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Walker Thompson Newsletter 75

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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The Directors & Staff at Walker Thompson would like to wish all our clients,
business partners, friends, introducers and colleagues a very happy festive holiday
and a very happy & prosperous 2014.

Our offices will be closed from 3.30pm on 24 December until 9.00am on 2 January

During the holiday period, e mails will be checked from time to time but may not receive a
response until we return to the office if a matter is urgent then
please send a text message to 07976 967836 which is likely to be picked up more quickly

 

 

AUTUMN STATEMENT

Earlier this month the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its updated forecast for the UK economy and Chancellor George Osborne responded to that forecast in a statement to the House of Commons later on that day. This statement was followed by the issue of draft legislation together with consultation documents.

Some of the key new announcements made as part of the Autumn Statement are as follows:

• the introduction from April 2015 of an exemption from employer NICs for employees under 21 on earnings paid up to the Upper Earnings Limit

• allowing companies to claim tax relief on donations to Community Amateur Sports Clubs by extending Gift Aid

• the introduction from October 2015 of a new class of voluntary NIC (Class 3A) that gives those who reach state Pension age before 6 April 2016
an opportunity to boost their Additional State Pension entitlement.

The link below gives access to the government information on these and other areas.

Please also refer to the separate articles in this newsletter on some specific announcements where further details are available.

However please do contact us if you would like further details on any announcements.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General has issued the CBI’s response to the statement some of which is reproduced below:

‘We have always advocated the dual approach of tackling the deficit and driving growth – the OBR forecasts confirm it is working. Let’s stick with what works.’

‘The pressure on the high street has been recognised; the 2% cap on business rates and discount for very small businesses are positive, as is the reoccupation relief.’

‘Abolishing a jobs tax on employing young people under 21 will make a real difference and help tackle the scourge of youth unemployment.’

‘But it was a missed opportunity not to support our hard-pressed energy intensive businesses which are also struggling with rising costs, and the package on housing supply could have been more ambitious.’

‘Alongside the positive measures to help the high street, including the 2% cap on rates, empty property incentive and £1,000 boost for smaller retailers, we need to see a review of the outmoded business rates system.’

“Reducing the cost of employing 18-20 year olds will help more young people find jobs when it comes into force in 2015. Job centres will have an important role to play and will need to work more effectively with businesses to ensure young people get the right advice.’

‘Businesses will now be looking for government action in the Budget and this has to include looking at the impact of the Carbon Price Floor. Shale gas will play a role in delivering a balanced energy mix, but we need action on all fronts to keep costs down and secure our future supply.’

Internet links: Autumn Statement 
CBI press release

 

ADVISORY FUEL RATES FOR COMPANY CARS

New company car advisory fuel rates have been published which took effect from 1 December 2013. HMRC’s website states:

‘These rates apply to all journeys on or after 1 December 2013 until further notice. 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 December 2013 are:

 Engine SizePetrol LPG 
 1400cc or less 14p (15p) 9p (10p)
 1401cc – 2000cc 16p (18p) 11p
 over 2000cc 24p (26p) 16p
 Engine SizeDiesel
 1600cc or less 12p
 1601cc – 2000cc 14p (15p)
 over 2000cc 170 (18p)

Please note that not all of the rates have been amended so care must be taken to apply the correct rate. The amounts for the previous quarter are shown in brackets where the rate has been amended.

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

 

EMPLOYERS WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO RECLAIM SSP

The Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), which allows employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in certain circumstances, is abolished from
6 April 2014.

Under PTS employers can reclaim SSP where the SSP paid is more than 13% of the Class 1 NIC due for the month. Employers are not entitled to recover any of the SSP paid to their employees unless they qualify for the reimbursement scheme.

The following example explains how the scheme works for a tax month:

SSP paid=     630.00
Gross NI £3,704.29  x  13%=     481.56
SSP recoverable : (£630  –  £481.56)=   £148.44

From 6 April 2014 employers will be unable to recover SSP however they will continue to be able to recover unclaimed SSP for previous years for a limited period. Do contact us if you think this may apply to your business.

The government has announced that the current PTS funding will be moved into a new scheme to help employees who have been incapacitated for four weeks or more get back to work as part of the government’s Health Work and Wellbeing Initiative. This scheme is expected to be available later next year.

Internet links: ICAEW
health work and wellbeing initiative

 

SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE

The government has announced how the new system of shared parental leave will operate for employees and employers.

Earlier this year the government invited views on how the system for shared parental leave and pay should operate.

The consultation considered how the new system should work and align with current arrangements for maternity and paternity leave.

