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Employers and their staging date

Staging Date

A process started in 2012 which means eventually, all UK employers will be obliged to enrol all their eligible employees into a contributory pension scheme, known as Auto Enrolment.  This obligation is already being phased in, starting with the biggest employers.  The commencement date for an employer’s obligation to provide a contributory pension scheme is known as the staging date.

The government has said that no small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) will be affected before the end of the current Parliament.  The general election will be on 7th May so we are nearly there.  Employers will be able to meet this obligation in any way they choose, but one way will be through a government-sponsored National Employment Savings Trust ( NEST ), a simple, low-cost scheme with very limited fund choice, and initial restrictions on transfers and contribution levels.  NESTs will be operated by the NEST Corporation, a not-for-profit trustee body, and will be regulated by the Pensions Regulator.

Alterledger can help

Alterledger can help you prepare for your staging and manage your auto enrolment process along with your payroll once everything is up and running.  Contact Alterledger or visit the website alterledger.com for more information.
 

Self Employed National Insurance

Changes to payment of National Insurance

HMRC has announced changes to the way that the self-employed will pay their Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NIC).  This is not the first time the process has changed.  Some people still refer to paying their stamp – in days of old you had to buy special stamps for your NIC!

English: British National Insurance stamp.

English: British National Insurance stamp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No new direct debits

Until recently I would have encouraged the self-employed to set up a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) with HMRC to pay their Class 2 NIC.  From April 2015 HMRC will calculate the NIC due from your self-assessment tax return.

Deferment of National Insurance Contributions

If you currently defer NIC, you don’t need to re-apply to do so.  HMRC will be sending out letters in December to everyone who currently defers NIC to confirm this.  Any new applications to defer NIC will not be processed.  For more information on National Insurance for the Self Employed please go to my blog post here: Class 2 NIC.

Alterledger can help

For more information on filling in your tax return, contact Alterledger or visit the website alterledger.com to see if you can organise yourself better and cut your tax bill.

 

Orchestra Tax Relief

New Creative Industries Tax Relief

The 2014 Autumn Statement from the UK Chancellor included a proposal for a new Orchestra Tax Relief.

Orchestra Tax Relief for UK Companies

FHM-Orchestra-mk2006-01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orchestra Tax Relief

Many orchestras are charities and therefore don’t pay Corporation Tax, but any that do pay tax may qualify for a future Orchestra Tax Relief.  The tax break proposed yesterday will be going through a consultation process, so if you have an interest get involved!

Other Creative Industries Tax Reliefs

For more information on the tax reliefs for Orchestras, Theatres, Animation, Video Games and High End TV please go to my blog post here: Orchestra Tax Relief.

Alterledger can help

Why wait for the law to favour your industry?  Contact Alterledger or visit the website alterledger.com to see if you can organise yourself better and claim more expenses to cut your tax bill.

 

Musicians tax breaks

Will Scottish entertainers make more money with proposed musicians tax breaks?

One of the consequences of the Scottish Independence Referendum is a “Command Paper” to be produced by Lord Smith of Kelvin and the Scottish Devolution Commission.  Among the proposals being put to the commission is copying an idea from Ireland to give artists and musicians tax breaks.


Musicians tax breaks

Special treatment for artists

The Republic of Ireland has given artists a tax exemption since 1969 which means the profits from the sale of works do not attract income tax up to a maximum of €40,000, or £31,500.  Everyone agrees that the tax system should be simplified – except of course if it the complication benefits you.  Is this a valid sign of support for artists or will everyone want “special treatment”?

Alterledger can help

Why wait for the law to favour your industry?  Contact Alterledger or visit the website alterledger.com to see if you can organise yourself better and claim more expenses to cut your tax bill.

 

Get HMRC to pay you

HMRC will pay you interest

It is not that well-known that HMRC will pay you interest on tax paid early.  The interest rate is only 0.5% though, so it isn’t going to change your life.

In the case of Corporation Tax, any payment is due 9 months and a day after your year-end.  If you have a business bank account that pays no interest and the cash to pay your tax early you can pay your tax as soon as you have filed your return.   After the 9 months is up HMRC will send you the interest calculated.

British piggy bank

What spare cash?

See my earlier post on paying your debts first. In the situation where you have cash in the bank that you aren’t putting to good use and no outstanding debts paying your tax liability early will yield a small benefit.

Get your tax return done early

It is difficult to plan your cash flow if you don’t know how much tax you are due to pay.  Even if you don’t want to pay your tax early, it is helpful to know how much cash you will need to set aside.  The later you leave it to file your tax return the more pressure you can end up putting on your cash flow.  More importantly the later you leave it, the more pressure you put on your accountant.  Most accountants increase their fees as tax deadlines approach – or to put it another way you are likely to get a discount for starting early!

Don’t be late!

It won’t surprise anyone that HMRC will charge interest on late payments.  The interest rate isn’t the measly 0.5% mentioned above but is currently 3%.  As Bank of England rate increases  – expect this to increase too!

For support and advice on preparing your annual accounts and filing your tax returns contact Alterledger or visit the website alterledger.com.

 

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