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The turn of the year focuses everyone’s minds on forward planning and resolutions and, for financial planners, the run up to the end of the tax year. Here are some of the top tips from our Year End Tax Planner.

Pensions

  • If you are aged over 55, have you taken advice about the options for drawing your pension savings?
  • Are you investing enough in your pension if you wish to, or have to, retire earlier than State pension age, which is likely to keep going up?

Tax and savings

  • Have you considered the timing of dividends or bonuses to minimise the tax payable, especially in regard to the planned changes to the way in which dividends will be taxed from next year?
  • Have you used this year’s individual savings account allowance and made any investments in EISs, SEISs and VCTs before 6 April 2016?
  • Could you exempt half of this year’s or last year’s capital gains by reinvesting the gains in a SEIS?
  • Could you transfer income to your partner to minimise higher and additional rate taxation next year, or to avoid losing Child Benefit?
  • Have you used your annual Capital Gains Tax exempt amount by making any available disposals before 6 April 2016?
  • Do you need to bring forward a planned property purchase to avoid the substantial increase in stamp duty rates from 6 April 2016 when purchasing a buy-to-let property or a holiday home?

Estate planning

  • Have you used your annual Inheritance Tax allowances?
  • You could reduce future IHT by investing in business assets that benefit from 100% IHT relief once you have held them for two years.

Incorporation

  • Have you reconsidered any plans to incorporate a business in light of the planned changes to dividend taxation?