Do I pay income tax on savings and investments?
When you make money from your savings or investments, your tax bill will generally be calculated depending on the type of products you hold and what other income you receive.
Tax on savings income is paid at 20%, 40% or 45%, depending on how much other income you have, while tax on dividends from investments is paid at 7.5%, 32.5% or 38.1%.
Basic-rate taxpayers will not pay income tax on the first £1,000 savings interest they receive. Higher-rate taxpayers have a £500 tax-free allowance. This is on top of any unused personal allowance.
- Get a head start on your 2020-21 tax return with the Which? tax calculator. Tot up your tax bill, get tips on where to save and submit your return direct to HMRC with Which?.
What the types of savings and investment income can I earn?
There are three main types of savings and investment income on which you may have to pay tax:
Income from savings
Savings income is the money you receive in the form of interest – as opposed to dividends.
You are likely to accrue this type of interest on:
- bank or building society accounts
- National Savings & Investments (NS&I) products
- corporate bonds
- permanent interest-bearing shares (Pibs)
- local authority investments
- unit trusts or open-ended investment companies (Oeics) that invest mainly in interest-bearing products.
Annuities that you buy voluntarily – as opposed to those you buy with the proceeds of a pension fund – also come into this category. However, part of the income you receive is treated as a tax-free return of capital, so not all of your gains are taxable.
- Find out more: Personal savings allowance and tax on savings interest
Income from dividends
The second type of income on which you may be taxed is dividend income. This comes from:
- shares you own in companies
- investment trusts
- unit trusts and Oeics that invest mainly in shares.
Use our dividend tax calculator to find out how much you'll pay in the 2021-22 and 2020-21 tax years.
- Find out more: Dividend tax
Income from life insurance investments
The third type of investment income you might receive is income from life insurance investments, such as with-profit and investment bonds