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How much statutory redundancy pay should you receive?

15 Nov, 2017

If you have been in the same job for two years or more and are made redundant you will usually be entitled to a redundancy payment. The legal minimum that you are entitled to receive is known as ‘statutory redundancy pay’. There are exceptions where you are not entitled to statutory redundancy pay, such as if your employer offers to keep you on or offers you suitable alternative work which you refuse without good reason.

The amount of statutory redundancy pay you are entitled to is dependent on your age and your length of service.

Changing a will after death

15 Nov, 2017

This may come as a surprising fact to many of our readers, but a will can be changed after death. This can be done by using what is known as a Deed of Variation. Any changes to the will must be done within two years from the date of death. However, beneficiaries who would be left worse off by the change must give their agreement before any changes can be made.

This is most often done to:

Disguised remuneration settlement opportunity

15 Nov, 2017

A new measure to tackle disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes was announced as part of the Autumn Statement 2016. The new measure will introduce a loan charge on disguised remuneration avoidance schemes that remain unpaid on 5 April 2019.

These types of schemes (including contractor loans) are used by employers and individuals and seek to avoid paying income tax and NICs. This is usually done by utilising a loan or other payment from a third-party which is unlikely to be repaid.

Interest rates start to rise

08 Nov, 2017

In a widely expected move, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by a majority of 7-2 to increase the Bank Rate from 0.25% to 0.5%. This is the first increase in interest rates since July 2007 when the rate increased to 5.75%. The interest rate has been fixed at 0.5% since the crash of 2009 and was further reduced to 0.25% in August 2016 following worries of economic instability after the Brexit vote.

HMRC win Littlewoods’ tax case

08 Nov, 2017

HMRC has won a landmark case after the Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal. The issue at hand concerned historic overpayments of VAT by Littlewoods (a catalogue sales business) between 1973 and 2004. In 2004, HMRC accepted that the VAT had been overpaid and repaid £205m plus a further £268m interest calculated using the simple interest basis.

Delay in withdrawal of self-employed NIC contributions

08 Nov, 2017

In a surprising move, the Government has announced that the planned abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) is to be delayed for a year. The withdrawal of Class 2 NICs was due to take place from April 2018 but will now take place one year later from April 2019.

UK Living Wage rates rise

08 Nov, 2017

The current National Minimum Wage (NMW) hourly rate for adults between 21-24 years old is £7.05, and the national living wage is £7.50 for those aged 25 and over. The Living Wage Foundation (an initiative of Citizens UK), recently announced living wage rates for London and the UK at £10.20 an hour and £8.75 an hour respectively.

OTS publishes new report on the VAT system

08 Nov, 2017

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) provides advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system, with the objective of reducing compliance burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers and will draw together expertise from across the tax and legal professions, the business community and other interested parties.

Are your bank deposits protected?

08 Nov, 2017

The bank deposit guarantee limit is the amount of money that is guaranteed for savers in UK banks and building societies should the institution become insolvent. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) guarantee amount is currently £85,000 per person, per authorised bank or building society.

New Acas guidance on dealing with stress in the workplace

06 Nov, 2017

Following the publication of its guidance for employers on managing staff who are experiencing mental health issues, Acas has now published new guidance for employers on how to support employees who are suffering from work-related stress.

The guidance highlights five indicators of stress that managers should be aware of. These are:

Unpaid director’s salary taxable or not?

02 Nov, 2017

A recent First-Tier Tribunal case examined whether amounts credited to a director’s loan account were subject to PAYE and NIC deductions. The appellant company, buys and sells boats. One of the directors, who is also the chairman of the company, had made a substantial loan to the company at some point prior to April 2010.

More than one source of self-employment

02 Nov, 2017

Any self-employed person who has more than one source of self-employment is required to pay Class 4 NICs on their total taxable profits. Class 4 NICs are paid by the self-employed as a percentage of annual taxable profits.

Class 4 NICs currently apply on assessable profits from £8,164. Between £8,164 and £45,000, NICs are payable at 9%. Any income above the Upper Profits Limit is liable to NICs at 2%.

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