Accountancy Blog

Tax and employee benefits – what you need to know

What to expect when providing staff with perks.

Most employers choose to recognise the ongoing commitment made by their members of staff by providing various benefits and rewards.

Whether that’s in the form of the Christmas party or it extends to benefits such as a cash bonus or flexitime, it all helps to ensure employees feel valued and motivated.

82% of workers feel motivated after receiving some form of recognition from their employers, according to research by the Rewards and Employee Benefits Association.

While that’s all good and well when it comes to looking after your staff, you also need to consider the tax implications of offering attractive employee benefits. More…

Landlords take note

The default basis for landlords’ accounts.

Traders have been able to prepare their accounts using the cash basis since April 2013, as long as they meet certain eligibility conditions.

This option was extended to landlords running unincorporated property businesses from 6 April 2017.

However, while traders must elect for the cash basis, it applies by default to landlords who meet the qualifying conditions.

Consequently, if they do not want to prepare accounts using the cash basis they must elect for it not to apply.

The cash basis doesn’t apply to:

  • incorporated businesses that must continue to prepare accounts on an accruals basis
  • landlords whose annual rental income exceeds £150,000.

More…

One in 15 face fines after missing tax return deadline

A total of 745,588 people run the risk of being fined by HMRC after missing the deadline to submit their self-assessment tax return.

About one in 15 taxpayers failed to beat the midnight deadline on 31 January 2018 to file their annual returns relating to the 2016/17 financial year.

Late payers can expect an initial £100 fixed penalty for late filing during the first three months after the deadline.

Thereafter, additional penalties of £10 per day can be demanded – up to a maximum of £900 – followed by extra charges six and 12 months after the deadline in the worst cases. More…

Taxpayers reclaim £493m from HMRC – do they owe you?

HMRC has had to return nearly half-a-billion pounds to taxpayers since April 2015, claims analysis of government statistics.

Royal London reports the Revenue is overcharging on two areas of the tax system, and has had to refund £493 million as a result.

Savers using the new pension freedoms are among the hardest hit, as income tax on pension withdrawals is taken on an emergency tax basis.

Taxpayers have had to claim back £262 million since the pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. More…

Thinking of exporting? – a few current stats

Food and drink businesses raised £22 billion from exports in 2017, a record high according to government figures.

UK food and drink firms are now exporting products to 217 countries around the world, with whisky proving the most popular – bringing in £4.5 billion last year.

This was followed by sales of salmon (£720 million), chocolate (£680 million) and cheese (£623 million).

Sales of milk and cream also rose by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%.

The top five destinations for UK food and drink exports were:

  • Irish Republic (£3.7 billion)
  • France (£2.3 billion)
  • USA (£2.3 billion)
  • The Netherlands (£1.5 billion)
  • Germany (£1.4 billion).

More…

One million firms comply with auto-enrolment

The number of employers that have complied with auto-enrolment passed one million for the first time in January 2018.

Data released by The Pensions Regulator showed the total number of employers to have completed their declaration of compliance stood at 1,032,567 in the first month of 2018.

More than 600,000 employers complied with their duties in the last 12 months, although around 150,000 have until the June 2018 deadline to enrol their staff.

Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said:

“With one million employers enrolling their staff into a workplace pension, we are creating a nation of responsible employers who are reassuring their workforce that with their support, they will have a secure retirement. More…