10 Ways to Save Money on Your Taxes

1. Update Your Boiler
There are lots of tax incentives for people who want to try to live a bit more environmentally friendly, one way to save on taxes is to update your old boiler for a more efficient one. Not only will this save you money on your heating bills, you’ll get a tax break for it too.

2. Get a Low Emission Car
There are tax incentives for owners of vehicles with lower carbon emissions. For example, cars with CO2 emissions of less than 160g/km qualifies for 20% capital allowances in the main rate pool, meaning you could stand to save quite a lot.

3. Improve Your Insulation
If you want to reduce your taxes and your house bills then you should seriously think about improving your insulation – the government will even give you a tax free allowance to help you do it. Once your new insulation is up you should see your heating and electricity bills fall.

4. Charity Work
Charity work doesn’t have to mean standing outside in the rain with a collections box, it can mean giving money to charities for the sole purpose of saving yourself money on taxes too! Charitable donations are tax deductible but you have to make sure you itemize your good work.

5. Sort out Your Inheritance Tax
It is important to make sure your fiscal affairs are water tight – especially when you’ve gone. So writing up a will stating exactly where you want your money to go is vital. There are also various ways you can try to reduce the impact of inheritance tax. These include the ‘7 year rule’, ‘deeds of variation’ and setting up a life insurance policy to meet the cost of your tax bill after your death.

6. Earn Less
It may sound stupid, but you could actually be better off by earning less money. You have a personal allowance of £5,225 below which you cannot be taxed, the closer you can stay to this the better. You should make sure you’re taking advantage of company car schemes and looking into other non-monetary forms of remuneration.

7. Make Your Pension Work for You
One of the best ways to save money on your tax is to get your pension working for you. Remember: it is not only contributions to your pension that are tax free but the growth of assets in the fund too.

8. Claim all Your Entitlements
There are a lot of entitlements that you may be able to claim, the trouble is wading through all the small print to find out which tax returns you may be able to get. The big three to watch out for are Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Pension Credit.

9 Arrange Your Savings
Until around 15 years ago, married couples were taxed together – a wife would simply have her earnings attached to her husband’s. This archaic law has now been changed, which brings with it tax advantages. Now, you can put both your savings into one account under the name of the person who earns the least, which can prove a great way to save on tax.

10. Talk to Experts
The tax laws in the UK are very complicated and can be confusing and infuriating, however, HMRC know their rightsto save money, so it’s vital you know yours. If you’re not sure how to get the best tax deal for you, then it can help to get expert advice from solicitors like Irwin Mitchell. Experts have the experience and know how to deal with your tax requirements in the way that most benefits you.

Sources:

  • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/4676654/The-tax-guru-Ways-to-save-on-tax.html
  • https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/money/five-ways-to-save-tax.html
  • https://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cars/rule-changes.htm
  • https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6213762.stm

Author bioThis is an article written by Adrija Dey

The Financial Eye-Opener For First-Time Buyers

The UK’s property market has been topic of discussion for some time, especially in light of our current economic situation – the fall of house prices, the hesitant lenders, and the overall difficulty of achieving a place on the first step of the property ladder. There have been some developments over the years to help battle this factor such as the growing popularity of online estate agents and the options of undertaking a private house sale, and whilst some still believe that the costs involved in buying a house just relate to a mortgage and a deposit, the truth can be a little bit startling, especially for first time buyers. 

Here is a simple breakdown of costs that you can expect to pay when buying a home:

Deposit
It’s the big one, the one that everyone struggles to save up and the one that can stand in the way of getting on the ladder. A deposit is easily the largest financial blow related to buying property and now that lenders are more hesitant to give out 100% loan to value mortgages, this leaves a rather large gap to be filled. For an average mortgage you might expect to save 15-20% deposit, so for a property worth £150,000 you are looking at around £23k. It’s no easy task, but some effective ways of generating this money include asking for investment from parents and other family members, or even clubbing together with friends to purchase a property and therefore split the deposit amount.

Mortgage Arrangement Fees
Finding the right mortgage can be a little frustrating as these days there are just so many options; from interest-only, offset and flexible mortgages to cash-back schemes, but one thing to always be aware of before committing to a mortgage is the arrangement fee. Generally speaking, the lower interest deals have higher arrangement fees and whilst you may be given the option to add this amount onto the mortgage it may not always be efficient to do so. Arrangement fees can be anywhere between £100-£1000, so if you have the cash to spare it is always recommended that you pay these upfront and avoid incurring interest on the balance over the term of the mortgage.

Valuation
When you purchase a property, even a private house sale, your mortgage lender will require a valuation to confirm that the property is worth what you intend to pay for it. Some mortgages offer a free valuation with some deals, but others that do not will generally charge around £250.

Professional Conveyancing
Buying a house is a legal matter and you should always consult a professional solicitor to act on your behalf in such circumstances, but of course these services are not free. Conveyancing services should offer an upfront itemised bill on what to expect and most solicitors will charge a one-off fee for their services depending on the details of the house, and this can cost from £400 upwards. Again, this fee can sometimes be included onto the mortgage, but think carefully before doing so.

