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Walker Thompson Newsletter 41

 

Plumbers in Hot Water?

 

HM Revenue & Customs have just announced a tax amnesty (PTSP) for plumbers in much the same way as previous amnesties for declaring undisclosed overseas bank interest etc.

 

It appears that HMRC may have approached Gas Safe (formerly Corgi) who maintain a registration system for subscribing plumbers and heating engineers in order to obtain data regarding its members.

 

HMRC has stressed that it is only a minority in the trade who do not fully declare their taxes.

 

Anyone thinking of entering the PTSP scheme will have until 31 May to notify HMRC of their intentions if they have under declared income with arrangements to pay off any tax liabilities arising by the end of August.

The penalties under the amnesty will be:

 

  • 10% for careless errors
  • 20% for deliberate defaulters

It is fairly clear that HMRC view plumbers and heating engineers as being susceptible to the grey economy in terms of cash operations.

 

Our concerns are towards the possibility of HMRC extending this method of data collection on taxpayers across other trade bodies and associations.

 

 

Take Care With Electronic PAYE Payment Dates

 

Last month we reported that HMRC were reminding employers to ensure that PAYE payments made electronically have been cleared into HMRC’s bank account by the due date.  

According to HMRC many employers have taken advantage of the electronic payment option which generally gives a later payment date of 22nd of the month. However HMRC are stressing that where the 22nd falls on a non banking day (a weekend or Bank Holiday) the payment may need to be made earlier to ensure that HMRC has cleared funds by the due date. HMRC need to have received cleared funds by the last bank working day before the 22nd.

 

We reported in last month’s e-news that according to the HMRC employer diary the next time the 22nd was due to fall on a non banking day was May 2011, and that cleared funds must reach HMRC’s bank account by Friday 20th May 2011.

 

It appears that HMRC have forgotten about Easter Good Friday which falls this year on Friday 22nd April 2011. As this is the last payment date for 2010/11 PAYE it is important that the cleared payment is received into HMRC’s bank account by Thursday 21st April 2011.

 

HMRC may issue penalties to any employer who makes late payments of PAYE more than once for 2010/11. These penalty notices will not be issued until after the end of the tax year.

 

Internet links: HMRC guidance payment deadlines late payment penalties

 

 

Construction Site Visits

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are advising that they are currently carrying out a series of inspection visits of construction sites. The visits, which are unannounced, form part of an ‘intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death and injury in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries’.

 

According to the HSE, during 2009/10 42 workers died while working in construction. They intend to target the key areas which lead to deaths in 2009/10 which were refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities. Other areas subject to review include ensuring that sites are managing work at height safely, the risk of exposure to asbestos and that sites are generally in good order.

 

Philip White, HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction, said:

 

‘This will be the fifth year that we have run the inspection initiative across Britain and we anticipate that that there will be examples of both good and bad practice – those where employers are taking all the measures they can to protect their workers and those where safety is way down the list of priorities.

 

A lax attitude to health and safety in one of the more dangerous industries is not acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking commonsense actions and precautions. As we’ve demonstrated in previous years, we will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers at risk.

 

This year, as part of ensuring risks from asbestos are properly managed, we will also be checking that, where appropriate, asbestos surveys have been carried out prior to any refurbishment work. Many workers believe that, because asbestos has been banned as a building material, it’s no longer a threat to them. But that simply isn’t true. Any premises built or refurbished before 2000 could contain asbestos.’

 

Internet link: HSE press release

 

 

Electronic P60s  

For this tax year onwards employers will be able to provide P60 (pay and deductions details for the year to 5 April 2011) information to their employees electronically. The P60 must still be provided to employees by the due date of 31 May 2011.

 

Employers wishing to produce electronic forms should agree with the employee that they want to receive their P60 electronically.

 

HMRC have issued guidance to employers that they need to

 

  • consider the employees ability to easily access that information
  • provide secure facilities to view and print their P60. If this is not possible the P60 can be issued to an email address that has been agreed with the employee.

