Judgement day

  • 07/06/2016

Time to review your wills, pension, income and IHT arrangements, says Steven Occleston, Director of Steve Occleston Wealth Management Ltd.

A financial review this year is imperative, following a series of changes in tax and inheritance legislation that have thrown up a range of challenges and opportunities for savings.

Perhaps the most significant is the interaction between changes to the Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules on pensions and the reduction in the annual allowance for contributions for some higher earners.

The changes to IHT mean that, usually, pension funds can be passed on tax-free by those who die under the age of 75. Generally, after the age of 75, it’s subject to Income Tax in the heir’s hands, who can continue to receive money from the fund. The changes to the way pensions are taxed on death are an important part of Inheritance Tax planning.

For those earning more than £150,000, the maximum tax-free pension contribution will gradually be reduced from £40,000 to as low as £10,000 for those most affected. Unused annual allowances can be carried forward for three years.

Dividend taxation has changed with the introduction of a nil rate on the first £5,000 a year for Income Tax. Above that level will be subject to 7.5%, 32.5% or 38.1% tax, depending on whether your income is subject to the basic, higher or additional rate. Those with dividend earnings above the threshold should consider changing the balance of dividend income.

Another new tax incentive is the Personal Savings Allowance, which offers a tax break on up to £1,000 savings interest for basic rate taxpayers (or up to £500 for higher rate taxpayers). Tax will no longer be deducted at source from these accounts.

It is particularly important for people with Wills to review these changes in order to adapt them to the new fiscal environment.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances.

To receive a complimentary guide covering wealth management, retirement planning or Inheritance Tax planning, contact Steven Occleston or Daniel Dunn of Steve Occleston Wealth Management Ltd on 01477 549138 or email [email protected] or [email protected].