£1,000 INTEREST INCOME TAX FREE 2016/17

From April 2016, a tax-free allowance of £1,000 (or £500 for higher rate taxpayers) will be introduced for the interest that people earn on savings. If they are a basic rate taxpayer and have a total income up to £42,700 a year, they will be eligible for the £1,000 tax-free savings allowance.

If they are a higher rate taxpayer and earn between £42,701 and £150,000, they’ll be eligible for a £500 tax-free savings allowance, but those with income in excess of £150,000 a year will be taxed in full on their interest income.

FURTHER CHANGES TO ISAs

The current £15,000 ISA limit is to be increased to £15,240 from 6 April 2015. Remember that the 50% cash ISA restriction was abolished from 1 July 2014 so that any combination of cash and stocks and shares can be held within the ISA wrapper up to the overall £15,240 limit. The Junior ISA limit increases to £4,080 from 6 April 2015.

In the 2015/16 tax year individuals will be able to take money out of their ISA and put it back in within the same year, without losing their ISA tax benefits as long as the repayment is made in the same financial year as the withdrawal.

PERSONAL ALLOWANCES

As already announced the basic personal allowance for 2015/16 will be £10,600. The Budget on 18 March announced that there will be a further above inflation increase to £10,800 for 2016/17 and £11,000 in 2017/18. Those aged 75 and over will continue to receive a personal allowance of £10,660 for 2015/16 and by 2016/17 they will receive the basic personal allowance. Note that if your adjusted net income exceeds £100,000, the personal allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 over £100,000 giving an effective rate of 60% on income between £100,000 and £121,200 for 2015/16.

INCOME TAX BANDS

The 20% basic rate band is £31,785 for 2015/16 and will be £31,900 for 2016/17. This means that you pay 40% tax if your taxable income exceeds £42,385 for 2015/16 and £42,700 for 2016/17. It is proposed that the higher rate tax threshold will increase to £43,300 for 2017/18.  The 45% top rate continues to apply to taxable income over £150,000 for 2015/16.