What IS an ISA?

Daniel Liddicott 
Sept 2023  •  12 min read

What is an ISA?

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient account available to residents of the United Kingdom. The main perk of an ISA is that any interest, dividends or capital gains you earn within the account are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax (CGT). This means that the money you make from your investments stays ‘in your pocket’, helping it grow faster over time.

Types of ISAs:

There are several types of ISAs, each designed for specific savings goals and risk tolerances:

  1. Cash ISA: This is similar to a regular savings account, where you deposit cash, and it earns interest over time. It’s a low-risk option ideal for short-term savings goals
  2. Stocks and Shares ISA: If you’re willing to invest with a long term mindset, a Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to invest in stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. Over the long term, this can offer better returns than a Cash ISA
  3. Lifetime ISA (LISA): Aimed at helping you save for your first home or retirement, the Lifetime ISA provides a government bonus on your contributions. You must be between the ages of 18 and 39 to open a Lifetime ISA. There are some restrictions on withdrawals, so it’s essential to understand the terms
  4. Junior ISA (JISA): If you’re under 18, a Junior ISA is designed for you. Parents or guardians can open one on your behalf, and it can be converted into an adult ISA when you turn 18

A simple breakdown of how ISAs work:

  1. Choose your ISA type: Determine your savings goal and risk tolerance. For short-term goals or risk-averse investors, a Cash ISA might be best. If you’re looking to grow your wealth over the long term, consider talking to us about a Stocks and Shares ISA
  2. Open an ISA account: You can open an ISA account through banks, building societies, investment platforms (if you use a financial adviser), or even online. It’s a straightforward process, requiring some personal information
  3. Contribute: You can make deposits into your ISA account of up to £20,000 each tax year. Keep in mind that Junior ISAs have a lower limit of £9,000 each tax year. These are separate allowances, so depositing £9,000 into your child’s JISA does not count towards your own ISA allowance of £20,000.

You can contribute up to £4,000 per tax year into a Lifetime ISA, which will use up some of your ISA annual allowance. This means that you could contribute a further £16,000 to another adult ISA. The 25% bonus that you receive from the Government on your Lifetime ISA contributions do not use up your ISA annual allowance, meaning that you could have £21,000 added to your ISAs in this way each tax year (£4,000 to your Lifetime ISA + £1,000 Government bonus + £16,000 contribution to other adult ISA).

If you have a child who is 16 or 17 years old, they are entitled to both a Junior ISA and an adult ISA, meaning that they are also entitled to BOTH of the annual allowances that come with them. This means that the amount that can be saved into ISAs on behalf of these teenagers can increase from £9,000 per year to £29,000 per year. Note that the adult ISA during this transition period must be a cash ISA. Once they turn 18 years old, however, their annual allowance will revert back to the standard £20,000 per tax year – so there are only two years in which to take advantage.

  1. Invest: If you opt for a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can start investing your money in a diversified portfolio of assets. Remember, investing carries risks, and it’s crucial to do your research or seek advice
  2. Earn Tax-Efficient Returns: Any interest, dividends, or capital gains you earn within your ISA account remain exempt from CGT and income tax. This is a significant advantage that can help your wealth grow faster. You might easily fall into the trap of thinking that ISAs are tax-free, but that isn’t the case. ISAs are subject to inheritance tax (IHT)
  3. Monitor and Manage: Keep an eye on your ISA’s performance and ensure you stay on track with your savings goals (or use a financial adviser to do this for you). As you get older, your priorities may change. People often shift in their approach towards certain things for a variety of reasons. This could manifest itself as a change in attitude to investment risk, for example; or taking a decision which requires capital such as purchasing a property.

