UK: Are You Ready For The End Of The Tax Year? Our Nine Tips For Preparing

Last Updated: 30 March 2016
Article by Jim Higgins

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

The end of the tax year is fast approaching and this is always a good time to ensure your tax house is in order. With this in mind, we've put together some top tips for things that you should consider before 5 April 2016.

1. Your rate of tax

First of all, be sure you're paying an appropriate rate of tax. Individuals liable for the additional rate – and those subject to an effective rate of 60% because of the phased removal of the personal allowance – can take a number of steps. In some cases, you may want to transfer assets to your spouse or civil partner, (if you are happy with that commercially), or preserve your personal allowance by increasing pension contributions or donate to charity.

Whatever you do, consider whether your investments are held in the most sensible structure, particularly with corporation and dividend tax changes on the horizon. It's also important to keep adequate records of your income and gains in the event of an enquiry – you may be required to retain your underlying records for up to five years.

2. Property matters

From April 1, higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply to purchases of investment properties and second homes for £40,000 or more – 3% above the current rates. And in Scotland, the Scottish Government has said the rates of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) will also increase by 3%. Those purchasing investment properties or second homes, on both sides of the border, will need to bear these changes in mind.

But, where a property is used as the owner's only, or main, residence throughout the period of ownership, any gain on disposal is exempt from Capital Gains Tax. It's worth noting that married couples and civil partners can only have one exempt residence between them. And if you rent out furnished property, keep in mind that the 10% wear-and-tear deduction is being replaced with specific tax relief for the costs of replacement furnishing from 2016/17.

3. Capital Gains Tax

There are myriad aspects to consider when it comes to Capital Gains Tax. Remember that you can claim capital losses to offset any gains arising in the current or future tax years. Likewise, if you're an entrepreneur, be sure to make the most of entrepreneurs' relief, while all individuals have annual capital gains exemption of £11,100 (2015/16 rates) – including spouses and children. You may also gift a spouse or civil partner an asset without incurring a tax liability.

4. Pensions

The annual allowance for tax-deductible pension savings has been set at £40,000 per annum since 6 April 2014. But from 6 April this year, that will change for individuals earning more than £150,000, so be sure to make the most of annual contributions. Equally, you'll also need to consider your overall contributions, with the 'lifetime allowance' being reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million from 6 April 2016. Make sure you file for one of the various protections available if this is appropriate for you.

5. Current exemptions and allowances

Individuals are entitled to a number of exemptions and allowances each tax year, the main ones being: inheritance tax exemption on gift of up to £3,000, stakeholder pensions of £3,600, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) subscription of £15,240 and Junior ISAs up to £4,080.

6. Tax efficient investments

There are a number of statutorily provided tax efficient investments available, including National Savings, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs). All of these have the following annual limits:

  • EIS - £1,000,000 with income tax relief of 30%;
  • SEIS - £100,000 with income tax relief of 50%;
  • SITR - £1,000,000 with income tax relief of 30%;
  • VCT - £200,000 with income tax relief of 30%.

In general, any gains realised on these investments, and loans in the case of the SITR, may be exempt from CGT.

7. Offsetting losses against income

Certain losses can be offset against your income. But a cap on these was introduced from 2013/14 onwards, applying to specific types of relief. The cap is the higher of £50,000 or 25% adjusted total income and, where a loss can be relieved in more than one tax year, the cap will apply to each tax year affected.

8. Claims and elections

A number of claims and elections relating to the 2011/12 tax year have a time limit of 5 April 2016, and so need to be considered before that date. These include relief for tax overpaid in 2011/12, capital losses on disposals in the same year and a one-off election regarding capital losses for those non-UK domiciled who first claimed the remittance basis in 2011/12. This latter issue is complicated, so please get in touch to discuss further.

9. Inheritance tax

Generally speaking, 40% inheritance tax is payable on the value of an estate on death, subject to any exemptions available. Lifetime planning can reduce the overall inheritance tax due, which should be reviewed, along with your will, at regular intervals. You should also ensure that the conditions for any available exemptions are met. Pension benefits and charitable legacies are another point of consideration.

These pointers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reviewing your year-end tax affairs – there's a great deal more to each of them.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.