Post Office Compensation – What’s the Latest?

The aftermath of the Post Office Horizon scandal has naturally affected many employees. However, along with the plan to overturn their convictions, the government has assured compensation. However, the tax treatment for the compensation will now be part of the new legislation.

Sub-postmasters cannot apply to a single compensation scheme since there is none. The compensation will entirely depend on the eligibility of the individual and the circumstances of his or her case.

There are a few schemes that have been rolled out for the victims affected by the scandal.

Special Exemption: The government has confirmed that postmasters need not pay income tax, capital gains tax, NI contributions, corporation tax or inheritance tax as part of the compensation payment. However, the exemption will apply to postmasters whose convictions are overturned or those who will receive the £75,000 fixed sum payment under the Horizon shortfall scheme.

New Legislation for the Exemption: Despite the exemption, there will be new legislation that will not change the existing compensation rules for employees or other workers. These can be outside the scope of tax and NI but might be taxable depending on the reason for the payment and how it’s paid. So, employers need to follow the current rules and guidance.

Overturned Convictions Scheme: People who have their convictions quashed can apply to the Overturned Convictions Scheme. In this scheme, they can choose to take a £600,000 settlement price. However, if they feel that they are entitled to more than the mentioned sum, they can enter into negotiations.

Interim Payment: Those who are eligible are entitled to the interim payment during the process of their final settlements. Now, the interim payments have been increased from £163,000 to £450,000.

According to sources, more than 4,000 people are eligible for one of the three main schemes. The government has informed that new potential victims are also coming forward.

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