Make the most of the tax-year end

Make this March the last time you’re rushing around, plan for next year’s end of tax year well ahead of time, says Robert Forbes.

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So here it is once again – the end of the tax year. Not quite a time for reflection and resolutions that happens at the end of the calendar year but nonetheless a time for some thought.

Drip-by-drip

Firstly, is it better to put all your money into an ISA at the end of the tax year or drip it in bit by bit each month as you go along?

Obviously, bit by bit is better because you’re utilising the tax benefits as soon as you can rather than waiting until the end of the tax year to plonk it all in. So, why then if we all know this do we have an end of tax year rush.

Maximise pension contributions

Consider making contributions up to the £50,000 annual allowance if possible. The annual allowance for 2013/2014 is £50,000. But for 2014/2015 it reduces to £40,000. So think about carrying forward unused allowances from earlier tax years.

Simplicity is key

Surely it ought to be a rush at the start of the tax year akin to doing your homework as soon as you get it? But human nature conspires to mean it rarely happens like that. If you recognise that person in yourself then simplicity is really the key. Yes, tidy things up for this tax year but make this March the last time you’re rushing around. From April plan out when the ISAs are going to be contributed to, and plan any capital gains harvesting in advance, organise any pension contributions and then stick to the plan.

No more last-minute rushed decisions and best of all: less stress for everyone.

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About the author

Robert Forbes is a Chartered Financial Planner at Plutus Wealth. He is a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society.

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