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The 10 changes you need to know about for the new tax year

Economy:
The 10 changes you need to know about for the new tax year

THE new tax year starts next week, making now an excellent time to get your finances in order and get your cash working as efficiently as possible.

The 2016/17 tax year starts at midnight on April 6 so here's what you need to know.
1. ISA allowance reset

 Savers get a refreshed & pound; 15240 ISA allowance that can be used to keep cash or investments without paying income tax on returns.
2. New ISAs
A new 'Innovative Finance ISA' is being introduced which will allow investors to keep peer-to-peer loans and crowd funded investments in the tax-free wrappers.
Investments kept in the ISA will count towards the annual & pound; 15240 limit.
  3. ISAs become flexible
Savers will now be able to take money out of ISAs without it counting towards their annual allowance, meaning it can be replaced at a later date in the tax year.
The changes means people who need to take money out - but can later replace it - will not be penalised with a reduced allowance.

The 10 changes you need to know about for the new tax year

4. Savings changes
In the new tax year, savers will be able to escape income tax without an ISA thanks to a new personal savings allowance.
Basic rate taxpayers will be able to receive up to & pound; 1000 of savings income and interest a year, and higher rate taxpayers & pound; 500 a year, without paying any tax.
The Innovative Finance ISA will appeal to investors looking for higher rates of interest than is available on cash and government bonds, but who are willing to take on the risks associated with lending directly to companies and individuals.
5. Changes to dividend taxes
At the moment basic-rate tax payers are not required to pay tax on dividends - but that is about to change.
However, all taxpayers will have a new tax free dividend allowance of & pound; 5000 a year.
After this, tax will be charged at higher rates. Basic rate tax payers will be pay 7.5 per cent a year, while higher rate tax payers will pay tax on the dividends at 32.5 per cent.
6. Capital Gains Tax is falling
Capital Gains Tax is falling from 28 per cent to 20 per cent for higher rate taxpayers, and from 18 per cent to 10 per cent for basic rate taxpayers.
However, residential property is excluded from this tax cut, with gains from bricks and mortar still be subject to the old rates

The 10 changes you need to know about for the new tax year

7. Annual pensions allowance refreshes
The & pound; 40000 a year pension tax-free allowance refreshes, meaning savers can put away up to this amount without penalty.

Amid signs the Chancellor could meddle with the system in the coming years, now is the time to take advantage of this valuable break.
8. Pensions allowance cut

The Lifetime Allowance pension allowance will be reduced from & pound; 125 million to & pound; 1 million.
And for higher earners with incomes of more than & pound; 150000 the allowance will also be reduced to as little as & pound; 10000 on a tapered scale.
However, Danny Cox, chartered financial planner at Hargreaves Lansdown points out there's a way for higher earners - and others to make the most of the system.
He said: "Investing in pension for a non-earning spouse is one of the most generous of government pension give-aways.
" Non-earners can make a & pound; 2880 pension contribution and the government add & pound; 720 even if the individual pays no tax. "

9. The new state pension launches - increasing National Insurance contributions
Reforms to the state pension come into force, meaning anyone retiring from next week will get a flat-rate payout of & pound; 15565 a week, provided they have paid at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions.
But more than six million people will see their contributions increase by 1.4 per cent - an average & pound; 37 a week - to pay for the changes.
10. Inheritance tax gifts exemption refreshes
People can give & pound; 3000 to people without the gift being subject to inheritance tax (should the person giving the gift die in the following seven years).
The annual exemption can also be carried forward, meaning that if you did not use it last year you can make a gift of & pound; 6000.

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04 April 2016, 12:01