UK investment tax

nderstanding how much UK investment tax you have to pay can significantly impact the money you invest. But there are ways of minimising the amount you have to pay tax on your savings. We here at Moneyfarm will help to guide you through the tax maze.

‚Ěď When is the UK income tax rate charged? When your income is above your personal allowance
ūü§Ē What are the most tax-efficient investments in the UK? ISAs, private pensions, EIS and SEIS startups, VCTs, NS&I products, and dividend-paying stocks
ūüßĺ How do my UK investments get taxed? Via income tax, capital gains tax, and dividend tax
ūü§Ď How much dividend is tax-free in the UK? ¬£2,000


Do you have to pay taxes on your investments?

The answer to the question of whether or not you have to pay UK investment tax is yes, and no. It depends on the following:

  • Whether or not your income in any tax year is higher than your¬†personal savings allowance¬†(PSA). With your PSA, you don‚Äôt have to pay tax on the first ¬£1,000 interest if you are a basic rate taxpayer or ¬£500 if you‚Äôre a higher rate taxpayer. The allowance for additional rate taxpayers is 0.
  • Whether any dividend income exceeds the¬†dividend allowance, which is currently set at ¬£2,000 per annum. Any earnings above the allowance will be¬†charged dividend tax¬†at 8.75% for basic rate taxpayers, 33.75% for higher rate taxpayers and 39.35% for additional rate payers.

Taxable Income Allowances

Here is a table showing some of the available UK investment tax allowances.

Allowance / Threshold 2023/2024 2022/2023
Personal Allowance £12,570 £12,570
Personal Savings Allowance £1,000 / £500 / £0 £1,000 / £500 / £0
Personal Allowance Income Limit £100,000 £100,000
Starting Rate for Savings Allowance £5,000 £5,000
Capital Gains Tax Allowance £6,000 £12,300
Pension Annual Allowance £40,000 £40,000
ISA Allowance £20,000 £20,000
Inheritance Tax Allowance £325,000 £325,000
Lifetime Allowance £1,073,100 £1,073,100
Dividend Tax Allowance £1,000 £2,000
Marriage Allowance Up to £1,260 Up to £1,260
Married Couples Allowance £10,375 £9,415
Property Allowance £1,000 £1,000
Blind Person’s Allowance £2,870 £2,600
EIS relief limit on £1 million 30% 30%
SEIS relief limit on £200,000 from 2023/24  50% 50%
SITR relief limit on £1 million    30% 30%
VCT relief limit on £200,000 30% 30%


Tax on buying and trading shares in the UK and in the US S&P 500

If you invest in individual shares, the tax on stock trading in the UK is as follows. You will probably pay tax or duty to the tune of 0.5% of the transaction value. In addition, you will pay SDRT (Stamp Duty Reserve Tax) if you purchase shares electronically.

If you acquire shares via a stock transfer form and the value of the transaction is more than £1,000, you will pay stamp duty on UK shares.

You might also have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if, when you sell shares, they have gained in value more than the Capital Gains Tax Allowance, which is currently set at £12,300.

As well as capital gains on shares UK domiciled, you might also be required to pay UK capital gains tax on foreign shares.

As an individual who is not a U.S. citizen, or other U.S. person, if you want to diversify your investment portfolio by buying S&P 500 stocks for a UK ISA, you will initially have to complete a W-8BEN form. Then be expected to pay a 15% withholding tax on dividends or income.

UK investment tax on Unit Trusts and OEICs

As part of their investment strategy, some investors can include unit trusts or open-ended investment companies (OEICs) types of investments in a general investment account. Both products are similar, but whereas unit trusts are divided into units, which can be bought or sold by UK investors, OEIC funds are operated by companies that sell shares instead of units.

As far as the UK investment tax situation goes, all income, whether or not it is taken, is regarded and taxed as investment income in the UK. You can learn more about the taxation of OEICs, and unit trusts on the web.

UK investment tax on property

When you buy land or property, you will be required to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to HMRC, usually within 30 days of completing the purchase. The Gov.UK website shows the threshold for property types and their values.

If you sell a second home or a buy-to-let property, and it has gained in value since it was purchased, any gain will be subject to capital gains tax. According to the UK government, CGT charged on residential property is 18% (or 10 % gains from other chargeable assets) for basic rate taxpayers and 28% (or 20% gain from other chargeable assets) for higher and additional rate taxpayers. The threshold for CGT for UK tax year dates 2022 to 2023 is £12,300.

As regards income from buy-to-let investments, the income tax on rental property UK receipts will be subject to income tax.

Investing in crypto and taxation

When Bitcoin was first released in 2008, it heralded the dawn of a new and exciting type of currency ‚Äď cryptocurrency. The first recorded transaction was made by¬†Laszlo Hanyecz, who bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. Today, that amount of Bitcoin translates to around ¬£140 million.

Given the phenomenal rise in the value of Bitcoin, today, there are over 9,000 different cryptocurrencies. Also, unprecedented increases in value still arise- e.g. Solana crypto increased in value by an astonishing 13,000% in 2021. It’s hardly surprising that some investors are tempted to invest in crypto in search of high return investments in the UK. However, crypto is extremely volatile and therefore considered a high-risk investment.

Understanding Debt

How to minimise investment tax

One of the first things to establish before you start investing is that there are ways of minimising the tax on investments in the UK. However, evading investment tax in the UK is a crime.

When you begin learning how to invest money, whether you’re considering how to invest £100,000 or a smaller sum, understanding about tax efficient investing for UK investors is key.

Understanding your tax band and what tax relief is available is essential. Understanding your short vs long term needs is also essential when investing.

One of the easiest ways of cutting through the UK investment tax maze, which can be confusing and full of twists and turns, is to invest in an ISA.

As ISA is what is known as a ‚Äútax wrapper.‚ÄĚ It means that you will be protected from the taxman when you stay within your ISA allowance, which is currently ¬£20,000 per annum. So you don‚Äôt have to be concerned with capital gains tax, income from dividends, or the growth of your fund. It is all tax-free. You don‚Äôt even have to list ISAs on your self-assessment tax return.

Also, your ISA investment does not affect your personal savings allowance.

There are other ways of being tax efficient and minimising your investment tax in the UK. Please speak to a certified financial advisor for more information.

Do You Enjoyed This Article?
Join our community of 3 million people and get updated every week We have a lot more just for you! Lets join us now
Related Articles