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June 2019 - Monthly News

19th June: 5th June PAYE, Student Loan and CIS Deductions Are Due

Employers who have made PAYE deductions, and contractors who have used CIS to pay subcontractors need to pay attention to this deadline.

Employers need to make payments for income tax, NI, and student loan deductions to HMRC. Meanwhile contractors need to pay HMRC the tax deductions from subcontractors under CIS.

Any electronic payment needs to be cleared by Friday 21st June. “Faster Payments” need to clear by Saturday 22nd June. Failure to do so may result in penalties being applied.

Minimum Wage Regulation Non-Compliance

Findings from a recent Low Pay Commission report have revealed that 439,000 workers are still being paid less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The report shows that 369,000 of these employees paid less than the National Living Wage - an increase over previous years - were aged either 25 or over.

From 1 April 2019, the rates rose as follows:

Minimum wage rate

Hourly rate from 1 April 2019

National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over)

£8.21

21-24 year-old rate

£7.70

18-20 year-old rate

£6.15

16-17 year-old rate

£4.35

Apprentice rate

£3.90

Accommodation Offset

£7.55 per day: £52.85 per week

The report has also revealed that women are “more likely” to be paid less than men for the National Minimum Wage. It is also more likely that young people and older workers will be paid less than the NMW. The sectors where it is most common are:

● Hospitality
● Cleaning
● Childcare
● Retail
● Maintenance

The Chair of the Low Pay Commission, Bryan Sanderson, said:

“Our analysis reveals a worrying number of people are being paid less than the minimum wage. We recently celebrated 20 years of the minimum wage – it has raised pay for millions of workers, but it is essential that people receive what they are entitled to.

“It is also vital for businesses to be able to operate on a level playing field, and not be illegally undercut on wages.”

Company Car Fuel Rates

Guidance for new company car fuel rates, that will take effect from 1 June 2019, have stated that “You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply”.

New company car advisory fuel rates are as follows:

Engine size

Petrol

1400cc or less

12p

1401cc - 2000cc

15p

Over 2000cc

22p

Engine size

LPG

1400cc or less

8p

1401cc - 2000cc

9p

Over 2000cc

14p

Engine size

Diesel

1600cc or less

10p

1601cc - 2000cc

12p

Over 2000cc

14p

These rates are only to be used in the following cases:

● to reimburse employees that have undertaken business travel in their company car

Or:
● To seek reimbursement from an employee for fuel used in private travel.

As far as fully electric cars are concerned, the Advisory Electricity Rate is 4 pence per mile.

Consultation on Ancillary Capital Gains Reliefs

If you have sold a residence that had been used as your sole or main residence, a capital gains tax (CGT) exemption will apply under the Private Residence Relief (PRR). As long as the relevant conditions are in play throughout ownership the exemption will apply. This exemption is supported by other types of relief that address other cases related to this.

Two ancillary reliefs had that had been announced and legislated for by the government to target owner-occupiers with PRR, are:

● reducing the final period exemption from 18 months to 9 months,
● and the reformation of lettings relief to only be relevant when an owner is sharing a residence with a tenant.

April 6th, 2020 is when these changes are due to come into force. Meanwhile the government is consulting on these changes, inviting opinions on PRR rules.

Companies House Reforms

A consultation has been launched by the government regarding reforms of Companies House. The consultation aims to extend “greater protection from fraud” to business owners.

The government’s consultation intends to tackle misuse of the register by:

● identifying the persons setting up, managing and controlling companies
● helping to prevent the abuse of corporate entities
● improving the data held on the companies register
● securing personal information

Companies House Chief Executive, Louise Smyth, has said: “This package of reforms represents a significant milestone for Companies House as they will enable us to play a greater part in tackling economic crime, protecting directors from identity theft and fraud, and improving the accuracy of the register.”

Welsh Income Tax Confusion

New income tax codes have been assigned to Welsh taxpayers from April 2019. They begin with C. However, it has come to light that Welsh taxpayers have mistakenly been allocated Scottish income tax codes by their employers. This means that Welsh taxpayers have been paying income tax with Scottish income tax rates and bands.

