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Your IRP5 has two fields on it that relate to Pay Periods:
Periods in year of assessment
No. of periods worked
Period employed from
Period employed to
A Pay Period describes an amount of time within a year that you were employed by your employer.
This can be an amount in:
DAYS - maximum 365, or 365.0000
WEEKS - maximum 52, or 52.000 (can show a partial number, e.g. 51.5436)
MONTHS - maximum 12, or 12.000 (can show a partial number, e.g. 11.2344)
YEARS - maximum 1, or 1.0000 (can show a partial number, e.g. 0.9352)
The periods in year of assessment can either show a full year (in days, weeks, months or a year), or a partial year (also in days, weeks, months or a fraction of a year). If you only worked for part of a tax year with an employer, the pay periods worked will show a partial year (so under 365 days, under 52 weeks, under 12 months and under 1 whole year).
The number of periods worked shows how many days, weeks, months or portion of a year you worked. This number will always be equal to or less than the previous number, the periods in year of assessment.
The period employed from is the earliest date within the tax year (note the tax year does not start on 1 January, but 1 March) that you were working for your employer.
The period employed to is the latest date within the tax year (note the tax year does not end on 31 December, but 28/29 February) that you were working for your employer.
Why is the date I enter not accepted? Please check the IRP5 you are entering - it may not be for the correct tax year. Look for the "Year of assessment" field at the top of your IRP5 - this will tell you the tax year. The tax year starts on 1 March and ends on the last day of February. You cannot enter a date for 1 January 2017 for your 2018 tax return because the 2018 tax year only started on 1 March 2017.
Why is my periods worked less than the periods in year of assessment? This is because you most probably only working part of the tax year for this employer during the employemnt period, so did not work all of the days that you could have worked had you worked a full year.
Where do I get the pay period number from? This number will be on your IRP5 document from your employer. You can not make it up, or calculate it, or recall it from memory and type it in.
My IRP5 says Period of Reconciliation This is not the pay period section. Please look further down your IRP5. That number is the wrong format (see above).
I earned another source of income after my salary ended. Should I extend my period employed? No. You must enter only what is on your IRP5 document, exactly as is.
I am a pensioner / I have an IT3a. Are the dates the same format? Yes these would be exactly the same format as the descriptions above.
I am self-employed. What pay period do I enter? If you did not work for an employer and thus have no IRP5 documents, then you do not need to complete this section fo your tax return. You will need to complete the Local Businesss section instead.
I had more than one employer. Which period do I enter? You need to enter your IRP5s one by one, one after the other. So answer ALL of the IRP5 questions for one IRP5, then move onto the next one.