Many newly retired pensioners may not be aware that the State Pension they receive is taxable income. Also, the amount paid is not taxed at source. Although a pensioner’s State Pension may be covered by their annual tax-free personal allowance (£11,000 for 2016-17) and therefore potentially no tax would be payable, the situation is more complex if other private pensions and investment income are received. At the end of a tax year any tax collected by deduction from pensions may not be sufficient to clear liabilities.

The most common benefits that you pay Income Tax on are:

  • the State Pension
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (contribution based)
  • Incapacity Benefit (from the 29th week you get it)
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • pensions paid by the Industrial Death Benefit scheme
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s pension

The most common state benefits you don’t have to pay Income Tax on are:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
  • Income Support – though you may have to pay tax on Income Support if you’re involved in a strike
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Child Benefit (income based – use the Child Benefit tax calculator to see if you’ll have to pay tax)
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Winter Fuel Payments and Christmas Bonus
  • free TV licence for over-75s
  • lump-sum bereavement payments
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • War Widow’s Pension
  • Young Person’s Bridging Allowance

If you do receive a bill at the end of the tax year make sure you check HMRC’s calculations, they have been known to get it wrong!

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