Tips for Efficient Savings and Investments
There are a range of methods for saving and investing your money more effectively. Summarised below are several straightforward ways to obtain tax-free returns and reduce your tax bill.
National Savings and Investments
National Savings and Investments are backed by the Treasury and thus offer a secure method of saving and investing your money. The tax free savings and investments products currently offered from National Savings and Investments include:
Tax-Free Interest on Savings
Interest from your savings in banks and building societies is usually taxed at 20%, but you may be able to register to receive gross (untaxed) interest if your taxable income is within your tax-free allowance. You can also claim back tax paid unnecessarily on savings in the past.
ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts)
An ISA is a financial product, introduced in the UK in 1999, to allow tax-favoured savings and investment accounts. They can be used to save cash (Cash ISA) or to invest (Stocks and Shares ISA). One can invest a maximum of £11,520 into an ISA in the tax year 2013-14, of which £5,760 may be saved in cash. The remaining sum may be invested in a range of financial products:
No tax is paid on the interest or dividends received from an ISA and profits from investments are exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
Similar to standard ISAs, Junior ISAs offer tax free savings for any child under the age of 18, providing they are not eligible for a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account. The upper limit for a tax free Junior ISA in 2013-14 is £3,720, and once again there is no tax on interest or dividends. However, as with CTFs, the money is locked into the ISA until the child is 18.
Child Trust Funds
Only eligible for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, CTF accounts can be paid into by parents, family and friends up to a limit of £3,720 tax free for 2013-14. Once again, the money in the CTF account cannot be accessed until the child is 18 years old.
Taxpayers are encouraged by the government to make contributions to pension schemes by offering tax relief on any such payments. Once you retire, you will ordinarily be able to claim 25% of you pension fund as a tax-free lump sum, and then your pension will be taxed in line with standard income tax rates.
Savings in pension schemes are unlimited up to 100% of your earnings each tax year and thus offer an effective method for reducing your tax bill.
By Tom Hoadley. To read more interesting and informative articles by this and other writers visit www.taxaffinity.com/blog. Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accountancy for small businesses and help business across the UK and those abroad that have an interest in the UK. Visit www.taxaffinity.com for more details. Please feel free to comment and share this with your friends.
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