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Tax Assessment (Assumptions)

Volume 927: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the practice of Her Majesty's inspector of taxes in issuing coding notices for 1977–78 of assessing individuals for possible rises in both superannuation payments and State retirement pensions, on what basis the estimate of State pension rises is made; and if he will make a statement.

Since the age allowance is reduced by reference to the amount by which the total income exceeds £3,250, the inspector must, in determining the code number to be allocated to a taxpayer over 65 years of age whose income is likely to exceed this figure, make an estimate of his income, including any pension. The estimate is based on broad assumptions as to the likely increase in total income, rather than on specific assumptions as to particular sources of income. If the income is under-estimated, the taxpayer may be faced with an underpayment of tax at the end of the year. It is, of course, open to any taxpayer to appeal against his coding if he considers it is incorrect.