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Volume 940: debated on Wednesday 30 November 1977

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider arranging for the tax year for retirement pensioners to run from November to November, in order to coincide with pension increases, and avoid the need to assess tax on anticipated rather than actual pension income.

No. It would not be possible to assess and collect tax on the income of a particular group of taxpayers by reference to a tax year other than that which applies generally. The hon. Member appears to be referring to the need to estimate a pensioner's income, including pension, for the year for the purpose of giving age allowance in the PAYE coding. Such an estimate would be required whatever the starting point of the tax year, since the allowance is subject to an income limit. If the estimate proves incorrect, the necessary adjustment is made by assessment after the end of the year.