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Major changes are only 2 months away, warns tax expert


A whole series of changes are being introduced which will alter the tax climate.
Mark Perry pictured , senior tax manager at the Milton Keynes office of Mazars, said: “It means another big shake-up on the employment tax front.
Earmarked in the Autumn Statement, the personal allowance finally reaches the magical £10,000 level. “That no doubt will be warmly welcomed,” said Mr Perry.
HM Revenue & Customs has stated that all employers will need to register existing and new employee share schemes from April. “This will include pre-existing approved plans as well as any unapproved arrangements,” Mr Perry added.
For approved schemes the employer will be required to also self-certify their schemes to confirm they still meet the qualifying conditions and this will be an integral part of the registration process.
This will also cover employers who take advantage of the new employee shareholder scheme rules that went live from September, he said.
“This is a complex area where getting it wrong could result in both the tax benefits of the scheme being withdrawn and penalties being payable.  Normally employers will need help with these new obligations.”
In the 2013 Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that from April all employers could receive a £2,000 credit against their NIC liability, essentially reducing this to nil for the smallest.
There is also still a window available to make retrospective claims for NIC refunds of up to £5,000 for those new employers eligible under the old Regional NIC Holiday Scheme which stopped in September.
Employers need to make sure they claim these reliefs to reduce payroll costs, said Mr Perry.
Personal services companies and intermediaries in general though continue to be deeply frowned on and new legislation will attempt to counteract the increasing use of overseas personal services companies avoiding PAYE and NIC on relevant earnings being paid to the workers in question.
If employers are employing workers through these personal companies then they need to be aware of the new rules.
“All this will make it quite a daunting period with the opportunity for business to reduce its payroll costs but the need to fulfill additional reporting and compliance in some cases.” said Mr Perry.