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New national minimum and living wage factsheet

10 Aug, 2016

A new factsheet has been launched by HMRC entitled "Carrying out a self-review of the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage". The factsheet will be issued by HMRC as part of their checks to ensure that employees are being correctly paid the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW). The factsheet provides employers with instructions on how to self-review their records. The NLW and NMW are the minimum legal amounts that employers must pay their employees.

The size and scope of a self-review will depend on a number of factors such as:

BREXIT and the implications for employment law

10 Aug, 2016

Now that the UK has voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%, the government will, in due course, inform the European Council of its intention to leave the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This notification then triggers a two-year period for the negotiation of the terms of a member state's withdrawal. It seems that this will not happen before October 2016, when the current prime minister, David Cameron, says he will step down and leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 and negotiate the UK’s withdrawal terms.

Genuine HMRC emails

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has issued an advisory note to let employers know that it is in the process of emailing an employer alert. These emails are headed Important information for employers and refer to Employer Bulletin 60. These emails are genuine and include valid links to pages on the GOV.UK website.

Liability to gaming duty

10 Aug, 2016

Gaming duty is a duty on casino gaming profits and is based on the gross gaming yield for premises where gaming takes place.

The gross gaming yield consists of:

Received a penalty notice from HMRC?

10 Aug, 2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) was established in 1998 to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes. A new press release from the LITRG reminds taxpayers of their options when they receive a penalty notice from HMRC. If a taxpayer has made a genuine mistake, despite taking reasonable care, then no penalty should be due and the taxpayer can appeal against the penalty notice in question.

Reminder for Scottish taxpayers to check their payslips

10 Aug, 2016

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has issued a press release reminding Scottish taxpayers to check their payslips for 2016-17. Scottish taxpayers should check their PAYE code has the prefix 'S' (for Scottish), for example, a Scottish taxpayer's tax code for 2016-17 could be S1100L.

Pension reforms update

10 Aug, 2016

Major pension reforms came into effect on 6 April 2015. In a recent press release HMRC has confirmed that over 230,000 savers have already taken advantage of the new landmark freedoms to access over £4.3 billion from their pension pots.

The new rules allow those aged 55 and over new opportunities to access their pension pots and new choices as to how to use their defined contributions pension savings. There are three main options available: a lifetime annuity, flexi-access drawdown and a lump sum payment. These options can be used on their own or in combination.

Tax credit reminders from HMRC

10 Aug, 2016

We are now in the midst of the tax credits renewals period. Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they renew their tax credit claims by 31 July 2016. Claimants who do not renew on-time may have their payments stopped.

Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme consultation

10 Aug, 2016

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows qualifying charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) to claim a top-up equivalent to Gift Aid on small donations of money made without a Gift Aid declaration. A small donation is defined as a donation of £20 or less in cash. Donations made by cheque, credit card, text or bank transfer do not count.

VAT liability of green fees

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has issued a new Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2016) and updated an existing VAT information sheet 01/15 about a long running case concerning the VAT liability of green fees charged for visitors at non-profit making golf clubs. The particular golf club in question, Bridport and West Dorset Golf Club, had historically accounted for VAT on its green fee income in accordance with the treatment outlined in UK law and HMRC's guidance on the matter.

Help to Buy: ISA scheme updated guidance is available

10 Aug, 2016

HMRC has published some updated guidance on the Help to Buy: ISA. The guidance clarifies the way the government bonus is calculated. First time home buyers need to apply for their bonus (and purchase a home) within 12 months of closing a Help to Buy: ISA account. There are special rules that allow the money to be re-deposited in a Help to Buy: ISA if the house purchase did not complete.

High Income Child Benefit charge

10 Aug, 2016

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) applies to taxpayers whose income exceeds £50,000 in a tax year and who are in receipt of child benefit. The charge either reduces or removes the financial benefit of receiving child benefit. Where both partners have an income that exceeds £50,000, the charge applies only to the partner with the highest income.