Surprise boost in government finances

The UK government saw a surprise surplus in its finances in January as tax receipts boosted the public coffers. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a surplus of £5.4bn for the month, raising speculation that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt may have room for a few giveaways in the Spring Budget which takes place on 15 March.

Receipts up across the board

Total HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receipts for the 2022-23 tax year to date (April to January) totalled £660.0bn, which is £65.1bn higher than in the same period a year earlier.

Total receipts for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance contributions were up by £45.9bn for this period, which equates to a 14% increase year-on-year.  Inheritance Tax has brought in a total of £5.9bn for the current tax year so far, which is £0.9bn higher year-on-year and an increase of 17% on the same period in 2021-22.

Record tax returns filed

A record 11.7 million customers submitted their tax returns on time, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed. On 31 January, 861,085 customers filed online to meet the deadline, some with only minutes to spare.

The Self-Assessment payment deadline was also 31 January. The penalties for late payment can mount up quickly, so if you have tax to pay you should do that as a priority. There are several ways including – online, using the HMRC app, by bank transfer, or at a bank. A full list of payment options is available here.

If you’re up to date with previous payments, you can plan ahead for your next tax bill by setting up a regular payment plan to help spread the cost. 

Take sensible steps before the end of the tax year

The end of the tax year is only a few weeks away so it’s vital to ensure you are in the best place possible to take advantage of any allowances, exemptions and reliefs available to avoid paying more tax than is necessary.

Sensible tax planning can help to reduce the amount of tax you pay and safeguard your wealth for the future. We can help – please get in touch.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation, are subject to change. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning.