Salary Sacrifice for Auto Enrolment Pensions

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Pension contributions under Auto Enrolment are by default split between employer and employee. From the 6 April 2019: Employer contributions must be at least 3% Total contributions must be at least 8% Many employers will simply treat the difference (currently 5%) as employee contributions.  The problem with this approach is that whilst all contributions are […]

Directors could face jail term for pension mis-management

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The government is to introduce a new criminal offence of ‘wilful or reckless behaviour’ in relation to pensions which would see directors facing up to seven years in jail. In its response to a consultation on protecting defined benefit contribution pension schemes, which ran from June to August last year, the government said it will […]

Minimum pension contribution rates to increase in April

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Minimum contribution rates under automatic enrolment are due to rise from 3% to 5% for employees and 2% to 3% for employers from 6 April 2019. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says its research suggests saving behaviour is sticking: the first increase in minimum contributions which took place last year has not prompted […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: Intellectual Property & Trademarks

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal this could have an impact on any EU Intellectual Property or Trademarks held by a business. At this point in time it is not clear if EU trademarks would be applicable in the UK post Brexit. If you own intellectual property rights […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: EU Employees working in the UK

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal the there may be considerations needed for your current and future workforce You may need to:. 1. Review all EU employees currently working in your business and ascertain whether they are applying for “Settled status” by 31 December 2020. See the Employer […]

“No Deal” Brexit Planning: VAT

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If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, the government’s aim will be to keep VAT procedures as close as possible to what they are now, providing continuity and certainty for businesses. However, there will be some specific changes to the VAT rules and procedures that apply to transactions between […]

Uber loses landmark case over workers rights

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Uber has lost a landmark case over worker rights, entitling UK drivers to minimum wage and sick leave. The Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 ruling, refuting the ride-hailing app’s claim that its drivers are self-employed. Earlier this week, the government said that it would look into workplace policies to help preserve gig economy jobs. […]

Iceland supermarket accused of breaching minimum wage rules

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A savings scheme to help lceland staff save for Christmas could end up costing the supermarket at least £21m, after it was accused of breaching minimum wage rules.The scheme allows low-paid staff to have a sum deducted from their weekly paypacket and placed into a separate account, to be returned on demand, usually at Christmas. HM Revenue […]

Skills to learn for the future of work according to the World Economic Forum

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Having a good memory or a strong command of maths may have once rated high on your list of professional skills. But now that devices handle those tasks, the World Economic Forum is urging workers to skill up for the future. Analytical thinking, initiative and ideation will overtake manual dexterity, time management and speaking abilities. Managers may […]

How are Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets taxed in the UK?

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In December 2018 HMRC published guidance on the taxation of cryptoassets. HMRC confirms that: Most investors will be subject to Capital Gains Tax on gains and losses.. It will be rare for investment in cryptoassets to be regarded as trading, although ‘mining’ is likely to indicate a trading activity. A capital loss may be claimed […]

Renewable power generation in the UK reached a record high in 2018

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A third of all energy generated in the UK last year was from renewable sources, according to climate research and news site Carbon Brief. Drawn from UK government data, the analysis found electricity generated from fossil fuels fell to a record low. The UK has cut its carbon emissions by more than 43% since 1990, but is still not […]

Getting tax relief sooner when you donate to a charity

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Claiming higher rate tax relief for charitable donations made. In your Self Assessment tax return, you normally only report things that occurred in the tax year in question.  But for charitable donations, you can also claim tax relief on donations you make in the following tax year up to the date you send your return.  […]

Auto Enrolment – Not an employer

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Auto enrolment does not apply if a company is not considered an employer by The Pension Regulator. Reasons for not being an employer include: Director only company, none of the directors have an employment contract No longer employ any staff Ceased trading, Although you will not have any auto enrolment duties you must inform The […]

Auto Enrolment – New Employers

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From the 1 October 2017 all new employers will immediately have legal duties due to Auto Enrolment. These duties will apply from the first day an employee starts working for you. Please visit The Pension Regulator website to find out about your duties as a new employer. If you fail to comply with these duties then […]

The Apprenticeship Levy

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From 5 April 2017 HMRC has introduced an apprenticeship levy. The levy is charged at 0.5% of the businesses total payroll cost and applies to all businesses operating payroll.   Each business receives a £15,000 allowance each tax year which means that they do not have to pay the levy until 0.5% of their payroll […]

Auto Enrolment Rates Increase

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The current minimum pension contributions for employees inside Auto Enrolment are 2%, with the employer being required to contribute at least 1%.   From 6 April 2018 the minimum contributions will increase to 5%, with the employer required to contribute at least 2%.   This will increase further to 8% from 6 April 2019 onwards, […]

Budget Update: Corporation Tax Rates

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The Chancellor announced that the Government is committed to continue to have the lowest corporate tax rate of the G20 major trading nations.  As already announced the corporation tax rate reduces to 19% from 1 April 2017 and then to 17% from 1 April 2020.   The Government is also keen to continue to encourage […]

