A few ways to save tax before the end of the tax year

The end of the tax year is nigh. You have until midnight on 5 April to take advantage of various tax allowances or risk losing them.

The end of the tax year is nigh. You have until midnight on 5 April to take advantage of various tax allowances or risk losing them. “Many savers may be nursing losses as a result of the recent heavy stockmarket falls and not feel inclined to think too much about putting their finances in order…but at a time when money is likely to be tight, it makes sense to make the most of any opportunities to save tax where you can,” says Mark Atherton in The Times.

You can put £20,000 into an individual savings account (Isa) every year divided between cash and investments. Many markets now appear cheap enough to yield healthy long-term returns.

Next, consider if you have any gains outside your Isas you want to cash in. “With the stockmarket in turmoil… taking profits can seem slightly perverse, but it is vital to claim any tax relief,” says Atherton. You can make up to £12,000 a year in capital gains before tax is due. Married couples can cut their tax bill by claiming the marriage allowance. If one partner is a basic-rate taxpayer and the other earns below the £12,500 personal allowance the lower earner can transfer 10% of their allowance to the higher earner. This means a tax saving of up to £250 a year.

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Finally, most of us, except for top-rate taxpayers, have an annual pension contribution allowance of £40,000. You can also carry over unused allowances going back three years.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings accounts and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping, among many other titles both online and offline.