The end of the 2017-18 tax year is rapidly approaching so act now to maximise tax-efficient savings and investments before April 5, 2018 and plan your strategy for 2018-19.
From ISAs to pensions to gifting money we look at how to make your money work harder to build income, reduce tax and boost your financial future.
The two main Individual Savings Account (ISA) options are cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs. Invest by the end of the tax year or lose this year's ISA allowance because it can't be rolled over to the following year.
The combined ISA savings limit is £20,000 which you can split between a Cash ISA and Investment ISA or even opt for peer-to-peer lending through an Innovative Finance ISA.
18 to 40-year-olds can invest up to £4,000 annually in a Lifetime ISA or LISA and receive a25% government bonus, up to £1,000 each year you invest in one. You can invest in a LISA until you reach 50 but funds can only be withdrawn to buy a property valued at up to £450,000 or when you are 60.
You can build tax-free savings for children through a Junior ISA. You can save up to £4,128 this year rising to £4,260 in 2018-19. Use it or lose it as the allowance can't be rolled over into the next tax year. Children aged 16 and 17 qualify for both a Junior ISA and an adult ISA allowance in the same year.
Think about next year's ISA allowance. The 2018-19 tax year begins on April 6, 2018 and the earlier you invest, the longer you have to benefit from compound interest, where new investment builds on existing investments to increase savings interest or investment returns. If you can't pay in all the money you'd like to invest annually in one go, create a monthly savings plan to gradually deposit regular ISA contributions.
The new tax-year increases how much you can earn before income tax is due. For this year, 2017-18, you can earn up to £11,500 and from April 6, 2018 this rises to £12,000 for 2018-19.
The basic rate threshold – at which 20% is due – rises from £33,500 to £34,500 from April 6, 2018, which means you have to earn above £46,500 in before the higher rate of 40% kicks in.
Annual pension allowance
Invest money in your pension before the end of the tax year to maximise contributions and receive 20% tax relief for basic rate taxpayers or 40% for higher rate taxpayers.
Gifting money tax-efficiently
To reduce inheritance tax, you can gift money to loved ones in your lifetime tax-free by utilising the £3,000 annual “gift allowance." Inheritance tax is due on estates valued over £325,000, though if you have children you can claim an additional allowance of £100,000 to offset the sale of a family home on death. The allowance can be backdated for the previous tax year if you didn't use it.
Capital Gains Tax Allowance
If you have a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability, the allowance for this year is £11,300 per person, rising to £11,700 for 2018-19. It cannot be rolled over to a future year.
ISA limits are regularly reviewed, any figures quoted are accurate at the time of publication.