From gifting income and assets to taking gains from offshore bonds, it's worth reminding yourself of some of these tax tips.

Julia Peake is the national account manager for Sanlam Investments and Pensions.

She started her career at Buckles Investment Services on the graduate training scheme where she paraplanned for a year, gaining her financial services qualifications. Once qualified, she was an adviser for seven years.

She then moved to the compliance department before moving to the Sanlam distribution team in 2013. She is now the key liaison between Sanlam Investment and Pensions and all distribution channels.

Despite Halloween looming, there was no Hammond House of Horrors in the Budget this week.

The Chancellor’s third Budget confirmed two things we already knew: more money for the NHS and a promise of more spending to end austerity.

The financial services industry breathed a collective sigh of relief at the lack of tinkering in our area. Speculation of a flat rate of pension tax relief proved to be unfounded. But could the idea survive to see another day? 

Pensions should be the first port of call for clients looking to fund their retirement – they are, after all, one of the most tax-efficient ways to save.

However, there can be times when pensions may not be the only solution. For example, you may need to look at alternative strategies for clients who:

How did pension freedoms change our approach to retirement?

Since the reforms were introduced in 2015, clients can have a flexible retirement income strategy that is suitable for them. They also have the advantage of passing their pension assets down through the generations free from inheritance tax. This has given advisers a great opportunity to provide their clients with a holistic plan, which covers both their accumulation and decumulation needs.

As the countdown to the end of the 2017/18 tax year begins in earnest, it is worth recapping the planning opportunities available for the taking before 5 April.

Sanlam has produced a checklist for advisers to use over the coming weeks with their UK resident clients, including the actions advice firms may want to take now and the tax planning issues to consider.

The round-up spans the tax changes, allowances and gifting rules financial planners need to consider for 2017/18 across pensions, investments, capital gains tax and income tax.

The rules around pension sharing in England and Wales set out a clear framework around how pension rights are valued and split at the time of divorce.

It's worth remembering a couple cannot simply agree for part or all of their pension arrangements to be split and transferred to their former spouse or civil partner. This is treated as an unauthorised payment and could mean punitive tax charges.

In England and Wales, a pension sharing order is made by the courts as part of the financial settlement agreed at the point of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

The first Finance Act of 2017 went through parliament at break-neck speed due to last year's snap election. Several clauses were dropped to enable a stripped-down bill to pass before parliament broke for the election.

Since then, some of the dropped clauses have been reintroduced, and the Finance Act 2017 (2) received Royal Assent on 16 November.

So which clauses has the government resurrected, and what are the financial planning implications of the latest amendments?  

There is an easily-forgotten pension entitlement which advisers may wish to look into on behalf of their clients before the end of this tax year.

Back in 2006, A-day brought about pension simplification and an end to some of the complexities of previous regimes.  Today’s pension environment includes pension freedoms, a flat 25 per cent tax-free cash and auto-enrolment, compared with those employer-sponsored schemes based on an individual’s pensionable salary, service and, depending on the underlying regime, a further multiplying fraction.

Offshore investing is still correct for certain clients in the current climate, but a lot will depend on what their circumstances and goals are both now and in the future.

Assuming charges and performance are equal, the key factors are taxation at fund level and personally to the client. Here we set out the tax benefits and factors to consider when weighing up onshore and offshore bonds and collective investments.