HMRC app

April Payroll News

Benefits in Kind

HMRC have produced an Expenses and Benefits Toolkit which you may find useful.  This provides information on vehicles, travel, subsistence and entertainment, personal bills and the use or transfer of assets.

The toolkit can be found here.

Remember:  P11D Benefits and Expenses need to be sent to HMRC by 6th July 2019.

HMRC Personal Tax Accounts

Did you know, you and your employees can set up an online Personal Tax Account with HMRC

(also available as a mobile app!).


You can use your personal tax account to: 

  • check your Income Tax estimate and tax code
  • fill in, send and view a personal tax return
  • claim a tax refund
  • check and manage your tax credits
  • check your State Pension
  • track tax forms that you’ve submitted online
  • check or update your Marriage Allowance
  • tell HMRC about a change of address
  • check or update benefits you get from work, for example company car details and medical insurance
  • find your National Insurance Number

Welsh Tax Codes

Welsh rates of Income Tax came into operation from 6 April 2019.  Tax codes for taxpayers living in Wales now begin with ‘C’.


Throwing a Party for your Employees?

A party for employees is exempt from tax if it: 

  • happens once a year on a recurring basis (i.e. a Christmas party or a summer bbq – not a 25th anniversary party)
  • is open to all employees
  • does not exceed £150 per head

Two or more functions?

If you provide two or more annual parties or functions, there is no tax to pay in respect of the parties if the total cost per head does not exceed £150.  If the party/parties cost more than £150 a head, it is taxable in full, not just the excess over £150.  To get the cost per head, divide the total cost of each party by the total number of people (including non-employees)

Note:  the cost of the party/parties includes VAT, the cost of transport and overnight accommodation, if provided, to enable employees to attend


Do you have employees earning over £50,000?

They may have to pay a tax charge, known as the High Income Child Benefit Charge if they or their partner get Child Benefit.

Telling your employees about the High Income Child Benefit Charge may help them to understand their obligations and avoid facing a penalty.

They can use the Child Benefit Tax Calculator to check if they or their partner needs to pay the charge.

Note: When calculating their earnings they should include any taxable benefits like medical insurance, company car or accommodation in their income.

Tax Free Childcare

There’s a simple step by step guide that parents can use if they want to apply for Tax-Free Childcare at






HMRC app

HMRC Personal Tax Accounts

Did you know you and can set up an online Personal Tax Account with HMRC (also available as a mobile app)?

You can use your personal tax account to:

  • check your Income Tax estimate and tax code
  • fill in, send and view a personal tax return
  • claim a tax refund
  • check and manage your tax credits
  • check your State Pension
  • track tax forms that you’ve submitted online
  • check or update your Marriage Allowance
  • tell HMRC about a change of address
  • check or update benefits you get from work, for example company car details and medical insurance
  • find your National Insurance number

Personal Tax Accounts can be set up by logging into




HMRC app

A Spring Statement in the eye of the Brexit Storm

The Chancellor rose in a parliament preoccupied with the ongoing Brexit drama to deliver a Spring Statement on the state of the economy.

Mr Hammond made clear some while ago that he wanted his Spring Statement to be a short financial briefing and he stuck to a no-frills script.

There were no new tax measures and only minor spending changes. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) trimmed its projections for government borrowing, but Mr Hammond kept his powder dry for the forthcoming Spending Review.

While the Chancellor may have appeared to say little, his statement was followed by some announcements and the publication of a range of documents covering areas including:

  • Making Tax Digital (MTD) – the government confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year of MTD’s implementation. MTD will not be extended to any new taxes or businesses in 2020.
  • Apprenticeship levy – the timing of the reduction in the co-investment rate for employers from 10% to 5%, and the increase to 25% in the amount that employers can transfer to their supply chains, will be brought forward. These changes will take effect from April 2019.
  • Draft legislation for the new structures and buildings allowance for investments in non-residential structures and buildings announced in the 2018 Budget. The relief will be given as an annual 2% flat rate over 50 years for new commercial structures and buildings.
  • Review of time limits for the recovery of lost tax involving an offshore matter, comparing them with other time limits. It will set out the rationale for the charge on disguised remuneration loans and will be laid by 30 March 2019.
  • CGT private residence relief changes announced in the 2018 Budget to lettings relief and the final period exemption.

These documents are likely to result in legislation following the Autumn Budget.






