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TaxRobin, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 17633
Experience:  International tax
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Self assessment tax and child maintenance

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Hi. I am having a slight isue in relation to self assessment tax that I need to pay due to an underpayment at the 2013-2014 and child maintenance given to my ex. The underpayment mainly relates to a bonus that I received at the end of last year that removed any tax credits.  In the consent order, it is agreed that I will pay 25% child maintenance for 2014 on my net salary - as I did in 2013. So a few questions:

* If I pay the tax (about £3000) can I off-set that as part of my net salary?

* Can i remove the small car allowance from net salary since I have 2 lines on my payslip - salary & car allowance.

* Is bonus considered salary?

The exact phrasing in the consent order is: "For 2014 it will be agreed that this will equal a sum equivalent to 25% of net salary" My ex received all our assets valued at around £200K and I just kept a 30K pension fund that was the same size as hers. It was the only way the kids could remain in the Family Home. She also gets child maintenance and an additional undertaking to contribute to the mortgage (undertaking, not spousal maintenance) until March 2015 which means she gets >50% of my monthly salary - so I am not trying to be mean by asking this -just trying to keep afloat since the tax means she will be getting a lot more than she should have! Thanks.

Unfortunately you cannot subtract the tax you owe to offset your income. Your income is not assessed for maintenance on your net income after tax and other deductions, but on your income before tax.
Child Maintenance is based upon your net weekly income. If you are employed, this includes your wage, any bonuses or overtime and statutory sick pay. Income tax, national insurance and any pension payments are disregarded.
Your car allowance is not removed form the calculation.
I know you waited awhile to receive an answer and I sincerely ***** ***** answer would have been more of a benefit for you or in your favor.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. In the meantime I have been looking into this and it seems bizarre that they have put in the consent order that I will pay 25% of net salary. I have gone on the child maintenance calculator site and as you say, its based on gross income. Since the consent order was approved by the court only 2 months ago, I am not sure what i should follow - the legally binding consent order referring to net or the child maintenance calculator, the child maintenance calculator will give her slightly more, so I will go with that I guess! Thanks.

You are most welcome.
My goal is to give you excellent service.
As I said, I sincerely ***** ***** could tell you differently.
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