Newsletter – July 2012

In this month’s enews we update you on the changes to payroll reporting procedures for Real Time Information.

Please do get in touch if you would like more information on any of the articles.


The Tax Return Initiative

Higher rate taxpayers who have failed to submit tax returns are being offered the opportunity to come forward and pay up under a time limited HMRC campaign. The Tax Return Initiative is aimed specifically at people liable to pay higher rate tax that have been told to submit a self assessment tax return for 2009/10 or earlier, but have failed to do so. The Tax Return Initiative is also open to any individual who has tax returns to submit to HMRC for these years.

Individuals have until 2 October 2012 to:

  • let HMRC know that they want to take part,
  • submit completed returns, and
  • pay the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) that they owe.

By coming forward voluntarily through the initiative, taxpayers will receive better terms and any penalty they pay will be lower than if HMRC comes to them first.

Where taxpayers fail to take advantage of the initiative, HMRC will use its powers to pursue outstanding returns and any unpaid tax and NIC together with significant penalties of up to 100% of tax due.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

‘This campaign is part of a wider HMRC initiative to provide support and guidance to the public on tax obligations and is aimed at people who fail to submit their tax returns on time and pay what they owe.’

‘The campaign provides a three-month opportunity for those who want to get their tax affairs up to date to come forward. Our aim is to make it easy for them to contact us and send in completed tax returns, putting their affairs in order. Penalties will be higher if we come and find people after the opportunity and some could face a criminal investigation. I urge people to come forward and disclose unpaid tax voluntarily.’

Internet links: Press release Tax Return Initiative Campaign

Pensions Auto Enrolment

From October 2012 the largest employers will have to comply with Pensions Auto Enrolment. Employers will have to identify eligible jobholders and advise them of the employer’s obligations under the legislation. The staging date for those with more modest workforces may be some years off. Staging dates for all employers can be found by visiting the link below.

The Pensions Regulator together with the Department for Work and Pensions have developed a set of template letters which include all the details employers are required to communicate with their employees.

The comprehensive letters can be tailored to suit an organisation and employees’ circumstances.

If you would like more information on your obligation as an employer please do get in touch.

Internet links: Pensions Regulator News Staging dates

Real Time Information

HMRC are advising that over 1,300 employers will join the Real Time Information (RTI) pilot between now and September 2012.

Stephen Banyard, Acting Director General for Personal Tax, said:

‘RTI is on track and the pilot is going very well. We started in April with just 10 employers and now we’ve successfully received over 1.7 million individual records from 338 PAYE schemes.’

‘Following the success of the first pilot stage, more PAYE schemes will join the RTI pilot, as planned, and by the end of September up to 1,300 employer schemes will be reporting PAYE in real time.’

‘We are also seeing external confidence in the pilot and we’ve responded to that by offering more large employers, payroll bureaux, new employers and software developers the opportunity to join the RTI pilot or to expand existing involvement in advance of the launch date in April 2013.’

HMRC expect most employers to begin RTI reporting in April 2013. All employers will be routinely reporting PAYE in real time by October 2013, in time for the introduction of Universal Credit.

HMRC have updated their frequently asked questions on RTI and also published information on RTI for payrolls involving ‘expat’ employees.

Internet links: Press release RTI FAQs RTI expats

Guide to importing and exporting

HMRC have updated their information pack ‘Guide to importing and exporting: Breaking down the barriers’.

The information pack is a guide for those importing or exporting goods. It acts as a guide to help anyone getting started with importing / exporting and gives details of the procedures involved in these activities.

If you would like any help in this area please do get in touch.

Internet link: HMRC information

Online starting in business tax guide

HMRC have been working with interested parties to produce a ‘Starting your own Business’e learning tutorial.

To access the tutorial, visit the link below.

Internet link: HMRC e learning tutorial

Olympics and business

With the Olympics upon us, Acas are advising employers to be aware of a number of issues the most likely of which is employees requesting more flexible working arrangements. Employers need to consider how they are going to minimise potential disruption so that businesses run smoothly whilst managing employee expectations.

Acas expect employees to fall mainly into two groups:

  • those planning to take time off during the Games because they are spectators or volunteers.
  • those not planning to take time offbut who:
    • hope to watch on the television or via the internet whilst at work – wanting flexible working arrangements
    • get fed up with all the fuss and any perceived favouritism shown to those with sporting interests and want to take annual leave during the school holidays.

Acas has published guidance to help you plan ahead and ensure your business runs smoothly. The guidance considers such issues as:

  • managing attendance
  • working flexibly
  • dealing with performance issues, and
  • understanding the legal rights of volunteers.

Sunday Trading

Sunday Trading restrictions are suspended during the Olympic and Paralympics Games. These rules limit Sunday opening hours for some shops to six continuous hours between the hours of 10am and 6pm and are to be suspended during the Games.

The suspension is for eight consecutive Sundays commenced on 22 July and runs until 9 September 2012. This is a temporary measure and applies to England and Wales. No Sunday trading restrictions apply in Scotland.

For more details about Olympic events visit the London 2012 website.

Internet links: Acas article Acas quick tips

Fuel duty

The government has announced that the 3.02 pence per litre (ppl) fuel duty increase that was due to take effect on 1 August 2012 will be deferred to 1 January 2013.

‘In the Autumn Statement 2011 it was announced that the 3.02ppl fuel duty increase that was due to take effect on 1 January 2012 would be deferred to 1 August 2012, and the inflation increase that was originally planned for 1 August 2012 would be cancelled.’

The effect will be to maintain the duty liability on all fuels at current levels until 1 January 2013.

Internet link: HMRC fuel duty

HMRC announce new taskforces

HMRC expect the new taskforces they have launched to recover over £30m from tax dodgers.

The latest round of taskforces to be announced will target traders who do not pay the right amount of tax in:

  • Scottish pubs and nightclubs
  • hair and beauty businesses in Northern Ireland
  • the motor trade in South Wales, South West, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East
  • restaurants in South Wales and South West.

The taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:

‘At a time when we are trying to rebalance the public finances and most hard-working people are making a contribution by paying the right tax, it is just not fair that a small minority try to dodge their responsibilities.’

‘These new taskforces are funded by the Government’s investment in HMRC of over £900m to crack down on avoidance and evasion. Their dedicated teams are on track to collect more than £50m from tax avoiders and evaders through the taskforces launched last year and expect to collect £30m in unpaid taxes through those launched today.’


Internet link: Press release

Christmas and New Year 2011

This is just to let everyone know that our opening hours over the festive period, will be as follows:

We will close at 14:00 on Friday 23rd December and re-open at 9:00 on Tuesday 3rd January 2012.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a very happy and prosperous 2012

Finally, please do not forget the 31st January 2012 deadline for electronic submission of personal tax returns – ALL late returns will incur a penalty of at least £100, whether or not there is any unpaid tax.