General tips

  1. Start Early: The earlier you start saving or investing, the more time your money has to grow due to the historical long-term nature of markets.
  1. Government Bonuses: If you opt for a Lifetime ISA, you can benefit from government contributions. You can deposit up to a maximum of £4,000 into a LISA each tax year and the government will contribute 25% of what you deposit. You can do this each year until you reach the age of 50. The funds within a Lifetime ISA can only be accessed without penalty for the purchase of a first home (maximum value of £450,000) or once the account holder has passed 60 years of age. Should you wish to dip into this ISA for any other reason, you will be charged 25% on the withdrawal – and you don’t just lose the amount of bonus you receive:

Example:

£4,000 contribution + £1,000 bonus = £5,000

£5,000 withdrawal – £1,250 (25% penalty) = £3,750

Result = a loss of £250 (6.25% loss on the original £4,000 contribution)

Conclusion

Understanding ISAs is an important step towards securing your financial future. Whether you’re saving for a car, a house, or your dream holiday, ISAs offer a tax-efficient way to grow your money over time. Remember to research your options, set clear savings goals, and consider seeking financial advice if you’re unsure about your investment choices. With the right approach and discipline, you can use ISAs to build a solid foundation for a prosperous financial future.

What IS an ISA?2023-12-01T12:12:28+00:00

The November budget

The November budget

The problem of having a deadline for publication is that life tends to throw up some new important information just at the wrong time. The chaos of the ‘mini-budget’ resulted in a new Prime Minister and Chancellor. The Budget on 17th November was set to herald tax rises. So, what has been announced?

NOVEMBER – INCOME TAX

Tax thresholds have been frozen, save the additional rate of tax threshold, which now begins sooner, meaning that more people will pay 45% tax, starting at £125,140 instead of £150,000. What this means in practice for someone now brought into additional rate (earning £150,000) is that they pay 5% more income tax on their earnings above £125,140.  If you earn £150,000 you would pay £1,243 more income tax as a result of this change, (£11,187 as opposed to £9,944) effectively £103.58 a month more. Whilst politicians talk of short-term pain, the projections show this measure for 5 years.

NOVEMBER – CAPITAL GAINS TAX

Capital Gains allowances have been cut substantially, reducing from £12,500 to £6,000 from April 2023 and then to £3,000 from April 2024.  Trusts have a CGT allowance of half the personal allowance. So realising gains this tax year will be more effective than in future years.

As a reminder, this is the permitted gains on assets being sold with a 0% tax rate before being taxed at 10% or 20%, unless that asset is a second property in which case its 18% or 28%. So if you are a landlord, sell before April 5th to maximise your allowances.

I had expected the rates of tax to increase in line with income taxes rather than the allowance being altered and mostly scrapped entirely. In any event, capital gains tax allowance reductions makes your annual ISA, Pension, VCT, EIS allowances all even more attractive, sheltering funds from CGT in different ways.

NOVEMBER- DIVIDENDS

The Dividend allowance has also been slashed. This will mostly impact those with a small business whereby family members or staff can have a share of profits (dividends) tax free. The first £2,000 of dividends are currently tax free, this will reduce to £1,000 from the new tax year and then £500 in the next ..

NOVEMBER – PENSIONS

It would seem that there are no changes, which is frankly a bit of a surprise. The annual allowance remains at £40,000 unless you have income over £200,000 when a reduced (tapered) allowance would apply. The Lifetime Allowance has remained in place. If you are an NHS employee, I cannot find anything in the 70 page statement to help you with your annual allowance problems and there is nothing about the tapered annual allowance. So, sadly, more senior doctors will likely reduce their NHS hours or otherwise face tax charges on income that they have not had. We can help crunch the numbers, but if anyone is in a position to ‘get it’, Mr Hunt is but seems to have chosen not to.

NOVEMBER – STATE PENSIONS

If you are receiving your State Pension, it’s going to increase by 10% in April. If you haven’t started taking yours, well you are also likely to have to wait until you are much older to get one. Everyone knows this is a political ‘hot potato’ and the younger generations are unlikely to receive a State Pension until at least 68 (and this will probably be increased in the announcement in early 2023).

