UPDATE National Minimum Wage Rates

August 19th, 2013


Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice*
2013 (from 1 October) £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68
2012 (current rate) £6.19 £4.98 £3.68 £2.65
2011 £6.08 £4.98 £3.68 £2.60
2010 £5.93 £4.92 £3.64 £2.50

*This rate is for apprentices under 19 or those in their first year. If you’re 19 or over and past your first year you get the rate that applies to your age.

Avon lady or Ann Summers party host ? HMRC are after you ..

May 22nd, 2013

If you’re an Avon lady or Ann Summers party host and haven’t been declaring that income, you could soon be on the receiving end of a home visit yourself – from tax inspectors.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is sending out about 2,000 letters to people it believes are involved in direct selling and who did not take advantage of its recent opportunity to pay the tax they owe. They are being given one last chance to either get in touch or face being hit with much higher penalties and, potentially, a criminal investigation.
The Revenue has not named any particular companies, but well-known examples of direct sellers include Avon representatives, Ann Summers party planners, Betterware distributors and Pampered Chef consultants.
In February, HMRC gave those direct sellers who had not paid all the tax they owed, one week to settle their bills “on the best terms available”. It said that after the 28 February deadline it would begin contacting those who had not come forward, and is now making good on that pledge.
The new letters state: “We know there are around 400,000 people involved in direct selling, and we believe the vast majority are paying the right amount of tax. We are currently identifying direct sellers who have not taken advantage of the campaign and will be cross-checking the commission payment information we hold with your income tax records.
“We have issued letters like this one to 2,000 people, and where there are discrepancies we will be identifying cases for further action, including investigation.”
The recipients are being invited to call the dedicated team before 7 June.
The move is part of a wide-ranging crackdown on tax dodging that has involved HMRC in targeting everyone from eBay traders and plumbers to home tutors and market stall holders.
The Revenue has previously warned that those direct sellers found to have unpaid tax liabilities may face a penalty of up to 100% of the tax due or, potentially, criminal investigation.

Reporting PAYE in real time (Real Time Information or RTI): relaxation of reporting arrangements for small businesses

March 19th, 2013

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recognise that some small employers who pay employees weekly, or more frequently, but only process their payroll monthly may need longer to adapt to reporting PAYE information in real time. HMRC have therefore agreed a relaxation of reporting arrangements for small businesses.

Until 5 October 2013, employers with fewer than 50 employees, who find it difficult to report every payment to employees at the time of payment, may send information to HMRC by the date of their regular payroll run but no later than the end of the tax month (5th).

HMRC will continue to work with employer representatives during the summer to assess and understand the impact of RTI on the smallest businesses and consider whether they can make improvements to real time reporting which will address their concerns without compromising the benefits of RTI or the success of the Department for Work & Pension’s Universal Credit.
Please see HMRC’s guidance on exceptions to reporting PAYE information ‘on or before’ paying an employee.

HMRC filing and payment scams.

January 31st, 2013


There are a number of phishing scams going around, particularly today, We have had two ourselves today, on the filing deadline saying HMRC are having problems with payment systems etc. they are SCAMS. You will loose your money… report any suspicious emails by forwarding them to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and do not click on any links 

April 2013 Company car tax changes…

January 6th, 2013

A few years ago there were fears that the company car was going to be taxed to the point of extinction. The taxman then seemed to realise that wasn’t in anybody’s interest, but now the screw is turning again with things changing from April onwards.


And not for the better.


Companies claim capital allowances for the cars they buy. This is a percentage of the purchase price that can be written off against taxable profits. The main rate is for cars with CO2 emissions of 160g/km or lower. But from April this year that threshold falls to 130g/km or less, meaning that companies are predicted to restrict choice to models falling into this or lower categories.


There is currently a 100 per cent first-year capital allowance for cars with emissions less than 110g/km. From April, that limit falls to 95g/km so increasing numbers of drivers will have to start investigating cars in that category, such as the Fiat 500 TwinAir and Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi.


For employees, the tax paid (or Benefit In Kind, known as BIK) is determined by three factors: the car’s total price including options, minus road tax and registration, its carbon dioxide output and its fuel type. The last two factors influence the percentage of the first figure you pay as tax. Over the coming years, there’s going to be a movable feast of increases.


From April, cars emitting between 95-99g/km (e.g. BMW 116d EfficientDynamics and Peugeot 208 1.4 HDi) will be liable for one per cent more tax at 11 per cent and 14 per cent for petrol and diesel models respectively.

2012 Chancellors Autumn Statement – Principal Changes

December 10th, 2012

Confirming what we all knew to be the case, George Osborne advised in his Autumn Statement that the UK economy is forecast to shrink in 2012. The actual percentage rate is small, just 0.1%. In the subsequent 5 years to 2016-17 we are advised that the UK should achieve modest growth as the present factors holding back the economy fall away. Next year, growth is forecast to be 1.2% rising to 2.8% in the year 2017.The changes announced in the Autumn Statement are fiscally neutral – any savings are matched by new expenditures.
There are a number of initiatives to be implemented from April 2013 that are aimed to reduce loss of tax revenue due to tax evasion. These are explained in more detail in the notes that follow together with details of other expected tax changes

