There are many perfectly legitimate ways for affluent individuals to reduce their tax bills and it is in fact the case that reducing tax can play as important a role in building wealth as achieving investment returns.
A huge range of concerns and financial goals drive our users to seek professional wealth management advice, but common themes tend to emerge at certain times of the year. Predictably, March is marked by tax considerations in a variety of forms.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) should be a cornerstone of everyone’s wealth-building strategy since they represent such a generous tax break: for the next two years at least, savers can put away £20,000 annually into these fantastic “wrappers” and shelter any gains from tax.
Most of our users are at least using their ISA allowance each year (it’s not too late if you have not), but many are questioning if they really are making the most of them. Upgrading to higher-interest cash accounts, investing via a stocks and shares ISA and then seeking higher returns from a better money manager are just first steps of what savers can look to achieve.
You may not know that there are now six ISA products in existence. Innovative Finance ISAs might be a great option for those more aggressive about returns, for instance, while there are great options for both younger and older children now too. Read our recent feature, Raise your ISA game – ten ways to maximise your wealth, for more ideas.
Naturally, the end of the tax year is a time when people start to think more seriously about how they might legitimately trim their bill, and tax-efficient investments are coming up more and more in our conversations with potential wealth manager clients.
Venture Capital Trusts, Enterprise Investment Scheme and other investment classes like forestry which make use of Business Property Relief are well-established ways to target both robust returns and attractive tax benefits.Savings across Income, Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax are all on offer, so why not discuss with a wealth manager what role tax-efficient investments might play in your portfolio? After all, minimising your tax bill is just as important as investment returns to achieving your financial goals (see Protection, growth and tax reduction – Your guide to the three pillars of wealth management for more).
The urge to spring clean certainly extends to people’s finances, and we’re glad to see even more users than usual exploring how wealth managers can help with wills and estate planning at this time of the year.
Shockingly, 60% of people in the UK don’t have an up-to-date will in place and risk leaving their families in confusion or even financial hardship. But making proper plans is about more than easing the division of assets: with enough lead time it is possible to slash the Inheritance Tax bill your estate stands to incur.
More broadly, we’re seeing users at all levels of affluence taking their lead from Ultra-High Net Worth individuals to view wealth at a family level. Mechanisms such as Family Investment Companies can offer huge benefits for every generation, particularly in tax mitigation and protecting family assets from divorce.
News that three in five “pension wills” are out of date has certainly got our users thinking. Some 60% of UK private pension holders need to complete or update their nominated beneficiary or “expression of wish” documentation to avoid their assets going to someone like a former spouse.
Our users are also taking increasing notice of the potential pensions present for passing on assets tax-efficiently. New pension freedoms have made it possible to bequeath a pension fund to beneficiaries including children without the previous 55% “death tax” being levied. Taking professional advice to address the complexities around lifetime allowances and getting money out of pensions efficiently is essential, however.
findaWEALTHMANAGER attracts people of all ages from right across the wealth spectrum. Whatever the particulars of their financial position and aims, they share similar concerns around making their investments work as hard as they can, keeping tax to a minimum and boosting their family’s wealth in the long term.
Whether you are entirely new to wealth management, feel like you could be getting a better deal or just want to know what you could be doing to reach your goals more quickly, why not see which advisers would suit your needs?
Our fast, free matching service can line up a life-changing wealth management relationship in just a few minutes. Join the thousands of wealthy individuals who have met their best-matched advisers in a few quick steps.