NOVEMBER – FEELING FROZEN?

You are going to need to ‘let it go’ … that is – hopes of seeing the end of frozen allowances ending any time soon. The personal allowance, slice of basic rate and higher rate tax tiers were all frozen anyway, but the deep freeze has been extended by two further years. Due to inflation and rising salaries, this will in itself raise more tax. This is part of what critics call ‘stealth taxes’ – the sort you don’t really register (much like inflation eroding your cash) – you only tend to notice after a few years of going backwards.

The Energy Price Guarantee will be maintained through the Winter, limiting typical energy bills to £2,500, this will increase to £3,000 from April. It is generally expected that energy prices will remain high for the next 12 months. To be blunt, nobody knows because it all rather depends on the Russians. One point to note is that the energy savings you may be making now will likely continue as the Government intend to reduce energy consumption by 15% by the end of the decade. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same as making your use of energy in 10 months last a year.

PROPERTY

The British obsession with houses continues to be supported by Government policy. The tax when buying property (Stamp Duty Land Tax) was reduced in September doubling the first tier of SDLT with a 0% tax rate from £125,000 to £250,000. For First Time Buyers this is extended from £300,000 to £425,000. These measures will end on 31st March 2025. If you are going to move or buy your first home and want to benefit from this fully, do so before March 2025.

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

The November budget2023-12-01T12:12:41+00:00

WHO WANTS TO BE AN ‘ISA MILLIONAIRE’?

TODAY’S BLOG

WHO WANTS TO BE AN ‘ISA MILLIONAIRE’?

Tax-free savings accounts have been ‘a thing’ since the introduction of PEPs in 1986.

In 1990 TESSAs were born, with ISAs appearing for the first time in 1999.

So for the last 36 years, it has been possible (and encouraged) to save tax-free up to certain limits.

As you are probably aware the current limit for ISAs is £20,000 per tax year.

There was an article in the news recently saying that HMRC has confirmed that there are now more than 2,000 ‘ISA Millionaires’ in the UK.

The first ever ISA Millionaire is thought to be Lord Lee of Trafford.  He hit the £1,000,000 mark in 2003 (sixteen years after investing his first £1).  He invested the full amounts allowed each year into stocks and shares accounts (totalling £126,000).  All interest and dividends were invested back into his portfolio and the power of compounding is clearly demonstrated here (with growth in the sum of just under £900,000 to hit that magical £1million).

There is no Capital Gains Tax to be paid on it and no Income Tax on the dividends either.  It IS what it ‘says on the tin’ … completely tax-free.

It has been calculated that investors putting in their first £1 today could become ISA millionaires in approximately 22 years (depending on returns) – and that’s if the annual allowance remains at £20,000!

So when you hear any of us on the Team at Solomon’s ‘reminding’ and ‘gently nudging’ you about making annual ISA contributions (or better still – setting up a monthly Direct Debit!) – there is a very good reason for this.

We encourage all our clients to save regularly in this way and maximise the allowances whenever possible – and so this is yet another timely reminder from us that if you want to use your allowance for the 21/22 tax year – you must do so very soon – time is running out – and it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’.

Please let us know urgently if you are intending on making a contribution to your ISA in the 21/22 tax year, so that we can make sure this is processed within the deadlines.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

WHO WANTS TO BE AN ‘ISA MILLIONAIRE’?2024-02-08T16:46:07+00:00

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

TODAY’S BLOG

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT…

Believe it or not, the tax year end is not so far away.  Tuesday 5th April looms menacingly on the horizon … how time flies!  It seems like only yesterday that we were doing this dance, even though I’m sure that for many of you, the last year has felt like a particularly long and tough one.  You can count me among your ranks.

As that time of year approaches, we will be frequently reminding you of the prudence in making the most of your ISA allowances for the current tax year.  If you haven’t thought about this yet, please consider this your first call to action!

