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The road to PAYE

PAYE was introduced between the collapse of Italy in 1943 and two months before the Normandy landings in 1944 and it is amazing to think that at such a momentous time in European history Churchill’s War Cabinet were discussing the introduction of such a major and enduring change to the administration of income tax.

The origins of the current PAYE system

PAYE owes its current form to the era in which it was introduced and the wartime legislation was designed to provide an exceptional response to an exceptional situation. However the system with which we are familiar has its roots in World War I. In 1915 the government was keen that the whole nation should contribute towards the cost of World War I. It was proposed that there should be a system of quarterly assessment and collection from all employees but if employees...

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