Pensions

Nearly 2 million pensioners have to complete a tax return

1.7 million pensioners have to complete a tax return, according to Sir Steve Webb.

Pensioners used to be around one in nine of all taxpayers and now they are more than one in five and they are now facing the “misery” of filling in annual tax return.

This is revealed in a Freedom of Information request by Sir Steve, former pensions minister and director of policy at Royal London with data based on May 2017 figures.

It also means more than a quarter of million pensioners over the age of 80 have to submit an annual tax return.

Sir Steve said: “This is a mixture of a growth in the pension population, a rise in pensioner incomes and the effects of the ‘granny tax’ where George Osborne froze pensioner tax-free allowances in the 2012 Budget.”

He adds: “Even ‘old age’ doesn’t get you off the joys of the annual tax return.”

But he added that one a positive note, this showed many pensioners are no longer a financial burden to society but contributing to the economic well-being and prosperity of the country.

Sir Steve encouraged people to access a P60 for each employment / pension (with details of their taxable income for 16/17) and a P11D (with details of benefits in kind).

He said: “Get these now and keep them safe to reduce the frustration of filling in a form on the 31 January deadline only to realise you don’t have the necessary paperwork!”

stephanie.hawthorne@ft.com

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