Act NOW – Year End Planning

March 2021

The budget is planned for 3rd March, but due to Covid, we can expect it to be a little different this year.
The country is deep in debt, and this is likely to grow until some normality returns to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Chancellor has indicated that now is not the time for tax increases and that this may be addressed at a separate budget event. That said, he has indicated a few possible changes:-
The self-employed and those benefitting from dividends rather than salary should expect to see negative changes, due to there being an expectation from both these groups for financial assistance even though most pay less tax. I believe we will see a levelling up between the employed and the self employed.
Another tax change is likely to affect Capital Gains Tax. Lots of shares and funds were hit in March 2020 but the growth since then has been huge. I think you can expect a reduction in the annual allowance and a change to the rate to coincide with those of PAYE. It will therefore, be far more important going forward as to the type of investment held and its structure. Any change, I believe, will come into force on the 3rd.
Other end of year tax planning should by now have been done, including annual gifting, ISA’s and pensions. Each of these three have other further considerations.
Gifting has been unchanged for Inheritance Tax for many years but still causes confusion. There are set amounts you can give and time limits can apply. These normally are seven years but, can be two and now via one method, effectively zero time. But thought always needs to be given as to whether you should.
ISA’s are cash or stocks and shares. It still surprises me how many keep and use cash ISA’s when returns are so low.
Pensions are probably still the best form of saving, especially if you are a 40% tax payer as you over double your money. The Government limits the amount you can put in and is generous on its tax relief. Each year we hear of proposed changes and, given the Country’s borrowing, this must still be an area for consideration.
Investment returns have been great this year and Ethical funds have again outperformed. With ten years’ experience of Ethical funds management that saw us shortlisted in the UK, this is certainly a growth area for us.
The main thing to take from this article is Act Now. Call us on 01480 869466.
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