How to Prepare for the End of the Tax Year

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, here are our tips on maximising your assets to make the most of your tax efficiency.

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, here are our tips on maximising your assets to make the most of your tax efficiency.

As always, the tax year ends on the 5th April in 2022. What does this mean for you? There are a number of steps you can take to make the most of your assets and boost your financial portfolio before the new tax year begins. Here, we outline some easy ways you can make sure you’re making the most of your investments.

Use your ISA allowance

Perhaps the most important thing to note is your ISA allowance. In the 2021/22 tax year, this personal allowance stands at a maximum contribution of £20,000. Not using this allowance might hinder your portfolio, as all income and investments from your ISA are completely tax free.

Before the end of the tax year, make sure to use your entire allowance – if you can. Feel free to get in touch with your Financial Advisor at Hamnett Wealth to discuss your options, or to see how much allowance you have remaining.

Boost your pension

Don’t forget about your pension. Your annual allowance for your pension remains at £40,000 for the 2021/22 tax year. This references the limit on contributions which can be made and which qualify for tax relief.

It’s worth noting that your personal allowance might differ, and we recommend that you get in touch with your pension provider or Financial Advisor for more information or advice on making the most of your pension.

Make the most of your capital gains tax allowance

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit when you sell something that’s increased in value. It’s the gain you make that’s taxed, not the amount of money you receive. This includes the sale of goods, shares, investment funds and second or inherited properties.

As an individual, you are entitled to a capital gains tax allowance of £12,300 for the current tax year. For those with a larger investment portfolio, you may need to ensure you’ve used as much as you can of your capital gains allowance before the tax year is up.

Making the most of your allowance can make a notable difference in your portfolio size. We recommend that you get in touch with your Financial Advisor at Hamnett Wealth to discuss making the most of your allowance.

Inheritance tax

In any given tax year, individuals are currently allowed to give away a total of £3,000 worth of gifts without them being added to the value of your estate. This is known as your ‘annual exemption’.

This allowance doesn’t have to be for one person; you’re allowed to split this across a number of your family and friends. Plus, don’t forget you can carry any unused annual exemption forward to the next tax year – but only for one tax year. At this point, it’s important to remember that last year’s allowance will be lost if not used by the 5th April.

Generally, if a gift is made more than seven years before your death to an individual, there will be no tax payable. It’s important to make the most of this allowance, so your family and friends can benefit.

Advice on your allowances

If you’re interested in receiving any advice on how to maximise your allowances before the end of the tax year, feel free to get in touch with your advisor at Hamnett Wealth. We’re more than happy to help!

How to avoid pension scams in 2022

How can you be scam aware in the digital age? Here are our top tips for avoiding pension scams.

Scammers are becoming increasingly intelligent in the digital age. By designing attractive offers, they trick you into sending them money and personal details. Because of this, pension scams are on the rise.

More and more individuals are falling victim to advanced pension scams. By asking you to withdraw or transfer your pension pot, scammers can steal a large proportion of your savings.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, scammers can persuade you to transfer your pension pot to them in a number of ways. From here, it’s then invested in unusual and high-risk investments – or even stolen outright.

Common methods include pension review scams or early pension release scams. For pension review scams, users are contacted out of the blue and offered a free pension review. Usually you’ll be contacted by phone, email or advert.

When it comes to early pension release scams, scammers claim to offer you early access to your retirement funds – before you’re 55. If you’re contacted with this information, it’s almost certainly a scam, so be vigilant. In these cases, you’re still liable to paying added tax on money you withdraw from pensions – even if you’re doing so as a victim to a scam.

Here’s how to avoid pensions scams in 2022.

Ignore cold calls or unusual attempts to contact you

If you receive a telephone call out of the blue regarding your pension, hang up immediately. According to the FCA, it’s almost always likely to be a scammer trying to obtain your details. It’s recommended to report these calls to the Information Commissioners Office, to protect others from falling victim to the same scams.

Equally, the same applies if you receive unsolicited offers via email or SMS. It’s incredibly uncommon for your pension provider or financial advisor to contact you in this way – especially if it’s out of the blue. If you’re still unsure, contact your provider directly using the number listed on their website.

Additionally, if a close friend or family member recommends abnormal pension advice to you, always be aware that they may also have fallen victim to a scam.

Check they’re FCA-certified

Most pension scammers falsely claim to be FCA-certified. Frequently, scammers even claim to be acting on behalf of the FCA. However, this isn’t always the case.

The Financial Services Register (FSR) lists all information regarding financial firms which are FCA-certified. Always check this register before making any decisions regarding your finances.

Additionally, be careful that the contact number used to get in touch with you is correct. It’s best practice to use the contact details listed on the FSR.

Get in touch with your financial advisor

Before making any decisions regarding your finances, we recommend getting a second opinion from a trusted financial advisor. By having a second pair of eyes on your decisions, you’re better equipped to make choices which further your personal wealth.

At Hamnett Wealth Management, we’re trained to stay scam aware. We can provide you with independent, impartial advice which helps you reach your financial goals. If you’d like to find out more about our services, you can get in touch here.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

If you sense you’ve fallen victim to a pension scam, contact your pension provider immediately. In some cases, they might be able to prevent a transfer from taking place.

It’s recommended to report the scam to the Financial Conduct Authority by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768, or by using their reporting form.

As you’ve already been successfully scammed, it’s commonplace for scammers to target you once more. In some cases, they may even sell your details to others. Make sure to follow the tips outlined above and be extra cautious when it comes to your finances.