The proposals for shared parental leave and flexible working are included in the Children and Families Bill 2013 which is currently going through Parliament. The details will be set out in regulations and are expected to be introduced from April 2015.

The new leave system will allow eligible working families to have more choice about how they balance their work and caring commitments. Parents can choose to be at home together or to work at different times and share the care of their child.

The government hopes that businesses will also benefit from being able to have more open discussions about patterns of leave with their employees.

Internet link Parental Leave

 

CHANGES FOR LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS (LLPS)

Since their introduction in 2000, LLPs have become increasingly popular as a vehicle for carrying on a wide variety of businesses. The LLP is a unique entity as it combines limited liability for its members with the tax treatment of a traditional partnership. Individual members are deemed to be self-employed and are taxed as such on their respective profit shares.

The government now considers that deemed self-employed status is not appropriate in some cases. For example, individuals who would normally be regarded as employees in high-salaried professional areas such as the legal and financial services sectors are benefitting from self-employed status for tax purposes which leads to a loss of employment taxes payable.

The new rules will apply when an individual is a member of an LLP and three conditions are met. The conditions are:

• There are arrangements in place under which the individual is to perform services for the LLP, in their capacity as a member, and it would be reasonable
to expect that the amounts payable by the LLP in respect of their performance of those services will be wholly, or substantially wholly, disguised salary.
An amount is disguised salary if it is fixed or, if is variable, it is varied without reference to the overall profits of the LLP.

• The mutual rights and duties of the members and the LLP and its members do not give the individual significant influence over the affairs of the LLP.

• The individual’s contribution to the LLP is less than 25% of the disguised salary. The individual’s contribution is defined (broadly) as the amount of
capital which they contributed to the LLP.

The new rules will have effect from 6 April 2014.

Internet link: Partnerships

 

‘FALSE SELF-EMPLOYMENT’ VIA INTERMEDIARIES

Following announcements made as part of the Autumn Statement the government has announced some further information ‘false self-employment’ via intermediaries.

The government believes that employment intermediaries are increasingly being used to disguise employment as self-employment. The largest business sector being the construction industry where the government believes 200,000 workers are engaged via intermediaries. However, there are other sectors such as the driving, catering and security industries where there is evidence of existing permanent employees being taken out of direct employment and being moved into false self-employment arrangements involving intermediaries.

The central proposal is to make a change to the agency legislation so that it will apply to these type of intermediary arrangements where the worker is:

• subject to (or to the right of) control, supervision or direction as to the manner in which the duties are carried out

• providing their services personally

• remunerated as a consequence of providing their services

• receiving remuneration not already taxed as employment income.

After the change the intermediary will be responsible for deduction PAYE and NIC from the worker and paying employers NIC.

The legislation will be amended with effect from 6 April 2014.

Internet link: False self employment

 

CGT – PRIVATE RESIDENCE RELIEF

It was announced in the Autumn Statement that there will be changes made to the rules for Private Residence Relief.

A gain arising on a property which has been an individual’s private residence throughout their period of ownership is exempt from CGT. There are deemed period of occupation rules which may help to provide an exemption from CGT even if the individual was not living in the property. This may mean the individual is accruing private residence relief on another property at the same time.

The final period exemption applies to a property that has been an individual’s private residence at some time even though they may not be living in the property at the time of disposal.

The final period exemption will be reduced from 36 months to 18 months with two exceptions. An individual that:

• is a disabled person or

• is a long term resident in a care home, where they have been there for at least three months, or can reasonably be expected to be resident there for
three months, and

• has no other property, on which they, or their spouse or civil partner, can claim private residence relief

will continue to be able to claim a 36 month final period exemption.

The rules apply to disposals made on or after 6 April 2014.

Internet link: Draft legislation and TIIN

 

HMRC ADVISE REGISTER FOR SELF ASSESSMENT NOW

HMRC is urging those who have to file a Self Assessment return for the first time to register for its online services now.

The process of registration can take up to seven working days to complete and involves HMRC sending you an activation code in the post. It’s therefore important not to leave this to the last minute, to avoid a rush to beat the 31 January filing deadline. Those needing to complete a Self Assessment return for the first time this year will include parents with income above £50,000 who received Child Benefit payments from 7 January 2013. The High Income Child Benefit Charge is based on their incomes and how much of the benefit they received in the 2012/13 tax year.

The 31 January is also the deadline for paying any tax owed for 2012/13. Taxpayers who owe less than £3,000, and want HMRC to collect the tax they owe through next year’s tax code, need to submit their online return by midnight on 30 December.

If you would like any help with Self Assessment please do get in touch.

Internet link: 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