With the 18 March 2015 Budget expected to contain some pre-election tax ‘give-aways’ look out for our 2015 BUDGET SUMMARY which will be available on the marshvision website from 19 March 2015.
In the meantime it is important to ensure that the available tax allowances and reliefs for the current tax year which expires on 5 April 2015 are used efficiently where possible.
- Ensure that the tax-free personal allowance of £10,000 is utilised. For married couples and civil partners this can often be achieved by holding investments and rental properties in joint names. The 2015-16 personal allowance is due to increase to at least £10,600.
- Consider carefully levels of salary and dividends extracted from a family company to minimise national insurance contributions and higher rate income tax.
- Avoid any Child Benefit claw-back by ensuring that the spouse with the largest income is below £50,000. A sliding scale claw-back operates where income is between £50,000 and £60,000.
- Registration for the new 2015-16 ‘Marriage Allowance’ is now available by clicking on the following link:
- The Marriage Allowance will benefit married couples and civil partnerships where both partners were born on or after 6 April 1935 and where one spouse has income below the level of the 2015-16 personal allowance and the other spouse is a basic rate taxpayer.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
- Utilise the current year annual CGT exemption by 5 April 2015 which provides tax-free gains up to £11,000 per individual (£22,000 per married couple)
- Consider transferring assets into joint ownership of husband and wife before disposal to ensure each spouse’s exemption is not wasted
- Once an individual’s capital gains for 2014-15 reaches £11,000 consider deferring any further asset disposals until after 5 April 2015. This allows a fresh annual exemption to be accessed for 2015-16 and also defers by 12 months any resulting CGT payable.
- Consider making lifetime gifts to ensure that exemptions only available during lifetime are utilised on a regular basis ~ such as the £3,000 annual donor exemption, £250 small gifts exemption and marriage exemptions up to £5,000.
- Lifetime gifts in excess of any exemptions will only be potentially liable to IHT where the donor dies within six years of making such gifts.
- For married couples, ensure on the second death any unused nil rate band from the death of the first spouse is claimed. This means that an estate up to £650,000 in value is free of IHT. The nil rate band of £325,000 per individual has been frozen since April 2009.
- Ensure each individual has a valid will which is reviewed on a regular basis. Note that ‘common law’ marriages are not recognised on intestacy.
TAX SUPPORT & ADVICE
Clearly this kind of tax planning checklist can only provide a general indication of the efficient use of tax allowances and reliefs.
If you would like to discuss the content of this article in more detail and how the advice can be tailored to your individual circumstances then please do not hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01633 215344.