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Sep 5

Autumn Budget 2019

If there was a measure of stability in UK politics, we would be expecting the usual dispatch-box presentation by the Chancellor before Christmas. The annual budget is usually presented November each year.

This may still happen this year, but present uncertainties regarding the Brexit outcome, and the present government’s slim majority, may scupper that timetable – we may have two budgets this Autumn or none at all.

Nevertheless, we will advise if and when a date is agreed. If we do leave the EU with no-deal, gripping the sides of your chair may be in order as the fiscal changes required (changes to taxation) to meet the resulting economic consequences, may be significant.

We will keep you posted.

Sep 5

Are you making the most of “Trivial Benefits”?

Earlier this year we highlighted the tax concession afforded by the so-called Trivial Benefit rules.

We said: 

It is possible to make small tax-free payments to employees, including directors…

Employers and employees don’t have to pay tax on such a benefit if all of the following apply:

  • it cost you £50 or less to provide,
  • it isn’t cash or a cash voucher,
  • it isn’t a reward for their work or performance,
  • it isn’t in the terms of their contract.

HMRC describes these payments as a ‘trivial benefit’. 

You can’t receive trivial benefits worth more than £300 in a tax year if you are the director of a ‘close’ company. A close company is a limited company that’s run by 5 or fewer shareholders.

Readers who manage a business may want to integrate a formal process into their benefits strategy to take advantage of this opportunity.

Every little helps.

Sep 5

Changes to contractor VAT from 1 October 2019

We have alerted building contractors and sub-contractors in previous newsletters of changes to the VAT rules from 1 October 2019.

In a nut-shell, if you are subject to the Construction Industry Scheme and if you are registered for VAT, from the 1 October 2019 you may need to change the way you account for VAT on supplies between sub-contractors and their contractor customers.

At present, sub-contractors registered for VAT are required to charge VAT on their supplies of building services to contractors. From 1 October this approach is changing.

From this date sub-contractors will not add VAT to their supplies to most building customers, instead, contractors will be obliged to pay the deemed output VAT on behalf of their registered sub-contractor suppliers.

This does not mean that contractors, in most cases, are paying their sub-contractors’ VAT as an additional cost.

When contractors pay their sub-contractors’ VAT to HMRC they can claim back an equivalent amount as VAT input tax; subject to the usual VAT rules. Accordingly, the two amounts off-set each other.

The change is described as the Domestic Reverse Charge (DRC) for the construction industry. It has been introduced as an increasing number of sub-contractors have been registering for VAT, collecting the VAT from their customers, and then disappearing without paying the VAT collected to HMRC.

Beware cash flow concerns

However, the change to DRC may create cash flow issues especially if you use the VAT Cash Accounting Scheme or the Flat Rate Scheme.

We recommend that all affected CIS readers contact us so we can help you make the necessary changes to your invoicing and accounting software and reconsider the use of VAT special schemes if your continued use would adversely affect your cash flow.
 

Aug 20

Tax Diary August/September 2019

1 August 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2018.

19 August 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2019)

19 August 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2019. 

19 August 2019 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2019 is payable by today.

1 September 2019 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2018.

19 September 2019 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2019. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2019)

19 September 2019 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 September 2019. 

19 September 2019 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 September 2019 is payable by today.

Aug 20

New homes to have car charge-points

In a bid to accommodate yet more electric vehicles on our roads, the government has launched a consultation aimed at increasing the number of homes with electric car charge-points. In a recent press release they said:

“All new-build homes could soon be fitted with an electric car charge-point, the government has outlined today (15 July 2019) in a public consultation on changing building regulations in England. The consultation comes alongside a package of announcements to support electric vehicle drivers and improve the experience of charging.

The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric charge-point, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.

The legislation would be a world first and complements wider investment and measures the government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy.

The government has also set out today that it wants to see all newly installed rapid and higher powered charge-points provide debit or credit card payment by Spring 2020.”

The government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 off the costs of installing a charge point at home.

Aug 20

Low paid workers to qualify for sick-pay

The government has started a consultation to transform support for sick and disabled staff and remove barriers for employees.

The Department for Work and Pensions has recently set out new measures to transform how employers support and retain disabled staff and those with a health condition.

Under the new measures the lowest paid employees would be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first time, while small businesses may be offered a sick pay rebate to reward those who effectively manage employees on sick leave and help them get back to work.

Under current legislation, to be eligible to receive SSP you must:

  • be classed as an employee and have undertaken work for your employer,
  • have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days),
  • earn an average of at least £118 per week, and
  • tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they do not have one.

Each year more than 100,000 people leave their job following a period of sickness absence lasting at least 4 weeks, and the longer someone is on sickness absence the more likely they are to fall out of work, with 44% of people who had been off sick for a year leaving employment altogether.

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