HomeFinanceWhat is Personal Savings Allowance in the UK?

What is Personal Savings Allowance in the UK?

Are you looking to make the most of your hard-earned savings? Well, look no further! In this blog post, we will unravel the secrets of the Personal Savings Allowance in the UK. Whether you’re a seasoned saver or just starting out on your financial journey, understanding how much you can save without paying taxes is crucial. So, grab a cuppa and let’s dive into all things Personal Savings Allowance – it’s time to maximize those pennies!

What is Personal Savings Allowance?

What is Personal Savings Allowance?

The Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) is a tax benefit introduced by the UK government in April 2016. It allows individuals to earn interest on their savings without having to pay any tax on it, up to certain limits.

So how does it work? Under the PSA, basic rate taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 of interest each year without being taxed on it. If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer, your allowance drops down to £500. Unfortunately, for additional rate taxpayers, no personal savings allowance is available.

It’s important to note that this allowance only applies to interest earned from savings accounts and investments such as premium bonds or gilts. Other forms of income, like dividends or rental income, are not included in the PSA.

One great thing about the PSA is that it’s automatically applied by banks and building societies when they pay out your interest. This means you don’t need to do anything extra or fill out any forms – it’s all taken care of for you!

By taking advantage of the Personal Savings Allowance, you can maximize your earnings and keep more money in your pocket. It offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to grow their wealth through savings without worrying about paying unnecessary taxes.

How Much is Personal Saving Allowance?

The amount of Personal Savings Allowance you are entitled to depends on your income and tax bracket. As of the 2021/2022 tax year, basic rate taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 in savings interest without paying any tax on it. This means that if you fall into this category, you won’t have to worry about declaring or paying tax on the first £1,000 of interest earned from your savings.

The Personal Savings Allowance is reduced to £500 per year for higher-rate taxpayers. This means they can earn up to £500 in interest without being taxed on it. Additional-rate taxpayers, however, do not receive a Personal Savings Allowance and will be subject to tax on all their savings interest.

Types of Rates on Personal Savings Allowance

Types of Rates on Personal Savings Allowance

One crucial aspect of this is the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA), which dictates how much interest income you can earn on your savings before having to pay tax on it. The PSA varies depending on your income tax band, with distinct rates for individuals falling into different tax brackets: Basic rate, Higher rate, and Additional rate.

Basic Rate Personal Savings Allowance – £1,000

For those in the Basic rate tax band, the PSA is set at £1,000. This means that if you are a basic rate taxpayer, you can earn up to £1,000 in interest income from your savings without having to pay any tax on it. This allowance is particularly beneficial for individuals with modest savings, as it provides a tax-free buffer to encourage saving.

Higher Rate Personal Savings Allowance – £500

Moving up the tax ladder to the Higher rate band, individuals find themselves with a slightly reduced PSA of £500. If your income places you in the Higher rate category, you can earn up to £500 in interest income from your savings before being liable to pay tax on it. This PSA tier accommodates those who have a bit more tucked away but still provides a measure of tax relief.

Additional Rate Personal Savings Allowance – £0

There is no Personal Savings Allowance for individuals in the Additional rate tax band. This means that any interest income earned on savings is subject to taxation at the full rate without any tax-free threshold. Those in the Additional rate bracket typically have higher incomes and, as such, don’t receive the same level of tax relief on their savings income as Basic and Higher rate taxpayers.

What Are the Interests Covered by Personal Saving Allowance?

What Are the Interests Covered by Personal Saving Allowance?

Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) is a valuable financial benefit that can help you save more of your hard-earned money by reducing the amount of tax you need to pay on your interest income. It is essential to know what types of interest the PSA covers to make the most of this allowance and maximize your savings.