Overall, the tax paid by Welsh taxpayers is in line with that paid by English and Northern Irish taxpayers, with rates and bands ranging from 20% to 45%. In Scotland tax rates and bands range from 19% to 46%.

The full impact of the mistake is not yet clear but HMRC will review how the Welsh tax codes work in June 2019.

Chair of the National Assembly for Wales’ Finance Committee, Llyr Gruffydd, has said: 'We raised concerns about the flagging process for identifying Welsh taxpayers during our enquiries into fiscal devolution and the Welsh government's draft budget.

“On each occasion, we were told the matter was in hand, and the lessons from the devolution of income tax powers to Scotland, where there were similar issues, had been soundly learned and would be put into effect. We are seeking an immediate explanation of how this has happened and will be asking representatives from HMRC to appear before this Committee in the near future.”

Reporting Employee Benefits With the Forms P11D

The forms P11D are used to list the benefits and expenses afforded employees and directors are due to be submitted to HMRC by 6 July 2019. If this applies to you it is important to get this process underway as the collection of all relevant information can take some time. Employers who run the benefits through their payroll do not need to use the forms P11D.

HMRC has created a toolkit to help with the reporting of these expenses and benefits. This includes access to a handy checklist that helps employers to ensure that the forms are being completed correctly.

Dishonest Dog Breeders Hounded by HMRC

More than £5m has been recovered by an HMRC taskforce dedicated to tackling the sale of black market puppies by dishonest dog breeders. Animal welfare groups weighed in during discussions with HMRC that led to the debut of the taskforce in October 2015.

Puppies are being sold on the black market on a mass scale and at a huge profit, failing to declare sales and pay taxes. 257 cases have led HMRC to recover £5,393,035 since October 2015, using civil and criminal enforcement powers.

Tax bills handed out include:

● A former Crufts judge in the Midlands: £157,000
● A Northern Ireland dealer: £185,000
● A puppy breeder in Swansea: £110,000
● A Somerset puppy breeder: £114,000
● An East Scotland dealer: £400,000

Mel Stride MP, and Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has said: “It is utterly appalling that anyone would want to treat puppies in such an inhumane way and on such a scale. It's also deeply unfair to all of the legitimate businesses who do pay the right tax, and the total recovered by the taskforce is equivalent to the annual salaries for more than 200 newly qualified teachers.

“We continue to work hard with other government agencies and our partners to tackle these traders. We urge anyone with information about tax evasion to report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

OTS Backs Smaller Businesses

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has called for smaller businesses to be prioritised by the government in regards to the following issues:

● Early step-by-step guidance on things a business needs to run smoothly
● Help with working the PAYE system
● Using HMRC’s Agents Strategy
● Improving Corporation Tax return process
● Making sure business processes are considered when making changes to tax

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May 2019 - Monthly News

Sunday 19th May - Deadline for PAYE, Student Loan and CIS Deductions

This is the deadline for employers to make payment to HMRC for income tax, national insurance and student loan deductions for the month up to 5th May 2019.

Contractors should make payments to HMRC for tax deductions from subcontractors under CIS.

Electronic payments must be cleared by 22nd May 2019. Interest and penalties may apply for late payments.

Friday 31st May - Deadline for Employees to Receive 2018/2019 P60 forms

All employers need to issue their employees with P60 forms. The P60 is an End of Year Certificate that constitutes proof that an employee has paid tax.

Another Delay to Scottish Air Departure Tax Plans

Air Departure Tax (ADT) was due to replace the Scottish government’s Air Passenger Duty (APD), but the plans have been delayed, this time beyond 2020.

The change had been due to be made in April 2018, but issues regarding how the current exemption applies to airports in the Highlands and Islands have led to delays.

Kate Forbes MSP, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy has said: “The Scottish government has been clear that it cannot take on ADT until a solution to these issues has been found, because to do so would compromise the devolved powers and risk damage to the Highlands and Islands economy.

“While we work towards a resolution to the Highlands and Islands exemption, we continue to call on the UK government to reduce APD rates to support connectivity and economic growth in Scotland and across the UK.”

Article 50 'Flexible Extension'

EU leaders have granted the UK a six-month “flexible” extension to Article 50 and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have been commenting on the delay to Brexit which has been pushed back to 31 October 2019.

BCC has stated: “Politicians must urgently agree on a way forward. It would be a disaster for business confidence and investment if a similar late-night drama is played out yet again in October.”

Meanwhile the CBI’s Director General, Carolyn Fairbairn, has said: “For the good of jobs and communities across the country, all political leaders must use the time well. Sincere cross-party collaboration must happen now to end this crisis.”

HMRC List of Businesses Failing Money Laundering Regulations

A list of businesses that have failed the Money Laundering Regulations has been published by HMRC whose duty, as supervisor of the regulations, it is to publish the details of those failing businesses.

Businesses are considered on a case by case basis by HMRC which decides whether to publish complete details, or anonymously. HMRC may choose to publish anonymous details if it concludes that the effects would be disproportionate.

VAT Fuel Scale Charges

The updated VAT fuel scale charges that apply from the beginning of the next prescribed VAT accounting period, on or after 1 May 2019, has been published by HMRC. The fuel scale charges are used by VAT registered businesses to account for VAT on road fuel bought and used privately.

Latest Employer Bulletin

The latest issue of the Employer Bulletin is available and its articles include discussions on:

● Cash Allowances, Salary Sacrifice, and Flexible Benefits Packages
● Student Loans
● Both Scottish and Welsh rates is income tax
● The National Minimum Wage and unpaid work trials
● Euro standard 6d Diesel Supplement Company Car Tax Changes
● Reminders for contractors and subcontractors under the Construction Industry Scheme

“Springtime” Scam

Young people of the UK have been warned by HMRC to maintain vigilance to avoid the “Springtime” tax refund scam which is often perpetrated by criminals upon young people, or the elderly, people who generally know less about the UK tax system.

April and May are the months that taxpayers are often bombarded with tax refund scams. Spring last year saw HMRC receive 250,000 reports of tax scams perpetrated via calls, voicemails and text messages. Taxpayers have been warned to be vigilant of potentially criminal attempts to get personal and financial information from them.

HMRC’s Head of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, has said: “We are determined to protect honest people from these fraudsters who will stop at nothing to make their phishing scams appear legitimate.

“HMRC is currently shutting down hundreds of phishing sites a month. If you receive one of these emails or texts, don't respond and report it to HMRC so that more online criminals are stopped in their tracks.”

Pensions Dashboards

The government’s initiative to introduce a pensions dashboard will go ahead, allowing savers to view details from their range of pensions from a single place. It is said that the dashboard will “open up pensions to millions” with “an easy to access online view”.

Legislation will be brought forward by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which will require consumers’ data to populate their dashboard. This will include State pension details.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:

“The government's commitment to compel pension schemes to share data with platforms through primary legislation is particularly welcome. Some urgency is now required, and we question the three to four-year timeframe for schemes to prepare data for dashboards.”

Extending IR35 Rules

IR35, the off-payroll working rules, has had guidance on its extension published by HMRC, ahead of being introduced on 6 April 2020. HMRC has stated that the organisation receiving the individual’s service will be responsible for deciding whether the rules apply.

The guidance lays out a four-step process, a template for preparing for the changes. It begins with determining which individuals, if any, are providing services via PSCs.

The consultation requires responses on a range of issues, such as:

● scope of the reform
● Individual employment status disagreements
● how it will affect non-corporate engagers and information required for them
● Personal service companies (PSCs)

Closing on 28 May, the details of HMRC’s plans include providing education and support for the affected businesses.

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April 2019 - Monthly News

Pay PAYE Tax, Student Loan Deductions, Class 1 NI or CIS Deductions by 19th April to Avoid Automatic Interest

If you’re an employer who makes PAYE deductions from your employees’ salaries, or if you’re a contractor who pays subcontractors under the CIS, this deadline is important to you.

