A Break In Tax

Here are some totally legitimate tactics that can save you some tax. They are often purpose-made loopholes based on encouraging growth in sectors of the economy, so you can rest safe in the knowledge that you are helping your country too.

Buy An Electric Car

Small businesses that buy electric cars with CO2 emissions of less than 50g per kilometre have, since April 2018, been able to claim a capital allowance worth 100 per cent against the purchase — so the entire cost of the car can be deducted from company profits. Also, the cars can be used for personal journeys free of tax from April this year and incur a benefit-in-kind charge of 1 per cent the following year and 2 per cent the year after.

Max Out Your Allowances

Commonly available tax exemptions mean a couple can achieve a fairly sizeable income without paying tax. For example, the personal income tax allowance is £12,500, which, for two, makes £25,000. The annual CGT exemption for a couple is £24,000, the dividend allowance is £4,000 and savings allowances are £2,000 — although the last of these goes down to £500 for higher-rate taxpayers and is zero for those paying the additional rate. Put together, these make a joint potential tax saving of £55,000. Add the basic-rate bands for each spouse to this, which is two times £37,500, and they could have a combined income well over £130,000 before they start paying higher-rate tax.

Quote Of The Day

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

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Douglas Adams

Alternative Quote Of The Day

“Last night, me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily, I was the one facing the telly. ”

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Tim Vine

Buy Wine And Classic Cars

Both wine and classic cars attract special tax status as “wasting assets” with a predictable life of less than 50 years. This makes them exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) on any profits. However, HMRC’s definition of a wasting asset is getting tougher. The taxman’s latest manual said the exemption would clearly apply to cheap table wine, which may turn to vinegar within a relatively short period, but it might not apply to fine wines, because some can stay drinkable for far longer than 50 years, and also, sadly, does not apply to port and other fortified wines.

Classic cars are wasting assets only if they are being used as private vehicles, as their value will depreciate as mileage increases. Over 10 years, fine wines have risen in value by 142 per cent — more than jewellery (100 per cent) and watches (63 per cent), and dwarfing the FTSE 100’s 36.2 per cent return. Classic cars — defined by HMRC as any vehicle more than 15 years old and worth more than £15,000 — grew by 334 per cent over the same period. Investors can also turn to furniture, paintings and antiques, known as chattels, which attract extra CGT exemption of £6,000 on top of the standard £12,000.

Today’s National Day

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