We are rapidly approaching the end of the tax year …….

We are rapidly approaching  the end of the tax year and it is now time for clients to check that they have carried out their year end tax audit and used the reliefs and exemptions  that would otherwise  be lost.

As you plan to secure your financial future it is important you take action to avoid missing  out on valuable tax savings and allowances that expire after 5th April.

Here is my year-end tax allowance audit that every client should follow:

  • Use your ISA allowance – If you are aged over 18 and a UK resident,  you can invest up to £15,240 in the current tax year. The allowance  will rise to £20,000 in the next tax year, but any unused allowance from this tax year will be lost.


  • Make a pension contribution – Pension contributions are still the most tax-efficient way to save for retirement. Contributions into a UK-registered pension trust attract tax relief on the way grow free of capital gain tax within the fund. Pension savings are free from Inheritance Tax, making them an effective way to pass wealth to the next generation. To maximise these benefits, you should always try to utilise your pension allowance for this tax year and then look at any unused allowances from the three previous tax years. If your 2016/17 allowance is fully utilised, you should review whether you have any unused allowance from the 2013/14 tax year, which would otherwise be lost after 5 April 2017.


  • Every individual over 18 years of age has an annual ISA allowance. Therefore, if you have a spouse or civil partner, you could both maximise your ISA allowances to fully utilise the combined allowance of £30,480. Furthermore, you could invest into a pension for a non-earning spouse. Each tax year, non-earners can make a £2,880 pension contribution which is grossed up to £3,600 by basic rate tax relief – even if they pay no Income Tax.


  • Don’t forget Children get their own allowances, why not give them a head start or plan for university fees. This tax year you can make contributions of up to £4,080 per child into a Junior ISA and £2,880 into their pension, which is grossed up to £3,600 with basic rate tax relief.


  • Reduce your taxable estate by considering making gifts. Inheritance tax  is for many considered a voluntary tax – money which could instead stay in the family to support future generations is lost to the state by poor lifetime planning. There are two things that you should look to do, firstly prepare an income and expenditure account for the year, any surplus income can be gifted to a trust and provided that this is set up in the correct way and documented correctly, (we can help here) this is immediately outside your estate from day one You should also look to use your annual  gift exemption of £3,000 for this tax year, and carry forward last year’s exemption if it hasn’t already been utilised. This money is immediately out of your estate – you don’t have to survive for another seven years, as is usually the case with other, larger gifts.


  • Make sure you use your annual Capital Gains Tax allowance. If you hold investments outside of a pension or ISA, you might have to pay tax on the gains when you sell them everyone gets a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption of £11,100 this year. Those with larger CGT liabilities should therefore consider taking gains over two or more tax years, and/or transferring investments to a spouse or civil partner. If you both sell the assets before the end of the tax year, you can effectively double the allowance to £22,200. This is another case of ‘use it or lose it’ – if you don’t exploit the allowance in this tax year, it doesn’t roll over and is lost forever.


  • Business owners can use profits to supplement their pension. If you’re a business owner, money that would otherwise been paid in tax could instead boost your retirement savings. Company pension payments are deductible as a company expense and can therefore reduce or possibly wipe out liability to Corporation Tax. Contributions will need to be paid before the company’s financial year-end in order for the business to qualify for the deduction in that accounting period. A popular year-end date for many companies is 31 March. If applicable, owners of the business should try to bring forward pension contributions to before this date.


  • Reuse – Is it possible to extract profits from existing investments within unused allowances so that  allowances not fully used each year will not  go to waste. This could mean that profits build up, and when eventually taken may only benefit from a single year’s allowances. For example, someone with a portfolio of unit trusts with a capital gain of £44,000 could spread the gains across four tax years and pay no tax as the all gains are within their annual CGT exemption. However, if they took them all in one go, they would only be able to use the current year’s exemption and this could result in a CGT bill of £6,580 if they are a higher rate taxpayer. Effectively a higher rate taxpayer with assets subject to CGT could be storing up tax charges of £2,220 a year (£11,100 @ 20%) if they don’t make use of their CGT allowance. Similarly there could be valuable income tax allowances going to waste. Potentially, up to £17,000 of savings income can be taken tax free in 2016/17. Of course this depends on what other income they may have in the tax year. The personal allowance may already have been used by other income and the savings rate band is lost for clients with earned income greater than £16,000.Clients who have little or no income this year, or can switch their investments to be held in the name of a non-taxpaying spouse or civil partner may be able to extract gains from offshore bonds tax free using their available allowances. For most clients, there is as much as £33,100 of allowances up for grabs this year. So there is plenty of potential to extract profits efficiently. But which of these, if any, are available depends upon the client’s other income and what investments they hold.


