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20 December 2016

The government has now completed its annual review of the pension automatic enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band and it has announced that the earnings trigger will again be frozen at £10,000 for 2017/18. The earnings trigger determines who is eligible to be automatically enrolled by their employer into a workplace pension scheme.

The qualifying earnings band sets...

15 December 2016

The final draft version of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 has been published. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the regulations are to come into force on 6 April 2017, a few weeks earlier than originally anticipated. Since the draft regulations were published for consultation back in February 2016, a number of important changes have been made.

The...

14 December 2016

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced that the government will donate the VAT on sales of the Christmas single in memory of the late MP Jo Cox. All proceeds from the sale of the single will go to the Jo Cox Foundation which supports a range of charities, including the Royal Voluntary Service and White Helmets.

The special recording of The Rolling Stones’ hit 'You Can’t Always...

14 December 2016

Fee-free basic bank accounts were launched on 1 January 2016. Basic bank accounts are for people who do not have a bank account, are ineligible for a standard current account or who can’t use their existing account due to financial difficulty. These accounts are primarily of interest to those with poor credit ratings who may be unable to pass the credit checks for standard bank accounts.

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14 December 2016

In the 2016 Budget, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that he would be introducing two new £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income. The new allowances will come into force from April 2017.

The scope of the tax allowance was increased somewhat by the new Chancellor as part of the Autumn Statement 2016 when it was announced that the trading allowance will also...

14 December 2016

Here is a reminder for anyone going on holiday over Christmas to be aware of their duty and tax free allowances when they are returning to the UK. It remains to be seen what impact Brexit will have on these allowances, however, for the time being the EU allowances remain unchanged.

Travelling to an EU country

Where tobacco or alcohol is brought in from another EU country...

14 December 2016

HMRC has published guidance on paying the new Apprenticeship Levy. The new levy comes into effect from 6 April 2017 at a rate of 0.5% of the employer's 'pay bill'. To exclude smaller employers, a £15,000 annual allowance can be claimed. This will mean that only employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million will contribute to the levy. The £3 million limit also applies to companies who are...

14 December 2016

HMRC has published an updated list of deliberate tax defaulters as at 8 December 2016. The list includes individuals, businesses and companies and lists the amounts on which penalties are due and the amount of penalties charged.

The details of a tax defaulter will be held on HMRC’s website for a maximum of twelve months from the date they are first published and are not stored within...

08 December 2016

HMRC has reported that they have reached a milestone in helping to reduce the estimated 500 million phishing emails that are sent to taxpayers every year. HMRC has implemented new controls based on domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC). The security process works by determining which email servers are allowed to send emails on behalf of the organisation.

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08 December 2016

The Finance Bill 2017 draft legislation was published on 5 December 2016. The Bill contains the legislation for many of the tax measures that have been announced by the government. The Bill is open for comment until 1 February 2017 with the final details being confirmed in the spring Budget 2017.

The majority of the measures in the Bill were announced as part of the Autumn Statement on...

08 December 2016

In July 2015, the then Chancellor, George Osborne, presented a special Summer Budget, his first without coalition partners.

However, one of the important measures announced at that time was the abolition of non-domicile status. The government first declared its intention to legislate such that, from April 2017, any person who has been resident in the UK for more than 15 of the previous...

08 December 2016

Taxpayers may find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint about HMRC. Complaints can relate to many different issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. There is a factsheet published by HMRC entitled Complaints that provides further details.

Taxpayers that wish to complain should write or speak to the person or office they...

08 December 2016

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has announced that the government will waive the VAT equivalent on the sales of this year’s X-Factor Christmas Charity single. All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to two charities; Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice.

Both charities provide support for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families...

06 December 2016

In a written ministerial statement, the government has announced the proposed new rates for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory sick pay (SSP) for tax year 2017/18. 

The proposed revised rates are as follows:

  • The standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will...
01 December 2016

The latest advisory fuel rates became effective on 1 December 2016. Fuel rates are reviewed four times a year with changes taking effect on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.

The rates are as follows:

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