1.7m Pensioners: Tax return distress unceasingly continues


Filing a yearly tax return is a total hassle and annoyance at the best of times. The whole procedure is a burden for older people who may, in any case, have a minimal amount of tax to pay. 1.7 million pensioners are still obliged to file a return as what recent figures show.  Of those pensioners, 17% are over the age of 80, according to a Freedom of Information response obtained by mutual insurer Royal London.

Those who do not meet the standard criteria for pay-as-you-earn taxable income, self-assessment tax returns are filled out, such as those who are self-employed. Pensioners will be obliged to fill one in if they fail to stop working on an ad-hoc basis or have another head spring of revenues.

There are almost thirty thousand of people receiving the state pension also need to fill in return as the amount or quantity they receive is higher than the personal allowance of £11,500. The elderly or adults represent a bigger portion of income taxpayers, and retired people now account for 22pc of the 30m eligible to pay in Britain, up from just 12pc in 1990.

In the 2015 total estimated income and expenditure, as part of a roll-out of a digital taxation system, Retired Chancellor George Osborne stated the Government’s decision to scrap the self-assessment returns. But critics say this was never going to solve the issue of too many older adults having to submit a return.

One of the great founders of charity Tax Help for the Elderly, Paddy Millard said that there are some reasons the previous generation might strive.

He commented, “When you get older you lose competence and confidence, particularly with tax. Many a woman, mostly elders, outlive their husbands and are less likely to have ever handled tax.

“HMRC could do and work more to make the process simpler for those who have “predictable untaxed income,” Mr Millard said. As it came in another country, for example, a foreign pension cannot be taxed at source, and a pensioner is getting one is assumed to fill in return. However, their income remains clear, and Mr Millard said this should be made less complicated somehow.

The spokesperson said: “We are taking thousands of them out of self-assessment every year and the vast and huge majority of pensioners do not need to fill in tax returns. “We offer a big range of support for those who need to accomplish a tax return through our website, helplines and home visits.”