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Start the year with some savvy saving

Monday 16th January 2017

Welcoming in a new year also marks the last quarter of the tax year, so if you’ve got some money to save – do it now. Interest rates maybe low but there are ways to boost your savings.

For pension savings, consider bringing forward any planned contributions, particularly if you have ‘drawn down’ any money from your pot. If you have, you can currently save up to £10000 per year but from April 2017 this limit will drop to just £4000. Not everyone who has accessed their pension savings will be affected though, such as those who have only taken their tax-free lump sum to date – their allowance will remain at £40000.

The ISA savings limit is substantial even if interest rates aren’t. Currently £15240, it’s set to increase to £20000 from April. Try to take full advantage of your allowance (and that of any Junior ISA – currently £4080) as any interest is compounded. This means you earn interest on your interest and the earlier you start saving, the greater the gain.

Other types of savings accounts offer the benefit of the personal savings allowance (PSA), meaning a basic rate tax payer can earn up to £1000 interest tax free across all their savings accounts (excluding any interest earned in an ISA, which is tax free anyway). In the past, for every £100 interest earned a basic rate tax payer would have £20 in tax deducted at source, now all interest will be paid gross (without the deduction of income tax). Any tax due will be derived from Self Assessment tax returns or by the information passed to HMRC by the banks and building societies (which is likely to result in a change to your tax code).

Savers have had a tough time lately but it’s always a good idea to save if you can and there are still better opportunities available than under the mattress!

A version of this article originally appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press, Friday 13th January 2017