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Unbiased.co.uk claims Brits are wasting ISA benefits

According to unbiased.co.uk, UK taxpayers may waste £148 million in unnecessary capital gains (CGT) payments this tax year by not making use of tax-efficient allowances when disposing of their assets.

The individual CGT-free allowance for the 2011-12 tax year currently stands at £10,600. Any gains above this are charged at 18% for lower-rate and 28% for higher-rate tax payers.

Figures from the unbiased.co.uk Tax Action report show that one of the main areas of CGT wastage occurs as a result of people not making use of ISAs to shelter their investments from any tax liabilities.

The disposal of stocks and shares outside ISAs are usually liable for CGT and any gains made count towards the annual CGT allowance.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments: “As a nation we have to be savvier when it comes to our finances and personal tax planning is still an area where we could be doing more to protect our income and assets.

“Making use of tax-efficient strategies can make a huge difference and it’s important for people to think about how they can make the most of their allowances, which so many taxpayers waste each year, as well as reducing their liability.

“The easiest way to prevent unnecessary tax payments and reduce wastage to CGT is to visit an independent financial adviser who specialises in tax planning advice.

“By seeking independent financial advice, you can calculate your assets and ensure that all advice provided is appropriate for your personal financial situation.”

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