Tax Year End Checklist
February and March are a Chartered Financial Planner’s equivalent to the Chartered Accountant’s January. Whilst accountants must get past data into the HMRC before the Jan 31st deadline, we need to ensure that our clients have utilised their allowances for this tax year as well as adapted their plans to save as much tax as possible from April 6th onwards.
There are a surprising number of issues to be considered:
BUSINESS YEAR END MARCH 31ST?
Check accounts to the end of February:
• Have you maximised pension savings?
• Could you make use of capital allowances?
• Can you bring forward expenditure to reduce profits?
• Can you delay expenditure to improve profits?
• Have you adjusted your earned and dividend income to optimise tax and benefits?
• Do you need to return cash to the business to avoid potential tax charges?
HIGH EARNERS PENSIONS ANNUAL ALLOWANCE
Check your February Payslip:
• Are you subject to the Annual Allowance?
• If so, how much tax are you due to pay?
• Can you alter your pension so as not to be affected in 2019/20?
• Make sure you pay the £10,000 minimum.
• This could be your last year for using carry forward, use it or lose it!
Most employers now have alternative remuneration for high earners, but they do require a proactive request from the employee, have you requested this?
MINIMUM PENSIONS ANNUAL ALLOWANCE
If you are subject to tax and you are under the age of 75, have you made use of the annual allowance? £3,600 extends the basic rate tax band and is available to all.
IS YOUR ISA SMART?
A Smart ISA allows you to replace dividend withdrawals in addition to new investments of £20,000 per person. Some of our clients are paying over £30,000 pa into ISAs in this way. Check if you can top up before April and switch to a Smart ISA if you haven’t got one.
WHAT ABOUT A LIFETIME ISA?
If you are subject to the Annual Allowance charge, use the Lifetime ISA allowance to boost your tax efficient long-term savings.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
Just because you have carry forward losses doesn’t mean you cannot use your annual allowance (£12,000 gains in 2019/20).
If you love that share, consider a ‘Bed and ISA’ to save tax on dividends and gains.
Many clients have been caught out by the new lower dividend tax allowances (£2,000 pa). Can you switch assets to lower taxed spouses?
Whilst interest rates remain pitiful, it’s still worth splitting cash savings to use the annual allowances for basic and 40% tax payers.
Whilst the allowance is small at £3,000 gifting per person per tax year, if you don’t use it you can only carry it over 1 more year before you lose it!
The above are just a few highlights from a very long list! If you would like to know more, please get in touch and happy tax year end planning!
Please Note! Most of the above suggestions require a detailed knowledge of your tax and financial affairs. Depending on your service level with us, fees may be charged to provide any advice and we do not recommend action without professional help from ourselves and / or your other advisers.