While there is often a focus on planning for the end of the tax year, much less attention is paid to the start. The lack of an obvious deadline is probably one reason – deadlines tend to concentrate the mind. However, some planning at the beginning of the year can be a rewarding exercise.
- Estimate your total income for 2021/22 – If you have a rough idea of what your income will be, it will give you an indication of what to watch out for and what each extra £1 of gross income will be worth. For example, if your estimate is around £50,000, that means you are on the borders of higher rate tax (or well into the 41% band if you are resident in Scotland). £50,000 is also the threshold at which the child benefit tax charge comes into play.
- Check whether you will cover your allowances – The allowances which you are entitled to often depend upon your income, although the £2,000 dividend allowance applies universally. Couples have the opportunity to cover two sets of allowances, possibly by transferring investments between each other or changing from single ownership to joint ownership.
- Check your PAYE code – If you have received a 2021/22 PAYE coding, check that it is correct. The wrong code could mean you end up paying too much tax during the year.
- Consider topping up your ISA – If it makes tax sense for you to invest in an ISA because of the potential income and capital gains tax savings, then the time to do so is as soon as possible. Don’t leave it until the end of the tax year approaches.
- Consider making pension contributions – The sooner your contribution is invested, the longer it benefits from a tax-favoured environment and the less likely it is to be ‘lost’ in other expenditure.
Get ahead on your tax planning now. If you require advice about your ISA or pension contributions, contact our advisers today who will be happy to help.
The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances. Tax laws can change.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.