HMRC app

Postgraduate Loans

The Department for Education have launched a new Student Loan product known as Postgraduate Loans (PGL).

The earliest you can start repayment of PGL is April 2019.

If your employee has a Postgraduate loan,  HMRC will send you a new Postgraduate start notice (PGL1) to ask you to start taking PGL deductions.  These are collected through the normal Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process.   Your employee may also be liable to repay a Student Loan Plan Type 1 or 2 at the same time as the PGL. HMRC will let you know this by continuing to send the normal Student Loan start (SL1) as well as PGL1s.

Student loan types can be checked at:




HMRC app

VAT and Staff Trivial Benefits


Q:  Can I claim VAT on staff benefits?

You can reclaim VAT on staff benefits regardless of how much they cost.   If you provide a product (say a Kindle) it counts as a supply of goods and you must account for VAT  as if  you had sold it, so this contras out the VAT that you reclaimed.

No VAT is payable on the following: 

  • if the value of all gifts you give to your employees is less that £50 for the entire year
  • gifts that are exempt or zero-rated  (i.e.a book)
  • the gift is a service (i.e. gym membership)  N.B. this should to be offered to all employees







HMRC app

Tax on Customer Tips

If you are employed in a profession that receives tips from customers, you need to report these tips to HMRC.  Who is responsible for reporting them depends on how the tips are distributed, as follows: 

Staff member keeps the tips for themselves

If  you are an employee and receive a cash tip direct from a customer and you keep the money for yourself,  this counts as earnings for tax purposes.  You don’t need  to pay National Insurance on these, nor will your employer pay Employers National Insurance on them either. 

You will need to keep a record of what tips you have received and report these at the end of the tax year on your self-assessment tax return. If you don’t usually complete a tax return then you can telephone or write to  HMRC and let them know the total amount of tips you received for the year. 

Note: If you call, keep a record of when you rang, who you spoke to and what you told them. 

HMRC will adjust your tax code accordingly.   If you leave your employment, remember to inform HMRC that you have left.

Employer shares the tips out to all  staff 

If tips are collected in a box or you have to give your tips to your employer, who then distributes them to all members of staff, then your employer must add them to your salary when they do the payroll.  You will pay both tax and National Insurance on these tips (your employer will also pay National Insurance on them too). 

If tips are collected in this way, there is no need for you to inform HMRC that you are receiving tips. 







HMRC app

New tax regime for company cars

The Government has launched a review of vehicles taxes linked to CO2 emissions. 

The CO2 emissions from all vehicles produced from September 2017 will be assessed using WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) .  WLTP is thought to be more accurate than the current system  NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) and  will identify which cars cause more pollution.   

 Initial results indicate that CO2 levels are around 20% higher than those produced using NEDC and, as a result, there have been reports that income tax  and vehicle excise duty on company cars will increase by the same amount. Once the government has all the new emissions data, it will amend the company car tax rates so that overall there’s no major tax hikes.  

The changes will not take effect until 6th April 2020.  If you are considering buying company cars, remember to look at the WLTP results and not the NEDC. 
HMRC app

Budget 2018

In a longer than usual Budget speech, and in a slightly more jocular than usual mood, the Chancellor laid out the government’s vision for post-Brexit Britain. With a raft of measures aimed at shoring up businesses, infrastructure and the health service, Mr Hammond used the better than expected public finances to present an upbeat programme. Leaving some of the major announcements for last, this was a Budget to mark the coming of the end of austerity.

Some of the main announcements were:

  • The personal allowance will be raised to £12,500 from April 2019, one year earlier than planned. The higher rate threshold will also rise to £50,000 from April 2019, also a year earlier than planned, and will remain at the same level in 2020/21.
  • The lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase to £1,055,000 for 2019/20 in line with CPI.
  • The national living wage will increase from £7.83 an hour to £8.21.
  • The annual investment allowance (AIA) will increase to £1 million for all qualifying investments in plant and machinery made on or after 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2020.
  • For entrepreneurs’ relief, the minimum period throughout which the qualifying conditions for relief must be met will be extended from 12 months to 24 months from 6 April 2019.
  • From 1 April 2020, companies will be subject to a 50% limit on the proportion of annual capital gains that can be relieved by brought-forward capital losses. Companies will have unrestricted use of up to £5 million capital or income losses each year.
  • Business rates bills will be cut by one-third for retail properties with a rateable value below £51,000 for two years from April 2019.
  • Capital gains tax lettings relief will only apply where the owner of the property is in shared occupancy with the tenant. The final period exemption will also be generally reduced from 18 months to nine months.
  • The VAT registration threshold be maintained at the current level of £85,000 until April 2022.
  • From 1 April 2020, the amount of payable research and development (R&D) tax credits that a qualifying loss-making company can receive in any tax year will be restricted to three times the company’s total PAYE and NICs liability for that year.
  • From 6 April 2020, when a business enters insolvency, HMRC will be a preferred creditor for taxes collected by the business for the government such as VAT, PAYE income tax, employee NICs, and construction industry scheme deductions – but not such taxes as corporation tax and employer NICs.
  • Large social media platforms, search engines and online marketplaces will be pay a 2% tax on the revenues they earn which are linked to UK users from April 2020.
  • Fuel duty was frozen, alongside beer and spirits.