Survey
Some make the mistake of thinking that the mortgage valuation is an ample survey of their new property. This is not correct. With every purchase a buyer should always instruct a professional surveyor to comprehensively check the building for any structural defects or any issues that could potentially cost you a lot of money in the future. There are three types of surveys available – a condition report, a HomeBuyers Report and a building survey – and with each survey comes more detail and cost, but for older properties a full building survey is always recommended. The cost of a survey is dependent on the property price and size, but you can expect to pay £200-£500.

Searches
As part of the conveyancing process, local searches are required to complete the purchase of a property, and this involves raising environmental, water and drainage searches from the local authority. Some conveyancers will have this element inclusive of their standard service fee, if not these additional costs will be added on, so you can expect £100-£200 more on the bill.

Land Registry Fee
Again, this is sometimes included into the conveyancing fees, but with every property purchase the new owners need to be legally registered. This fee will be based upon the property sale price and can be anywhere between £50-£200.

Whilst this is the end of the official financial fee list of purchasing property, there will also be a number of extras you will need to be aware of, including moving costs, mail redirection, disconnection and reconnection of services and any further costs involved in decorating your new property.

Buying a home is not a project that should be taken on lightly, and in an effort to try and cut some of these costs you can look for a private house sale as these vendors generally save money on fees and can therefore be a little more flexible on their negotiations.

About the Author:Peter Joseph has had a wealth of entrepreneurial experience under his belt and landed in the Estate Agency industry with the intention of blending a top class service, powerful property portal, Private House Sale options and affordable prices – and iThink Property was born. 

Learning Car Insurance Terms

Car insurance can sometimes be difficult to understand. If you find terms that you do not understand, you could find yourself making purchasing mistakes that could cost you a significant amount of money. In order to understand car insurance, here are some terms that will be beneficial for you to know in order to make an informed decision regarding car insurance. 

• Liability: Liability insurance is required in most states. This type of insurance provides coverage to someone else if you caused an accident. Bodily liability covers injuries to the driver or passenger of another vehicle. Property damages cover damages to the property. The insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace the other vehicle involved. It is important to have liability insurance to protect yourself from huge financial losses.

• Assigned Risk: When purchasing car insurance, the company must decide if you are at risk to be involved in an accident. If you have had too many accidents or violations, it might be difficult for you to obtain car insurance through the traditional way. If you are assigned a risk pool, you are assigned to a certain insurance company. Because car insurance is required, this company is legally obligated to provide insurance. This type of car insurance is more expensive.

• Comprehensive Coverage: There are times when your vehicle is damaged as a result of something other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage covers the cost if your vehicle is damaged from a fire, theft, hail storm, flood or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage covers just about everything except a vehicle accident. Comprehensive coverage is beneficial because it protects you from unforeseen events that are beyond your control. You will need to decide on a deductible for comprehensive coverage. The average deductible is $500. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, so you will know exactly what is covered under your policy.

• Accident Forgiveness: Many car insurance companies offer accident forgiveness programs. With accident forgiveness, your car insurance premiums will not increase if you have an accident. Basically, the insurance company will “forgive” the accident, so you will not be penalized. With accident forgiveness, most insurance companies will forgive one accident every five years. Accident forgiveness can give you peace of mind knowing that if you are involved in an accident, your premiums will not sky rocket.

Negligence: When you are at fault in an accident and property damage or bodily injury occurs, you are considered to be negligent. Negligence takes place when you fail to act in accordance with the law and damage has occurred. If you are involved in an accident and are negligent, your car insurance premiums could increase.

• Exclusion: If there is a certain driver who cannot be covered under your policy, he will be excluded. The policy will name the driver that is not permitted to obtain coverage under the policy. Drivers can be excluded from coverage for having too many accidents or violation; therefore, the company considers him to be at high risk for having an accident.

• Deductible: A deductible is the amount of money that you are required to pay before the insurance company pays the rest. If you have a high deductible, your car insurance premiums will be lower. However, before deciding on a deductible, you want to make sure that you can cover the cost. Most deductibles are between $100 and $1000.

• Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage: Unfortunately, many people fail to purchase car insurance. If you have an accident with someone who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, you could be in trouble if you do not have this type of coverage. Uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you from paying out of pocket expenses if you are involved in a car accident with someone who does not have enough car insurance.

• Gap Insurance: If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, gap insurance will pay the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and the amount that you still owe. If your vehicle is totaled, you will still need to pay the lender what is owed them for the loan. Gap insurance will prevent you from having to come up with a huge amount of money to pay the difference.

• No-Fault Insurance: Some states have no-fault insurance laws in order to decrease the number of lawsuits that are filed as a result of car accidents. In these states, you cannot sue another driver unless you are seriously hurt in the accident. If you are involved in an accident, your insurance company pays the claim, not the insurance company of the other driver. 

Author bio: Chris is experienced internet marketer interested in key technologies to make your online business perform. During his career he worked for some of biggest Australian brands. Currently employed as marketing consultant for AU based insurance company, RealInsurance Car Insurance.