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Six quick ways to check you are not paying HMRC or local council too much money
Simple things like tax codes, allowances and Council Tax discounts could boost your finances.
Boost your income before summer by claiming benefits, discounts or reductions
To combat the cost of living crisis make sure you are maximising your income and not missing out.
Older people can no longer claim these DWP benefits when they reach State Pension age
There are two benefits you may be eligible to claim now that could carry over when you reach 66.
Martin Lewis urges seven million people to do ten minute benefits check
Financial expert Martin Lewis has said that seven million people across the UK are not getting benefits they are entitled…
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People claiming new disability payment may also be eligible for wide range of extra support
An award for Adult Disability Payment could lead to benefit top-ups, travel discounts and Council Tax reductions.
People of State Pension age with joint pain could get up to £92 each week from DWP
Nearly 1.4m people across the UK currently receive either £247 or £369 every four weeks from Attendance Allowance.
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Six ways to check you're not paying too much tax

By Linda Howard & Ryan O'Neill

With costs of living increasing pressure on millions of households, people are being warned they could be paying too much tax. Rising supermarket costs, energy bills and council tax rates have left many people struggling financially, with experts warning of further rises later this year.

With so many extra outgoings, it's important to check whether you might be paying too much tax either to HMRC, the government or your local authority. There are a number of ways you can make sure you aren’t overpaying, the Daily Record reports. Perrys Chartered Accountants have put together a list of ways you can save money on your tax liabilities, particularly if you're one of the many struggling to meet your monthly costs.

Read more: 'I can't afford to eat sometimes' The people on the front line of the crippling cost-of-living crisis

Here's six great ways you can check whether or not you're paying too much tax.

Check your tax code

If you’re a full or part-time employee you’re likely to be paying tax via pay-as-you-earn (PAYE). This means your income tax is deducted at source and goes straight to HMRC.

Your tax code is essentially a few numbers and a letter, for example 1257L, and it’s shown on your payslip. Those few digits can make quite a difference to the amount of tax you’re paying, and it’s not uncommon for errors to creep in.

For example, if you once had a company car with a fuel-guzzling engine but have switched to an eco-friendly model, your tax code should be adjusted to ensure you are paying less If in doubt about your tax code, speak to your employer or check your tax code on GOV.UK here.

Claim allowable expenses

For self-employed workers, there are a host of allowable expenses that can help to bring your tax bill down. These expenses include office running costs, train fares and website fees, and should be taken off your overall profit, meaning you only pay tax on the amount left over after these costs. Find out more about these on GOV.UK here.

Check if you’re eligible for tax-free childcare

If you have children and pay for nursery, childminding, or wraparound care, you may be eligible for tax-free childcare. Under this scheme, the UK government will pay 20% towards your childcare costs up to a maximum of £2,000 per year, per eligible child.

Tax-free childcare is just one of several childcare schemes available - working parents may also be eligible for varying amounts of free childcare and tax credits. Use the government’s childcare calculator to find out which option is best for your family. Find out more on GOV.UK here. For all the latest news and tips on benefits, money-saving and finance straight to your inbox, sign up for our WalesOnline Money newsletter twice a week here.

Pay into a pension

Most UK taxpayers get tax relief on the money they pay into a pension fund, which means the UK government tops up payments into your retirement savings pot.

For basic rate taxpayers, the top-up is 20% - HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will add £20 for every £80 you pay into a pension fund. As well as this form of tax relief, saving for retirement can actually cut the annual tax bill for those earning over £100,000 a year. This is because the personal allowance (the tax-free annual earnings allowance currently set at £12,570) is gradually reduced by £1 for every £2 earned over £100,000.

Pension contributions reduce your taxable income, so if these contributions keep your annual income below £100,000, you will benefit from the maximum level of personal allowance. Paying more into a pension pot can have implications for child benefit too. Currently, monthly child benefit payments are gradually reduced if the higher-earning parent receives over £50,000 annually, and by the time the income hits £60,000 any entitlement disappears completely.

By paying more into a pension fund, it might be possible to keep your taxable salary just below £50,000, ensuring you receive the full child benefit entitlement, while also boosting your pension savings for later years.

Make the most of your marriage or civil partnership

The marriage allowance is a tax break that lets a husband, wife or civil partner transfer £1,260 of their personal allowance to the higher earning partner. To qualify you must not pay income tax or your income must be below the personal allowance (£12,570).

Your partner should pay income tax at the basic rate, which means their income is between £12,571 and £50,270 before receiving marriage allowance. The marriage tax allowance can be worth up to £252 in tax savings per year, yet around 2.4 million qualifying couples are failing to claim the benefit. However, claims can be backdated for up to four years. Find out more about claiming marriage tax allowance on GOV.UK here.

Save if you’re single

While not connected to HMRC, if you live alone you should be eligible for the s ingle person discount on council tax, which gives claimants 25% off their annual bill. Contact your local council to find out more and apply. It’s usually found on your council tax account page.

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Dive Deeper:
Six quick ways to check you are not paying HMRC or local council too much money
Simple things like tax codes, allowances and Council Tax discounts could boost your finances.
Boost your income before summer by claiming benefits, discounts or reductions
To combat the cost of living crisis make sure you are maximising your income and not missing out.
Older people can no longer claim these DWP benefits when they reach State Pension age
There are two benefits you may be eligible to claim now that could carry over when you reach 66.
Martin Lewis urges seven million people to do ten minute benefits check
Financial expert Martin Lewis has said that seven million people across the UK are not getting benefits they are entitled…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
People claiming new disability payment may also be eligible for wide range of extra support
An award for Adult Disability Payment could lead to benefit top-ups, travel discounts and Council Tax reductions.
People of State Pension age with joint pain could get up to £92 each week from DWP
Nearly 1.4m people across the UK currently receive either £247 or £369 every four weeks from Attendance Allowance.
Get all your news in one place