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New tax year is the perfect time to get all your finances in order

Plan ahead and make your money work hard, says Vicky Shaw

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Cash boost: make your tax allowances work for you

Cash boost: make your tax allowances work for you

Cash boost: make your tax allowances work for you

There isn't long to go until the new tax year starts on April 6 - so now could be a perfect time to review your finances and make sure your money is working as hard as possible.

Knowing what you need to do well ahead means you'll avoid running around at the last minute. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead.

1. Make the most of tax relief, says Jamie Jenkins, head of global savings policy at Standard Life.

With a new tax year comes a new set of annual allowances.

This includes the limits on how much you can save into an Isa or pension while still benefiting from a tax-free allowance.

You can save up to £20,000 in an Isa completely tax-free, while the amount you can pay into your pension is generally capped at £40,000.

Making the most of allowances where possible is a very tax-efficient way to save for your future, particularly when it comes to pension funding.

2. You could also consider paying your bonus into your pension.

This time of year is traditionally bonus season for many companies, Jenkins explains.

Bonuses are welcomed with open arms for anyone lucky enough to receive one but, no matter what the sum, the timing of them can make tax planning difficult.

In some cases, a large bonus might push income over certain thresholds, meaning key allowances and benefits could be lost.

Using your bonus to contribute to a pension can help to solve these issues.

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