With the end of the tax year in sight, we’ve put together our top tips on how you can minimise your personal tax.

ISA’s

Cash ISA’s are savings accounts that you never pay tax on the interest arising.

In a normal savings account, the first £1,000 will be tax free, but anything above that you pay tax on the interest.

Make use of your annual ISA allowance which are currently £20,000 for adults, and £9,000 for a junior.

LISAs

A Lifetime ISA is available to anyone between 18 and 40.  There is an annual limit of £4,000, but the state will add a 25% bonus on top, plus you earn interest on whatever you save.

PENSIONS

If you do not already have a personal pension scheme, then it is worth seeking the advice of a qualified pensions adviser to see how you could benefit.  We can put you in touch with an IFA if you need someone to speak to. If you have income of more than £110,000 you must seek specialist advice before paying into a pension scheme, otherwise it could cost you dearly.  The lifetime allowance being frozen at £1,073,100 until 2026.

However, if you have neither a pension or much spare cash, you should consider putting a nominal sum (just £10 would do) into a personal pension scheme before 5th April. By doing this, you can create good tax planning options in later years, since you may be able to carry forward unused annual pension contribution allowances.

Tax Free Dividends

 The tax free dividend allowance remains at £2,000 for 2021/22.

Inheritance Tax

If your estate faces a potentially high Inheritance Tax liability, using the annual gift allowance of £3,000 is worth considering. This can be doubled if it was not used in the previous tax year.

Capital Gains Tax

If you have assets (particularly shares) which have achieved substantial growth, you may wish to consider selling some to use up the annual Capital Gains Allowance. However, there are many other good reasons why you might wish to consider holding on to the assets: don’t let the tax tail wag the investment dog!  Please speak to an IFA if you need investment advice. If you need to realise multiple assets in the near future (perhaps to fund some building work or a new home), consider staggering the disposals so that they benefit from two years’ worth of personal allowances. If you are married or in a civil partnership, there may be other strategies to adopt in order to reduce CGT.

EIS /SEIS

Consider investing in an Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) or a Seed EIS. In some circumstances, such investments can yield very substantial tax benefits. There are drawbacks to consider – your investment can be at risk, and the funds must remain in the investment for a minimum of three years. This sort of investment must absolutely be made with the assistance of an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

Gift Aid

Make a charitable donation under Gift Aid. For higher rate taxpayers, this can yield an extra tax refund for you, as well as increasing the value of the gift to the charity.

Company Cars

The Benefit in Kind rates are substantially less for electric cars based on their 0 CO2 emissions.   Benefit in Kind Tax to pay is rising to 1% for the 21/22 tax year, and 2% for the 22/23 tax year.

For other cars, the BIK tax rates are generally still very prohibitive from a tax perspective. Often just the tax a person pays on having a company car could almost pay for the car itself.

Landlords

New rules came into force in April 2020, meaning you are no longer able to deduct any of your mortgage expenses from rental income to reduce your tax bill.  Instead, the entire sum of your interest payment will qualify for a 20% tax relief.

Marriage Allowance

Where one spouse or civil partner earns less than the personal allowance, and the other spouse or civil partner earns less than the higher rate threshold, it is possible for £1,250 of their allowance to be transferred to the other. This can result in a tax saving of over £200 for a family (and this can be backdated to include previous years allowances).

Please note that as part of our tax return process we will check to see if you are eligible for this saving.

Tax Return

Try and have your tax return completed as soon as possible after 6th April to ensure that you are fully aware of any tax liability arising on 31st January 2022. Early submission of the tax return often provides additional scope for tax planning and can potentially reduce or remove the need to make a second payment on account in July.

Earnings near or just over £100k
Your personal allowance is reduced or potentially totally removed once your income exceeds £100k. If you think your income is going to be just over £100k then there are strategies to adopt to reduce the impact of personal allowances. By paying some more into a pension fund or making a larger donation under Gift Aid, you may be able to drop below the £100k threshold.

Protect Your Data

When you are ready to send us your tax return information for the year, please ensure that you use a secure method of data transfer.  Sending bank details and other personal information by unencrypted email puts that information at risk of interception by fraudsters.  If we sent you your tax return by Iris OpenSpace last year, you can use that same link to send us your 2021 tax return information.

Alternatively, there are other secure data sharing services such as Dropbox, which you may prefer to use. Whatever you do, please be careful to protect your data.

We strongly advise you to seek appropriate advice before taking action on any of the points listed above.

All information contained in this document are correct at the time of writing.  Legislation and regulations may change at any time.

If you are in any doubt, please call us for clarification.

About us:  Leggate Associates Limited was formed by Andrew Leggate LL.B FCMA FCA CGMA who has over 40 years of tax and accountancy experience in industry and practice, and the practice is managed by Joanne Leggate FMAAT, ATT (Fellow).  Our clients range from building subcontractors to multi-million pound concerns and high net worth individuals all over the UK.  Please see our website www.leggateassociates.co.uk  or follow @LeggateAssoc on Twitter for occasional updates.

© 2021 Leggate Associates Ltd