As a reminder, for the 2021/22 tax year, the allowances are £20,000 (per individual) for subscriptions into ISAs, and £9,000 for subscriptions into Junior ISAs (JISAs).

So that this is less of a pure reminder and somewhat informative, I will let you in on a lesser-known fact about ISAs and JISAs … 16 and 17-year-olds are able to hold both a JISA and an ISA simultaneously.

Not only are they entitled to hold both a JISA and an ISA, they are also entitled to BOTH of the annual allowances that come with them.  This means that the amount that can be saved into ISAs on behalf of these teenagers increases from £9,000 per year to £29,000 per year (all tax-free of course).

If you are looking for ways to set more funds aside for your children (or grandchildren), this might be one of the best ways to do it.  I know that some of you have utilised this benefit already.

So, whilst we have a little time before April hits us, please make sure that any intended ISA top-ups are made in good time to use up those allowances for the current tax year.  We would ask that all tax-year-end-sensitive investments are made by 25th March 2022.

We are only an email or phone call away if you need any help.

And remember that the kids are alright!

Daniel Liddicott
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT2024-02-08T16:46:43+00:00

THE AUTUMN BUDGET 2021

TODAY’S BLOG

THE AUTUMN BUDGET 2021

In terms of your personal finance, not a lot has changed. Indeed, most of the announcements merely confirmed previous announcements, such is the way of our politicians. As a reminder, the next tax year begins on 6th April 2022. The main changes for most are really for those that receive dividends or pay National Insurance

iNCOME TAX RATE ON DIVIDENDS 2022/23 2021/22 (NOW)
Basic rate taxpayer 8.75% 7.50%
Higher rate taxpayer 33.75% 32.50%
Additional rate taxpayer 39.45% 38.10%
Rate for Trusts 39.35% 38.10%

National Insurance for employers increases from 13.8% to 15.05% which basically makes it more expensive to employ people. Employees will also pay rather more at the main rate, rising from 12% to 13.25% and then at the upper or higher rate increased from 2% to 3.25%. Remember the thing about National Insurance is that there is a threshold for the main rate after which you simply pay a flat, reduced rate (currently 2% but increasing to 3.25%). The self-employed main rate increases from 9% to 10.25%. Self-employed people do not fully enjoy the same benefits for their NI payments.

MAIN ALLOWANCES

For those of you using your pensions, the annual allowance remains at £40,000 but if you have begun drawing income from investment-based pensions it is restricted to £4,000 the delightfully named “Money Purchase Annual Allowance” or MPAA. The Lifetime Allowance (the total value of your pensions permitted before excess charges) remains frozen as previously indicated at £1,073,100. This is equivalent to a pension income of £53,655.

ISA and JISA limits remain as they were (£20,000 and £9,000) which are fairly substantial allowances but indicate a “kick the can down the road” policy of Government worrying about tax in the future. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowances and rates remain as they are (which is daft).

If you own a second property or inherit one, the capital gains rate and requirement for payment are important to understand. However, one small improvement is that you now have 60 days to pay the liability rather than 30 (with immediate effect). I imagine one of Rishi’s friends was offloading and was worried about an extra charge (surely not!).

As for inheritance, the nil rate remains at £325,000 per person and those with children inheriting the family home the residential nil rate band adds a further £175,000. However, this is tapered when an estate is worth more than £2m.

In short, for all the bluff and thunder and 200 pages, not much is in it for you and I. Remember – death and taxes.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

THE AUTUMN BUDGET 20212023-12-01T12:13:01+00:00

WHAT SHALL I DO ABOUT MY SHARES?

TODAY’S BLOG

WHAT SHALL I DO WITH MY SHARES?

First, let me be clear – I am not a stockbroker, I am not licensed to provide advice on specific shares. So, I cannot and will not advise the purchase of one share over another. What I can do is provide you with some generic information.

All proper investing will invest in shares. Today I am simply discussing investing directly into shares (i.e. you hold a piece of paper – that shows you have shares in XYZ company). The other way to invest in shares is via an investment fund.

