The relevant deadline for notifying USS that you want to use Scheme Pays will depend on if you are using Mandatory Scheme Pays or Voluntary Scheme Pays.
You can use Mandatory Scheme Pays if:
- you have exceeded the standard Annual Allowance limit. From 6 April 2023 the Annual Allowance limit increased to £60,000, between the 2014/15 and 2022/23 tax years the limit was £40,000: and
- your tax charge is £2,000 or more.
You can use Voluntary Scheme Pays if:
- the Tapered Annual Allowance applies to you and you have exceeded it; or
- your tax charge is between £1-2,000.
If you are using Mandatory Scheme Pays the deadline is 31 July in the year following the end of the tax year in which the charge arises. If you are using Voluntary Scheme Pays, then the deadline is 15 December immediately after the end of the tax year in which the charge arises.
- Fill in and return the Scheme Pays election form by the relevant deadline (depending on if you are using Mandatory or Voluntary Scheme Pays). You’ll find your Investment Builder pot value in My USS.
- Complete a self-assessment tax return by 31 January the following tax year. For example, if your tax charge related to the Annual Allowance for the 2021/22 tax year you should complete your self-assessment by 31 January 2023. The date is the same whether you are using Voluntary or Mandatory Scheme Pays. Our tax reference is 00330004RR.
- Let HMRC know the amount of the AA charge we’re covering. It’s your responsibility to make sure the charge is worked out correctly.
Just so you know, we may still process your Scheme Pays if you miss the deadline – but you may be charged a penalty by HMRC. You’ll need to speak to HMRC directly about this.
If you are using Voluntary Scheme Pays, we will aim to pay the charge to HMRC at the end of the quarter your election is accepted. This may be after the self- assessment tax return deadline of 31 January and you will be responsible for any interest/penalties imposed by HMRC as a result of late payment.
Once you’ve applied, you may be able to make changes to your application – but you won’t be able to cancel it.