With tax year end just around the corner, it’s time to check you are making the most of your tax reliefs and allowances to save for a brighter future. You may want to consider:

Business owners: take profits as pension contributions

  • For many directors, taking significant profits as pension contributions could be the most efficient way of paying themselves and cutting their overall tax bill.
  • Of course, if the director is over 55 they now have full unrestricted access to their pension savings although this could come at the price of a lower annual allowance going forward.
  • There’s no National Insurance (NI) payable on either dividends or pension contributions. Dividends are paid from profits after corporation tax and will also be taxable in the director’s hands. By making an employer pension contribution, tax and NI savings can boost a director’s pension fund.
  • Employer contributions made in the current financial year will get relief at 19%, but the rate is set to drop to 17% in 2020. So those business owners who cannot fund a pension every year may wish to pay sooner rather than later, if they have the profits and the cash available.

Key information

  • Company accounting period.
  • Company pre-tax profit.
  • Pension annual allowance available from current year and previous 3 years.

Please be aware that the value of investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back what you invest. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.


Effective tax planning is a year round job. It’s only at the end of the tax year that you have all the pieces to complete the planning jigsaw, but there are steps you can take now to get ahead of the game and give yourself time to put plans in place. And with less than 7 weeks until 6 April, there’s no time like the present to get started.