ADVANTAGES OF SHARES

You can be specific about what you invest in. There are no ongoing charges for your shares if you hold them unless you do so via a trading platform which typically has monthly fees and specific minimums. You do your research, buy the shares, sell them when you want. Some provide a dividend (which is a taxable income and out of profits), some do not.

Diversification

DISADVANTAGES OF SHARES

Your money does not go very far. Today at the end of June 2020. The share price of Morrisons is £1.90, Sainsbury’s £2.09 and Tesco £2.29 to name three well known companies in the supermarket world. So you have £10,000 to invest, excluding any stockbroker charges (which there will be – for each trade (a purchase or sale of a particular share) you want to create your portfolio which you call Supermarket Sweepstake. I will not go into how or why you select shares, there are many people offering “tips” for free or at a price for rationale and research, but let me say that after 3 decades I can assure you that over the remainder of your life neither I nor anyone else will be able to successfully predict the who and what, but will also fail to consistently, repeatedly outperform the market through their research, genius and luck. Not a soul.

Anyway, back to my daft Supermarket Sweepstake, you think Sainsbury’s will outperform (over what period and why??) the other two but are not so convinced that you put all your £10,000 in just Sainsbury’s so you buy £4,000 worth of shares in Sainsbury’s and £3,000 in each of the others. This results in the following portfolio (roughly).

  • 1913 shares in Sainsbury’s
  • 1310 shares in Tesco
  • 1578 shares in Morrison’s

The above could be achieved with three trades or could be more than that if shares were bought gradually across a day or any other period. Every trade has a cost (and a tax).

I HOLD LOTS OF SHARES, SO I MUST BE RICH…

You hold “a lot” of shares, but you only hold them in three companies and in my rather daft example you hold them all in the food retail sector. This is an example of extreme concentration risk – just 3 actual companies, all doing the same thing,  in the same sector, in the same country. If for any reason supermarkets cannot operate as normal, you will likely see a reduction in their value – or of course other competitors make their trading life rather harder.

Income from the dividends is taxed. If you sell the shares the gains are taxed (though the gain may be within your capital gains tax allowance).

WHY A FUND?

A fund, particularly a fund made up of the entire index, will hold all the shares in the index. If that is regional or specific (i.e. FTSE 100) then it will hold some of all those companies. A global index will hold the lot (pretty much). In the case of the FTSE 100, that is 100 companies, as for a global index – well thousands of companies.

The downside of a fund is that someone is managing it, ensuring that it sticks to its mandate. The cost of management can vary enormously, part of an adviser’s job is to select funds that are suitable for you and cost is an element of the criteria used. For example a good fund we use costs about 0.22% of £10,000 that’s £22 for the year most funds however charge much more and some charge a bit less. As the size of the fund grows the investment costs are more – because they are a percentage.

That said, a comparable stockbroker service is also managing the portfolio, they many be remunerated on trades (an incentive to  constantly change stuff) or performance [or both!] – in which case they may be rewarded for high returns from highly concentrated holdings, but not penalised for low or negative ones… which leads to the inevitable conclusion by the nice gent in the suit to take quite a punt with your hard earned loot, no reason not to is there old chap?

DIVERSIFICATION

The main purpose of the fund is that is provides diversification – holding hundreds or thousands of companies as shares. Some will also hold other types of assets too, depending on what the fund is attempting to achieve.

Both the funds or directly held shares are subject to taxes – on gains and on income. A sensible thing to do would be to put these into an ISA – which is really nothing more than a wrapper that makes the contents tax free.

These days most stockbrokers will need a minimum of £250,000 to build a diversified portfolio of shares, but even then, it is likely that they will use funds. That is because it is hard to get the benefits of diversification without a reasonably large amount of money.

