust fund with up to £9,000 per child for 2022/23 – making a total of £58,000 for a family of four.

Children will automatically have access to the funds in their ISA when they reach age 18, but ISAs are a useful vehicle for building up funds to support them through higher education.

3. Avoid the child benefit clawback

Child benefit is clawed back where annual taxable income, (or the taxable income of a partner), exceeds £50,000.

Making personal pension contributions, Gift Aid donations or exchanging salary in return for employer pension contributions can reduce your taxable income, to keep it below the £50,000 threshold.

4. Use Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exemptions

Everyone can realise capital gains up to the annual exemption tax-free – £12,300 in 2022/23.

Married couples and civil partners can transfer assets between them on a no gain/no loss basis and such transfers should be considered so that both can benefit from their annual exemptions.

The CGT annual exemption will be reduced from £12,300 to £6,000 from 6 April 2023 and further reduced to £3,000 from 6 April 2024, so now may be a good time to review assets.

5. Match capital gains and losses to reduce your tax bill

Capital gains and losses are aggregated on a tax year basis, so if you have assets e.g. shares sitting at a loss and a gain, these can be combined to enable assets to be sold without incurring CGT. Consideration needs to be given to not wasting the annual exemption.

6. Consider paying yourself a dividend

It is generally be more tax-efficient overall to withdraw profits from your company by way of dividends rather than salary payments for 2022/23.

A number of factors are involved and it is always worth reviewing the position.

The dividend allowance (the amount of dividend that can be received at 0% tax) is £2,000 for 2022/23, falling to £1,000 for 2023/24 and then £500 for 2024/25. Ensure you have taken your £2,000 tax free for 2022/23.

7. Consider SEIS/EIS/VCT investments

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) all offer tax benefits, but are really only suitable for experienced business owners and investors.

Under the SEIS, an individual can invest up to £100,000 (due to increase to £200,000 from 6 April 2023) in start-up enterprises in a tax year and claim income tax relief at 50% irrespective of his or her marginal rate of tax.

Investments in qualifying EIS companies (for example, certain companies listed on AIM or that are unlisted) attract income tax relief at 30% on a maximum annual investment of up to £1m for qualifying individuals.

Investments in VCTs provide income tax relief at 30% on qualifying investments of up to £200,000 and dividends received from the units are tax-free. In addition, the VCT can buy and sell investments without suffering capital gains tax (CGT) within the trust and there is no CGT payable on any gain made when you sell the VCT units.

Care needs to be taken as investments can go down as well as up and financial advice should be sought.

8. Make gifts to use annual inheritance tax (IHT) allowances

Reducing the value of the part of your estate that is above the nil rate bands (NRB) (the standard NRB is currently £325,000 and main residence NRB is £175,000) will save you IHT on your passing.

Consider giving assets you do not need to other family members now. Gifts to a spouse or civil partner to enable them to use up their nil rate band are tax-free and gifts to other family members can also be tax-efficient over time.

Most lifetime gifts to individuals that are not covered by a lifetime exemption do not immediately trigger IHT and become totally exempt if you survive for seven years. These are known as Potentially Exempt Transfers.

Some gifts leave your estate at day one and you can give away up to £3,000 a year (this can be carried forward if unused for one year but thereafter is lost). Other gifts that leave your estate immediately include £250 to as many individuals as you like in a year, gifts on marriage (to certain limits) and gifts out of income.

More and most people are being dragged into the IHT net due to the freezing of NRBs and increase in value of property etc.

If you are close to or above the NRBs, we would recommend an IHT review to ascertain your current position and see what can be actioned t mitigate it as required.

9. Plan ahead for 2023-24

Plan ahead for 2023-24 by checking your tax codes. This can be done by logging into your personal tax account.

If you have any queries please speak to your usual T&G adviser, or ring the office on the 01995 600600.

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