New Tax Year Planning: What You Need to Consider Now

Graphic highlighting 6th April, the start of the new UK tax year, emphasizing key financial planning opportunities.

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As we usher in the new tax year, it’s the perfect time to give your finances a spring clean. Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting to navigate the complexities of financial planning, there are several key areas to consider to ensure you’re making the most of your allowances and investments. Let’s dive into the essentials of new tax year planning and why acting early could be the best decision you make this year.

Review and Utilise Your ISA Allowance

The new tax year brings with it a fresh ISA allowance of £20,000. ISAs offer a tax-free haven for your savings and investments, from Cash ISAs, ideal for short-term savings goals, to Stocks & Shares ISAs, perfect for potentially higher returns over the long term. Maximising your ISA allowance early can give your investments more time to grow, free from capital gains and income tax.

Pension Contributions and Tax Relief

With an annual allowance of £60,000 for most, pension contributions continue to be a cornerstone of tax-efficient saving. Pension contributions reduce your taxable income or offer tax relief at your marginal rate. If you haven’t utilised your allowance from the previous three tax years, it’s possible to carry it forward, further boosting your pension pot (other criteria applies). The abolition of the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) means that those who have large sums in their pensions can still contibute and benefit from tax free growth and valuable inheritance tax mitigation. Remember, early contributions can significantly benefit from compound growth, making your retirement just that bit rosier.

Considerations for Clients in Drawdown

For those in pension drawdown, the new tax year is a pivotal time to assess your investment performance and review your withdrawal rates. It’s essential to ensure your drawdown strategy remains sustainable and tax-efficient, particularly as personal circumstances and market conditions change. Balancing a comfortable lifestyle while preserving your pension pot requires careful planning, underscoring the value of professional advice in navigating these decisions.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Allowance

The CGT allowance stands at £6,000 for individuals, but this will reduce to £3,000 from 6th April 2024. This ofers an opportunity to realise gains tax-free. If you have investments outside of your ISA and pension, planning the sale of assets across tax years can maximise use of this allowance. By spreading gains, you can potentially reduce your CGT liability, keeping more of your hard-earned money invested and working for you. You can also transfer some investments to your spouse or civil partner, without incurring a tax charge. This is particularly beneficial if they are on a lower tax rate.

Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning

Early planning for IHT can significantly impact the financial legacy you leave behind. Utilising annual gift allowances (£3,000 per year) and small gift exemptions can reduce your estate’s IHT liability over time. Regular gifting not only helps your loved ones now but also ensures your estate is as tax-efficient as possible for the future.

Making Use of Allowances for Children

The Junior ISA allowance provides £9,000 per child, per year, allowing for tax-free savings and investments until they turn 18. Starting early can make a substantial difference to your child’s future, providing a financial stepping stone for university fees, a first car, or a deposit on a home.

Reviewing Your Tax Code and Benefits

With the start of the new tax year, it’s prudent to check your tax code to ensure it reflects your current situation accurately. Mistakes can and do happen, potentially affecting how much tax you pay. Additionally, exploring eligibility for tax credits or benefits can uncover further opportunities to maximise your income.

Conclusion

The beginning of the new tax year is an opportune moment to review your financial landscape and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you’re on the most beneficial path. Acting early not only positions you to maximise your allowances and savings but also sets a solid foundation for your financial future.

Are you ready to take a closer look at your new tax year planning opportunities? Our team of expert financial advisers are based across the country and are here to guide you through every step, ensuring your financial strategy is as efficient and effective as possible. Get in touch today with our team in Swindon to book an appointment, and to secure your financial wellbeing for the new tax year and beyond. BOOK A CALL BACK now.

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