Saving money doesn’t have to be taxing
4 min | 04 December 2023
With so many types of taxes and different rates for each one, it’s easy to get confused by the various thresholds and percentages. Yet it’s a good idea to understand the basics so you don’t end up paying more tax than is necessary.
The rise in the cost of living means making every penny count is more important than ever. The good news is that there are some simple things that you can do to organise your money to help it go a bit further.
A good starting point is to work out what type of taxpayer you are, which is based on your income. For the 2023/24 tax year (which runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year), you won’t pay any tax on your personal allowance, which is generally the first £12,570 of your annual income.
Here are the income tax bands if your annual income exceeds £12,570:
- Basic rate, £12,571 to £50,270, 20%
- Higher rate, £50,271 to £125,140, 40%
- Additional rate, over £125,140, 45%
If you’re not sure where you stand, then you can check things on the government website calculator
Paying interest on your savings
Now that interest rates have gone up, it means some banks are starting to pass on these rising rates, resulting in you earning more on your savings. You could find that you’re liable to pay tax in some cases though, so it’s important to review where you stand.
Most people can earn some interest from their savings without paying tax. Your allowances for earning interest before you have to pay tax on it may include:
- your Personal Allowance
- starting rate for savings
- Personal Savings Allowance
You get these allowances each tax year. How much you get depends on your income. You may be able to use your Personal Allowance to earn interest tax-free if you haven't used it up on your wages, pension or other income.
You may also get up to £1,000 of interest and not have to pay tax on it, depending on which income tax band you’re in. This is your Personal Savings Allowance. To work out your tax band, add all the interest you’ve received to your other income.
Income tax band and Personal Savings Allowance
- Basic rate, £1,000
- Higher rate, £500
- Additional rate, £0
So, if you’re a basic rate taxpayer with £20,000 in a savings account that's paying 5% annual interest then you’ll be able to earn £1,000 in interest before you pay tax on this amount. If you have more than £20,000 or if the savings rate is higher than 5% then you’ll likely end up paying some income tax on those gains.
You’ll pay tax on any interest over your allowance at your usual rate of income tax. If you’re employed or get a pension, HMRC will change your tax code, so you'll pay the tax automatically. To decide your tax code, HMRC will estimate how much interest you’ll get in the current year by looking at how much you got the previous year.
Boost your savings with an ISA
One way to boost your savings is by putting them in a cash or stock and shares ISA. You won’t pay any tax on any interest or investment growth, and you can put in up to £20,000 a year. If you can, get into a regular savings habit by putting away a bit at a time.
If you’re thinking about investing for the first time then ISAs can be a great, tax-efficient way to do so. By keeping on top of your earnings and savings and the tax thresholds applicable to you, you could give your savings a much-needed boost. As with all investing, you may get back less than you invest.
Introducing Nutmeg, the digital wealth manager that's part of the Chase family. You can now open an account with Nutmeg and keep an eye on your investments from the Chase app – so you can see everything in one place.
Nutmeg is authorised and regulated by the FCA in relation to certain investment services and restricted advice only. Chase is a trading name of J.P. Morgan Europe Limited. Nutmeg and J.P. Morgan Europe Limited are J.P. Morgan companies. Products provided by Nutmeg are not guaranteed by Chase. Before applying, you should consider if a Nutmeg account and its features are suitable for you and your investment needs.
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Disclaimer: As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. A stocks and shares ISA may not be right for everyone. If you are unsure if an ISA is the right choice for you, please seek financial advice. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. We do not offer tax advice.
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