I'm preparing 2008-09 tax returns for my clients (that's the ones for the tax year 6th April 2008 - 5th April 2009).
What I'm used to seeing is that if a self-employed client's income tax and class 4 NIC is over £500 for the year, they would make payments on account.
After their first year of trading, they would pay, let's say, £600 on 31st January for that first year's tax, and £300 on the same day for half the current (second) year's tax. Then another £300 on 31st July. And then let's say the tax liability for the second tax year was £700. They've already paid £600 of that - those are the £300 instalments. That's a very brief explanation of payments on account.
But today, I was preparing a client's 2008-09 tax return and spotted that, although his income tax and class 4 NIC amounted to almost £700, the software said no payments on account were required?
[scratches forehead and wonders if she's done something silly...]
So I double-checked HMRC's website just to make sure.
For 2008-09 onwards, the threshold at which payments on account become due is £1,000 - not £500.
Goodo. No payments on account for not-very-well-off client. Phew.