Budget Update: Start of Digital Reporting Delayed for Smaller Businesses

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The Government is committed to the “Making Tax Digital” (MTD) project which is scheduled to start in April 2018 with the first quarterly updates being submitted by the self-employed and property landlords in July 2018. However, the Chancellor has now announced that there will be a one year deferral in the start date to 2019 […]

Budget Update: Tax Free Dividend Allowance to be Reduced to £2,000

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The Chancellor has announced measures to limit the rise in tax-driven incorporation. The £5,000 tax free dividend allowance will be reduced to just £2,000 from 6 April 2018. Mr Currently, once the dividend allowance has been used the remaining dividends are taxed at 7.5%, 32.5% and then 38.1% depending upon whether the dividends fall into […]

Tax Free Childcare Accounts To Start 6 April 2017

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New tax-free childcare accounts were announced in 2014 to replace the employer-provided childcare voucher scheme. Introduction has been delayed by legal disputes with organisations involved in administering the existing scheme, but the new accounts will at last be introduced on a trial basis in early 2017. The new scheme will then be rolled out across […]

Don’t Forget “Rent A Room” Relief

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From 6 April 2016 Rent A Relief has increased from £4,250 to £7,500. This is an annual allowance which can be deducted from rent received from lodgers where you rent out part of your main residence. Where income from lodgers exceeds £7,500 a year only the excess is taxable or this can to calculated on […]

New 16.5% VAT Flat Rate for service-based businesses

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It was announced in the Autumn Statement that from 1st April 2017, “businesses with limited costs, such as many labour-only businesses” will have their VAT flat rate percentage increased to 16.5%. HMRC refers to such businesses as “a limited cost traders”. For such businesses this will remove the benefit of being on the Flat Rate […]

EC Sales List 31-Mar-16

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Don’t forget that if you have made any EC sales during the quarter ended 31 March 2016 that you need to report these to HMRC on an EC Sales List (ECSL).   You can submit your ECSL through HMRC Online Services here, it is possible that you may need to enrol for the service if […]

Student Loan Plans

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From April 2016 there will be 2 student loan plan types known as Plan 1 and Plan 2.   Each plan will have a different threshold before loan repayments are made.   For the tax year beginning 6 April 2016, the thresholds will be £17,495 for Plan 1 and £21,000 for Plan 2.   HMRC […]

Register now to use the Payrolling Benefits in Kind online service if you want to start or continue payrolling in the 2016 to 2017 tax year

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From 6 April 2016 PAYE legislation is changing. If you intend or already payroll benefits and expenses you must register them with HMRC using the online Payrolling Benefits in Kind (PBIK) service. If you use this service and payroll benefits and expenses you won’t have to report them on a P11D. If you do not […]

Auto Enrolment – On and after your staging date

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The Auto Enrolment staging dates for many businesses is approaching. Below summarises the key points you should be aware of. Key points Your staging date is when the Automatic Enrolment duties come into force for your business. You’ll need to identify what your duties are for each member of staff on your staging date or […]

Undisclosed Offshore Income

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If you have undisclosed offshore holdings or investments, for example: offshore bank accounts overseas assets like property, eg a holiday let shares or other interests in an offshore company or trust inherited money from overseas You have until 31st December 2015 to disclose these. After that date a penalty could be charged up to 200% […]

Research and Development tax relief: Advance Assurance

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From November 2015 HMRC introduced Advance Assurance for companies that claim Research and Development (R&D) tax relief. If your company carries out R&D for itself or other companies, it could qualify for Advance Assurance. This means that for the first 3 accounting periods of claiming for R&D tax relief, HMRC will allow the claim without […]

Scottish Rate of Income Tax

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From the 6 April 2016 the Scottish rate of income tax will come into effect. This will mean that some of the Income Tax collected under the Scottish rate will fund the Scottish government and the rest will fund the UK government. This will affect all individuals living in Scotland, and all employers with employees […]

Corporation Tax Return Filing Deadlines

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There can be no late filing penalty for corporation tax returns if the return is filed with HMRC by the date on which the accounts are due at Companies House. There have been cases where HMRC have incorrectly raised a penalties based on tax return due dates being earlier than Companies House accounts due dates.   […]

HMRC clearance on salary sacrifice

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You can ask HMRC Clearances Team to confirm the tax and NICs implications of a salary sacrifice arrangement once it is in place. However, this is not a requirement.   HMRC would want to see: evidence of the variation of terms and conditions (if there is a written contract) payslips before and after the variation […]

Errors on VAT Returns

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If you make an error on a VAT return then you simply adjust for it on the next VAT return, providing the error does not exceed £10,000.   However, if HMRC were undertake a VAT investigation and found the error was caused due to not taking ‘reasonable care’ then they could still charge a penalty. […]