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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Amount of pension income charged to tax: accruals basis and arrears of pension

Accruals basis

Where the amount of pension income charged to tax is the full amount accruing in the tax year (see EIM74101), the amount to be charged is the amount to which the pensioner is entitled in the tax year.

Arrears of pension

If a pension provider discovers a long-standing underpayment of pension, the underpayment is calculated and paid in a single sum. The provider is required to operate PAYE on the lump sum, which may give rise to higher rate liability for a pensioner who is usually a basic rate taxpayer. The pensioner should contact the tax office and supply a schedule showing the years to which underpayments are attributable. HMRC will spread the payments back over the relevant years and recalculate liability. Underpayments in the earlier years may be set-off against the resulting over-payment in the year of the lump-sum payment.