Standard Life reveals UK workers are unaware of changing tax thresholds

From: Standard Life
Published: Thu May 23 2013

Research from Standard Life has found that the majority of UK full time workers don't know what the higher rate income tax threshold is. When asked to pinpoint from a list of four options what they thought the level was for the new tax year 2013/14, the majority (56%) got it wrong and an additional 13% said they didn’t know.

Fewer than one in three people (31%) know the higher rate tax threshold is going to be £41,450* for 2013 while almost two in five (37%) thought the threshold was higher than it actually is.

Julie Russell, Head of Customer Relationships at Standard Life said of the results: "Our research suggests people aren't paying close attention to tax thresholds, which means they could easily move into the higher rate tax bracket without realising. With efficient tax planning it's possible to avoid this, so knowing the threshold is important.

"Paying into a personal or employer's pension scheme is the simplest way to minimise your income tax burden and it has the added bonus of bumping up your retirement savings and reaping the tax benefits of investing in a pension scheme at the same time."

It is estimated that 4.2 million people** currently pay higher rate tax. From 6 of April 2013 the tax threshold is dropping from £42,476 to £41,450 and so even more people will start paying 40% tax on their income above the threshold unless they take action and make the most of opportunities available to them such as tax efficient savings.

Notes to Editors:
All research figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2059 adults of which 1073 work full-time. Fieldwork was undertaken from 25 - 28 January 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

*Source of all tax figures is HMRC

**Source of number of higher rate tax payers is Institute of Fiscal Studies:

About Standard Life:
Established in 1825, Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investment company, with around six million customers worldwide. By understanding and offering innovative products to meet its customers’ needs, Standard Life helps people with their financial planning, so they can feel more confident about the future.

Standard Life offers a range of individual and group pensions, SIPPs, ISAs, annuities, life assurance, offshore bonds, investment management, wealth management, tax planning and estate management services.

Standard Life is headquartered in Edinburgh and employs around 8,500 people across the UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India, USA, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong mainland China. At the end of December 2013 the group had total assets under administration of over £218bn.

Standard Life plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has approximately 1.5 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries around the world.

Standard Life plc is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI World) in recognition of its performance as one of the world’s leading sustainability-driven listed companies.

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Nicki Lundy
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Company: Standard Life
Contact Name: Nicki Lundy
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