Anyone on State Pension urged to claim ‘as much free government money as possible’ before April 5



Millions of Brits are being urged to claim as much ‘free government money as possible’ before April 5.

Cash is available to Brits, but many don’t know.

The deadline to claim it is April 5, so time is running out.

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, has provided some tips as to what people need to consider before the April 5 deadline.

She encouraged Brits to maximize the free money they can get from the Government.

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Ms Suter said: “Whether it’s your pension, your Lifetime ISA or ensuring you claim tax breaks that you are eligible for, it’s important to get as much free Government cash as you’re entitled to.

“Pensions benefit from tax relief at 20 percent for basic-rate taxpayers, but higher and additional rate payers can reclaim an additional 20 percent or 25 percent tax relief respectively through their tax return.

“That means for a basic-rate taxpayer every £1 in your pension only costs you 80p and for a higher-rate taxpayer every £1 in your pension only costs you 60p.”

Lifetime ISAs also allow Britons to get up to £1,000 of free money from the Government each year, if someone puts in the maximum £4,000 contribution.

Ms Suter continued: “If you have some spare cash you were planning to put into your Lifetime ISA and still have some of this year’s allowance left, make sure you do it before the tax year ends and claim that free cash.

“Just be aware that you can withdraw Lifetime ISA money once you’ve reached age 60 or earlier to buy your first property, but if you take the money out for any other reason (apart from severe ill health) you’ll pay an exit penalty of 25 percent.

“You should also check that you’re claiming any Government tax-breaks that you’re eligible for, such as the marriage allowance or claiming tax-free childcare, which gives a 20 percent top-up to money you use for childcare.”

She also encourages people to make use of their pension and ISA annual allowances.

ISAs and pensions can be an effective way to save for the future because any income and capital gains made on investments held in both are free from income tax and capital gains tax.

Ms Suter said: “Everyone over the age of 16 can save £20,000 each year in a cash ISA and anyone over the age of 18 can save the same amount in a Stocks and Shares ISA.

“Those aged 18 to 39 can open a Lifetime ISA and save up to £4,000 each year.

“The crucial thing with ISAs is if you don’t use all the allowance it can’t be carried forward to future tax years, so you lose it for good.

“Investors with spare money they plan to save and any unused ISA allowance for this year should consider using it before the April 5 deadline.”

The annual pension allowance operates slightly differently and sits at a higher rate, says the Express.

Ms Suter explained: “The pension annual allowance for this tax year is £40,000 or 100 percent of earnings if that is lower. This includes both contributions made by you and your employer.

“The annual allowance can be carried forward for up to three years, so investors should consider whether they have made as much use of their pension annual allowance as possible ahead of the end of the tax year.”

Just be aware, anyone with a very high income or who has already started to take taxable income from their pension will have a restricted annual pension limit.

“If you want to carry forward any previously unused pension allowance, you’ll need to note that you’ll only get tax relief on personal contributions up to 100 percent of your earnings for that year.”

She added that people with no earnings, including children, can still save up to £3,600 a year in a pension, including basic rate tax relief.




www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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