Please note that penalties may apply if there have been late payments throughout the tax year.

PAYE Quarterly Payments Are Due by Friday 19th April

This is a deadline that is particularly important to small employers and contractors with income tax, national insurance and student loan deductions that total less than £1,500 per month. If that’s you, you need to make your quarterly payment to HMRC.

If you’re making your payment by post, it should have reached the HMRC Accounts Office by this date. If your payment is made electronically, the deadline for receiving a cleared payment is Thursday 18th April. Or, if you have arranged a “Faster Payment”, the deadline is Monday 22nd April.

Late payments will incur interest and penalties may also apply.

19th April - PAYE, Student loan and CIS Deductions Are Due

Relevant to employers paying PAYE deductions from the salaries of their employees, and it’s also important to contractors paying subcontractors under CIS.

Employers, HMRC is expecting your payment for National Insurance, and student loan deductions. Contractors are expected to pay HMRC the tax deductions from subcontractors under the CIS.

If you’re making payment by post, it should reach the HMRC Accounts Office by 5th April. Electronic payments must be cleared by 18th April. “Faster Payment” submissions must clear no later than Monday 22nd April.

Late payments will incur interest and penalties may also apply.

19th April - Final 2018/2019 PAYE Return for Employers to be Submitted Online

Friday 19th April is the deadline for HMRC to receive the submission of your final Full Payment Summary (FPS).

After 19th April HMRC will not accept any 2018/2019 FPS submissions. Corrections to a 2018/2019 FPS will need to be made via an Earlier Year Update (EYU).

Disguised Remuneration Avoidance - HMRC Wins Case.

HMRC stands to collect more than £40 million in unpaid taxes due to a legal case win involving a contractor loan scheme.

Hyrax Resourcing Ltd was involved in the scheme, a disguised remuneration avoidance scheme that paid loans instead of salaries, thus avoiding income tax and national insurance contributions on earnings.

Details of the tax avoidance scheme will need to be divulged. These details will include names and addresses of the 1,180 users of the scheme. If Hyrax Resourcing Ltd fails to provide the information, it could be penalised.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said: “HMRC is cracking down on the unscrupulous promoters who sell these highly contrived tax avoidance loan schemes.

“Promoters need to take note of this decision and make sure they contact HMRC urgently about schemes they haven't yet disclosed.”

Income Tax Changes for 2019/2020.

The new tax year is in full swing and has brought major changes to income tax bands and allowances.

For 2018/2020 the personal allowance will increase to £12,500.

There will be a personal allowance reduction of £1 for every £2 for each individual with an income above £100,000. For 2018/2019, individuals with adjusted net incomes of over £123,700 will have no personal allowance. For 2019/2020 this amount becomes £125,000.

Marriage allowance allows certain couples, where each person pays tax at no more than the basic rate, to transfer 10% of their personal allowance to a spouse, or civil partner.

20% is the basic rate of tax and the band of income taxable at the basic rate is £34,500 in 2018/2019. This makes the threshold at which the 40% band comes into effect £46,350.

For 2019/2020 the basic rate band is due to increase to £37,500 making the threshold for the 40% band £50,000.

Individuals with income over £150,000 pay tax at 45%.

Scotland

Scottish residents will pay taxes differently to others in the UK. For Scottish residents income tax rates and bands apply to employment income, self-employed trade profits and property income.

There are 5 income tax rates which range between 19% and 46% for the tax years of 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. Despite this, Scottish taxpayers enjoy the same personal allowance as their English and Welsh counterparts. In Scotland the higher rates are 41% and 46%. For 2019/2020 the 41% threshold is £43,430.

Wales

April 2019 saw Wales assume the right to change the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers. The 3 rates of income tax paid by Welsh taxpayers has been reduced by 10 pence by the UK government. Meanwhile the Welsh government has set income tax at 10 pence, which will be added to the reduced rates. In short, this means that the tax rates will remain the same as that payable by English and Northern Irish taxpayers.

