10 Tips Employees Can Use To Reduce Your Tax Bill

10 Tips Employees Can Use To Reduce Your Tax Bill

  1. Use your tax allowances. If you have the cash available, use your ISA savings allowance ?7,200 for 2008/09of which ?3,600 can be in cash deposits.
  2. Make pension contributions. The amount you can pay and get tax relief is as much as your annual earnings, with an upper limit of ?235,000 for 2008/09.
  3. Get a ‘green’ car Employers can get 100% tax relief in the year they purchase a small ‘green’ car, and the benefits for the employee are much lower then for a normal car.
  4. Salary sacrifice – employers can offer to contribute to a pension (instead of the employee paying) and the employee agrees to forego some salary in return. This is ‘acceptable’ tax planning providing the correct paperwork is used, and it can save significant amounts in national insurance contributions.
  5. Use childcare vouchers – All employers can offer child care vouchers as part of their remuneration package. For those with young children these vouchers can create very worthwhile savings.
  6. Don’t overlook expenses – employees can claim for expenses they incur “in the performance of the duties of the office or employment” which are not reimbursed. There is a table of agreed rates for various trades, and these allowances are often given via an adjustment to the employees tax code. If you don’t receive a tax return, use form P87 to reclaim the tax on expenses.
  7. Tax-free round sum incidental overnight expenses * Employers may reimburse employees for incidental expenses when they stay overnight for work purposes (s240 and 241 ITEPA 2003) E.g. For newspapers, laundry or phonecalls home. For the employee, these expenses are not incurred necessarily in performing the duties of the employment, and so do not qualify for tax relief, however employers may nevertheless reimburse such incidental expenses, free of tax and NICs as follows:?5 per night for overnight stays in the UK * ?10 per night for overnight stays outside the UK (but see new guidance below)
  8. Happy families – a family can reduce the overall tax payable, if a higher taxpaying spouse transfers investments or savings to a spouse with a lower or no income.
  9. More family planning – children are entitled to the same annual personal tax allowance as adults. They can earn money working, and receive investment income free of tax, for example on a gift from Grandparents. However on a gift from parents if the income generated exceeds ?100 then the income is assessed upon the parent.
  10. It is almost never worth having ‘fuel for private use’ as a benefit. You have to do a huge private mileage for the extra tax to be less than even the cost of the fuel actually used for private motoring. It is very often better also for the individual to provide a car and be paid mileage for business use, and to be compensated with additional salary. The maximum mileage rates are 40p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter. If the actual reimbursement is below these rates, the difference can be claimed as an ‘expense’ on the tax return or a P87 form.