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Mind the gap. Missed out on year-end tax / NIC top ups?
NOT YET !
Although you have passed the 5th April deadline, because of the extraordinary number of people seeking advice from HMRC, you now have until 31st July to act.
In a press release on 7 March, the government announced the original cut off for making certain voluntary NICs is being pushed back from 5 April 2023 to 31 July 2023. That’s an additional 3 months to act and take full advantage of allowances you thought you had missed.
Explaining the decision, Victoria Atkins, financial secretary to the Treasury said:
“We’ve listened to concerned members of the public and have acted. We recognise how important State pensions are for retired individuals, which is why we are giving people more time to fill any gaps in their national insurance record to help bolster their entitlement.”
Plugging the Gaps
You can normally only go back six years to fill gaps in your NI record. For instance, you have until 5 April 2025 to make voluntary NICs for the 2018 to 2019 tax year.
But the government, as part of transitional arrangements to the new State pension, is allowing you to plug any incomplete years between April 2006 and April 2016, as long as you act before 31 July.
If you’ve been in full-time work, employed or self-employed, for most of your adult life then you should have paid enough NICs to qualify for the full State pension. If you have had work breaks for long term sickness, unemployment, extended travel or time out to raise a family, there may be gaps that this opportunity allows you to plug.
Note, that if you took a career break to raise children, you can still receive NI credit until the child reaches age 12 provided you claimed child benefit during this period.
Further, to help people fill gaps in their NIC record and thereby gain more State pension, the government relaxed the normal rule that voluntary NICs to infill missing years could be backdated by no more than six years. Instead, voluntary contributions covering the ten years before the start of the new regime could be made at any time up to 5 April 2023.
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