Social Media Businesses May be Taxed

The government has been called upon to impose taxes upon the profits of social media businesses.

A report has recently been published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing. The report detailed the impact upon the health of young people that social media is having. To fund research and help to “draw up clearer guidance” on the impact that social media is having on young people, a 0.5% tax on the profits of social media companies has been proposed by the APPG.

Structures and Buildings Allowance Update

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement included comments on the Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA) which gives relief on expenditures for improving structures and buildings meant for commercial use, but it also extends to converting or renovating existing premises. Only the original cost of construction, or renovation, will be valid for relief, and it will be across a fixed 50-year period at a flat annual rate of 2%.

The relief will only be valid for work for making properties suitable for qualifying activities, such as trades, professions, and vocations. Relief will be available for costs incurred on or after 29 October 2018.

Probate Fees Rise to be Delayed

Probate fees were to be increased, however that increase has been delayed by the government. The increase had been due to come into effect from 1 April 2019, but it has been shelved due to “pressure on Parliamentary time” in light of the various Brexit debates and votes.

HMRC has said: “Probate registries will accept applications before processing by us as long as they are assured the inheritance tax (IHT) forms from us will be coming shortly.

“Our processes aren't changing, it's just that probate registries will be willing to accept applications before our processing is done when normally it would need to be after.”

A temporary system is in place for probate applications. Meanwhile higher fees will not be imposed upon estates if applications are received before fee changes take effect.

Brexit Advice for Small Businesses

New documents have been published by the government in an effort to offer more advice on Brexit for small UK businesses. This information is intended to aid business owners so they can “understand how leaving the EU may affect their business”. The new advice covers topics from changes to UK-EU trade, to changes to how personal data is handled by businesses.

The government’s advice remains to prepare as soon as possible, and UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) is recommended for all businesses that import or export goods to the EU.

There may also be new rules for businesses providing services to, or operating in, the EU, after Brexit. There may also be changes to the rules surrounding copyright, patents, designs and trademarks, so businesses that hold intellectual property such as this should consider themselves warned.

The Exit Tool is being recommended by the government to give business owners the latest information.

Forms P11D

Forms P11D for the year ending 5 April 2019 need to be submitted to HMRC by 6 July 2019. These forms are intended to detail the benefits and expenses provided to employees and directors. Since it can take a while to gather all the relevant information, it’s recommended that the process is started as soon as possible.

Using a PAYE coding notice adjustment, or via the self assessment system, employees can pay tax on benefits, as displayed on the form P11D. Where benefits are “payrolled” they do not need to be declared on forms P11D, but employees should be made aware of the benefits by their employers.

Whether or not the benefits are payrolled, the employer needs to pay Class 1A National Insurance Contributions at a rate of 13.8% on most benefits. The deadline for this payment is 19th July, 2019.

There is a toolkit available from HMRC that employers can use to ensure that the forms are being completed correc

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March 2019 - Monthly News

PAYE, CIS and Student Loan Deductions Due For 5th March

This is relevant for any employers who have made PAYE deductions from the salaries of their employees. It also applies to contractors paying subcontractors under the CIS.

Payments are due from employers to HMRC for income tax,national insurance and student loan deductions, while contractors are to submit payments to HMRC of tax deductions from subcontractors under the CIS.

The deadline for electronic payments will be 22nd March, 2019

Interest will be charged for late payments and penalties may also apply.

Get Ready For the End of the Tax Year 2018/2019

The deadline of 5th April 2019 is important for anyone who hasn’t been thinking about end of the tax year planning issues, including:

● Making use of the annual capital gains tax exemption.
● Making use of the annua inheritance tax exemption for gifts.
● Making use of the Individual Savings Account (ISA) investment limit.
● Making additional contributions to a pension fund.

Vigilance Recommended for Households With Landlines

With the crackdown continuing on email and SMS phishing, criminals are increasingly turning to cold-calls to publicly available landline numbers to steal from unsuspecting taxpayers. Ofcom has reported that almost 26 million UK homes have a landline which could be vulnerable to scam calls.

