Here are five questions everyone should ask themselves before the end of the tax year.


Have you made the most of your ISA allowance?

This tax year, which finishes on April 5, you can pay up to £20,000 into tax-efficient ISAs, and all income and capital gains will be tax-free. This is a ‘use it or lose it’ allowance, so you can’t carry it forward to next tax year. You will, however, get a new £20,000 ISA allowance when the 2024/25 tax year starts on April 6.

Alice Haine, personal finance analyst at Bestinvest, said: “To take advantage of your existing £20,000 allowance, simply open a new ISA or top up an existing account and fund it with as much as you can afford to. Remember, cash ISAs can work well for short-term savings goals and investment ISAs are more suited for long-term savings targets with a time horizon of five years or more.”

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Could you top up your pension?

Pensions are one of the most tax efficient ways to invest. For every £80 you pay in HMRC will add another £20, with 40% and 45% taxpayers able to reclaim up to an additional £20 or £25 direct from HMRC.

The annual allowance for adding money into your pension is £60,000, although you can’t add more than you’ve earned. Unlike ISAs, with pension allowances, it is not quite a case of ‘use it or lose it’ at the end of the tax year. Becky O’Connor, Director of Public Affairs at PensionBee, said: That’s because with pensions, although there is an annual allowance, you can also use unused allowance from the previous three tax years. This means that unless you have been able to use up your annual allowance for those years, you could have a bit extra on top of your current annual allowance to make tax-free pension contributions, by taking advantage of these rules.”

Have you used the higher Capital Gains Tax exemption before it reduces?

The Capital Gains Tax allowance will drop from £6,000 to £3,000 from April 6 when the new tax year starts. Investors with large gains might consider selling some shares to take advantage of the higher allowance while they have it.

Sean McCann, Chartered Financial Planner at NFU Mutual, said: “This is a tactic employed by many who reinvest the proceeds into their ISA or pension. As there are rules which prevent you from realising a gain by selling shares or an investment fund and buying back the same share or fund within 30 days, those worried about selling and being out of the market often get around this problem by their spouse buying the shares of fund they have disposed of.”

Could you make gifts to minimise any potential inheritance tax bills?

If you’re worried about leaving loved ones with an inheritance tax bill when you die, you may want to make use of annual gifting allowances that could help reduce any liability.

Ms Haine said: “Up to £3,000 can be given away every year tax-free. This allowance can be carried forward for one tax-year which means up to £6,000 can potentially be gifted in a lump sum free from future IHT liabilities.”

There’s also a small gifts allowance which means multiple cash sums of up to £250 per recipient can be given, as well as a ‘gifts from surplus income’ rule.

“People can give away as much money as they want, as long it comes out of their regular income - such as employment or pension income rather than capital – and does not diminish the giver’s standard of living in any way,” said Ms Haine.

Inheritance tax planning - find out more

Have you planned as a couple?

When thinking about end of tax year planning opportunities, if you’re part of a couple and one of you pays a higher rate of tax than the other, it makes sense to think about switching savings and investments to whichever spouse pays a lower tax rate.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said; “If you’re married or in a civil partnership and your partner pays a lower rate of tax, you can transfer income-producing assets into their name, so you can both take advantage of your allowances, and then the rest is taxed at their marginal rate rather than yours.”


You must trust each other absolutely, however, as if you transfer assets into your partner’s name, they will become the legal owner.