HMRC Finds A Coding Glitch

You may have heard that HMRC have recently implemented a new PAYE computer system – good news in the long term, but during the changeover process HMRC identified one or two technical discrepancies which have resulted in some incorrect tax coding notices being issued.

While somebody somewhere in the depths of HMRC is no doubt busily fixing this glitch, official guidance has been on how contractors might be affected – here it is in a nutshell:

Good News for Student Debtors

It’s not often you have cause to mention the words ‘student loan debts’ and ‘good news’ in the same breath, but in this case it might just be appropriate. HMRC have announced a new initiative to cut out student loan over-repayments, which frequently occur if you repay your loan off via PAYE deductions (pretty much everybody, then).

VAT holiday over

The Government’s one-year VAT holiday will end on 1st January 2010, with rates expected to return to 17.5% from the 15% we have enjoyed all year. HMRC have confirmed the normal tax point rules will apply: date of invoice or date of payment, whichever comes first.

So if the invoice or payment is made before 1st January, VAT will be at the rate of 15% – anything after that date will be charged at 17.5%. To help us through the transition, HMRC have issued some guidelines we should note:

  • VAT should be calculated at 17.5% from 1st January.

Tax relief on nursery vouchers to be withdrawn

In his speech to the Labour Party Conference, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown announced an extension of free nursery places, to be financed by the withdrawal of the tax and National Insurance (NIC) exemptions for childcare vouchers.

The proposal is that the provision of free nursery places will be extended to two year-olds (this would be on top of the existing free childcare available to three and four year olds). It is expected that 250,000 children will benefit from this by 2015/16.

Surviving the credit crunch: part 2

Here’s the concluding part of our ten point guide on surviving the credit crunch. If you missed part one, click here to catch up .

Network like crazy

Strive to build a network with everything you do. Over the years you’ll meet so many people and each one is a prospective future client or has a link to one. Keep a list and if you’ve not spoken for a while give them a call to catch up – you never know where the conversation may go.

Surviving the credit crunch: a guide for contractors, freelancers and consultants

With global economies spiraling out of control, stock market volatility, banks going bust and talk of imminent recession, businesses and individuals are justifiably a little worried.

Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer or consultant you are perhaps a little more worried than most as you are more likely to get a tap on the shoulder before any permanent employees see redundancy. However you are no different to anyone else as bills still have to be paid, so what can you do now to stand the best chance of surviving the challenging times ahead?

The latest email based scam – HMRC self assessment tax return

The latest email based scam is in circulation whereby people are receiving an e-mail that claims to come from HM Revenue and Customs, which advises recipients they are due a tax refund. The mail directs users to a fake web site (hosted outside the UK) designed to have the same look and feel as the genuine HMRC site, using the same logos etc. The scam attempts to take advantage of the imminent deadline for online applications of tax returns (31st January 2009).

Reprieve for ‘gas guzzling’ motorists

Gas guzzling motorists saw a temporary reprieve in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report. Reforms announced in the March 2008 Budget to incentivise the manufacture and encourage the purchase of more fuel efficient cars were reconsidered to soften the blow to motorists. However, the reprieve is only temporary. For those considering the purchase of a new car, it is still worth thinking green.

State Pension Forecast

Do you know how much your state pension could be when you retire? The Pensions Service will provide a forecast of this information either by letter or an online email service.

As detailed on their website a State Pension forecast gives you in today's money values:

  • an estimate of basic and additional State Pension you may get based on your National Insurance Contributions so far and
  • an estimate of basic and additional State Pension you may get when you claim your State Pension.

Christmas parties

Are you planning a party for your staff? Then make sure you are clear on the tax implications.

The good news is that, unlike entertaining customers, the cost of employee entertaining is generally allowable against the profits of the business.

What about the employees themselves? Is it a perk of their jobs and will they be subject to tax?