Curiouser and Curiouser

Robin Williamson considers the curious interactions between tax and social security benefits like the state retirement pension

Practitioners may occasionally be called upon to advise clients on how welfare benefits they receive are treated for tax purposes. Some might argue that social security is not within the province of a tax adviser, but those who wish to provide a complete service to their clients in respect of their financial affairs may wish to equip themselves at least with a basic knowledge. After all, anyone can experience a change in circumstances that might necessitate claiming a working-age benefit, and most people will claim retirement benefits such as the state retirement pension at some point in their lives (if they do not, their spouse or civil partner might need to claim bereavement benefits on their death before retirement age).