UK set to leave the EU
With the referendum votes counted and the United Kingdom vote to exit the European Union there will be many issues to consider.
The CBI commented on the result of the referendum.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
‘The British people’s vote to leave the EU is a momentous turning point in our history. The country has spoken and it’s for us all to listen.
Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt.
The urgent priority now is to reassure the markets. We need strong and calm leadership from the Government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy.
The choices we make over the coming months will affect generations to come. This is not a time for rushed decisions.
The CBI will be consulting its members and business is committed to working with Government to shape the best possible conditions for future prosperity.’
Internet link: CBI news
Banks and charities urged to do more to protect scam victims
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has called for banks and charities to take greater responsibility for those who may be vulnerable to scams.
The CTSI commissioned a report from Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work into scam victims, and its recommendations to financial institutions and charities include:
- recognising their duty of care to dementia sufferers who could make an ‘unwise decision’ as a result of their cognitive state
- allowing vulnerable people to put a 24 hour delay on new or large transactions from leaving their bank accounts and sending an email or text alerting a carer or loved one at the start of that period
- adopting a default that personal data is not shared without a clear opt in and that it is not held for longer than 12 months before permission is sought again.
This last measure is an attempt to prevent the creation of lists of vulnerable people, which are sold between criminals. According to Trading Standards officers, there are nearly 200,000 potential victims on such lists, who may be targeted by mail or doorstep scams. Victims of scam mail have an average age of 74, and have typically lost more than £1,000.
Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive, stated:
‘Vulnerability is not a term that is defined in law, which means it is difficult for professionals to introduce measures to protect vulnerable people.
‘We believe that banks and charitable organisations can do more without the need for legislation and that these relatively straightforward asks would lead to a dramatic reduction in detriment.
‘Adult social care faces a massive funding shortfall and people who are scammed are much more likely to need support. These measures will protect our ageing population and reduce the burden on the state.’
Internet links: CTSI news item Guide
Contractors Monthly Returns
From April 2016 changes have been made to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Part of the reforms were that contractors must file their monthly returns online.
HMRC have introduced a number of improvements to the CIS online service with a view to making it easier and more efficient to use. These changes include the facility to amend returns online. They have also introduced a new online message/alert service. HMRC will issue messages and alerts including:
- Monthly Return Inactivity Confirmation
- Period of inactivity about to end
- Submission of a ‘nil’ monthly return during a period of inactivity
- Submission of a monthly return containing payment information during a period of inactivity
- Inactivity request for an inappropriate period
- Return amendment where the number of subcontractors have changed
- Cost of materials enquiry
- Have you filed your Monthly Return yet?
- Subcontractor tax treatment incorrect
- Submission where HMRC are unable to match subcontractor information to their records.
These messages will be sent to the contractors HMRC CIS Online account. HMRC are asking contractors to check if they are receiving these messages via their commercial software package, otherwise contractors may need to access them via the HMRC online service.
Modified online subcontractor verification service
HMRC have also now modified the Subcontractor verification service which includes improved search and matching functions, and updated screens which will now display tax treatment details against each subcontractor. HMRC are encouraging contractors to use this service as the telephone verification service is expected to be removed from April 2017.
If you would like help with CIS issues or returns please contact us.
Internet link: Employer Bulletin
Have you accessed your Personal Tax Account?
HMRC are advising employers that their employees may benefit from accessing their Personal Tax Account. These accounts allow taxpayers to view information about their tax affairs and advise HMRC online about changes that may affect the tax they pay. The services available through the Personal Tax Account include:
- checking income tax estimates and tax codes
- advising HMRC about changes affecting company cars
- using the online forms available to claim tax deductible work expenses or a tax refund
- checking the expected level of their state pension
- renewing tax credits
- advising HMRC of a change of address.
In a recent development the system for registering for this service has been revised and it is now possible to register using your National Insurance Number and P60 information. To register visit https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account
Employers may wish to promote the service to their employees as this should result in fewer enquiries being made by them to their payroll or HR departments
Internet link: Employer Bulletin
Now is the time of year when many of us turn our thoughts to holidays and it is important to get holiday entitlement and holiday pay right.
The GOV.UK calculator has recently been updated and can be found by using the following link.
The acas website also includes useful guidance on calculating holiday and holiday pay entitlements.
If you would like help with payroll matters please contact us.
Internet link: GOV.UK calculator
Labour market statistics
The latest ONS labour market statistics show a 55,000 rise in employment in the three months to April 2016.
The Office for National Statistics has announced that:
‘Between the 3 months to January 2016 and February to April 2016, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell, and the number of people not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) fell slightly.
There were 31.59 million people in work, 55,000 more than for the 3 months to January 2016 and 461,000 more than for a year earlier.
There were 23.10 million people working full-time, 304,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.50 million people working part-time, 157,000 more than for a year earlier.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.2%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.
There were 1.67 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 20,000 fewer than for the 3 months to January 2016, 148,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.’
Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
‘The UK labour market remains in decent health, but pipeline pressures are building for employers, at a time when businesses are facing greater uncertainty.
Firms are facing a number of issues that could add costs; the impact of the introduction of the National Living Wage, the forthcoming apprentice levy and the EU Referendum, all against the backdrop of anaemic global growth.
So, combined with persistently low productivity, real risks remain for the labour market’s long-term health and UK growth more broadly.’
Internet links: ONS statistics CBI news