Wealth Management

12 Days of Christmas: Seven Swans A-Swimming

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me, seven swans a-swimming. We mark Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas, with the seven swans and their representative gifts of grace, in particular that of giving through philanthropy.

12 Days of Christmas: Seven Swans A-Swimming

The seven swans are thought to represent the seven gifts of grace; prophecy, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership and showing mercy. Focusing on one of these,  “giving", at this festive time of year leads us to think of philanthropy or charitable giving.

Like many countries the UK is keen to incentivise philanthropy by providing various tax incentives. Philanthropy being the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

You will often pay the entrance fee to a museum, gallery or zoo under the gift aid scheme meaning that the institution can reclaim a 20% tax rebate on the amount you pay and you can claim additional tax relief if you are a 40% or 45% taxpayer.

Gift of shares relief allows you to claim income tax relief on the value of the shares you gift to a charity at your marginal tax rate - right up to 45%.

You could look to establish your own charitable trust or foundation if you have significant amounts (generally £2m and above) or work with a specialist provider in this space who can help with all the administration and establishment arrangements. Sometimes its good to swim against the current and give back to others gracefully, especially after this year which has taught us all so much about looking out for one another.

The value of an investment and the income from it can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount invested. This may be partly the result of exchange rate fluctuations in investments which have an exposure to foreign currencies.

If you would like to read the previous article for the sixth day of the '12 Days of Christmas: Six Geese A-Laying', please click here.