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Give your bank balance a boost

Money 11 months ago

6 April will mark the beginning of a new tax year, but are you making the most of your money?

Tax-free savings

Each year, the government allows each individual UK resident to save up to £15,240 completely tax-free, and if you’re saving money but not taking advantage of this allowance you could really be missing out. Get a full run down of some of the best tax breaks to boost your income here.

Move your bank account

As the battle of the banks continues, many are offering great deals if you switch your primary banking to them which can be a very quick and easy way of making yourself some money. The trick is to go with the one offering the best long term benefits such as cashback on credit balances rather than just a lump sum payment when you switch.

But don’t worry. If you haven’t done this since September 2013, things are much more efficient than they once were. That’s because the seven day switching initiative was introduced meaning everything has to be complete within 7 days of starting the process, all handled by your new and existing banks, so you can just sit back and relax.

Check your tax code

You’d be surprised how often people find themselves with the wrong tax code. In fact, at the last count it was revealed that one in three of us is paying either too much or too little in tax*, so making sure yours is right is crucial. Paying too little is just as harmful as too much when you have to pay it back, so get on top of it now.

You can find everything you need to know about your tax code, including what the numbers and letters mean, where you can find it and when it should change from Gov.uk.

If, at any point during the last 4 years you’ve had the wrong tax code, you could be entitled to a refund. More details can be found here.

It pays off to pay off

It’s tempting to start saving money before you’ve completely cleared your debts, but usually it’s a bad decision financially, with most interest rates on lending considerably higher than those earned on savings.

However, if your debt is on credit cards, consider taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offered by many of the main banks. If you can afford to pay back the money before the interest free period is over you could be much better off in the long run.

Hitachi Personal Finance has provided loans to over 5 million UK customers. Find out what our customers think!

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/oct/26/tax-codes-tax-hmrc-experts

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.

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