More details available in S R Lynn Co – Budget Summary





HMRC app

Welsh Tax Codes

Who will pay Welsh rates of Income Tax?

A taxpayer who is resident in the UK for tax purposes and has their sole or main place of residence in Wales for more of the tax year than in any other part of the UK will pay Welsh rates of Income Tax (WRIT).

HMRC will identify Welsh taxpayers based on information held within its systems. Employers and pension providers will not decide an individual’s Welsh taxpayer status. Welsh taxpayer status applies for a whole tax year and can’t be applied for part of a year.

From April 2019, Welsh resident taxpayers employed or in receipt of a pension will have a tax code beginning with C. Those completing a Self Assessment tax return online will be asked about country of residence on their return.




HMRC app

Employment Allowance – Is your business eligible to claim

The allowance has been in place since 2014.  It currently stands at £3,000 per year and seems to be a permanent fixture. 

Most payroll software automatically takes care of claiming the allowance.  However, have you considered whether you are eligible to claim?  In particular, if you own or partly own two or more businesses. 

HMRC have published guidance notes on connected companies.





HMRC app

Do you have to pay tax as a Foster Carer?

HMRC treats paid carers, which includes foster carers, as running their own business for tax purposes.  This means you may have to pay tax on money you receive. 

However, you can claim ‘Qualifying Care Relief’ (QCR), which could reduce the tax payable. 

You can use QCR  if you have children or adults placed with you by:

  • a local authority
  • health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland
  • a fostering service provider
  • a shared lives service provider

Qualifying care relief covers:

  • foster care
  • shared lives care
  • kinship care
  • staying put care – where a young person who was fostered continues to receive care after their 18th birthday
  • parent and child arrangements – where the parent is aged 18 or over and the child isn’t a ‘looked after child’
  • supported lodging schemes – unless the relationship is more similar to that of a landlord and tenant rather than that between family members

HMRC offer a factsheet, which explains QCR in more detail.

If you need help with completing a tax return, please give us a call on 01908 227055






HMRC app

GDPR Privacy Notice for Staff

As you will be aware, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018.  If you employ staff, you will have to give them detailed information on the data that you hold on them and how you process it.  

Some of the things that you should inform your staff of are: 

  • the name and contact details of the person, within your business, who is the Data Controller
  • the name and contact details of your appointed representative (if you have one)
  • the name  and contact details of your Data Protection Officer
  • what data you hold on your employees and how you process it
  • the legal basis or bases for that processing
  • the name of any third-party that you share their data with 
  • how many years you will hold this data

Your employees have a legal right to access this data, rectification, erasure, restriction of processing, objection and data portability. They also have the right to lodge a complaint about your data processing with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The above information should be provided to staff in a privacy notice.  This should be made available either at the point you collect their personal data or before you do so, not afterwards.  




HMRC app

HMRC’s Dynamic Tax Coding System

2018-19 is the first tax year that HMRC will use their new dynamic coding system to issue tax codes at the beginning of the tax year.

You should check all tax codes sent to you but for 2018/19 some of the things you should look out for are:

  • the ‘S’ prefix missing for Scottish taxpayer
  • personal tax free allowances being left out
  • no pension tax relief for higher or additional rate taxpayers
  • deductions for a source of income e.g. benefits in kind bank interest that you no longer receive




HMRC app

Diesel Car & Fuel Benefit Charge increase

On 6th April 2018, the diesel supplement, relating to the car & car fuel benefit increased from 3% to 4%  for all diesel cars that are not certified to meet the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard.

