Understanding tax efficient investing and savings

The UK tax system is notoriously complex and it’s not always straightforward to know what you’re entitled to or how to use it. However, the benefits of proper tax planning can be significant. 

Using your tax allowances

The Government gives you various tax allowances and reliefs each year – and making the most of them can save you money and give you more to enjoy. 

We can help you structure your finances efficiently while ensuring you’re making the most of the available allowances, so you won't pay any more tax than you need to.

The main allowances and reliefs that you could be entitled to for this tax year include: 

  • Capital Gains Tax Annual Exemption
  • Tax relief on pension contributions
  • Annual Allowance for pension contributions
  • Dividend Allowance
  • Contributions into Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
  • Savings Allowance
  • Income Tax Personal Allowance
Shona Lowe

Shona Lowe

Private Client and Corporate Director

The more tax you pay, the more you’ll need to save and the harder your investments will need to work to achieve your goals

We aim to add real value for our clients though proper tax planning – making sure our clients pay the right amount of tax and allowing them to live the life they want

Tax planning FAQs

What is Annual Allowance?

Annual Allowance refers to a yearly limit on how much you, your employer or a third party, can contribute to your pension without triggering a tax charge.

Your pension is one of the most tax-efficient savings vehicles available. In 2021/2022 you can pay up to £40,000 into your pension without triggering a tax charge. This is across all the pension pots you hold, it’s not a per scheme cap without triggering a tax charge. However if your total income is more than £200,000 you could see it reduced to as low as £4,000.

The allowance renews each tax year in April but any unused allowances can be carried forward from up to three previous years.

What is the Lifetime Allowance?

Lifetime Allowance refers to pension money which can be drawn from your pension scheme without triggering a tax charge.

You may think this won’t apply to you but modest-looking savings today may grow over time bringing you over the allowance limit by the time you want to take them out.

The standard Lifetime Allowance for the 2021/2022 tax year is £1,073,100 and any amount over the limit may trigger extra tax charges. Within Lifetime Allowance fall all your pensions (workplace pension included) with the exception of the State Pension and any overseas pensions you may hold.

In certain circumstances a higher Lifetime Allowance can apply, which can be obtained by applying to HMRC.

What is income tax?

Income Tax is tax you pay on income from sources such as employment, buy-to-let properties, savings or a pension. Most people have a personal allowance of tax-free income – this is currently £12,570.

If you live in England and Wales, basic-rate tax is then charged at 20% on income between £12,571 to £50,270.

Higher-rate tax is charged at 40% on income between £50,271 - £150,000, and additional-rate tax is charged at 45% on income over £150,000.

In Scotland there are five different bands for Income Tax ranging from 19% to 46%.

What is Capital Gains tax?

Capital Gains Tax is a tax charged on the profit when you sell, gift or swap an asset that has increased in value.

Individuals have a tax-free allowance of £12,300 for Capital Gains Tax – any profits under this amount will not be taxed. The rate of Capital Gains Tax is either 10% or 20%, depending on whether you pay basic-rate or higher-rate Income Tax. However, these amounts increase to 18% and 28% for capital gains made on residential property.

What is inheritance tax?

You can find out more about inheritance tax in our Inheritance Planning section.