It seems crazy to me that banks give rewards and charges at the same time, wouldn’t lower charges be better?
The rules for Interest are covered by https://www.gov.uk/apply-tax-free-interest-on-savings
These rules include the Personal Savings Allowance and means (provided you aren’t an additional rate tax payer) you could get up to £1000 tax free (£500 for higher rate tax payers).
The problem with rewards is that it depends on what they are as to how they are treated
- If the reward is interest (calculated as a rate on the balance) then it should be paid gross, it will be savings income and eligible for the Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)
- If its a reward for depositing a certain amount each month or other activity then its not savings income and the bank should have deducted 20% before paying it under the annual payment rules. You will need to report this on your Self Assessment or R40 to reclaim the tax, this income is not with the PSA rules.
- If there is reward not related to the balance and there are also charges and fees on the account, it won’t meet the criteria for an annual payment and the bank won’t deduct 20% at source. You will need to declare it as ‘Miscellaneous Income’ on your self assessment return