2012 Chancellors Autumn Statement – Principal Changes – Personal tax and benefits

December 10th, 2012
  • The basic Personal Allowance, due to anyone born after 6 April 1948, will increase in April 2013 to £9,440 (2012-13 £8,105). The increase in the Personal Allowance is £235 more than expected and will save basic rate tax payers up to £267 in a full tax year.
  • For those born between 6 April 1938 and 5 April 1948 the Personal Allowance is unchanged at £10,500 from April 2013. The equivalent allowance for those born before 5 April 1938 is unchanged at £10,660 from April 2013. The income limit, above which the increased allowance for the elderly are reduced, is increased to £26,100 (2012-13 £25,400) from April 2013.
  • The basic rate of Income Tax remains at 20% and will apply to the first £32,010 of taxable income (2012-13 £34,370). If your taxable income exceeds £32,010 you will pay tax at the higher rate of 40% until your income exceeds £150,000 when the additional rate of 45% kicks in.
  • The threshold for the 40% rate of Income Tax is to rise by 1% in 2014 and 2015 from £41,450 to £41,865 and then £42,285.
  • Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount will be increased by 1% in 2014-15 and a further 1% in 2015-16 reaching £11,100.
  • Child Benefit rates are frozen for 2013-14 and will increase by 1% in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • Tax credits disability elements are increased in line with Consumer Price Index (CPI). Other elements are either frozen or will increase by 1% in 2013-14. All rates are increased by 1% in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • Guardian’s Allowance is increased in 2013-14 in line with the CPI.
  • State pensions will increase by 2.5% to £110.15 per week from April 2013.
  • For 2013-14, there are no changes to the percentage rate of contribution for Class 1 and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) but there are changes to all of the thresholds and limits.

Pensions Savings – tax relief
The expected decrease in tax relief on pension contributions was confirmed. However, the change will not be applied until 6 April 2014. For the tax year 2014-15 onwards:

  • The annual allowance for pensions tax relieved savings will be reduced from £50,000 to £40,000.
  • The standard lifetime allowance for pensions tax relieved savings will be reduced from £1.5 million to £1.25 million.
  • A transitional ‘fixed protection’ regime will be introduced for those who believe they may be affected by the reduction in the lifetime allowance.

The lifetime allowance is the maximum amount of pension contributions you can make that benefit from tax relief. If the lifetime allowance is exceeded, a lifetime allowance charge is levied on the excess. This is presently 55% if excess is paid as a lump sum and 25% is paid as a taxable pension.
Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2013 to make these changes and will be published in draft on 11 December 2012.
This is one of the few measures introduced to increase the tax take from higher income earners.

2012 Chancellors Autumn Statement – Principal Changes – Business tax

December 10th, 2012

Corporation Tax
In addition to the Budget 2012 announcement, the main Corporation Tax (CT) rate for Financial Year 2014 will be reduced by a further 1% to 21%. As already announced, the main CT rate for Financial Year 2013 is 23% and the Small Profit rate is 20%.

Annual Investment Allowance
In the hope that businesses will increase investment, the Annual Investment Allowance will be increased from £25,000 to £250,000 per annum for a 2 year period commencing 1 January 2013. This is a tenfold increase. The Annual Investment Allowance provides a 100% write off for purchases of qualifying equipment. This could include plant, computer equipment, furniture, vans and other fixtures and fittings. For profitable, self-employed business people, who need to invest in this type of asset, tax savings could be considerable as the relief will impact their higher and additional rate liabilities.

Simplified tax scheme for small unincorporated businesses
A simpler Income Tax scheme for small unincorporated businesses will be introduced for the tax year 2013-14 to allow:

  • Eligible self-employed individuals and partnerships to calculate their profits on the basis of the cash that passes through their business. In essence, they will not have to distinguish between revenue and capital expenditure.
  • All unincorporated businesses will be able to choose to deduct certain expenses on a flat rate basis.

Small Business Rate Relief
The present Small Business Rate Relief Scheme is to be extended for a further year to April 2014.

2012 Chancellors Autumn Statement – Principal Changes – Other Taxes – Fuel Duty, Air Passenger Duty (APD), Inheritance Tax (IHT)

December 10th, 2012
  • In a move that will delight motorists the 3.02 pence per litre Fuel Duty increase that was due to take effect on 1 January 2013 will be cancelled and the increase that was planned for 1 April 2013 will be deferred until 1 September 2013.
  • From the 1 April 2013 APD rates will increase based on the Retail Price Index increase for September 2012.
  • The IHT nil-rate band was frozen at Budget 2010 at its current level of £325,000 until April 2015. For 2015-16 the band will be increased by 1% rounded up to £329,000.

2012 Chancellors Autumn Statement – Principal Changes – Anti-Avoidance and tax evasion

December 10th, 2012

The Government accepted the recommendations of the Aaronson report that a General Anti-Abuse Rule targeted at artificial and abusive tax avoidance schemes would improve the UK’s ability to tackle tax avoidance. The Government has committed to bringing forward legislation in Finance Bill 2013 to enact this measure.
Earlier this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced that the Government is investing a further £77 million in HMRC to increase revenues raised from tackling tax avoidance and evasion.
This investment will be used to:

  • Accelerate resolution of avoidance schemes.
  • Expand HMRC’s Affluent Unit to deal more effectively with taxpayers with a net worth of more than £1 million.
  • Increase specialist resources to tackle offshore evasion and avoidance of inheritance tax.
  • Improve HMRC’s risking technology, including increased use of third party data.

Additionally, five further measures have been announced in a Written Ministerial Statement. They are effective from 5 December 2012 and cover:

  1. Foreign bank levies – there are no longer allowable deductions for Income Tax or Corporation Tax purposes.
  2. Tax mismatch scheme – which reduces Corporation Tax liability by artificial tax treatment of loans or derivatives.
  3. Property return swaps – which convert capital losses into income losses.
  4. Manufactured payments – schemes involving stock lending arrangements.
  5. Payments of patent royalties – relief for non-trade payments to be abolished.