Planning for the end of the tax year

The run up to the end of the tax year fills many with a sense of dread.  But when you join forces with an expert accountancy practice, it can be a tremendous opportunity to review tax opportunities and make smart adjustments to your financial plans. 

The old adage of ‘use it or lose it’ definitely applies to many of today’s tax allowances, and the right advice is key to helping you secure your financial future and pay less tax on the inheritance you leave loved ones.

The best way to achieve your financial goals is to focus on what you can control.

You can control how much money you invest.  And where you invest it, the size of your retirement fund and how much of your estate passes to your family free of IHT (Inheritance tax).  You can even control how much tax you pay.

Nik Hynes, managing director of Manchester-based Tree Accountancy said: “Effective financial planning should be a year-round activity.  But we’re only human.  So, the months of January, February and March provide an ideal opportunity to use tax reliefs and allowances which would otherwise be lost. These valuable tax breaks can help to create long term financial security for ourselves and our families.”

So, if you’re not already taking advantage of the basics, start today.


ISAs have become one of the most popular ways to save because they are simple to understand and readily accessible.

The substantial increase in the ISA allowance to £20,000 this tax year was very welcome. However, with UK interest rates remaining at record lows, the money held in ISAs is failing to achieve the very basic task of keeping pace with inflation.

But those who are investing their ISA allowance for the long term – in assets offering scope for attractive levels of income and capital growth, such as property – are giving themselves a better chance of maximising the tax-saving opportunities on offer.


Saving into a pension scheme is very attractive now.  For every 80p you contribute to a pension, the government automatically adds 20p in tax relief.  High earners can claim extra tax relief through their annual tax return, meaning that a £1 pension contribution can effectively cost you just 60p.  Unused tax allowances can be carried forward.  But only from the three previous tax years.  This year is the final chance for pension savers to use the allowance that was in place in 2014/15.  If you don’t use it by the 5th April 2018, it will be lost forever.

Inheritance Tax

There are few more confusing or unpopular taxes than IHT.  But (usually) inertia means that over the next five years, HMRC can expect to see a 25% increase in their IHT revenues.  So, don’t waste your gifting opportunities – £3,000 this year, tax free, and if you haven’t already used last year’s, you can add another £3,000 and perhaps top up a child’s Junior ISA or start a pension for them.

“All this usually requires the help of an expert tax advisor,” said Nik Hynes, “and reflecting on your financial goals for the tax year end is one of the best times to sit down with your accountancy practice and discuss where you would like your finances to be in 5 years.”

For an informal chat, please email or complete the Contact Us form here on our website. Don’t get left behind.  Maximise your tax allowances before it’s too late.

Tree are a Manchester-based accountancy practice specialising in tax, business growth, auditing, self-assessments, and strategic and corporate finance.  Once you have accumulated your wealth, we work to ensure you keep it.

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