You can find out if your car is RDE2 compliant by asking the manufacturer for the “Certificate of Conformity”.    The diesel supplement will continue to apply to cars using diesel only (not diesel hybrids) and registered on or after 1 January 1998, which do not have a registered Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions value. It will also apply to models registered on or after 1 January 1998, which have a registered NOx emissions value which exceeds the RDE2 standard. 





HMRC app

Trivial Benefits

Since April 2016, employers have been able to provide  small benefits-in-kind to their employees without them counting as taxable perks. 

These should not

  • cost more than £50
  • be cash or cash vouchers
  • in recognition of a service performed by the employee as part of their job
  • form part of their contract of employment 

Whilst you can provide any number of small benefits to your employees, the rules for Directors are different.  Directors are limited to £300 per year.

More information can be found on HMRC’s website

If you would like us to complete you P11Ds, please give us a call on 01908 227055




HMRC app

HMRC Online Services – 2 step verification

In order to use your HMRC online business tax account for corporation tax, PAYE and other business services, you will need to use two step verification. 

How does it work?  Once you have entered your username and password, you will now also need to enter an access code.  This code changes each time you log in and is received either through HMRC’s app, by text message to your mobile phone or as a voice message on your landline. 

What if you would like multiple users?  If you would like your Bookkeeper or Accountant to log into your HMRC online account, you will need to set them up as a user.  They will receive a User ID and can create their own password and register their mobile.   You can create  an additional user by logging into your online account and clicking on the ‘Manage account‘, ‘Account Users‘ then ‘Manage Users‘.




HMRC app

Are you calculating the National Minimum Wage correctly?

Are you including other payments and benefits when calculating the National Minimum Wage (NMW)?  You may be doing so incorrectly.  

Here are a few things you should/should not include:  

Mileage Allowance
Mileage allowance only counts, when calculating a worker’s total remuneration for NMW purposes, if it is above the tax approved mileage allowance payments rate.

Tips and Gratuities
Tips and gratuities do not count towards the NMW or the National Living Wage. 

Living Accommodation
Living accommodation provided by an employer to a worker is the only benefit in kind which counts towards a worker’s NMW pay.  A notional amount, called the accommodation offset (currently £6.40 per day) , counts towards a worker’s NMW pay. 

Other things to note: 

Student Placements
If you have student placements who are part of a further/higher education course then the student does not qualify for the national minimum wage in respect of work done for an employer as part of that course, providing:

  • the work experience is undertaken before the course ends, and
  • the period of work experience does not exceed one year

An apprentice should have a contract which specifies: 

  • the pay rate
  • the length of the apprenticeship
  • what training is to be provided and to what level
  • the rights and obligations of the employer and the apprentice

Keep a check on your employees birthdays so you can increase their pay on the day when they fall into the next age bracket.

Annual NMW increases
The National Minimum Wage increases each year on 1 April.  We always publish the rates on our website.

HMRC fines
HMRC fines are 200% of the total amount you have underpaid your employee, up to £20,000.  




HMRC app

A Guide to Shared Parental Pay and Leave

Shared Parental Leave enables eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born or placed for adoption.

If you are unsure as to whether you qualify for SPL or how SPL is calculated, we have put together a short guide, which we hope you will find useful: 

  • Both parents must have been employed by their companies for 26 weeks prior to the Qualifying week (Qualifying week is 15 weeks before the week the baby is due to be born)
  • Both parents must still be in the same job  a week before the Shared Parental leave is due to start
  • The father or  civil partner must have earned at least £30 per week in the 26 weeks prior to the Qualifying week
  • You cannot get Shared Parental leave if you got Maternity Allowance rather than Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Agency workers are not entitled to shared parental leave but may be entitled to shared parental pay
  • As with Maternity pay, Shared Parental pay is paid for 39 weeks.  You can decide to share that between you and your partner, so if the mother/civil partner/adopter takes 15 weeks pay – their partner can take the remaining 24 weeks pay
  • The same with Shared Parental leave – if the mother/adopter takes 15 weeks leave – their partner can take the remaining 37 weeks leave. 
  • Both parents needs to give their employer 8 weeks notice of the leave they wish to take, The number of weeks available to take, how much each partner will take and declaration from their partner that they agree to the shared leave process.  There are no legal forms but you can download a form from ACAS website
  • Shared Parental Leave cannot start until the child is born – the mother/adopter must take at least 2 weeks after the birth or 4 weeks if she works in a factory.
  • It can be split into 3 separate blocks – both parents can take SPL at the same time
  • Each parent can work up to 20 days during SPL without bringing it to an end (similar to KIT days)
  • A mother/adopter can have these days in addition to KIT days (so effectively she could have 34 days back to work with full pay without bringing her maternity leave to an end)
  • KIT days are not available during Statutory Paternity leave

