Whether your clients are self-employed, contractors, entrepreneurial bosses, full-time employed staff or people winding down towards retirement, one financial denominator binds them together: taxation.
Both high-net-worth individuals and average earners will have to pay tax on their income and gains throughout their lifetime.
They will also need to know how to make the most of the various government tax allowances and understand how to mitigate the effect of taxation on their hard-earned money.
But these things can be complicated for even seasoned practitioners – take the continued tinkering with the annual allowance, for example, or the ways in which savvy investors can mitigate the effect of inheritance tax through various reliefs.
For the average busy person outside of financial services, these can seem daunting to try to grapple with on their own.
This is why it is so important for financial advisers to take the time to conduct thorough annual reviews with clients and make sure they are using the full spectrum of the government’s tax allowances and permitted products to help them save as much as possible, as tax-efficiently as possible, to reach their end goals.
However, there is still a lot of uncertainty about whether the newly appointed chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will bow to pressure to drop any plans to cut pensions tax relief for higher earners.
With the Budget just days away, on March 11, there is always the potential for tax surprises and further tinkering around the edges of pensions and investments.
Advisers would be well advised to keep at least one weather eye, if not two, on what comes out of Whitehall over the next couple of weeks: it might mean a flurry of frantic calls from higher-net-worth clients needing some extra tax planning before the tax-year end.
With this in mind, Financial Adviser’s guide on tax aims to highlight some of the main advantages and disadvantages of tax-incentivised investment products, such as Isas or venture capital trusts.
It also looks at the various allowances currently available, and explores the tax treatment of various pension wrappers.
There are also handy hints and tips from expert commentators on several under-used tax allowances, such as the rules around the sales of assets, or reliefs available to a spouse or civil partner, which can be handy tools in an adviser’s tax-planning arsenal.
This guide is worth an indicative 60 minutes.