Personal Allowances and Savings

The increase in the personal allowance to £12,500, as well as the widening of the income band charged at basic rate tax by £3,000, means that higher rate tax is now not charged until taxable income reaches £50,000 (note that rates for Scotland differ slightly). Whilst the basic rate tax band has been widened by £3,000, the higher rate tax band has been cut by the same amount, meaning that the additional tax rate of 45% still kicks in for taxable earnings over £150,000. Savings income continues to attract an additional £1,000 tax-free band for basic rate taxpayers, £500 for higher rate taxpayers and nothing for additional tax payers. In addition, there is a £5,000 nil rate band for low earners that decreases on a one-for-one basis as income exceeds the £12,500 personal allowance. The tax-free dividend allowance remains at £2,000, with the tax rate remaining at 7.5% for basic, 32.5% for higher and 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers, although the tax bands have of course changed. This clearly has an impact on investments outside of ISAs; if dividend income was a relatively healthy 5%, the equity investment would need to be worth more than £40,000 before tax becomes due.

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