For a end of year tax allowance audit please get in touch now.

New Years Resolutions

Well, here we are. It’s cold, it’s been snowing and Christmas music is on the radio – it must be December. I’m not the biggest lover of Christmas (although I do enjoy the regular consumption of cheese and wine) so I’m going to skip right past December 25th and talk about New Years resolutions.

A quick search of the internet shows that the most common resolutions are health-related: more exercise and salad, less wine and TV box sets. Spending more time with family is usually high up, as is taking up a new hobby, whilst every now and then the old chestnut of ‘save more, spend less’ appears.

Now, I don’t need to argue that spending less and saving more will make you better off, that’s pretty obvious, but it’s also a little unimaginative. Why is no-one saving for a Lamborghini or a yacht?

When our IFAs talk to clients they really try to understand what it is they want to achieve. Sometimes it’s shorter term goals like accessing funds to pay for special holidays or to buy a property; other times it’s longer term plans like saving enough for children to go to university or starting a pension to allow for earlier retirement. You might even have similar ideas yourself for the new year.

If you do choose a financial resolution or two, we are here to help, guide and advise. So if this has prompted you please click the contact us link in the top right and we’ll be happy to talk through your options and get you on the way to achieving your goals.

This will be my last blog of 2017 so I’ll take this chance to wish you an enjoyable Christmas and New Year. And for the record, my resolutions are to keep saving for my dream car, pass more of my exams and, ahem, eat more healthily.




Have you thought about making a £3,600 pension contribution for a relative?

Who could benefit?


What are the benefits?

Encourages savings and cannot currently be accessed to age 55

Tax relief – for a contribution of £2,880 the tax relief would be £720 making the gross contribution £3,600, this equates to 20%

Tax-free growth

For inheritance tax purposes, the contributions could potentially be outside of your Estate

This can be completed each tax-year and for each relative

If the relative earns more than £3,600 then you can pay up to their earnings minus any contributions already paid


With Cash ISA interest rates so poor, this is a great way to effectively make an immediate 20% return, which based on current cash ISA rates would take you over 10 years to make.
If you wish to discuss this in further detail, please get In touch

Written by Dale Regan

Should I stay or should I go? The clash of Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Schemes

Defined benefit pension schemes are seen as one of the best types of pension schemes to be a member of and were not so long ago referred to as the gold standard of pensions. However, there is now a clash between defined benefit schemes and defined contribution schemes after the new pension flexibility rules have come into force and high transfer values are currently available.

Continue reading “Should I stay or should I go? The clash of Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Schemes”

The banking world

We need banking but we don’t need banks anymore. Bill Gates, 1997.  

Traditional banks have bloated, costly infrastructure and are in a state of inertia, it is, in this environment that a new reality of financial services will emerge. Banking is no longer defined or hemmed in by physical artefacts or a physical distribution network, the effects of the mobile phone and internet are causing a change in the paradigm of financial practices, distribution models and the competitive landscape.  

Continue reading “The banking world”

The New Guy

My first Month with FB Wealth Management.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have a noticed a new face pop up on our Social Media sites last week. Well, that new face is me, so now I’ve settled in, met the team myself and found the kettle, I thought it would be good to introduce myself properly.

I joined FB Wealth Management at the end of June as a Paraplanner, someone who supports our IFAs in bringing clear, well researched solutions to our clients. The first month has gone extremely quickly; there has been a huge amount to take in but my new colleagues are very welcoming and it already feels like home.

Continue reading “The New Guy”