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State Pension 53 week year

State Pension 53 week year

I am sure most readers will be aware that care has to be taken when establishing the total amount of state pension to include in tax returns where the actual pension advice is not seen. In particular, clients (and junior tax staff) sometimes calculate the figure by taking the monthly amount and multiplying by twelve whereas the payments should be multiplied by thirteen to give 52 weeks. Also, there is usually one payment that straddles the end of each tax year which is different to the usual 4-weekly amount, adding to client/staff confusion. So to ensure that we have included the 52 weeks attributable to the particular tax year we usually have to speak to the client to find out the correct weekly amount.

During such a discussion with a client, I realised that there were in fact 53 Mondays in 2008/09 so the total should be 53 times the weekly amount for that year. My problem is that when we include 53 weeks we invariably arrive at a figure greater than that used in PAYE coding notices. It seems that the Revenue may have used 52 weeks although the few cases I have looked at do not seem to match up precisely. If it is widespread practice of the Revenue to include only 52 weeks, many non-self-assessment taxpayers will have underpaid tax in 2008/09. So, on the basis that all taxpayers should be treated equally, are there grounds for excluding the extra week in 2008/09 SA cases?


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By vince8
13th Jul 2009 12:51

Not sure how you got 53 weeks
start with the first monday ie 7 April 2008 and you get 52 weeks. Forget about there ever being more or less than 52 weeks, you are just looking for complications that are not there. If you do not have the pension increase notification just ask the client for the 4 weekly amount they were receiving at a time other than the start and finish. For 2009/10 the pension increase is from monday 6 April.

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By Anonymous
13th Jul 2009 13:11

Agreed but question still valid
Thanks for that and apologies. I should not have accepted what someone had told me about the 53 weeks in 2008/09 without checking it myself - it will in fact be 53 weeks in 2009-10. I have however looked at a coding notice for 2009-10 and it shows precisely 52 times the weekly amount. So my question is still valid albeit perhaps premature!

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07th Jun 2010 20:59

But is it Mondays

Pension is paid on a Thursday, so I would have thought you had to find out the number of Thursdays in the tax year.

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09th Jun 2010 16:10

State pension is based on entitlement and most pensionsers are entitled to received their pensions on a Monday.  That would suggest declaring 53 weeks.

The self-assessment guide instructs us to put 53 weeks' pension in box 7 of the main tax return.

However, I have just looked up the "information to help complete your tax return" on a client's record on the HMRC website.  They have helpfully told us the figure to include for state pension.  This figure works out at 52 times the weekly amount.

This leaves us in a dilmemma.  If we use 52 weeks, we may have underdeclared the clients' income.  If we use 53 weeks, we risk having our declared state pension figure subject to a "correction" by the HMRC computer.

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09th Jun 2010 16:39


Where is the pension information shown? I have never seen this on the HMRC online system, but it would be very useful.


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