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Second 2015 budget expected soon

Adrian Mooy - Monday, May 11, 2015

Colleagues of George Osborne have predicted the chancellor will deliver his second Budget of 2015 relatively soon to mark a distinctive new phase of his chancellorship.

Mr Osborne’s aides said no decision had yet been taken on a second Budget this year but Eric Pickles told the BBC: “I would anticipate a Budget relatively soon.” The chancellor has already promised to legislate within 100 days to, in effect, ban himself from putting up income tax, value added tax or national insurance in the new parliament.

Financial Times, Page: 3


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MPC warning over tax hikes

Adrian Mooy - Thursday, May 07, 2015

Two MPC members have warned that raising taxes to bring in new revenues to tackle the deficit or pay for spending plans would not work.

Dame DeAnne Julius said Britain was already close to “hitting the ceiling” on the amount of revenue the government could raise through higher taxes. Meanwhile, Ian Plenderleith described rhetoric concerning ending austerity as “complete illogical nonsense”. “[Those who] advocate higher spending now financed by higher borrowing are essentially saying, we don’t want to cut our lifestyle now, we want to make our children poorer and our grandchildren poorer,” he said.

Elsewhere, a new survey conducted by KPMG of 600 businesses across Britain showed leaders were “much more optimistic about the prospects of growth under a Conservative regime than under Labour” Simon Collins, UK chairman of KPMG, said "managers are worried about uncertainty and the potential for intervention and even demonisation from politicians."

Separately, the FT’s Chris Giles points out that all of the parties' tax and spending plans are based on the OBR’s prediction of a productivity recovery, which is far from certain.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1, 4 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2 Financial Times, Page: 6 Financial Times, Page: 13


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HMRC helpline jammed

Adrian Mooy - Thursday, April 09, 2015

HMRC phone lines have been blocked by high volumes of callers trying to establish what tax charges would be due if they cashed in their pensions. A recorded message referred people to the Government’s Pension Wise service, but this cannot produce tailored calculations, the Telegraph reports.


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New auto-enrolment guide

Adrian Mooy - Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Pensions Regulator has launched a new guide to help small businesses get ready for auto-enrolment.

The online guide explains how to complete key tasks. It also contains information tailored to the needs of director-only companies.

Around 1.5 million small and micro businesses will receive letters from the Pensions Regulator in the coming months as part of a UK-wide campaign to alert employers to their duties.

The regulator said that most small businesses were expected to turn to their professional advisers for help with auto-enrolment and it will also be providing additional online information for advisers.

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Single corporation tax rate from 1 April 2015

Adrian Mooy - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Businesses are reminded that from 1 April 2015 a single rate of corporation tax of 20 per cent applies.

Previously, if a company had profits of more than £1.5 million it paid corporation tax at 21 per cent, with the tax payable at 20 per cent on profits of less than £300,000, with marginal relief applied between the two limits. Where associated companies were in place, the profits were divided between these.

The associated companies rules have been simplified by replacing them with a simpler 51 per cent group test, which will be used in relation to Patent Box, capital allowances long life assets, quarterly instalment payments, where there is an upper limit for profits above which a company must pay tax by instalments, and ring fenced profits of oil and gas companies, where there will continue to be more than one rate of corporation tax.

From 1 April 2015, a company will be defined as an associated company if one is a 51 per cent subsidiary of another or both are 51 per cent subsidiaries of the same company.


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NMW set to rise to £6.70

Adrian Mooy - Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the adult national minimum wage (NMW) rate should increase to £6.70 an hour from October 2015.

If its recommendations are accepted by the government, the three per cent rise from its current level of £6.50 would be the largest real terms increase in the NMW since 2007. The commission estimates that 1.4 million low paid workers will benefit from the increase in the main rate of the NMW, paid to people aged 21 and over.

Announcing the commission’s recommendations on 23 February, chair David Norgrove said: “Sharp increases in the minimum wage would put jobs at risk. We do believe, however, that the continued recovery, and in particular the impressive growth in employment of the low paid, should this year allow a further increase in the real and relative value of the minimum wage.”

As well as its recommendation for the adult rate, the Low Pay Commission has called for:
•an increase of 3.3 per cent from £5.13 to £5.30 in the youth development rate, which applies to workers aged 18 to 20
•an increase of 2.2 per cent from £3.79 to £3.87 in the rate for 16 and 17-year-olds
•an increase of 2.6 per cent from £2.73 to £2.80 in the apprentice rate, which applies to all apprentices in the first year of an apprenticeship and to those aged 16 in any year of an apprenticeship.


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Accountants keen on NICs reduction

Adrian Mooy - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Research by Bloomsbury Professional indicates accountants would most like to see a reduct­ion in employers’ NICs following the election.Cuts to NICs were seen as the highest priority for tax cuts, with 49% of accountants favouring a reduction.


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HMRC trials car benefit website

Adrian Mooy - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An online trial has been launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), allowing company car drivers to make changes to car and fuel benefits.

This means that Pay As You Earn (PAYE) customers who have company cars will be able to make any changes online to their company cars and will no longer have to wait for HMRC to update their tax code for them.

The new digital service is being used with GOV.UK Verify – the new way for people to prove who they are when using government digital services.

HMRC receives about 4.3 million calls a year from customers about their tax codes.

HMRC has recently completed a public consultation on voluntary pay-rolling of benefits-in-kind, including company car benefits. Where employers adopt payrolling of benefits, customers will not need to use the new digital service as they will be paying the right amount of tax in real time.

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Tax summaries go online

Adrian Mooy - Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nearly nine million taxpayers who filed their 2013-14 tax return electronically can access their tax summary online.

Millions of taxpayers in the PAYE system have already received paper summaries by post.

The summaries show how much tax and national insurance each person paid in the year and how it contributed to public expenditure.

The online summaries can be viewed by logging onto HMRC online services and selecting the ‘View your 2013 to 2014 tax summary’ option.

David Gauke, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Taxpayers have a right to know how the government is spending their tax and national insurance contributions. The government promised to provide transparent information about its expenditure and these summaries deliver on that promise.”


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