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Year-end tax planning ideas and tips

As we approach the end of the tax year, here are a few tax planning tips:

Make charitable payments under gift aid to save higher rate tax
Higher rate taxpayers should make any charitable payments under Gift Aid so that they obtain additional tax relief. The charity will also be able to reclaim the basic rate tax from HMRC making it even better.

Year End Capital Gains Tax Planning
Have you used your 2015/16 £11,100 annual exemption? Consider selling shares where the gain is less than £11,100 before 6 April 2016. Also, if you have any worthless shares, consider a negligible value claim to establish a capital loss. You may even be able to set off that capital loss against your income under certain circumstances.

Make use of your 2015/16 ISA Allowance
Your maximum annual investment in ISAs for 2015/16 is £15,240. Your investment needs to be made before 6 April 2016. In addition, have you thought about investing for your children or grandchildren by setting up a Junior ISA? In the 2015/16 tax year, you can invest £4,080 into a Junior ISA for any child under 18.

Other tax efficient investments
If you are looking for investment opportunities, have you considered the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)? These investments in certain qualifying companies allow you to set off 30% of the amount invested against your tax bill as well as capital gains tax (CGT) deferral. An even more generous tax break is available for investment in a qualifying Seed EIS company where income tax relief at 50 per cent is available and in addition it is possible to obtain relief against your 2015/16 capital gains. Both EIS and Seed EIS also provide a CGT exemption when the shares themselves are sold after 3 years. Note however that qualifying EIS companies tend to be risky investments so professional advice should be taken.

A 30% income tax break is also available by investing in a Venture Capital Trust.

Inheritance tax planning before 6 April 2016
Have you made use of your annual Inheritance Tax (IHT) exemptions? The annual exemption is £3,000 per donor (plus last year’s £3,000 exemption if you did not use it). Also consider making regular gifts out of your income to minimize the growth of your estate that will be liable to IHT. Gifts out of your surplus income are not subject to IHT if properly structured.


As always, if we can help in any way do get in touch.

Andy Scott

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