Tax – Are you paying more that you need to?

So, you’ve put it off – it was Christmas after all – and now as January draws to a close the deadline – 31st January 2018 – for HMRC’s self-assessment looms again. 


Although the subject of tax is a thorny one for most of us we all understand how important tax is to ensure that the country’s infrastructure remains running.  However, it’s important to remember that although we must pay our taxes, the Government does afford us a number of allowances for actually saving tax. 


At Virtue Money we always advocate taking full advantage of the annual Individual Savings Allowance (ISA) and in the current tax year – 2017/18 – it is £20,000.  This means that up until 5 April 2018 you can invest up to £20,000 tax free into an ISA.  Just remember that this allowance does not “roll over” and come the new tax year it will be lost.   


Another allowance the government gives us is tax relief on any personal pension contributions we make (subject to earnings and an annual allowance) this can be an excellent and easy way to reduce your tax bill however, it is dependent upon your circumstances. 


If you are a basic taxpayer then the government will top up your pension contributions by 20% which means for every £100 (net) you pay in, the government chips in another £25, meaning that £125.00 is actually invested.  If you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer, then you can claim back a further 20-25% through your tax return. 


Here’s a round up of some of the other allowances that are available – 


You have a £11,300 Capital Gains Tax allowance.  

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit when you sell (or ‘dispose of’) something (‘certain assets’) that’s increased in value. It’s the gain you make that’s taxed, not the amount of money you receive. For example, you bought a painting for £5,000 and sold it later for £25,000. * 


You can receive up to £5,000 of dividend income tax free in this tax year, this reduces to £2,000 in 2018/19. 


Basic Rate taxpayers get a £1,000 Personal Savings Allowance with higher rate taxpayers getting a £500 allowance. If you are an additional rate taxpayer, then unfortunately you are ineligible for this allowance. 


If you would like us to review your particular situation then please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you. 


We are running our next Virtue Money Pre-retirement seminar on Wednesday the 7th of March 2018 between 9am and 1.15pm. We have guest speakers and will touch on the following, Wills, Powers of Attorneys, Tax, Health and of course Pensions.  There will be a buffet lunch afterwards which gives you an informal opportunity to speak to our advisers if you have questions regarding your pensions. 


If you would like to attend, or indeed make an appointment to speak to one of our advisers, please contact me, Susan Ralston, directly on 0345 034 3424 or email me at 


All statements concerning the tax treatment of products and their benefits are based upon our understanding of current tax law and HMRC practices both of which are subject to change in the future. Levels and bases of reliefs from taxation are also subject to change, and are dependent on your individual circumstances.  

Wills, powers of attorney and tax planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Virtue Money is a trading style of Policy Services Limited. Registered Office – Priorsford, 75 Grahamsdyke Road, Bo’ness, EH51 9DZ. Registered in Scotland No. 230167. Policy Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA No. 214036 

*Source data taken from YouGov Plc