Latest News

Employer Supported Childcare

Did you know that employers can contribute up to £55 per week (£243 per month) towards childcare FREE of tax and NICs providing the qualifying conditions are met. (This figure reduces for higher rate and additional rate tax payers to a contribution of £22). The  scheme applies to children up to aged 15 (16 if disabled).

HMRC Complaints Handling

You will probably be aware of the recent press coverage of HMRC’s handling of notifications to 6 million taxpayers regarding two year’s underpayments and overpayments of tax.

It is quite possible that these notifications will give rise to numerous complaints and it is interesting to note that HMRC has recently published online guidance on their complaints handling procedures. It is apparent that HMRC is attempting to improve performance in this area but we wonder how successful this will be after the anticipated cuts in resources recently announced have been implemented.

Cycle to Work Schemes

Have you introduced one of these schemes, or ever considered doing so? In the right circumstances (mainly depending on how far you have to travel from home to work, naturally enough) there are significant tax breaks available and they have now been made more flexible where the bicycle is sold to the employee later on.

Avoid Late Payment Penalties

Avoiding Penalties
To make sure you avoid penalties businesses need to pay the right amount of PAYE, student loan deductions, CIS and NIC on time.

Making Payments
Payments made by cheque must be received by HMRC by 19th of each month/quarter and electronic payments by 22nd of each month/quarter (take the time to check what day of hte week these fall on so they do not arrive late.

Regional Employer NIC's Holidays for New Business Update

HMRC has now published more details of the Holiday scheme.

Proposals to Abolish the Default Retirement Age

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulation 2006 allows employers to compulsorily retire employees at age 65 and over who followed the statutory retirement procedures without risk of unfair dismissal or age discrimination claims.

These provisions were due to be reviewed in 2011, the government has brought forward this review to 2010. The consultation closes on 21 October 2010.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation the government proposals are as follows.

The Equality Act

The equality act becomes law in October 2010. It replaces the existing anti-discrimination laws with a single act.

The same groups that were protected under the current equality legislation (age, disablity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, maternity, pregnancy, race religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).

What's stayed the same:

  • Direct Discrimination.

What's changed:

Driving at Work

Do your employees drive for Business Purposes?

Employees driving for business purposes, such as going to the bank, delivering a product, visiting a customer or any number of activities which may involve them using a company vehicle or even their own vehicle, carries a risk which an employer is required to assess and reduce as far as practicable.

Are you Holding on?

Not all companies are seeing their sales drop during these turbulent times, some are doing really well. There are many examples of successful small and mid size companies so what can we learn from them? Our research shows that there are a number of areas businesses should focus on or try out, below are 10 of these for you to consider, most importantly hang in there!

Bribery Act 2010

The Bribery Act which was due to be brought into force from October 2010 has now been delayed until April 2011.

The act may have far reaching implications for businesses. Now is the time for businesses to review and update policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the act.

The key offences
The act repeals past legislation on bribing creating four offenses: