Reader Q: Can I claim tax relief on pension contributions from previous tax years?

2 min Read Published: 10 Jul 2012

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Reader Question:

How do I go about claiming higher rate tax relief on my private pension? I have 5 year's worth of contributions to seek relief on. Thanks.

 

My response:

When you contribute to a private pension, the provider claims basic rate tax relief (20%) on your behalf. As such higher rate tax payers have to reclaim the additional tax relief by completing a self assessment tax return. The deadline for completing a self assessment tax return is 31st January following the end of the tax year in which the contribution was made.

(Members of occupational money purchase schemes receive full tax relief on contributions via their payroll).

If you have not claimed higher rate tax relief for a previous tax year it is possible to make a claim - subject to certain time limits. But the time limit depends on whether you completed a tax return as shown below.

Unfortunately for you, you will be unable to backdate the claim 5 years. To make a claim for tax relief for previous tax years you should write to your tax office with the relevant details and account to pay the relief into.

Time limits for getting tax relief if you complete a tax return

Tax year Tax year ended on You must claim by:
2007-08 5 April 2008 5 April 2012
2008-09 5 April 2009 5 April 2013
2009-10 5 April 2010 5 April 2014
2010-11 5 April 2011 5 April 2015

Time limits for getting tax relief if you don't complete a tax return

Tax year Tax year ended on You must claim by:
2005-06 5 April 2006 31 January 2012
2006-07 5 April 2007 31 March 2012
2007-08 5 April 2008 5 April 2012
2008-09 5 April 2009 5 April 2013
2009-10 5 April 2010 5 April 2014
2010-11 5 April 2011 5 April 2015

 

I hope that helps

Damien

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