Taxes help pay for hospitals, schools, roads and other essential stuff, not to mention servicing our colossal national debt. But we do pay rather a lot of it in the UK – aside from National Insurance contributions and PAYE taken out of monthly wage packets, there’s VAT, road tax, stamp duty – the list goes on and on.
The wealthy can squirrel away fortunes in offshore accounts and tax havens. But to everyday folk like you and I, that’s probably not a possibility. So, we’ve collected five ways you can legitimately keep as many of your hard-earned pennies as possible away from the grasping hands of the tax man…
Drive a VED-free car or vehicle
Given the state of Britain’s roads, you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit miffed at paying a whopping great fee in road tax, on top of the large proportion of the price you pay at the petrol pump which goes to the public purse. The solution? Drive a car which doesn’t require Vehicle Excise Duty - commonly referred to as 'road tax'.
If you’re after something a bit more butch, you might want to consider driving a road legal tank.
The ISA man cometh…
Right, bear with us a sec. Individual Savings Accounts probably aren’t the most thrilling topics we'll ever discuss, but they’re great ways of getting one over on the taxman. They can’t get their hands on any interest that racks up on money that you've put into an ISA, so make sure yours is full as you can afford.
Get a pension
Saving up for when you’re old is a top idea, and you’re encouraged to do it – when you pay into a pension scheme, you’re entitled to tax relief. Read all about it at the HMRC website.
Credit where credit’s due….
HMRC reckons that 90 per cent of families are eligible for tax credits – you don’t even need to have children to qualify for them! Millions of pounds goes unclaimed every year, so get stuck in. Read more about them here.
Get a lodger in
You can make just over £4,000 a year in tax-free income if you take on board a lodger. Make sure that they’re clean, hygienic and not prone to any irritating habits, whatever you do.