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Tax Saving Hints  

  • Claim and take full advantage of all allowances and expenses

  • Transfer allowances between husband and wife if beneficial. A claim for transferring the married couple's allowance from husband to wife must be submitted before the start of the tax year in which it is to operate.

  • Married couples should ensure that they are taking full advantage of independent taxation opportunities by putting some assets or investments into joint names, or transferring them to each other.  This can also be beneficial in planning for inheritance tax.

  • Review mortgage facilities to ensure you are getting the best rates, and consider in particular pension mortgages and mortgages coupled to a PEP scheme and a life policy.

  • Claim each year to apportion mortgage interest between husband and wife to your best advantage.

  • Make additional pension payments, particularly if you pay tax at higher rates.

  • If your income is low, particularly if you are a pensioner receiving only State pension, ensure that any interest from savings is paid to you without tax being deducted, especially from building societies or banks.

  • To reduce your tax bill allocate part of your savings to National Savings Certificates, PEPs and TESSAS.

  • Encourage your employer to provide fringe benefits which avoid tax or NIC such as interest free loans up to 5,000.

  • Deeds of covenant and other charitable schemes can be a cheap way to help charities, for they are able to reclaim the tax.  Check, however, that you have taxed income out of which to pay them.

  • Consider investing surplus savings in an unquoted company under the Enterprise Investment Scheme or a Venture Capital Trust in order to save tax at 20 per cent.

  • If you have a company car with a high annual mileage, ensure that you cover at least 18,000 business miles before the end of the tax year in order to claim a reduced benefit-in-kind tax bill.

  • Consider asking your employer to set up a 'profit related pay' scheme which can avoid tax on up to 4,000 a year.

  •  If you are involved in divorce or separation proceedings, ensure that any settlement takes full advantages of tax relief - voluntary arrangements are outside the scope of the tax system.

  • Ensure that you have made a Will; review it annually and consider whether you can afford to leave up to 200,000 to relatives, other than your wife or husband, to take full advantage of inheritance tax exemptions.

  • Consider realising any gains in order to use the 6,300 annual exemption; where this limit has been fully used postpone taking gains until the next tax year, or conversely, realise losses to reduce the gains under the exemption limit, possibly buying back the shares the next day.  Claim losses on assets that have become worthless.

  • If you have a personal or company pension and are about to retire, shop around for the best pension rates - don't automatically stay with your existing insurance company.  Also consider taking advantage of the new provisions for deferring purchasing an annuity.

  • If resources permit, make exempt gifts before the end of the tax year to reduce any potential inheritance tax liability.

  • If you are in business, buy new equipment at the end of an accounting period rather than at the beginning of the next.  You will be able to claim capital allowances a year earlier.  





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