7 Financial Year End Tips – Checklist pre April 2011

Local financial advisor Ian Green encourages local residents to get a head start


Ian Green's website

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

The weekends are passing fast in the run up to the end of the tax year. Before we know it, it will be 23rd March when the budget will be announced and we all have the boatrace to look forward to on the 26th March!

So why not get a head start on the financial planning needed before the end of the tax year and check you’ve addressed what matters to you most from the list below.

National Savings

The interest rates may not be market leading but as National Savings and Investments is 100% backed and guaranteed by the UK Treasury it is arguably the safest place for your money. Disappointingly they currently have no tax free savings certificates on offer – But you can save up to £30,000 tax free into Premium Bonds with a chance every month to win £1 million or one of hundreds of thousands of other tax-free cash prizes. And you can get your original money back at any time.

Capital Gains Tax

Got Gains? - Have you incurred capital gains this year? Each individual, even children, have a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowance of up to £10,100. You could crystallise gains (for example from gains in the value of shares you hold) without paying a penny of tax.

Use your ISA allowance

You can shelter up to £10,200 this tax year. Funds saved in an ISA (cash or stocks & shares) means you pay no further income tax and no tax on any gains.

For more reasons why to use your ISA allowance see the article on:


Use your pension allowance

Depending on your situation you could contribute anywhere from up to £3,600 to £255,000 before April.

Everyone, even non-earners or non taxpayers can pay in up to £2,880. If you pay this amount the tax man automatically adds £720! Making a total of £3,600 invested.

So real cost to you is £2,880 for £3,600 in your pension

Parents and Grandparents can even do this for their children or grandchildren.

Inheritance Tax

There are numerous ways to mitigate or reduce your liability but a simple end of year allowance that is often missed is the ability to give away £3,000 from your capital each year without any inheritance tax implications. This saves £1,200 per person in potential future inheritance tax liability.

Remember you can also give away smaller gifts of up to £250 per donee

Venture Capital Trusts

Often only for the brave of heart or very risk orientated Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) offer adventurous investors the chance to invest in some of the smaller companies in the UK. In return for taking on more risk a generous tax rebate of up to 30% could be available. Definitely one for professional advice though, not generally a ‘DIY’ product.

Will Review (or finances in general)

Have your circumstances changed this year. Births, Deaths & Marriages and all sorts of other happenings can be the catalyst for reviewing and changing your Will, or even triggering a review of your finances in general. Financial Spring Clean anyone?

And finally, want to keep one step ahead of the Putney Jones’s?

Why not plan for next year’s ISA contribution now? The annual allowance will rise to £10,680, with half of that available to invest in cash if you wish.

The required small print: Please don’t take this article as personal or specific financial advice. It is intended to be guidance only. The value of any tax break will depend on your personal circumstances. Tax and the associated laws are subject to almost constant change. This is correct as at the time of writing. E&OE. If you are in any doubt as to whether this information is of benefit to you please seek independent financial advice. Please remember if you invest in stocks and shares the value of your investment can go up as well as down. Other elements such as currency exchange fluctuations could affect the value of your investment. If you have property based investments you may not be able to sell when you wish to realise your funds. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. If you invest in cash based investments inflation may erode the purchasing power of your savings.
Green Financial Advice Limited is Authorised and Regulated by The Financial Services Authority No. 523308


March 4, 2011