How do you calculate holiday pay for occasional workers?

hh-why-britain-needs-a-holiday-infographic

Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.

Self-employed workers aren’t entitled to annual leave.

But what if your workers work irregular hours, or are part time, or are casual occasional workers, how can you work out how much paid holiday they are entitled to, well actually its not as hard as you think, its based on an accrual of 12.7% per hour worked, here is a spreadsheet to help you calculate it.

Holiday Pay Calc

Calculating average hourly rate

To calculate average hourly rate, only the hours worked and how much was paid for them should be counted. Take the average rate over the last 12 weeks. If no pay was paid in any week, count back a further week, so that the rate is based on 12 weeks in which pay was paid.

steve@bicknells.net

Contact Us

 

That’s Scotch Tax!

Scottish Tax

On the 15th September HMRC issued the following announcement…

Depending on the level the Scottish Parliament sets the rate at Scottish taxpayers may pay a different rate of Income Tax to the rest of the UK.

Some of the Income Tax collected under the Scottish rate will fund the Scottish government and the rest will fund the UK government.

The Scottish rate of Income Tax doesn’t apply to income from savings such as building society interest or income from dividends. This rate will stay the same for all taxpayers across the UK.

The Scottish government is expected to announce the proposed Scottish rate of Income Tax for the tax year 2016 to 2017 in its autumn 2015 draft budget.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will collect the Scottish rate of Income Tax on behalf of the Scottish government.

Identifying Scottish taxpayers

It’s where you live, not where you work, that decides whether you’re a Scottish taxpayer.

You’ll pay the Scottish rate of Income Tax if:

  • you’re resident in the UK for tax purposes, and
  • your main residence for most of the tax year has a Scottish postcode

HMRC will contact potential Scottish taxpayers before April 2016. If the address HMRC holds for you is in Scotland you’ll be classed as a Scottish taxpayer. It’s your responsibility (not your employers’) to notify HMRC if you change your address.

Your April 2016 tax code will begin with the letter ‘S’ to show you’re a Scottish taxpayer.

If you pay your Income Tax through your wages (known as Pay As You Earn) HMRC will advise your employer to treat you as a Scottish taxpayer so you don’t need to do anything.

The Scotland Act 2012 contains the full definition of a Scottish taxpayer but where residency is not straightforward these examples of ‘close connection’ will help you.

National Insurance contributions are unaffected by the introduction of the Scottish rate of Income Tax.

Scottish Rate of Income Tax Calculator – click here

According to the Telegraph in August

Nicola Sturgeons’ rhetoric suggests she is planning to revive Labour’s ailing fortunes in Scotland, where it was all but wiped out in the general election, by veering Left and attempting to regain the party’s traditional working class support.

Among the policies she said she supported were a 50p top rate of income tax for people earning more than £150,000 and removing independent schools’ charitable status.

But the Tories said her blueprint would “send Scotland back to the 1970s” and warned it would merely result in an exodus of “wealth creators” south of the Border.

It will be interesting to see what the Scottish Parliament does to tax rates and whether or not its a success for Scotland.

steve@bicknells.net

Contact Us

Are you paying enough? New Minimum Wage

Business people group.

From the 1st October 2015 the new National Minimum Wages (NMW) will come into force

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice*
2015 (from 1 October) £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30
2014 (current rate) £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73

With a further increase in April 2016 for over 25’s to £7.20 per hour. The April 2016 wage will be called the Living Wage.

Penalties for non compliance are already harsh and as reported by the BBC on 1st September 2015 they are getting tougher…

These include doubling penalties for non-payment and disqualifying employers from being a company director for up to 15 years.

The government also announced plans to double the enforcement budget for non-payment and to set up a new team in HMRC to pursue criminal prosecutions for employers who deliberately do not pay workers the wage they are due.

Penalties for non-payment will be doubled, from 100% of arrears owed to 200%, although these will be halved if paid within 14 days. The maximum penalty will remain £20,000 per worker.

Are you paying enough?

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

Do you need help with HMRC?

Unhappy office worker on the phone, isolated on white

HMRC aren’t easy to speak to and unless you know the tax rules its easy to make mistakes, that’s why HMRC allow you to appoint agents to help you with your tax affairs.

To appoint an agent you use form 64-8

Form 64-8 covers authorisation for individual tax affairs (partnerships, trusts, tax credits and individuals under PAYE) and business taxes (VAT, PAYE for employers and Corporation Tax). If you’re a personal representative you can use form 64-8 in certain circumstances to ask HMRC to deal directly with an agent.

