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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Special rules for determining the year that general earnings are

Sections 17 and 30 ITEPA 2003

General earnings for periods before an employment begins or after it has ceased

It’s possible for general earnings to be paid after an office or employment has ended or before it began, which cannot be attributable to any year in which the office or employment was held. There are special rules dealing with such pre-commencement and post-cessation receipts. They are:

The earnings are received after the office or employment ceased to be held

If the earnings are received after the office or employment ceased to be held, they are treated as being ‘for’ the last tax year in which the job was held. You must identify the relevant charging provision in Part 2 Chapter 4 or Chapter 5 for the last year it was held to determine whether the earnings are taxable. (For the year the earnings are charged to tax, see EIM42200 onwards.)

The earnings are received before the office or employment is held

If the earnings are received before the office or employment is held, they are treated as being “for” the first tax year in which the job is held. You must identify the relevant charging provision in Part 2 Chapter 4 or Chapter 5 for the first year it was held to determine whether the earnings are taxable. (For the year the earnings are charged to tax, see EIM42200 onwards.)

It’s unlikely the rules will often apply in practice because general earnings can normally be attributed to periods in which the job is held.