Diversification is really shorthand for “spreading risk” – adhering to the adage – “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. This helps dramatically reduce the likelihood of total loss. Holding shares in just three companies that all went out of business would be a total loss, the chance of every company going out of business across global stock markets – well that’s the apocalypse and you will not be worrying about your portfolio.

FINAL NOTE

I am not against you having a small amount of money to play with, an amount that you can afford to see disappear. You can sign up for any trading platform you like, do your research. My only tip is to stick to the industry or sector you know about (your own). Muck around to your hearts content, but do not show me your numbers or genius, it will fade. Everything reverts to mean (average).

I have never watched Supermarket Sweep but I did find this rather old clip from the US show. To my strange mind it is full of metaphors about investing and the mania some display about markets. At the end of this, you need to satisfy your own goals, not those of your peers, friends, markets, media or anyone else, its your life, it needs to be your plan.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

WHAT SHALL I DO ABOUT MY SHARES?2023-12-01T12:13:15+00:00

TAXED INCOME ?

TODAY’S BLOG

TAXED INCOME?

We have all applauded those that work in the NHS to help reduce deaths and improve recovery of anyone suffering from COVID19 or frankly any other life-threatening condition. We have also become aware of our reliance on people, who are not terribly well paid, but ensure that our local food is picked, packed, stocked, stacked and delivered and or course countless other services.

We have marvelled at the amount of money raised by a man aged 99 who celebrated his 100th birthday and was honoured for his efforts. These are all good things, but it must surely leave you wondering why the extra money is needed to pay for the NHS. Blaming multinationals like Amazon is all too easy, perhaps we need to reflect on our own tax system.

Here is my problem – we know that taxes are required, but we also know that the State wastes money. We all have an opinion on who, what, why and how our taxes should be made available to. My job is to help you to ensure that your money outlasts you. I do this by using investments, getting you to think and plan ahead for all manner of possibilities and I use the prevailing legitimate tax system properly.

INCOME TAXED

£2,500 A MONTH – THE NEW BASE LINE?

The Government seem to believe that most people can survive on £2,500 a month (taxable), that’s £30,000 a year. In practice excluding national insurance, that would be a net income of roughly £26,500 with basic rate tax paid of £3,500. I have also excluded any pension payments or charitable giving. You will recall that there is a personal allowance of £12,500 (0% income tax) for those with income below £100,000.

By way of simply showing how an adviser can achieve this level of income for you (tax free) here are some options. Doing them all would far exceed the target £26,500 income, but hopefully you will see my point.

  • If aged 55 but not yet drawing a State Pension. You could crystallise £16,665 of an investment-based pension. This would generate £4,166.25 as tax free cash and £12,498.75 as taxable income, but as it is within the £12,500 threshold there would be no income tax to pay. However you would then find yourself restricted to a maximum £4000pa of new contributions to pensions (called the Money Purchase Annual Allowance or MPAA).
  • Alternatively, you could simply crystallise £106,000 of an investment based pension, take 25% (£26,500) as tax free cash and leave the balance to grow.
  • An investment portfolio will regularly have gains (that’s the point after all). A growth of say 5% over a year on a fund of £234,000 can use £12,300 of the capital gains tax allowance – 0% tax. Trigger a larger gain and the gains above £12,300 are taxed at a lower rate of 10% or maybe 20% (but not if you do these other things).
  • Perhaps rent a room for a tax free £7,500 a year
  • Draw 5% of your capital back from an investment bond, so a Bond of £100,000 would provide £5,000
  • Any money drawn from ISAs would be tax free, but taking say £8,535 from an ISA would take the total “income” from all these to £50,000 and not a penny of income tax would be paid.

EARNED INCOME IS TAXED MORE

Yet if this was earned income in 2020/21 income tax of £7,498.20 would be due with a further £4,860 of National Insurance a total of £12,358.20 leaving a net income of £37,641.80. This is makes full use of the basic rate tax, any income above this would be taxed at 40% or 45%.

