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.
In an earlier post I wrote about how pension master trusts could be set up without regulatory approval, leading to a very mixed standard of available workplace pensions. This made it hard for small businesses to know who to trust with their employees’ retirement savings. Since then, the situation has moved on and Parliament has created new powers to tackle the problem.
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.
The new tax year, starting on 6th April, will see the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, a government measure that comes in two halves. The first half revolves around the word ‘levy’ and involves calculating, paying and reporting a tax based on the amount you pay your employees. The second half concerns the word ‘apprenticeship’ and covers how the money, once paid, can be used to fund apprentices. As I’m in the business of calculating and reporting payroll taxes, I’ll focus on the first half of this measure, concerning the word ‘levy’.
Read more “A Levy for the Apprentice”
As the Academy Awards demonstrated this week, things don’t always go to plan. On 15th December, Scotland’s finance secretary Derek Mackay delivered the draft budget for 2017/18, in which he proposed a higher rate tax threshold of £43,430. In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK, government budget declarations don’t carry the weight of an executive order but must be agreed by a vote of the relevant parliament, where the best-laid plans of mice and ministers go oft awry.
1) If a worker is eligible you must enrol them (even if they protest)
There are some limited exceptions to this but generally the law requires you to work out which staff to enrol and then do it, even if they don’t want a pension. They can then opt out after you’ve enrolled them.
We have added an option to send data to the Smart Pension API. This means if you use our system for payroll and Smart Pension for your auto enrolment pension, you can transfer information across by pushing a button on our site.