From a young age most of us in the UK are told that there are two certainties in life; Death & Taxes (Not a “sunny start” I hear you say). However, at Equanimity we believe in another given; our role in helping clients with comprehensive tax planning to avoid paying unnecessary taxes.
This short read is best advised over breakfast. As you enjoy, I am going to outline some common examples of tax planning on the menu.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
ISAs are to tax planning what Weetabix is to breakfast; ordinary but effective! An ISA is a tax-efficient wrapper that allows individuals to invest in either cash or stocks and shares. You can save up to £20,000 each year in an ISA and any returns you make are tax-free. This means you won’t pay income tax, capital gains tax, or dividend tax on any interest or returns you earn.
Pension contributions act as your staple Full English. Delicious and a must. You can contribute up to 100% of your earnings, or up to the annual allowance of £60,000, into a pension scheme each year. Your contributions are tax-free, meaning you won’t pay income tax on the money you save. In addition, your pension contributions may be eligible for tax relief, which means the government will add money to your pension pot, boosting your retirement savings even further.
A special note for those individuals earning enough to have their personal allowance reduced, I urge you to drop your knife and fork, put the brown sauce away and check you are making the right level of contributions to maximise tax efficiency.
There are a range of tax-efficient investments available, including Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs). These investments can be compared to your ‘smashed avocado on toast’ type set ups. Usually posted on Instagram before being eaten at brunch. These investments offer generous tax breaks to encourage investment in small and medium-sized companies.
For example, you can claim up to 30% income tax relief on your investment in a VCT or EIS, and any returns you make are tax-free. They are high risk investments and, therefore, we would only recommend them to clients who have already been through their fair share of breakfast offerings first.
Tax planning may not be the most exciting topic, but it can make a big difference (and could be likened to the most important meal of the day). By making use of tax-efficient savings and investments, you can minimise your tax liability and build up your wealth over time. The most effective approach to tax planning is to ensure your funds are invested across a number of products to allow tax diversification.
Getting the “breakfast” balance right is where financial planning can make a huge difference. Factors such as time, flexibility and the resources available to us, will all determine what we decide is on the menu and when.
Please do get in touch if you would like to know more.