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If you pay most of your tax through Self-Assessment and your tax bill is more than £1,000, you’ll be familiar with Payment on Account (POA). These are payments made by taxpayers to HMRC in advance towards their end-of-year tax bill.

POA are due twice a year, usually by midnight on 31 January within the given tax year and 31 of July after it’s ended. Each of these payments is equal to half the previous year’s tax bill. Payments on Account include Class 4 National Insurance Contributions, but not student loan repayments or Capital Gains Tax.

The deadline for the 2022-23 July payment due before midnight on the 31st is fast approaching, so what do you need to do to prepare for it?

Calculating Payment on Account

The amount due on your POA is based on your bill for the previous tax year. This is because HMRC assumes you’ll continue to earn at the same rate for the coming year as you did the previous year and will therefore owe a similar amount in tax.

If your earnings have dropped, however, you could find your POA estimate is more than you owe.

You can apply to reduce your POA to bring it more in line with your expected earnings. But underpaying can result in HMRC charging interest on the outstanding sum.

Completing your tax return as soon as possible is one of the best ways to reduce your POA so it reflects your genuine earnings. This will give you a more accurate position on your payment and ensure HMRC has the most up-to-date figures for your tax affairs.

It will also ensure you’re not hit with a hefty tax bill – or fines – at a time when cashflow could be an issue.

Completing your Tax Return and POA

Self-Assessment Tax Returns are notoriously tricky and time-consuming, so it’s unsurprising they’re often left until the last minute.

At CTT Accountancy – a firm of qualified, chartered, certified accountants – will complete your Self-Assessment Tax Return and calculate your POA at the same time. And in cases where the POA can be reduced, we’ll apply for that reduction on your behalf, so you can be sure both your Tax Return and POA are accurate and compliant.

Once we’ve calculated the POA owed for both July and January, we’ll relay these figures to you so you can pay the correct tax owed to HMRC online before July 31. You’ll also be able to use this information to budget for your January POA payments and avoid any nasty surprises.

For help completing your Self-Assessment Tax Returns and accurately calculating your POA before July 31, speak to a member of the CTT Accountancy team today.