With the tax year end and Budget around the corner, here are some thoughts from Rob…
January, as someone recently noted to me, felt like a particularly long year. I’ve barely encountered a soul yet who didn’t find it a challenge, a slog; a soggy, grey struggle.
However, February is here and is a fortnight old already. And although it was Groundhog Day last week, we’re all experiencing something quite different from Bill Murray’s character in the movie – at least he got to go out and do something different every day!
For me, and I hope for you, I’m grasping again at all those positives that are lining my clouds with silver: no commutes to and from work in the dark and cold; more time with the family; a good excuse to get outdoors every day now that there’s a dog, a wonderful bundle of chaos, in the household.
I’m reading more than I probably have since I was studying, and then it was actually required of me! I can heartily recommend William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy if you enjoy weighty, in-depth history, or anything by Charles Cumming if you even remotely enjoy an espionage thriller.
Wilding by Isabella Tree will give you hope for our environmental future, and The Salt Path by Raynor Winn is a heart-filling, life-affirming true story.
Time to act before the tax year end
Then, of course, there is the vaccine rollout. With daily Covid-19 case numbers falling again, and hospital admissions and daily deaths reducing, the fear that we might be drawn back into another lockdown, as we did in November and again after Christmas, feels like it’s receding with every needle in every arm.
Hope is on the horizon, however distant, and I’m reminding myself daily just how warm and sunny April was last year.
While we patiently wait for the spring, there are a couple of things I’d like to flag up.
First and foremost, the tax year end draws nearer and, with it, the traditional effort to make sure everything that needs doing is done in good time.
That will include using your ISA allowance and making sure your pension contributions are maximised. If any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowance should be used, then you should consider that too.
With potential changes on the horizon, it’s worth reading a recent piece we shared about pension tax relief if you haven’t done so yet.
The Budget is just around the corner
I would add that, this year, there’s perhaps a slightly different deadline to bear in mind.
5 April may be the last day of the tax year but, with a Budget due from the chancellor on Wednesday 3 March and the possibility of bigger tax changes in some or all of these areas, it makes sense to attend to matters before then.
Download our handy tax year end guide for reference.
If you have any questions on this fast-approaching date or what you might need to do, please get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your adviser on 020 3828 8100.
52 miles in 52 days for 52 Lives
Finally, we at Black Swan recently decided to set ourselves a minor challenge to make sure that we get outdoors even in the cold and rain.
In keeping with one of our chosen charities, we’re aiming to do 52 miles in 52 days for 52 Lives. It’s not quite up there with the trek along the Thames we did the summer before last, but then it’s not a glorious summer either and getting out and active is important right now!