Tax and Investing
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin
But investing for your future doesn’t have to be taxing. By using a tax-efficient account you’ll pay only the tax you need to – which could be none at all. And that tax-free growth means your money will grow faster. So, whilst you may have paid tax on the money you save and invest, or pay tax further down the line when you start to draw on those assets, the growth and income that you gain in an ISA account will be working for you rather than for the tax man.
Here’s our round-up on the key aspects of tax on investing. We’re not tax advisers, so it’s based on our understanding of the current arrangements for tax rates, limits and allowances, all of which may change. It’s also important to bear in mind that their value to you will vary according to your personal circumstances. If you’re not sure how tax affects you, we’d recommend you get speak with a tax adviser. You can also get further information from the personal tax section of the Government and HMRC websites.
There are four main ways taxes affects investors:
1. Income Tax:
Income you earn from most investments forms part of your taxable income. Investment income could push you into a new tax bracket - but where that income is earned in an ISA account or Pension, including SIPPs, it won’t.
Dividends are taxed at source, a deduction which can’t be reclaimed. But in an ISA or pension there’s no further tax due, giving you valuable savings of up to 27.5%.
Income Tax bands (higher personal allowances apply to persons born before 5 April 1948)
|Tax rates||2014/15 income band||2015/16 income band||Income Tax rate||Dividend Tax rate|
|Personal allowance||First £10,000||First £10,600||0%||10% - deducted at source|
|Basic rate tax||£10,000 - £41,865||£10,600 - £42,385||20%||10% - deducted at source|
|Higher rate tax||£41,866 - £150,000||£42,386 - £150,000||40%||32.5% - further tax due 22.5%|
|Additional rate tax||Over £150,000||Over £150,000||45%||37.5% - further tax due 27.5%|
2. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
Capital Gains Tax (CGT): gains you make (the difference between you purchase cost and your sale value) over and above the annual CGT threshold are subject to tax.
Gains over and above your annual allowance are taxable. Invest via an ISA or SIPP and they aren’t.
|CGT Personal Allowance ( the ‘Annual Exempt Amount’)||£11,000|
|Tax rate on gains which, when added to taxable income, fall within the: |
|basic rate tax band||18%|
|higher or additional rate tax band||28%|
Some losses, including losses on investments, can be off-set against gains. In general, you can claim for losses up to 4 years from the end of the tax year in which they were made.
3. 'Purchase' taxes
Stamp Duty on UK shares and Investment Trusts settled through CREST is 0.5% of the purchase value (1.0% on Irish shares). It is shown separately on your contract note and added to the total purchase cost.
(When you buy shares via a stock transfer form and the value is £1,000 or more, the duty is 0.5%, rounded up to the nearest £5.00.)
It does not apply to ETFs, Funds or fixed income investments such as Bonds, or when you subscribe for new shares in a company. Neither does it apply to shares listed on a ‘recognised growth market’, such as AIM or ISDX.
Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) of 0.5% on Unit Trusts and OEICs - otherwise known as Funds. It is paid by the trust or fund company and included within the price you pay for the purchase.
SDRT is also payable when you take-up rights or options.
Financial Transaction Tax (FTT of up to 0.2% is payable on the purchase of some European equities (large-cap shares in France and Italy at present, although nine more countries are set to join). It is added to the purchase cost.
PTM levy, a flat £1 charge on UK equity purchases and sales of £10,000 or more. It is used to help fund the work of the Takeover panel.
VAT may be payable on fees charged for the provision of services, such as for the administration of an account.
4. Inheritance Tax
Assets that are passed on following death may be subject to Inheritance Tax. And that can also include gifs you have made during your lifetime.
The basic numbers are:
|Inheritance tax:||2014/15 and 2015/2016|
|Threshold||£325,000 (The balance of a husband, wife or civil partner’s allowance can be utilised on death of the surviving party.)|
|Annual exemption for gifts in tax year||£3,000 (can be carried over from one previous tax year, to a total of £6,000)|
|Wedding & Civil Partnership gifts, given shortly before or on the event.||Up to £5,000, depending upon relationship with the recipient|
|Regular gifts from taxed income (e.g. payments into a savings account)||No tax due so long as the donor had sufficient income remaining to sustain their normal lifestyle.|
|Tax rate||40% (36% where 10% or more of the estate is left to charity|
|Pension funds||From 6 April 2015, on death before age 75, monies in a pension fund are passed free of tax to beneficiaries when they take the money via an annuity or drawdown.|
|ISA Accounts||Proposals are currently in hand to allow ISA assets to be transferred to the surviving spouse or civil partner and remain within the ISA tax-shelter, in addition to their personal ISA allowance.|
Opening an account is easy and you will need:
- Your address details for the last three years
- Your debit card details including bank account number and sort code
- Your National Insurance (NI) number
Please be aware of the risks involved. The value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change. If in any doubt, please seek advice.
Got an ISA already?
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