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Tax E-News – February 2024

Welcome to our latest monthly tax news article.


YEAR END TAX PLANNING


It’s not too late to undertake some end of year tax planning. If you have some spare cash, an obvious tax planning point would be to maximise your ISA allowances for the 2023/24 tax year (currently £20,000 each). You might also want to consider increasing your pension savings before 5 April 2024..


USE A LIFETIME ISA (LISA) TO SAVE FOR YOUR FIRST HOME


Those aged between 18 and 40 can set up a Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account) to buy their first home or save for later life. You can put in up to £4,000 each year until you’re 50. The government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year. Note that the Lifetime ISA limit of £4,000 counts towards your £20,000 annual ISA limit.


You can withdraw money from your ISA if you’re:


• buying your first home,

• aged 60 or over, or

• terminally ill, with less than 12 months to live.


However, you’ll pay a withdrawal charge of 25% if you withdraw cash or assets for any other reason (an unauthorised withdrawal). This recovers the government bonus you received on your original savings.


PENSION PLANNING


Under the current rules, the government adds to your pension contributions at the 20% basic rate. For instance, if you save £4,000 in a personal pension, the government tops this up to £5,000. If you are a higher rate taxpayer there is a further £1,000 tax relief when your tax liability is calculated, reducing the net cost to £3,000.


Additional pension contributions can be even more effective if your income is between £100,000 and £125,140 as the gross pension contribution reduces net income for the purposes of the reduction in the personal allowance. Note that for every £2 of income in excess of £100,000, the £12,570 personal allowance is reduced by £1, with reduction to nil where net income is £125,140 or more. This is effectively a 60% tax saving.


DON’T BE LATE IN PAYING YOUR PERSONAL TAX BILL


2022/23 income tax, CGT, class 2 and 4 NIC liabilities should have been paid by 31 January 2024 unless you have agreed a payment plan with HMRC. Note that if the balance is still unpaid at the end of February 2024, a 5% surcharge penalty is added in addition to the normal interest charge unless a payment plan has been agreed.





This summary is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the main points, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this summary can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

 

BWBCA Limited

Dukes Court

Duke Street

Woking

Surrey

GU21 5BH

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