Whoever said that accountants lacked imagination? The image of George Osborne flying through the air armed only with a nappy and a bow and arrow certainly requires some sort of creative bravery.
Somebody at Accounts and Legal, a London-based small business accountancy practice, has either fallen victim to a particularly understated strain of the love bug or is simply good-looking enough to compensate for all manner of romantic failings. Moneywise is in no position to judge and we promise not to.
Either way, they’ve decided to come up with 5 tips for tax-based Valentine’s Day gifts (what a sentence) that won’t exactly be knocking the new Milk Tray man off his 3-storey ladder in submission. We present them here:
1. The marriage allowance.
If you’ve gone the whole shebang and one of you has got down on one knee at some point in the past, you can save up to £212 a year using the Marriage Allowance, which was launched in April 2015. You need to apply online to do this. You can do so at www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance
2. Income tax and dividends
Setting up your spouse as a shareholder or director in a company you’ve set up would allow you to distribute income depending on personal allowances.
Additionally, the new dividend allowance, which gives you £5,000 before tax hits at 7.5%, would allow you to spread your income between the two of you and reduce your income tax liability.
You can read more about tax rates, limits and allowances for 2015/16 here.
3. Inheritance tax
If you’re married (or in a civil partnership), anything you leave to your partner upon your death will be free of inheritance tax. If you’re the one who remains above ground, you can also inherit their nil rate tax band, meaning you could pass over £650,000 of tax-free assets to your hopefully grateful children.
4. Capital gains tax
If married, your combined capital gains tax (CGT) allowance will be set at £22,200. You can also transfer or gift assets between spouses tax-free, allowing you to make use of the person with the lowest tax rate to lower your exposure.
Not in the general spirit of Valentine’s Day – our friend at the accountancy firm was really scraping the barrel here, but another way for spouses to save money is when the other party passes away. Currently, when a husband or wife dies, the person left can inherit their entitlement. However, this all changes come April when the system is shifted to a single-tier pension.
And finally, once you’ve put your calculator away, you could always try…
6. Flowers (a bonus one from us)
Yes, roses are a classic but a little clichéd, don’t you think? Although, if you’re quick, you can buy them very cheaply at Aldi, which has a special deal on 100 red roses for £25.
Alternatively, recreate Van Gogh’s kitchen table with some bright, cheerful sunflowers that will nod their happy heads at the target of your everlasting love – or how about some gerbera daisies? Bright, bold and they come in an array of dazzling colours.