Expat Taxes

HMRC late payment interest rates increase

 

 

Today, HMRC announced an increase in its interest rates, due to another increase in the Bank of England base rate, from 4.25% to 4.5%.

 

The new rates will take effect from Monday, 22nd May 2023, for quarterly instalment payments.

 

The new rates will take effect from Wednesday, 31st May 2023, for non-quarterly instalments payments.

 

 

The two new increased rates of interest are:

  • Late Payment Interest which is set at base rate plus 2.5%.  This will increase from 6.75% to 7% on 31st May 2023.

  • Repayment Interest which is set at base rate minus 1% with a lower limit of 0.5% (known as the ‘minimum floor’).  This will increase to from 3.25% to 3.5% from 31st May 2023.

 

 

For further information, please click: HMRC late payment interest rates to be revised after Bank of England increases base rate – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

UK Tax – Deadline extension for voluntary National Insurance contributions – 31st July 2023

 

 

In 2016 the ‘New State Pension’ was introduced.  As part of transitional arrangements to the new State Pension, taxpayers have been able to make voluntary contributions in relation to any incomplete years in their National Insurance record between April 2006 and April 2016.

 

Anyone who is retiring on or after 6th April 2016, under the ‘new State Pension’ rules, requires approximately thirty five qualifying years to claim the full state pension.

 

The U.K. government has extended the voluntary National Insurance contribution deadline from 5th April 2023 to 31st July 2023. This will allow taxpayers more time to fill gaps in their NI records to maximise the amount they will receive in State Pension.

 

Therefore, if you’re a man born after 5th April 1951 or a woman born after 5th April 1953 you have until 31st July 2023 to pay voluntary contributions to make up for gaps between tax years April 2006 and April 2016, providing you’re eligible.

 

Where there are gaps in an individual’s National Insurance record, voluntary NICs can be paid to be eligible for a higher State Pension or entitlement to other state benefits.  Therefore, anyone with gaps in their National Insurance record from April 2006 onwards still has time to fill the gaps and increase their State Pension.

 

After 31st July 2023 you’ll only be able to pay for voluntary contributions for the past six years which may not be sufficient to qualify for a new State Pension if you have less than four qualifying years on your National Insurance record. Normally, you would require at least ten qualifying years in total.

 

Please be aware that any payments made will be at the lower 2022 to 2023 tax year rates.  In other words, where the rates of voluntary National Insurance contributions were due to go to up from 6th April 2023, payments made by 31st July 2023 will be paid at the lower rate.

 

 

 

Actions for taxpayers to take before 31st July 2023: 

 

  1. Check your NI record. Taxpayers can check their National Insurance record, via the HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account.

 

  1. Identify any discrepancies between NI contributions paid and those showing on HMRC’s system.

 

  1. Identify any NI credits that are missing from periods in which they should have been received.

 

  1. Identify any shortfalls in contributions.

 

  1. Confirm that you are eligible to pay voluntary contributions in respect of any gaps.

 

  1. Contact HMRC if you think there are any errors.

 

  1. Decide whether to make voluntary NI contributions. Establish how much making the voluntary contributions will cost and consider making up any shortfall by 31st July 2023, particularly for the period April 2006 to April 2017 before this opportunity is lost.

 

 

 

To look at your personal tax account to view your National Insurance record and obtain a state pension forecast, without charge, please click link: https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

 

 

The Future Pension Centre can tell you if paying for extra national insurance years will increase your state pension entitlement.  For full details, please click: https://www.gov.uk/future-pension-centre

 

 

Based on the information you receive from HMRC, if you have returned to Ireland and you decide to top up your pension contributions before the deadline date, please find link to Application Form: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1102905/CF83.pdf

 

 

 

Please click for full HMRC guidance material which may be relevant to you if you have returned from working in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/social-security-abroad-ni38/guidance-on-social-security-abroad-ni38#deciding-whether-to-pay-voluntary-national-insurance-contributions

 

 

 

 

Why is it so important to act before 31st July 2023?

The ability to buy back years by looking back to 2006 is scheduled to end on 31st July 2023. After the cut-off date, it will only be possible to pay for gaps in your National Insurance record by looking at the past six years. This means that you could lose out on the opportunity to maximise your UK State Pension for gap years before 2017.