Such criminals often concentrate their efforts upon the elderly and vulnerable. Often they purport to be calling from HMRC with the latter having received over 60,000 reports of scam calls in only the last 6 months leading to January 2019. Just to put that into context, this represents a surge of 360% in comparison to the preceding 6 months.

Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has said:

“We have taken major steps to crack down on text and email phishing scams leaving fraudsters no choice but to try and con taxpayers over the phone.

“If you receive a suspicious call to your landline from someone purporting to be from HMRC which threatens legal action, to put you in jail, or payment using vouchers: hang up and report it to HMRC who can work to take them off the network.”

Pauline Smith, from Action Fraud, has said:

“Fraudsters will call your landline claiming to be from reputable organisations such as HMRC. Contact like this is designed to convince you to hand over valuable personal details or your money.

“Don't assume anyone who calls you is who they say they are. If a person calls and asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal, be cautious and seek advice.

“The tax authority will only ever call you asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of, either having received a letter about it, or after you've told us you owe some tax, for example through a Self Assessment return.”

The past year has seen Ofcom and phone networks close almost 450 lines used by criminals in this way.

An Update For Employers

The latest Employer Bulletin update from HMRC, issued in February, included articles that raised important points. Amongst these were:

● Student Loan notices, and a new type of Student Loan repayment needed by employers to process via payroll
● Reporting expenses and benefits
● Updates to the Starter checklist for new employees
● Updates to P9 Notices of Coding
● Scottish Income Tax
● Welsh Rate of Income Tax and new codes for Welsh taxpayers.

Making the Most of the Tax Year for Investments

The end of the tax year is almost upon us, but there is still time to make a savvy investment to take advantage of 2018/2019 tax breaks.

Don’t forget to use as much of your ISA allowance as you can. Your ISA is a great way to save without paying any tax. Use the £20,000 annual limit for savings, a nest egg, a first home, etc. You have until 5 April to make a 2018/2019 investment.

The annual allowance (AA) for pensions generally offers £40,000 as a maximum for pension contributions for which you can still benefit from tax relief. Don’t forget that you may have a few years worth of unused AA that you can use in 2018/2019.

Rising Auto Enrolment Pensions Contributions

Employers and employees are being contacted by the Pensions Regulator to remind them that 6 April 2019 will see the minimum pension contribution rise as follows:

Duration

Employer Minimum (%)

Total minimum contribution (%)

Current Contributions

2

5

Contributions from 6 April

3

8

Increases to the Minimum Wage

Employers can incur penalties if they do not adhere to the rules for National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) which are due to increase from 1 April. Different people are eligible for different levels of NMW and NLW, depending on circumstances, as explained in this table. The size of a business has no bearing on the level of NMW or NLW due to the employee.

 

Until 31 March

From 1 April

NLW for workers aged 25 and over

7.83

8.21

NMW main rate for workers aged 21-24

7.38

7.70

NMW 18-20 rate

5.90

6.15

NMW 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18

4.20

4.35

NMW apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

3.70

3.90


2019/2020 Scottish Income Tax Bands

New income tax bands will come into effect for Scottish taxpayers for 2019/2020, as was announced in the Draft Scottish Budget in December 2018. The new rates and bands will be as below:

Scottish Bands (£)

Band Name

Scottish Rate (%)

0 - 2,049

Starter

19

2,050 - 12,444

Basic

20

12,445 - 30,930

Intermediate

21

30,931 - 150,000

Higher

41

Over 150,000

Top

46

Company Car Advisory Fuel Rates

New company car advisory fuel rates have taken effect from 1 March. As per the guidance: “You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply...” Please note that the following figures are only for employees using a company car.

Engine size

Petrol

1400cc or less

11p

1401cc - 2000cc

14p

Over 2000cc

21p

Engine size

Petrol

1400cc or less

7p

1401cc - 2000cc

8p

Over 2000cc

13p

Engine size

Petrol

1600cc or less

10p

1601cc - 2000cc

11p

Over 2000cc

13p

Please note that these rates apply in the following conditions:

1. When reimbursing employees for travel undertaken in company cars for business, or
2. When requiring employees to reimburse the employer for fuel used in private travel.