HMRC have online calculators to help you check if you are entitled to Shared Parental Pay and Leave:

More detailed guidance  can be found on the ACAS website 
























HMRC app

Procedures for taking on a New Employee

Did you know a starter declaration should be completed by every new employee? 

The declaration needs to be completed to determine which tax code your employee should be put on before the first FPS is done.  One of the most common reasons for incorrect tax codes is due to the declaration not being completed before the FPS. 

Usually information from your employee is on their P45.  However, if your employee doesn’t have a P45 then you should ask them to complete a ‘New Starter Checklist  This checklist will provide you with all the information you need to get your new employees on the correct code, avoiding late payroll adjustments.  There is also a checklist for ex-PATs

It’s good practice to get new employees to complete the checklist on day one. 

Here is a link to HMRC’s guidance on what the checklist should include:




HMRC app

On Maternity Leave? Have you heard of ‘KIT’ days?

To keep in toucMaternity Leaveh during maternity leave and ease your return to work, you can work for your employer during your SMP pay period for up to 10 days without ending your maternity leave or losing your SMP for any weeks that you do some work. These 10 days are called ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) days and allow you to undertake the odd day’s training or do some occasional work for your employer.

Your employer has no right to demand that KIT work is undertaken and you have no obligation to undertake such work.

Before any work is done, you must agree with your employer:

  • what work you’ll be doing
  • whether the KIT days are used in a row, singly or in blocks, but any work on any day (even an hour) will count as a whole KIT day
  • how much you’ll be paid for work done

Your employer may count the amount of SMP towards the contractual pay agreed with you but they must pay the weekly SMP rate you are entitled to and comply with statutory obligations, for example paying at least the National Minimum Wage.

If you work more than 10 days in your SMP pay period:

  • Your employer can’t pay SMP to you for any weeks where you work
  • Your maternity leave will come to an end

Once you have used your 10 KIT days, you’ll lose one week’s SMP for each week or part week you work.

The SMP pay period isn’t extended to take account of any such weeks. Any SMP lost in this way is always at the standard rate first, or 90% of the AWE if this is lower than the standard rate.

You must take 2 weeks (or 4 weeks if working in a factory) compulsory maternity leave immediately after the date your child is born and can’t work or use a KIT day during that time.




Last updated: 6 March 2019

HMRC app

Making Tax Digital

The Government recently announced a new timetable for Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Under the new timetable:

  • only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes
  • they will only need to do so from 2019
  • businesses will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020
Making Tax digital
Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital will be available on a voluntary basis for the smallest businesses, and for other taxes.

This means that businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will be able to choose when to move to the new digital system.

As VAT already requires quarterly returns, no business will need to provide information to HMRC more regularly during this initial phase than they do now.

All businesses and landlords will have at least two years to adapt to the changes before being asked to keep digital records for other taxes.






Last updated:19 March 2019

HMRC app

Lifetime ISAs (LISA)

If you are between the ages of 18 and 39, you can open a Lifetime ISA (LISA).

There is no maximum monthly contribution – you can save as little or as much as you want each month, up to £4,000 a year, and any savings you put into it before your 50th birthday will  receive a government bonus of 25% – that’s a bonus of up to £1,000 a year! 

You can use some or all of the money to buy your first home, or keep it until you’re 60.

The total amount you can save each year into all ISAs is £20,000.

Use it to save for a first home

Your savings and the bonus can be used towards a deposit on a first home worth up to £450,000 across the country.

Accounts are limited to one per person rather than one per home – so two first time buyers can both receive a bonus when buying together.

If you have a Help to Buy: ISA you can transfer those savings into the Lifetime ISA in 2017, or continue saving into both – but you will only be able to use the bonus from one to buy a house.

Alternatively, use it to save for retirement

After your 60th birthday you can take out all the savings tax-free.

You can withdraw the money at any time before you turn 60, but you will lose the government bonus (and any interest or growth on this). You will also have to pay a 5% charge.




Last updated: 12 December 2018