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Walker Thompson Newsletter 73

 

As H M Revenue & Customs become more driven to a penalty driven tax system we look this month at several campaigns which are in operation. Like most things these days it is the individual or company who is probably most compliant who will be targeted so make sure you are not caught out!

NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

HMRC have stated that they plan to ‘name and shame’ employers who fail to pay the NMW and this will come into effect from October 2013. This would be potentially embarrassing for any employer.

Problems generally come to light during a PAYE control visit or when a disgruntled (ex) employee complains to HMRC. Penalties and interest will be charged on the unpaid NMW and employers are required to pay employees
the correct NMW.

NMW visits can raise other PAYE or benefit in kind issues which can lead to further backdated tax and national insurance together with interest and penalties.

Problem areas:-

• Fixed salary contracts with no paid overtime but an expectation of overtime being worked regularly

• Same type of staff doing the same job but paid differently

• Use of excess charges for accommodation to reduce actual wages but boost NMW

• Paying personal bills to compensate for paying below the NMW

• Apprentices not being paid at the correct rate

AUTUMN STATEMENT

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that he will deliver the Autumn Statement on Wednesday 4 December.

We will update you on pertinent announcements.

Internet link: News

NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY

The National Crime Agency (NCA), a new single law enforcement agency, is to be responsible for leading the national response to serious and organised crime.

The press release states that the Agency will comprise four commands: Organised Crime, Economic Crime, Border Policing and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and will have a National Cyber Crime Unit to reflect the broad range of threats that are posed by serious and organised criminals.

Keith Bristow, Director General of the NCA said:

‘The NCA is a UK-wide crime-fighting agency, which will have the capability to tackle serious and organised crime in areas that have previously had a fragmented response, such as the border, cyber and economic crime, and those where we need to increase our impact, like child protection and human trafficking.’

Internet link: News

PAYE ONLINE

HMRC intend to introduce a new online service for taxpayers who use PAYE to pay tax via their employer in April 2014. Features of the new system include enabling individuals to update a range of their benefits in kind online so they can keep their tax code up to date.

Internet link: To read more about these issues visit the HMRC website and search for Employer Bulletin 45. Please note this is a large pdf document

UPDATED CHARITY GUIDANCE

HMRC have updated several areas of charity guidance. The updates cover:

• ‘Gift Aid Small Donations Helpsheet’ – new helpsheet giving an overview of how the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme works
• Annex II: non-charitable expenditure – detailed guidance notes updated
• Annex VIII: Tainted Charity Donations – detailed guidance notes updated

To read the updated guidance use the link below. If you would like any help in this area, please contact us.

Internet link: HMRC charity guidance

TRANSFERABLE TAX ALLOWANCE FOR SOME

The government has announced that from April 2015 married couples and civil partners may be eligible for a new Transferable Tax Allowance.

The Transferable Tax Allowance will enable spouses and civil partners to transfer a fixed amount of their personal allowance to their partner.

The option to transfer will be available to couples where one partner is a basic rate taxpayer (earning below £42,285 in 2015/16) and the other partner has unused personal allowances for the year. One individual will be able to transfer £1,000 of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner. It will mean that the higher earner will be able to earn £1,000 more before they start paying income tax.

The claim will be made online and entitlement will be from the 2015/16 tax year. Couples will be entitled to the full benefit in their first year of marriage.

For those couples where one partner does not use all of their personal allowance at the moment the tax saving will be up to £200.

Internet link: News

HMRC ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS

The latest Employer Update issued by HMRC contains a number of pertinent articles which may be of interest to employers and employees:

Age Exception Certificates
HMRC will no longer issue age exception certificates to confirm that a person has reached State Pension age and therefore ceases to be liable to pay Class 1 NIC. HMRC advice is that employers will need sight of an employee’s birth certificate or passport as evidence of the person’s date of birth and retain a copy.

Automatic cancellation of PAYE schemes
From October 2013 if there has been no activity for a PAYE scheme, for example no RTI submissions, within 120 days of it being set up it will be automatically reviewed to see if it can be cancelled.

Employee shareholder status
HMRC is to offer employers the opportunity to apply for HMRC agreement (for tax purposes) to their share valuation which will hold for 60 days.

Internet link: To read more about these issues visit the HMRC website and search for Employer Bulletin 45. Please note this is a large pdf document.

HMRC ANNOUNCE ANOTHER DISCLOSURE FACILITY

HMRC have launched yet another disclosure facility, the Health and Wellbeing Tax Plan, which runs from 7 October 2013 to 6 April 2014 and is aimed at physical therapy, alternative medicine or therapy and other therapy.

Notification is required by 31 December 2013 and disclosure and payment by 6 April 2014.

If you have any concerns in this area please do get in touch.

Internet link: HMRC publications

LET PROPERTY CAMPAIGN

HMRC have announced a new campaign designed to target landlords in the residential property market. The campaign offers landlords in this sector a chance to get their tax affairs up to date or put right any errors they have made and then remain compliant.

HMRC have set up a Let Property Campaign Hotline on 03000 514479 but please do get in touch if you have concerns in this area.

Internet link: HMRC campaigns

NIC EMPLOYMENT ALLOWANCE

The Chancellor announced the creation of a National Insurance Contributions (NIC) Employment Allowance in the 2013 Budget. This is expected to be introduced from 6 April 2014 and this moved a step closer to becoming law with the First Reading of the Bill on 14 October 2013.

Businesses, Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs will be able to reduce their Employer Class 1 NICs bill by up to £2,000 per year.

HMRC plan to release more details on how to claim the Employment Allowance in the New Year and we will keep you informed of developments.

Internet link: HMRC news

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