Changes to payments in lieu of notice on termination

21 March 2018

The tax treatment of payments in lieu of notice (‘PILONs’) made to employees on termination of their employment will change on 6 April.

The tax treatment will no longer depend on the category of PILON or its contractual status. Instead tax will be charged on the basic pay the employee would have received if he or she had worked his or her notice. When notice is not worked, you must now treat a part of the termination payment (excluding statutory redundancy pay and approved contractual pay) as an amount to reflect the basic pay for the notice period, and you must tax it.

There is a formula set out in the relevant tax legislation (Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003) to guide you. Basic pay is employment income, not including overtime, bonuses, commissions etc.

You should follow HMRC guidance which will assist with the calculations and provide you with more information on the trickier areas, such as how to deal with contributions to pension schemes on termination. Your payroll teams should take tax advice on the relevant changes and ensure their payroll systems are updated before 6 April.

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