I was recently asked what advice I’d give somebody who is starting a new business and hiring his or her first employee. As you’d probably expect from someone whose business is payroll software, my answer was about the importance of organising your payroll.
Last week, comedian and prankster, Simon Brodkin, handed Theresa May a piece of paper with “P45” written in large print at the top of the page. But what is a P45 and what is the connection with leaving your post?
If you are an employee with a query about your pay, you may be told to check with payroll. Googling the word “payroll” will bring up a list of companies but, when you ring them, you’ll discover that none of them can help. So, how can it be possible that your trusted search engine has let you down?
When business owners set up a company pension scheme they need to make a few choices, including deciding how much the business needs to pay into the pension. Many employers understand that this must be at least 1% but few seem to know that there is more to decide than the percentage: do they want 1% of the total wages, 1% of qualifying earnings, or something else?
FreeAgent is the latest on the list of popular accounting system we integrate with. Some years ago, I had a meeting with a senior figure from a large, accounting software firm. He said he thought we were making a mistake by taking what he called the Swiss position.
When Real Time Information was first introduced, we were told it would save businesses hundreds of millions of pounds, make tax more accurate, reduce tax credits over-payments, enable dynamic adjustment of Universal Credits, move the planets into alignment and bring about world peace. Okay, maybe not the last two.
With such ambitious aims and a very short timescale for implementation, nobody should be surprised that the result wasn’t perfect.
New customers switch their payrolls to our system at all times of the year but there is always a peak at the start of a new tax year. This is because payroll works one tax year at a time, accumulating information as the tax year goes on and then resetting it for the start of the next.
When someone starts their first job, they normally don’t have a P45 with their tax code on it. The new employer needs another way to decide which tax code and student loan deductions to apply. HMRC publishes a form for this purpose, but using it can trigger as many questions as answers.