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focusIn early Roman times, March was the first month in their calendar. Martius, as they called it, was named after Mars the Roman god of war because this month signalled that winter was coming to an end and, with the warmer weather on its way, it was time to prepare for the season of warfare – a time to refresh plans ahead of forthcoming campaigning.

And today? March is the last month of the (tax) year, and so time to take action and to refresh your ongoing financial planning campaign. Here are 10 of our most widely applicable pieces of advice for your consideration. In no priority order:

1. Check your Tax Code – you could be paying too much tax!

2. Can you claim Tax Credits – state benefits that can provide extra money for those looking after children, disabled workers, and other workers on low incomes.

3. Use your ISA Allowances – For both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 tax years, the annual limit is £20,000.

4. Maximise your Pension Contributions – Are you saving a sufficient amount to achieve the retirement income you will need?

5. Maximise your Personal Savings Allowance – In 2018-19 and 2019-20, the first £1,000 of interest you receive from savings is tax-free if you are a basic-rate taxpayer. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, the threshold is £500. There is no allowance for 45% additional-rate taxpayers.

6. Benefit from the £5,000 Savings Starting Rate Limit – If your income from your earnings or pension is below the £11,850 personal allowance for 2018-2019 (£12,500 in 2019-20) but you earn additional income through interest on savings, you can qualify for the Savings Allowance. Interest of up to £5,000 is paid free of income tax in addition to your personal savings allowance, meaning you could earn as much as £17,850 before paying tax this year, or £18,500 in 2019-20.

7. Maximise your Capital Gains Tax Allowance – Capital gains under £11,700 taken in the 2018-19 tax year are tax-free (£12,000 in 2019-20), and married couples and civil partners can claim double those amounts.

8. Tax Return Deadline – Plan to submit your Tax Return before the deadlines (31st October for paper returns and 31st January for online returns) to avoid penalties.

9. Your Marriage Allowance – Married couples and civil partners, where the higher earner is a 20% taxpayer, can transfer £1,190 (£1,250 in 2019-20) of personal allowance from the lower-earning partner to the higher earner, thus saving some tax.

10. And last but very importantly, check your liquidity against your income and capital needs over the short, medium and longer term – Contact us for a review of your Financial Planning! We are here to do all we can to help you achieve your financial planning campaign goals!

Remember, we are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your financial planning situation – Reviews are part of our added-value services for our clients.

Barry Fleming & Partners has grown from a tax advisory background into a broader business that encompasses investment management. Both things matter for wealth management, retention and creation. That expertise makes the company strikingly different from others.

This capability allows Barry Fleming and Partners to use its strength in tax advice to take a 360-degree-view of a financial situation to give much broader, more comprehensive advice.

We bring together up to the minute tax, estate, investment and retirement planning advice to create individual, ‘joined up’ financial strategies. This allows our clients to understand and have confidence in how they can best control, retain, and build their assets and income to achieve their objectives with least risk.

A high level of service is key to our long-term client relationships. We work collaboratively. That means our clients can benefit at all times from having ready access to our team of financial planners.

Barry Fleming & Partners are an independent financial advisor specialising in ISA’s, Pensions, Tax, Trusts, Estate Planning, Inheritance Tax Planning (IHT) and other Financial Planning areas. Please don’t hesitate to call on 01488 608 686 and ask to talk to one of our financial advisors. Alternatively use the contact form on our home page.