The point I am making is that how much tax is paid is very much dependent on where your money is and how it is generated. It’s certainly the case that not everyone has these sums of money (which are likely to have been taxed before). However, this is only the basic stuff and exposes the problem of a complex tax system that punishes those earning income far more than those with capital.

IF YOU ARE NOT A CLIENT

If you are reading this and not a client, do not conclude that the above is advice to you, it is not. The calculations that we do can be complex and relate to each individual situation, never rely on generic information about money, except for spend less than you earn.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

TAXED INCOME ?2023-12-01T12:13:17+00:00

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

TODAY’S BLOG

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 2020

In order to save you time, I watched the Budget and even had a neat little animated logo designed for the occasion. Prior to the Budget I had hopes of some significant pension reforms – to simplify pensions whilst also hoping for the possibility of a fairer tax system, which means different things to different people – I would probably settle for a more straight-forward one.

In fairness to Rishi Sunak, becoming Chancellor when he did must have felt rather like a “hospital pass”. By which I mean a term used in rugby, where you are passed the ball so that you are the last one to face some enormous opponent who will surely flatten you and send you to hospital for treatment.

As he prepared for his Budget, we were all aware of the gathering momentum of “coronavirus” and the global collapse of the stock markets as investors seem unable to comprehend the impact on trade and the current oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. No small matters and certainly sufficient to cause significant “alarm”.

The Budget

INCOME TAX

Rates remained unchanged – so depending on whether you are a glass half empty or half full, if you allow for inflation, that’s worse, but better than an increase.

  • Personal Allowance: £12,500
  • Basic rate (20%) on the next £37,500
  • Higher rate (40%) on income up to £150,000 (but loss of personal allowance at £100,000 ars previously)
  • Additional rate (45%) on income over £150,000

The only allowance to improve marginally was Capital Gains tax (increased from £12,000 to £12,300), which will be of little comfort today.

PENSIONS

The Lifetime Allowance has increased by inflation to £1,073,100. The precision of this number speaks volumes of the Treasury’s desire to collect every penny.

Anyone earning over £300,000 can only contribute £4,000 to a pension (including employer payments). Otherwise, some relief for Hospital Consultants as the Tapered Annual Allowance was inflated by £90,000 to impact those with incomes over £240,000. This keeps tax calculations complex and required, but likely to kill off public sympathy for the cause to simply abolish the Tapered Annual Allowance. If you really don’t understand this, it probably doesn’t impact you.

ISAs

There remain at a very healthy £20,000 of tax-free growth and tax-free income when withdrawn, unlike a pension which has tax relief and provides taxable income. This also tells you something about the Treasury.

A Junior ISA (JISA) has been greatly increased to allow for a significant £9,000 into a JISA each tax year from 2020/21. No real benefit for adults, but of course a bit of a nod to those funding University. Though this could turn into a large fund over time and some thought ought to be given to how most 18 year-olds handle money.

INHERITANCE TAX

No changes

BUSINESS OWNERS

Those wishing to sell a business that they built will now have much higher taxes to pay on sale as entrepreneurs’ relief was slashed. The 10% tax rate on sale of a business still applies but only on the first £1m rather than the first £10m. That idea that your business is your pension… well, think again the new allowance is lower than the Lifetime Allowance.

CORONAVIRUS – CORVID19

Various special measures have been “initiated” to enable people to have some form of basic minimum income (statutory sick pay) from first signs of illness and self-isolation. This is an attempt to head off concerns that those needing to earn cannot afford to be ill and therefore continue to pose a “threat” to the rest of us. Whether it works remains to be seen – I suspect call centres will be jammed for some time.

As far as I can tell today, a few things are in short supply and probably more expensive than a week ago – toilet paper, hand sanitiser and wisdom.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

THE BUDGET 11 MARCH 20202023-12-01T12:13:22+00:00

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 2

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 2 – CAPITAL GAINS

2019 was a good year for nearly all investors in share or bond-based funds. Even the Brexit-buffeted UK stock market, something of laggard in global terms, grew by over 14%. If your portfolio does not show some decent capital gains for the year, it is probably in need of a serious review.

