The government has announced that it will implement a package of improvements to the CIS. The stated aim of the changes is to reduce the administrative and related cost burden on construction businesses.
The measures should result in more subcontracting businesses being able to achieve and maintain gross payment status so improving their cashflow. These changes are to be implemented in stages. The requirement for a contractor to make a return to HMRC even if the contractor has not made any payments in a tax month will be removed. Contractors may make a voluntary nil return but will no longer be obliged to do so.
Mandatory online filing of CIS returns will be introduced with the offer of alternative filing arrangements for those unable to access an online channel by reason of age, disability, remote location or religious objection. The directors' self assessment filing requirements will be removed from the initial and annual compliance tests. The threshold for the turnover test will be reduced to £100,000 in multiple directorship situations.
HMRC have reported that they received 1,773 online tax returns on Christmas Day, with the busiest time for online returns on 25 December between midday and 1pm, when 148 Yuletide returns were delivered electronically.
HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: "You can file your online return at any time of day or night - even Christmas Day, if it suits you. But don't leave it too late. Give yourself plenty of time to resolve any problems and if you need to call us, do it now, as our phone lines get much busier as the 31 January deadline approaches."
The deadline for sending 2013/14 tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2015.
We have previously reported that in the judgment an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that holiday pay should reflect non-guaranteed overtime.
Following fears that employers may face large backdating claims the Government has taken action to reduce potential costs to employers by limiting claims by introducing regulations which will mean that claims to Employment Tribunals on this issue cannot stretch back further than two years. Employees can still make claims under the existing arrangements for the next six months which will act as a transition period before the new rules come into force. The changes apply to claims made on or after 1 July 2015.
Employers and employees can also contact the Acas helpline for free and confidential advice. If you would like any help in this area please do get in touch.
Internet Links: ACAS guidance Gov news
The government has published draft tax legislation to implement the new tax on diverted profits which has been referred to as the 'Google tax'.
Commenting on the new measure, John Cridland, Director General of the CBI said:
'International tax rules are in urgent need of updating but there is already an OECD process underway to do this. It is unfortunate that the UK has decided to go it alone with a Diverted Profits Tax outside this process, which will be a real concern for global businesses.'
Solicitors are being given the chance by HMRC to bring their tax affairs up to date or face tougher penalties, as part of a new tax campaign.
Caroline Addison, Head of Campaigns, HMRC, said: "Information gathered by HMRC has allowed us to identify solicitors who thought they could operate without declaring income and paying the taxes that others have to pay. If you have not declared all of your income, you need to put your tax affairs in order. Take this chance to come forward and put things right in a straightforward way and on the best possible terms. It will be easier and cheaper for you to come to us than for us to come to you. Those who make a deliberate decision not to pay the taxes due could face a penalty of 100% or more of the tax due, or even a criminal prosecution."
In the latest Employer Bulletin HMRC are reminding employers that they are about to issue penalty notices to those employers who have failed to meet their RTI filing obligations.
The notice will be in the form of a 'paper letter', and will set out all filing penalties incurred for the third quarter of 2014/15 (for tax months 7, 8 and 9 covering the period 6 October to 5 January 2015). The penalty notices may contain more than one penalty. Agents are not sent a copy of this notice so if you receive one and would like guidance on whether the penalty is due or how to appeal against it please do get in touch as soon as possible. Further guidance on this issue can be found on page four of the latest Employer Bulletin.
Internet Links: Employer Bulletin