Consider all the variables
From many people’s perspectives, the Autumn Budget may have left a feeling that nothing much had changed in the world of personal financial planning, as there were no major changes announced to Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax or pensions. However, the key consideration is how outside factors such as higher inflation could affect your finances and what steps you should take before the end of the tax year to make the most of any allowances and exemptions.
Inheritance Tax (IHT)
Official figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for April to September 2021 show 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 now frozen until April 2026 at £325,000 and £175,000 respectively, the importance of effective estate planning shouldn’t be overlooked.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
The annual ISA limit has now been frozen at £20,000 for five years. If the allowance had increased with inflation each 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.
The government revealed in September 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.
The Lifetime Allowance remains at £1,073,100 and the Annual Allowance remains at £40,000. 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.
Variables at play
It’s important to be aware of all the variables at play; inflation, interest rates, taxation and frozen allowances all affect your finances. Talk to us for help with your individual circumstances.
The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.