The rates do not apply in any other situation. For my on this, please see the official HMRC guidance.

Start Date for Making Tax Digital for VAT Is On The Horizon

It has been confirmed that there shall be no further delays in rolling out Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses. The news came from Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, as he made his statement to the House of Commons.

For most businesses the start date is due to be either on or after 1 April of this year, however there shall be an opportunity for “more complex” businesses to defer their start date until as later as 1 October 2019.

HMRC Advice: Prepare for No Deal Brexit

Businesses are being urged by HMRC to have a contingency plan ready in case a no deal Brexit really does come to pass. Preparing now will at least ensure that business can continue to trade with the EU in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

HMRC’s advice:

1. Registering for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number will allow businesses to continue trading with the EU. At the moment only 17% of relevant businesses have an EORI number.
2. Each affected business should choose how they will make their customs declarations. Most choose to use a customs agent for this.
3. According to HMRC, registering for new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) “will allow businesses to import without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and postpone paying any import duties. For imports using other locations, and for exports, standard customs declarations will apply.” This is of particular use to businesses using roll on, roll off locations to import goods into the UK from the EU.

Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has said:

“We want businesses to be able to continue trading with minimal disruption in any scenario but we also know that people tend to leave things until the last minute and we would urge against that.”

Spring Statement 2019

As Brexit rumbles on the typical business of the country and government also continues. 13 March saw Chancellor Philip Hammond present the latest Spring Statement.

The Chancellor used his speech to update the country on the economy. He also responded gave his take on the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts. His speech also saw him launching new consultations and update the country on earlier ones too.

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GDPR And You: The Accountant’s Perspective

gdpr data protection able accountantsDespite what you may think, GDPR is not the responsibility of just the IT department. It also has something to do with you and every department that takes in any personal info from individuals. It doesn’t matter whether it is payment info or contact info for marketing, GDPR applies and it applies for every department

As an accountant you will have access to either client records or customer records that were previously protected by the Data Protection Act of 1988 but, as of 25th of May last year, is now protected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
What does GDPR mean for you?

Here’s a quick-fire run through of how things will change for you.

The larger your organisation the more data your systems will have to process. Depending on how much data it has to process, or whether it is a public authority, a Data Protection Officer may be necessary.

A data privacy impact assessment may be needed if your organisation works with particularly sensitive data.

What Do You BNeed to be Doing?

● Your organisation needs to be able to evidence that all contact data is being lawfully processed. Documentation is necessary to prove “lawful processing”.

● What is “lawful processing”? This means one of two things. Either direct consent, or what is necessary to fulfil a contract. Consent is what you’ll be dealing with most of the time.

● Consent is not taken for granted to mean consent for everything. Instead it is granular, meaning individuals have the opportunity to opt in and out of particular things.

● Fresh consent will be needed for any existing data, if there is no evidence that consent was granted in the first place.

● Pre-checked boxes are no longer allowed on webforms.

The Rights of Individuals

● GDPR offers individuals more rights than under the Data Protection Act.

● One of their rights is to be able to access their data and have it corrected.

● Amongst new rights is the right to be forgotten and the right to have their data directed elsewhere, as well as the right to have automated profiling using their data restricted.

What About Your Company Policies?

● The journey that data takes, as it comes in from individuals and makes its way around your company, should be mapped and understood so you can identify how permission was obtained.

● Update your internal data protection policy to incorporate everything discussed above.

● Make sure your internal data protection policy includes details on identifying data breaches, reporting and how they should be investigated.

● How about the cookie policy? Ensure that any unique identifiers are included.

● Be sure to update consent notices and your privacy policy and make sure everyone adheres to them.

What Else Can I Do?

Set up a group of relevant officers within your organisation to ensure that the accounting concerns are also represented within any audits and data mapping processes. Make sure you are up to date with all the changes occurring within your organisation and understand how those changes in data policy can affect how you manage the data as it filters through your department.

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