Budget 2008


Personal Income Tax

Tax Credits

National Insurance Contributions


Savings & Investments

Capital Gains Tax

Stamp Duty Land Tax

Inheritance Tax

Corporation Tax

Business Tax

Value Added Tax

Other Measures

Tax Tables

National Insurance

Other Measures

Filing deadline

As previously announced, self-assessment returns for tax year 2007/08 may still be filed online up to 31 January 2009. Returns in hard copy will have a new earlier deadline of 31 October 2008. The due dates for paying tax are not affected (31 January 2009 for the balancing payment of income tax and CGT for 2007/08).

Tax Tip
If you want to file a paper return, make sure you are ready on time.

Payments on account (POA)

Self-assessment taxpayers have to make two payments on account, on 31 January during the tax year and 31 July following, based on the self-assessment tax liability of the previous year. No POA are due if the previous year's liability does not exceed £500 or 20% of the total tax payable. The £500 limit will increase to £1,000 from 6 April 2009 onwards, i.e. for the 2009/10 payments on account due on 31 January 2010 and 31 July 2010. HMRC are introducing measures to allow payment of tax by credit card.

Errors and mistakes

At present, different time limits apply for HM Revenue & Customs to assess underpayments of the different taxes (income tax, corporation tax, VAT) and for taxpayers to reclaim overpayments. These time limits are to be rationalised with effect from 1 April 2010: for simple errors, the taxman and the taxpayer will have just four years to make a correction (currently up to six). For a failure to take reasonable care, the taxman will still have six years to assess income tax and corporation tax, but only four for VAT. The time limit remains 20 years for attempted fraud.

At the same time, penalties for incorrect returns and failing to notify liability will be reformed and made consistent across the taxes. The changes will apply to chargeable periods starting on or after 1 April 2009.


As usual, there were many press notices describing measures to close down artificial and complicated tax avoidance schemes. They are important to the Chancellor, but the details are likely only to be of interest to tax lawyers and very high earners.

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