31-Jan tax: Can it be reduced?

2nd December 2022

For those clients that prepare self-assessment personal tax returns, 31 January is usually tax payment day. This tax will primarily be based on your personal income for the tax year ended 5 April 2022, potentially made up of 2 components:

  • The balancing payment for 2021/22 (total 2021/22 tax less 31-Jan-22 and 31-Jul-22 payments on account).
  • If your 2021/22 tax bill exceeded £1,000, you will also be paying the 1st payment on account for 2022/23 (calculated at 50% of the 2021/22 year tax liability).

So what can potentially be done at this 11th hour to reduce your overall payment:

  • Reducing balancing payment, to reflect:
    • If your 2022 tax return has not yet been submitted:
      •  Gift aid donations to charity between 6 April 2022 and the date your 2022 tax return will be submitted, which can be carried back 1 tax year,
    • Irrespective of whether or not your 2022 tax return has already been submitted:
      • Taking provisional relief for any expected following year’s self employed business trading loss, on which a 1 year carry back claim will be made on your 2023 tax return,
      • Crystallising a capital loss, by making a negligible value claim, on subscriber shares, and claiming this as an income loss rather than capital loss,
      • Making EIS or SEIS investments during 2022/23 and carrying back the initial income tax relief tax claim 1 tax year.
  • Reducing payment on account (not due at all if prior year tax liability is less than £1,000, or more than 80% collected through PAYE), to reflect:
    • This will automatically reduce if you reduce the aforementioned balancing payment.
    • An SA303 claim to reduce this can easily be made if you believe your 2022/23 tax liability will be lower than 2021/22 (eg due to lower income in 22-23 than 21-22 or due to making a larger pension contribution or charitable donation in 22-23). If you over-estimate this reduction, late payment interest will be added by HMRC at a later date.

As with all taxes, if you cannot pay the full amount on time, HMRC should be contacted in advance to see if a ‘time to pay’ arrangement can be put in place.

Disclaimer - All information in this post was correct at time of writing.
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