There are times when you might want extra help for example with an HMRC Compliance Visit and you can appoint a temporary agent using form COMP1.

The Comp1 relates only to the appointment of an adviser to deal with a compliance check. It does not authorise us to deal with that adviser for anything outside that check. Form Comp1 does not replace or amend any existing authorisation made using form 64-8 or the online authorisation facility, or in CITEX cases a letter giving authority for the agent to act.

The temporary authorisation can be used to:

  • extend an existing authorisation, for example where there is an adviser acting for one tax under a form 64-8, and the customer wants that adviser to act for more taxes just for the purpose of the compliance check
  • appoint an adviser to deal solely with the compliance check where there is no existing adviser authorisation
  • appoint a ‘specialist’ tax adviser, for example in Specialist Investigation cases, just to deal with a compliance check. In such cases this will allow the existing adviser to continue to act for the customer in their day to day tax matters.

[HMRC CH201550]

Do you need help?

steve@bicknells.net

Will I get £30,000 tax free? Termination Payments

Dejected just fired an office worker with personal belongings in a box

Basically the current situation is that the first £30,000 of a payment which is paid in connection with the termination of employment is tax free, as long as it is not otherwise taxable as earnings. It sounds simple but can be complicated, here is a government example

 

Termination Example

The Office of Tax Simplication are currently consulting (until 16th October 2015) on changing the rules one solution is to make it more like redundancy payments, take a look at these examples

Termination 2

There will also be some anti avoidance rules that if you are re-engaged within 12 months in similar job with the same company the payments previously made would become subject to tax and NI.

It looks like we are in for some major changes, its not too late for you to have your say, click on this link

steve@bicknells.net

Is this the End of National Insurance?

Pay Packet And Banknotes

You pay National Insurance contributions to qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension.

You pay National Insurance if you’re:

  • 16 or over
  • an employee earning above £155 a week
  • self-employed and making a profit of £5,965 or more a year

The Office of Tax Simplification is currently beginning a process of looking at merging National Insurance with Income Tax.

OTS NI TOR

ACCA’s head of tax Chas Roy-Chowdhury warned that an alignment of NI and income tax rates would be crucial prior to a merger taking place.

Whilst This is Money reported…

Middle and high earners could see their tax bills jump under radical plans to merge income tax and National Insurance, a tax expert has warned.

People taking home £50,000 a year could be £230 worse off, but low earners on £20,000 would save more than £530, and those on £30,000 would come out around £380 ahead, according to snap research by Tilney Bestinvest on the potential tax shake-up.

Chancellor George Osborne wants to reduce ‘complexity’ in the tax system to make it clearer exactly how much people have to cough up, and has ordered the Office of Tax Simplification to see if there is a case for change.

This change is also likely to lead to changes to Pension tax relief reform, Your Money reported…
The government has already announced a consultation on the pension tax relief system, and I believe that a merger of income tax and NI would likely result in the floated idea of a pension with ISA-like tax treatment. This is because at present, a basic rate taxpayer gets 20% tax relief on pension payments but surely this would increase to 32% under a combined system. It seems illogical to increase tax relief at a time when they are actually trying to reduce the cost to the Exchequer. An equal tax treatment of ISAs and pensions could be a prelude to merging the two, potentially drawing ISAs into some form of limetime allowance.
steve@bicknells.net

Holiday Pay – does it include Overtime?

Payroll

Back in November 2014, the BBC reported..

Workers have won a ground-breaking case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal to include overtime in holiday pay.

This means some people working overtime could claim for additional holiday pay. Currently, only basic pay counts when calculating holiday pay.

Since then we have had further legislation, the Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations), which impose the 2 year limit on any new holiday pay claims raised from 1st July 2015 onwards. Separately, a recent case from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal (Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council) suggests that voluntary overtime may – in some circumstances – have to be included in holiday pay calculations.

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has just held that there is no reason why voluntary overtime cannot be part of an individual’s normal working week and therefore could be included in holiday pay calculations.

This will be bad news for many employers and in Scotland there are now 21,000 holiday pay claims in the Scottish Tribunal system alone. [Law-Now]

Whilst I am sure may employees will welcome the decision, this will surely lead employers to reconsider whether using contractors would be cheaper? No Holiday Pay, No Auto Enrolment Pension, No Redundancy or Statutory Pay

Many already predict that by 2020 50% of workers will be self employed!

steve@bicknells.net

HMRC update the Employment Status Tool

Determining whether a worker is Employed or Self Employed isn’t always easy.