Your PSA applies to the following types of interest:

  1. Bank and Building Society Accounts: If you have savings in a regular bank account or a building society account, the interest you earn on these deposits is eligible for the PSA.
  2. Savings and Credit Union Accounts: Interest earned from savings and credit union accounts is included in your PSA. This covers various savings vehicles, from basic savings accounts to more specialized credit union offerings.
  3. Unit Trusts, Investment Trusts, and Open-Ended Investment Companies: If you’re investing in these types of funds, any interest income generated is eligible for the PSA. This includes both individual investments and those held within tax-efficient investment accounts.
  4. Peer-to-Peer Lending: Interest earned from peer-to-peer lending platforms is also within the purview of the PSA. This is an excellent option for those who diversify their portfolios through online lending.
  5. Trust Funds: If you have investments in trust funds that yield interest income, your PSA can offset this income.
  6. Payment Protection Insurance (PPI): If you receive a payout related to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), any interest earned on that payout is subject to the PSA.
  7. Government or Company Bonds: The PSA covers the interest income generated from government bonds, corporate bonds, or similar fixed-income investments.
  8. Life Annuity Payments: If you receive income from a life annuity, the interest portion of those payments falls under the PSA.
  9. Some Life Insurance Contracts: Certain life insurance contracts offer a savings or investment component. Any interest accrued within these contracts may be eligible for the PSA depending on the specific terms.

What Happens if I Exceed My Personal Savings Allowance?

Saving money is a smart financial move, but it’s essential to be aware of the rules and regulations governing your savings, especially when it comes to the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) in the UK. The PSA allows you to earn a certain amount of interest on your savings tax-free, but what happens if you exceed this allowance?

  1. Taxation on Excess Interest:

When you surpass your Personal Savings Allowance, you’re required to pay tax on the interest you earn over this limit. The tax is calculated based on your usual rate of Income Tax.

  1. Automatic Tax Adjustment for Employed Individuals and Pensioners:

Tax Adjustment for Employed Individuals

If you’re employed or receive a pension, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will handle the taxation process for you. They will adjust your tax code to automatically deduct the necessary tax from your earnings or pension payments. HMRC will estimate your expected interest income for the current year to determine your new tax code based on the previous year’s figures.

  1. Reporting Excess Interest through Self Assessment:

For individuals who complete a self-assessment tax, it’s crucial to report any interest earned on your savings through this process. This enables HMRC to have an accurate record of your financial activities and ensures that you pay the correct amount of tax on your savings interest.

  1. Registering for Self-Assessment:

If your income from savings and investments exceeds £10,000, you are required to register for Self Assessment. If you’re unsure whether you need to send a tax return, it’s advisable to check with HMRC. Failing to register when required can lead to penalties, so staying informed and complying with tax regulations is essential.

  1. Non-Employed Individuals and Non-Self Assessment Filers:

If you don’t have employment income, receive a pension, or are not required to complete a self-assessment tax return, your bank or building society will play a crucial role in the tax process. At the end of the tax year, they will inform HMRC about the interest you’ve earned on your savings. HMRC will then assess whether you owe any tax on this interest and provide instructions on making the payment if necessary.

What if I Have Paid Too Much Tax on Savings Interest?

What if I Have Paid Too Much Tax on Savings Interest?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have paid too much tax on your savings interest, don’t panic just yet. The good news is that there are ways to rectify this and potentially get some of your hard-earned money back.

It’s important to determine why you may have overpaid. One common reason could be that your bank or building society has automatically deducted tax from the interest they pay you, even though it falls within your Personal Savings Allowance. In this case, contacting your financial institution and providing them with the necessary information about your allowance should help resolve the issue.

Another possibility is that you’ve already paid tax on income that has been taxed at source e.g., through PAYE (Pay As You Earn). If this is the case, you can claim a refund by completing a self-assessment tax return or by contacting HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) directly.


Understanding the Personal Savings Allowance is crucial for anyone looking to maximize their savings and minimize their tax liability in the UK. This allowance allows individuals to earn a certain amount of interest on their savings without having to pay any tax on it.

By knowing how much your Personal Savings Allowance is, you can take advantage of different rates offered by banks and effectively build your savings. It’s important to keep track of the interest the allowance covers and be aware of what happens if you exceed it.


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