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What is the Personal Savings Allowance and How Does it Work?

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

The Personal Savings Allowance provides tax relief on the interest you may have earned on your savings. In this article, you will learn more about personal savings and how they affect you and your income.


What is the Personal Savings Allowance


What are Personal Savings?

The personal savings allowance is a tax-free amount on any income you earn from your savings. Depending on your income and tax rate, there are different levels of personal savings allowance.


How Much Tax-Free Interest Can I Earn?

It all depends on what you earn and therefore on the tax rate you pay.


● If you pay a flat fee of 20%, you are entitled to a maximum of £ 1,000 in tax-free interest.

● Those who pay the higher rate of 40% are entitled to £ 500 of tax-free interest.

● For those in the extra category, your savings are not included and you will have to pay taxes on the interest you earn on the savings.


For example, if you earn £ 25,000 per year and receive £ 600 in-office interest, you do not have to pay taxes on this £ 600 as it is part of your personal savings of £ 1,000.


If you were earning £ 1,500 in-office interest, you wouldn't have to pay tax on the first £ 1,000, but you would have to pay 20% of the other £ 500 as property tax.



Are all Savings Covered by the Personal Savings Allowance?

Any savings you have in a check or non-ISA account are considered personal savings. It also covers some investments such as corporate bonds and mutual funds.


However, there are some exceptions. ISAs and some NS&I savings, including premium bonds, are already tax-exempt and therefore not subject to the personal savings allowance.



How Does the Personal Savings Allowance Work?


How Does the Personal Savings Allowance Work?

The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) was introduced in the UK in April 2016 as a way to reduce the tax burden on savers. The PSA is the amount of interest you can earn on your savings without having to pay tax on it.


Here's how the PSA works:

The amount of PSA you receive depends on your tax bracket. If you are a basic rate taxpayer, you can earn up to £1,000 in savings interest tax-free. If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, you can earn up to £500 in savings interest tax-free. Additional rate taxpayers do not receive a PSA.


The PSA applies to all types of savings, including bank and building society accounts credit union accounts, and certain types of bonds.


If you earn more than your PSA in savings interest, you will need to pay tax on the excess amount. This tax will be collected through your annual tax return or via the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system if you have savings interest deducted at source.


The PSA is per person, not per account. This means that if you have joint savings accounts with another person, you can each claim your own PSA.


If you have already used up your PSA in one account, you can open another account to use up the remainder of your allowance.


It's worth noting that the PSA does not apply to income from dividends or capital gains. These are taxed differently and have their own allowances.


Do I Still have to Fill out Form R85?

From April 2016, the R85 form was replaced by the personal savings benefit. This means that you no longer need to fill out Form R85 to claim interest on tax-free savings.


What is the Saving Allowance Threshold for 2023 - 24?

The threshold for 2023/24 remains the same as for 2022/23 i.e. £12,570. This means that you’ll only pay income tax on any earnings above £12,570.

Do I Have to Pay Interest Taxes on My Savings Because They Are Higher Than the PSA?

Since the introduction of the PSA, banks and building societies have waived 20% of the withholding tax on bank interest tax, i.e. it is paid gross. Non-taxpayers no longer have to complete Form R85 to collect gross bank interest. However, taxes are automatically withheld from some other types of savings income, e.g. Interest paid by a non-bank institution.


According to HMRC, interest income tax is collected through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme in most cases. However, some people may need to report it on their tax return or pay for it in some other way. Further information can be found on the HMRC website.


Personal Savings Allowance



How does the Allowance Work on Joint Accounts If One's a Basic Rate and the Other's a Higher-Rate Taxpayer?

In this case, it is assumed that the accrued interest is divided into two halves. The primary contributor receives £ 1,000 of personal savings and the senior contributor receives £ 500. Assuming the interest on the joint account is £ 1,000, the base rate payer still has £ 500 of their PSA, but the highest PSA pays £ 1,000. behavior. If they have other savings, they will have to pay the extra interest taxes. However, saving in joint bank accounts is more complicated and HMRC recommends contacting you, in this case, to report interest income if necessary.


What Is the Tax-Free Allowance for Pensioners in the UK?

In the UK, the tax-free allowance for pensioners depends on their age and income.


For the tax year 2023/24, the basic Personal Allowance, which is the amount of income you can earn before paying income tax, is £12,570 per year. However, if you are a pensioner who was born before April 6, 1948, you may be entitled to a higher Personal Allowance.


The higher Personal Allowance for pensioners is:


£14,430 per year if you were born between April 6, 1938, and April 5, 1948

£14,970 per year if you were born before April 6, 1938.

This higher Personal Allowance is also available to those who are married or in a civil partnership, and whose spouse or partner was born before April 6, 1938. In this case, the higher allowance can be transferred to the younger partner.


You can take:


All the money built up in your pension as cash - up to 25% as tax-free

Smaller cash sums from your pension - up to 25% of each sum as tax-free


It's worth noting that the Personal Allowance is reduced if your income is above a certain level. For every £2 of income above £100,000, the Personal Allowance is reduced by £1, until it reaches zero. Additionally, if you receive a private pension, you may be subject to income tax on any amount above your Personal Allowance.

How does the Interest I Receive Affect the Taxes I Pay?

The income from your savings is calculated into your total income, so determine which tax bracket you are in. This will affect the amount of personal savings you are entitled to.


Is This Allowance the Same as My Income Tax Allowance?

This personal savings deduction is a special savings tool that creates a new independent tax framework within the income tax system. However, your personal savings are completely separate from the personal allowance that most taxpayers receive on top of their regular income. Below that, the vast majority of people can earn £ 12,570 before tax. Our tax accountant can help you with this.

How Do I Pay Interest on My Personal Savings?

This is automatically calculated and billed for most people through the PAYE system. If you are self-employed, you must indicate this in your tax return. We are professional accountants, so we know a thing or two about taxes. Talk to our consultants to find out how our online accounting services can help your business by calling 07341371345 or getting a free quote.




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