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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment: the legal framework

Payment of tax: balancing payments

A balancing payment (or repayment) is made to reflect tax liability calculated in the self assessment for the year

Section 59B(1)

Apart from cases wholly dealt with through PAYE, it is exceptional if, in any year, the income tax paid at source and/or in payments on account is precisely equal to the actual income tax liability for that year. In most cases an additional payment (or repayment/set-off) of income tax is required once the actual income tax liability has been calculated in the self assessment return. In addition any capital gains tax and/or student loan repayments due are payable as part of the balancing payment.

Any additional tax is due as a final balancing payment (or in the case of overpaid tax, it is repaid). The amount due or overpaid is the difference between:

  • the amount of income tax and capital gains tax shown by the self assessment included in the return, and
  • the amounts already paid on account and any income tax deducted at source in respect of that year.

Balancing payment takes tax deduction at source into account

Section 59B(2) & (7)

The calculation of the balancing payment takes into account any tax deducted at source in the tax year to which the tax return relates. The amount taken into account in the calculation of the balancing payment includes any tax to be coded out in a future year, but excludes any amounts deducted at source during the year in respect of previous years.

The tax deducted at source includes tax treated as deducted, or treated as paid on any income.

Due dates for payment

Section 59B(3), (4), (5) & (6) and Schedule 3ZA

The due date for payment depends on the precise way in which the charge arises. In the usual case the due and payable date will be the 31 January next following the year of assessment.

But where a notice to file is issued after 31 October following the tax year to which it relates, and there has been no failure to notify chargeability under Section 7, the due and payable date is three months from the date the notice to file was delivered (again, the same as the filing date for such returns).

In any case where an amendment or correction of a self assessment has been made (whether made by the HMRC or by the taxpayer), or where an assessment is made by HMRC under Section 29, the due and payable date for additional tax that is not postponed is the later of the normal due dates given above, or 30 days from the date on which the notice of amendment is given.

Example: Calculation of balancing payments

Consider a taxpayer whose self assessment shows:

Income tax assessed for 2004-05 £7,450
Capital gains tax assessed for 2004-05 £5,250
Class 4 NICs assessed for 2004-05 £600.
Tax deducted at source £640

who has made payments on account as follows:

31 January 2005 £3,000 (+ £275 in respect of NICs)
31 July 2005 £3,000 (+ £275 in respect of NICs).


and who has tax deducted at source of £640 for the year.


The balancing payments due on the 31 January 2006 are:

  Tax NICs
Income tax £7,450  
Capital gains tax £5,250  
Class 4 NICs   £600
payments on account (£6,000) (£550)
tax deducted at source (£640)  
Balancing Payment Required £6,060 £50

Interest charged on late payment of tax and paid on overpayments of tax

Section 86 and ICTA88/S824

Interest is charged on unpaid balancing payments from the due date until payment. Similarly repayment interest is paid on any balancing overpayments. See SALF306 for details of when repayment interest is paid and the period it is paid for.

Any overpayment (including repayment interest) may be set off against the following year’s payment on account.

Section 101 and 102 FA 2009

A new harmonised interest regime is in force from 31 October 2011. Section 101 and Schedule 53 contain the rules for late payment interest on sums due to HMRC. Section 104 and Schedule 54 contain the rules for repayment interest on sums to be paid by HMRC.