HMRC updated and improved their tool in April 2015.

The Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool enables you to check the employment status of an individual or group of workers – that is whether they are employed or self-employed for tax, National Insurance contributions (NICs) or VAT purposes.

The ESI tool is essential for anyone who takes on workers, such as employers and contractors. (The tool refers to anyone in this position as an engager.) Individual workers can also use the tool to check their own employment status.

The tool cannot, however, be used to check the employment status of certain workers:

  1. company directors or other individuals who hold office
  2. agency workers
  3. anyone providing services through an intermediary (sometimes referred to as IR35 arrangements)

The ESI tool is completely anonymous, so no personal details about the worker or engager are requested.

Click here to use the HMRC Tool

https://stevejbicknell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/workers.jpg

steve@bicknells.net

Free Auto Enrolment Checklist to Maximise Profits

For years, accountants and bureaus have been offering payroll services, taking a massive burden off the hands of their clients. However, the payroll profession has changed dramatically over recent years with the introduction of Auto Enrolment. A significant 1.2 million small and micro businesses are set to start staging between June 2015 and the beginning of 2018. The Pensions Regulator defines small businesses as employers with 5 to 40 workers and micro businesses as having one to four workers.

Brightpay

The thought of choosing the right payroll provider has exasperated with the new AE employer duties that need to be completed. Some software providers are avoiding auto enrolment completely, while others are offering AE features with limited functionality or at a high extra cost. If you have payroll clients they may have an expectation that you will handle the AE setup and ongoing duties for them. For bureaus, it will be important to discuss the options with your clients as early as possible.

Auto Enrolment Functionality

Payroll software will play a vital role in ensuring the success of Automatic Enrolment. Many of the functions necessary to comply with Automatic Enrolment duties are process-driven and can be handled by technology. Your payroll clients will need to access their employees to ascertain who they have to automatically enrol and who will have the right to request to join.

The Pensions Regulator recommends that payroll software should automate the majority of these processes, such as assessing employees’ eligibility, producing employee communications, monitoring employees’ ages, and earnings on ongoing basis, producing the required reports and much more. It will be important to check with your software provider to see if it can handle the requirements of Automatic Enrolment. From that point on, it is all about efficiency and there are several questions that need to be answered first in order to start making a profit from these jobs.

So what should you be looking for in potential payroll software to process AE more efficiently? These 10 questions outline key factors to ease the decision making process.

1. Does it support your chosen AE pension schemes?
2. Will employee assessment be automated?
3. Is enrolling employees problematic or effortless?
4. Can it produce employee communications based on individual’s work status?
5. Does it allow for Postponement?
6. Are employees being continuously monitored by the software?
7. What are the limitations regarding the number of employees or employers that can be set up?
8. Will it make contributions and deductions?
9. Does it allow you to produce the required reports?
10. Are auto enrolment features and support charged at an extra cost?

Discover how the right payroll solution will empower you to improve profit margins and increase the turnaround of clients. This step by step guide details how the correct systems in place with fully optimise their payroll operations for efficiency. Check your have full AE functionality.

 

Download full Guide Here

Written by Karen Bennett for BrightPay Payroll

What are Dispensations and Scale Rate Allowances?

Pay

Its nearly time to prepare your P11D’s, here is a link to the 2014-15 P11D

You’ll need to submit an end-of-year form to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for each employee you’ve provided with expenses or benefits.

The form will either be a P9D or a P11D, depending on the expense or benefit.

You may need to submit form P11D(b) to report the amount of Class 1A National Insurance due on all the expenses and benefits you’ve provided. You should do this if:

  • you’ve submitted any P11D forms
  • you’ve been sent a P11D(b) form by HMRC

If you don’t submit any P11D forms, you can tell HMRC that you don’t owe Class 1A National Insurance by completing a declaration.

Due by 6th July 2015.

As an employer, you can apply for a dispensation on some expenses and benefits you provide for your employees. This means you won’t need to report them to HM Revenue and Customs or pay tax or National Insurance on them. Here is a link to apply for Dispensations.

There are also Benchmark Scale Rates which can be paid tax free, alternative you can claim the actual costs

Description Amount (up to)
Breakfast rate £5
One meal (5 hour) rate £5
Two meal (10 hour) rate £10
Late evening meal rate £15

steve@bicknells.net