 

HMRC are also reminding employers that they have obligations in respect of data security and the Disability Discrimination Act legislation.

 

HMRC are advising employers that they will continue to provide the relevant paper forms which employers can scan and then ‘overlay them with the employees’ details’.

 

Internet link: HMRC guidance on electronic P60s

 

 

HMRC PAYE CD-Rom

Employers that are used to finding necessary PAYE information on the Employer CD-ROM should be aware that this will not be issued this year. HMRC are replacing the CD-ROM with a set of tools which can be downloaded from HMRC’s website.

 

HMRC are advising those wishing to use the tools that they need to download the updates to the CD-ROM first. These are available on the HMRC website.

 

Much of the online information for employers is now available on the Business Link website.

 

Internet link: Press release

 

 

HMRC Warns Against ‘Phishy’ Email

HMRC have reported a surge of fake ‘phishing’ emails following the 31 January 2011 Self Assessment tax return filing deadline.

 

The email advises the taxpayer that they are due a tax rebate and contains a link to a replica of the HMRC website. The taxpayer will then be asked to provide their credit card details. The ‘fraudsters’ will then try to take money from the account and taxpayers risk having their bank accounts emptied and / or their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs.

 

HMRC advise that in the last three months they have shut down 99 websites that were responsible for sending out the fake tax rebate emails.

 

Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact at HMRC, said:

 

‘As a matter of policy, HMRC will only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.’

 

Internet link: News release

 

 

Employer Filing Deadline P35 and P14s  

HMRC are reminding employers that, in order to avoid penalties, they must file the Employer Annual Return (P35 and P14s) online. The deadline for submission is 19 May 2011. The Extra Statutory Concession B46 which allowed a weeks ‘grace’ in submitting the returns no longer applies for this year as the majority of returns must be submitted online.

 

To avoid unnecessary late filing penalty notices being issued, where no return is necessary it is important to advise HMRC. This can be done via the Business Link guidance below. If you are unsure whether you need to complete a return please do get in touch.

 

Internet links: HMRC brief Business Link guidance

 

 

Advisory Fuel Rates for Company Cars

 

New company car advisory fuel rates have been published to take effect from 1 March 2011. HMRC’s website states:

 

‘These rates apply to all journeys on or after 1 March 2011 until further notice, allowing them to reflect fuel prices more quickly. For one month from the date of change, employers may use either the previous or new current rates, as they choose. Employers may therefore make or require supplementary payments if they so wish, but are under no obligation to do either.’

 

The advisory fuel rates for journeys undertaken on or after 1 March 2011 are:

 

 

 Engine sizePetrol Diesel  LPG
 1400cc or less

 14p (13p)

 13p (12p)

 10p (9p)

 1401cc – 2000cc

 16p (15p)

 13p (12p)

 12p (10p)

 Over 2000cc

 23p (21p)

 16p (15p)

 17p (15p)

   

 

Other points to be aware of about the advisory fuel rates:

 

  • Employers do not need a dispensation to use these rates.
  • Employees driving employer provided cars are not entitled to use these rates to claim tax relief if employers reimburse them at lower rates. Such claims should be based on the actual costs incurred.
  • The advisory rates are not binding where an employer can demonstrate that the cost of business travel in employer provided cars is higher than the guideline mileage rates. The higher cost would need to be agreed with HMRC under a dispensation.

 

If you would like to discuss your car policy, please contact us.

 

Internet link: HMRC advisory fuel rates

 

 

Tax Credit Changes

 

HMRC have issued some guidance on how the tax credits system is changing from 6 April 2011. These changes, which were announced previously, include significant changes to the limits and claw back of entitlement.

 

For more information on these changes please visit the link below or contact us.

 

Internet link: HMRC tax credits

 

Company Information Walker Thompson is a trading name of Walker Thompson Ltd registered in England and Wales. Company registration number 06574838

Registered Office Empress House :: 43a Binley Road :: Coventry CV3 1HU :: T 024 7663 5522 :: F 024 7663 5518 :: E clientcare@walkerthompson.co.uk