If you have taxable income of less than £17,570 in 2021-22 you will have no tax to pay on interest received. This figure is calculated by adding the £5,000 starting rate limit for savings (where 0% of the interest is taxable) to the current £12,570 personal allowance. However, it is important to note that if your total non-savings income exceeds £17,570 then the starting rate limit for savings is unavailable.
There is a tapered relief available if your non-savings income is between £17,570 and £12,570 whereby every £1 of non-savings income above a taxpayer's personal allowance reduces their starting rate for savings by £1.
There is also a Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) that can be beneficial to many savers. This allowance ensures that for basic-rate taxpayers the first £1,000 interest on savings income is tax-free. For higher-rate taxpayers the tax-free personal savings allowance is £500. Taxpayers earning over £150,000 do not benefit from the PSA.
Interest from savings products such as ISA's and premium bond wins do not count towards the limit. So, taxpayers with tax-free accounts and higher savings can still continue to benefit from the relevant PSA limits.
Banks and building societies no longer deduct tax from bank account interest as a matter of course. Taxpayers who need to pay tax on savings income are required to declare this as part of their annual Self-Assessment tax return.
Taxpayers that have overpaid tax on savings interest can submit a claim to have the tax repaid. Claims can be backdated for up to four years from the end of the current tax year. This means that claims can still be made for overpaid interest dating back as far as the 2017-18 tax year. The deadline for making claims for the 2017-18 tax year is 5 April 2022.