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Home Publications The effects of taxes and charges on saving incentives in the UK

The effects of taxes and charges on saving incentives in the UK


Individuals in the UK can save in many forms, such as bank accounts, pensions, housing, shares and Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). The tax treatment of these different vehicles and underlying assets varies widely and this can affect the attractiveness of saving in different forms for people in different circumstances. Recent years have seen several major reforms to the tax treatment of different forms of saving, and further changes are currently under consideration. It is therefore crucial to understand what the current tax regime and (actual and hypothetical) reforms imply for incentives to save in different forms.

In this report (i) we describe the forms in which household wealth is held, (ii) we set out the effects of the current UK tax system on the incentive to save in different assets, (iii) we consider the implications of a number of reforms due to be introduced or currently under consideration, and (iv) we analyse the effect of two non-tax features – employer matching of pension contributions and fund charges – on the attractiveness of investing in different assets.

A spreadsheet containing the calculations underlying this report - and allowing the calculation of new variants - is available here.

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This presentation was given at the launch of a report on the taxation of savings on 16 February 2016.
Press release
Savers face a complex and changing array of different tax treatments. These differences are big and can make the cost of choosing the ‘wrong’ savings vehicle very large. In addition apparently small differences in fees and charges can outweigh the effects of different tax treatments. Meanwhile ...