As a general rule, it makes sense to realise gains up to the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exempt amount each tax year. The exemption, covering £12,000 of gains in 2019/20, cannot be carried forward: use it by 3 April (the tax year ends on Sunday 5 April), or you lose it. Systematically using the exemption can help avoid building up large gains over the years which attract tax. Currently, the maximum tax rate on gains is 20% for higher and additional rate taxpayers (28% for gains involving residential property and carried interest).

If you want to crystallise gains to use your exemption, but would prefer to retain the same investments, you cannot simply sell them one day and buy them back the next. Anti-avoidance rules prevent this from being effective, but there are alternatives that achieve a similar result, such as reinvesting in an ISA or self-invested personal pension.

CAPITAL GAIN

CAPITAL GAINS TAX IN PRACTICE

CGT applies to nearly all forms of investment, the notable exceptions being ISAs, Pensions and Investment Bonds. In simple terms, you want to trigger gains by selling an asset that has increased in value. Ideally you want to trigger as close to the allowance (£12,000) as possible. Thats a gain. So by way of example, if you invested £10,000 in 2010 and the investment is now worth £22,000 you would need to sell the entire investment to trigger a gain of £12,000.

The important issue is to know when you invested and how much. This is often more complicated than it appears because funds or holdings may well generate income which might have been paid to you, but may well have been re-invested. Over time the sums get very complicated.

We do a lot of work for clients that have a portfolio that we gradually convert into ISAs. Each year we trigger gains to move over into your ISA, ideally until the taxable investment has nothing left as it has all been moved into a tax-free ISA pot. This is a good way to gradually convert a portfolio into a tax-free portfolio.

A married couple have their own allowance each, but this is only relevant if the investment is jointly owned. Trusts also have a CGT allowance, but only at half the rate of the personal allowance (£6,000 in 2019/20).

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

TAX YEAR END PLANNING PART 22023-12-01T12:13:24+00:00

WARNING ABOUT LIFETIME ISAS

TODAY’S BLOG

WARNING ABOUT LIFETIME ISAs

Most of our clients have ISAs, because they are a fantastic way to grow investments in a tax free environment. Lifetime ISAs, or LISAs are not really aimed at the sort of people we work with. However pehaps you have a child, friend or colleague, typically under the age of 40 that might have a LISA – this may be worth sharing with them.

An ISA but with tax relief

Lifetime ISAS (sometimes called LISAs) are a way in which many people will opt to save money – be that to buy their first property or for later in life. This was a Government response to attempt to help young people build a deposit to get onto the property ladder (not a good one in my opinion). The total penalties savers have paid when withdrawing their money in a Lifetime ISA has been revealed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Savers who have a Lifetime ISA can get a 25% government bonus added to their savings in this type of account – up to a maximum bonus of £1,000 per year. The maximum amount which can be paid into the account is £4,000 each tax year – up until a person reaches the age of 50. But while the 25% bonus may attract some savers, there are some rules about withdrawing the savings. The money can be withdrawn from this type of ISA if a person is:

  • Buying their first home
  • Aged 60 or older
  • Terminally ill, with less than 12 months to live.

Break the agreement, expect a hefty charge

However, a 25% charge must be paid if the saver withdraws cash or assets for any other reason. The withdrawal charge aims to recover the government bonus received, and applies an extra charge to the original savings. this means that if a person treats their Lifetime ISA as a short-term savings product, it may be that they get less back than they paid in. Data obtained by the Royal London in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have so far charged more than £9million in penalties for withdrawing money out of a Lifetime ISA. In short people that picked the WRONG type of ISA pay a price.

YOUNG HOUSEBUYERS

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

WARNING ABOUT LIFETIME ISAS2023-12-01T12:13:25+00:00
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