Time to consider external factors
The Autumn Budget may have left a sense that nothing much had changed in the realm of personal financial planning, as no major changes to Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Income Tax or pensions were announced. Despite this, a prime consideration needs to be how external factors, such as frozen rates and higher inflation, could impact your finances and what action you need to take before the end of the tax year to utilise any exemptions and allowances.
The Annual Allowance remains at £40,000 and the Lifetime Allowance remains at £1,073,100. As these allowances haven’t increased with inflation, it effectively means those saving to the maximum extent possible with tax concessions can save less in real terms each year.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
The annual ISA limit has been frozen at £20,000 for five years. If the allowance had increased with inflation every year since 2017, it would stand at £21,440 today, sheltering an additional £1,440 from the taxman. JISAs celebrated their tenth birthday in November – the allowance remains at £9,000.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data for April to September 2021 shows that IHT receipts totalled £3.1bn, £0.7bn higher than the same period in 2020. With the nil rate band and residence nil rate band frozen until April 2026 at £325,000 and £175,000 respectively, don’t overlook the importance of effective estate planning.
Last September, the government revealed that it would increase Dividend Tax by 1.25 percentage points from 6 April 2022 to help fund health and social care. This means investors will have to pay more on any income from shares held outside ISAs and above the £2,000 Dividend Allowance.
It’s time to tune in to all the variables at play, affecting your finances; frozen allowances, inflation, interest rates and taxation. Talk to us for help with your individual circumstances.