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Guide To Tax Planning in the UK 2023

Tax Planning

Tax planning plays a vital role in financial management because it helps individuals and businesses reduce their tax burdens. By understanding the various tax regulations and available reliefs, taxpayers can effectively navigate the UK tax landscape and optimize their financial position.

What is Tax Planning?

Tax planning in the UK is the process of legally minimizing your tax liabilities while maximizing your financial resources. It involves making strategic financial decisions to reduce the amount of tax you owe to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Effective tax planning ensures that you stay compliant with the law while optimizing your financial situation.

The UK tax system encompasses a range of taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax (CGT), inheritance tax (IHT), national insurance contributions (NICs), and corporation tax. Each tax has its own set of rules and regulations, and taxpayers must ensure compliance to avoid penalties.

Benefits of Tax Planning

Reduced tax liability: Tax planning can help you identify deductions and credits that you may be eligible for, which can reduce your overall tax bill.

Improved cash flow: By planning for your taxes in advance, you can avoid large lump-sum payments at tax time.

Peace of mind: Knowing that you have taken steps to minimize your tax liability can give you peace of mind and reduce your stress levels.

Maximized returns on investments: Tax planning can help you make investment decisions that minimize your tax liability and maximize your returns.

Increased business profits: For businesses, tax planning can help reduce tax liabilities and increase profits.

Improved financial position: Overall, tax planning can help you improve your financial position and achieve your long-term financial goals.

Income Tax

Income tax is an essential part of the UK’s tax system, generating significant revenue for the government. Taxes are levied on individuals’ earnings from employment, self-employment, investments, and pensions. The amount of tax payable depends on the individual’s income level and tax band. By understanding the UK tax system and implementing effective tax planning strategies, individuals can minimize their tax liabilities and achieve their long-term financial goals.

Personal allowances provide a tax-free threshold, while various reliefs and deductions can further reduce taxable income.

Key Income Tax Rates in the UK


Tax BandTaxable IncomeTax Rate
Personal AllowanceUp to £12,5700%
Basic RateUp to £12,571 to £50,27020%
Higher RateUp to £50,271 to £125,24040%
Additional RateOver £125,24045%

Tax-Free Allowances and Reliefs

In addition to the personal allowance, individuals can claim various tax-free allowances and reliefs to reduce their taxable income. These include:

Marriage Allowance: Married couples can transfer a portion of their personal allowance to each other to reduce their tax liability.

Blind Person’s Allowance: Blind people can claim an additional allowance to reflect the extra costs they may incur.

Charitable Donations Relief: Individuals can claim tax relief on donations made to registered charities.

Gift Aid: Individuals can donate money or assets to charities and claim tax relief on the full value of the gift.

Pension Contributions Relief: Individuals can claim tax relief on contributions made to their personal pensions.

Income Tax for Self-Employed Individuals

Self-employed individuals are responsible for calculating and paying their own income tax. They must register with HMRC and complete annual self-assessment tax returns.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT applies to profits arising from the disposal of assets, such as property, investments, and businesses. The amount of CGT payable depends on the individual’s net capital gains and their marginal tax rate. Certain assets, such as primary residences, are exempt from CGT.

When do I have to pay CGT?

You only have to pay CGT if you make a capital gain on the disposal of an asset. This means that if you sell an asset for less than you bought it for, you will not have to pay CGT. However, if you sell an asset for more than you bought it for, the difference between the two prices is considered a capital gain, and you will be liable to pay CGT on it.

What is the CGT rate?

The CGT rate in the UK is currently 20%. This applies to most types of capital gains. However, there are some exceptions, such as gains on the disposal of residential property, which are taxed at a rate of 28%.

How do I calculate my CGT liability?

To calculate your CGT liability, you will need to first work out your net capital gains. This is the total amount of capital gains you have made in a year, minus any capital losses you have made. You will then need to apply the CGT rate to your net capital gains to calculate your CGT liability

Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning 

IHT is charged on the transfer of an individual’s assets upon their death, with the tax payable on the value of the estate exceeding the nil rate band. Various exemptions and reliefs can reduce the IHT liability, such as gifting assets during the lifetime and utilizing spousal allowances.

Who has to pay IHT?

IHT is payable on the estate of someone who has died if the value of their estate is above the nil rate band. The nil-rate band is currently £325,000. This means that if the value of your estate is £325,000 or less, no IHT is payable. However, if the value of your estate is more than £325,000, the difference between the value of your estate and the nil rate band will be taxed at the IHT rate of 40%.

What assets are liable for IHT?

All assets that form part of a deceased person’s estate are liable for IHT, including:

  • Property
  • Money in the bank
  • Investments
  • Savings
  • Personal possessions
  • Businesses

How is IHT calculated?

To calculate the IHT liability of an estate, the following steps are followed:

  1. The value of the estate is determined. This includes all assets owned by the deceased person at the time of their death, minus any debts they owed.
  2. The nil rate band is deducted from the value of the estate. This leaves the taxable value of the estate.
  3. The IHT rate of 40% is applied to the taxable value of the estate. This is the amount of IHT that is payable.

Reducing your IHT liability

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your IHT liability, such as:

  • Gifting assets during your lifetime: You can gift assets to other people while you are still alive, which will remove them from your estate and reduce the IHT liability on your death.
  • Leaving 10% or more of your estate to charity: If you leave 10% or more of your net estate to charity, your IHT rate will be reduced to 36%.
  • Utilizing spousal allowances: Married couples and civil partners can transfer unused portions of their nil rate band to their spouses or civil partners, which can increase the amount of the estate that is exempt from IHT.


Seek professional advice for Tax Planning

Tax planning is an important aspect of financial management for individuals and businesses to minimize their tax liabilities. 

Seeking professional advice from a qualified tax advisor can provide significant benefits, helping you understand the tax laws. A tax advisor will identify deductions and credits, develop tax-efficient strategies, prepare and file tax returns, and represent you in tax audits.

ABM Chartered Accountants has a team of experts as an advisor for tax planning in the UK. for any tax service in the UK, you choose ABM.

Additionally, ABM tax advisors can provide specialized advice on specific tax issues, such as inheritance tax planning, business tax planning, and international tax planning.



Tax planning in the UK is a vital component of financial success, whether you’re an individual or a business owner. With the right strategies and expert advice, you can navigate the complexities of the UK tax system and secure your financial future. By optimizing your tax liabilities and making informed financial decisions, you can achieve your financial goals while staying compliant with the law.

Remember that tax planning is a dynamic process, and it’s essential to regularly review and adjust your plan to accommodate changes in your financial situation and the ever-evolving tax landscape in the United Kingdom.