New Joiner Questions

By Steven Tucker -

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.

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A Levy for the Apprentice

By Steven Tucker -

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’.
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And the Higher Rate Tax Threshold for Scotland Is…

By Steven Tucker -

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.

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How We Upgrade Servers without Downtime

By Steven Tucker -

This article was originally published on our old blog in 2012, but it is still true and worth repeating.

We normally operate two complete systems in different datacentres.  The first one serves our customers and the second replicates all of the data, in real time, and is standing by to take over.  If a disaster strikes the first location, the service is quickly switched to the second system.

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How Scottish Are YOU?

By Steven Tucker -

On the 25th January, many of us with a claim to Scottish ancestry use the birthday of Robert Burns as an excuse to join friends for some poetry and to eat haggis with neeps and tatties. I had a Scottish great-grandfather, making me Scottish up to the ankles, if not the shins. You may, like me, be a fraction Scottish but as far as your Income Tax is concerned, it’s either Scottish, or it isna.

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When Self-Assessment Disagrees with PAYE, Which Is Right?

By Steven Tucker -

Around this time of year, lots of small business owners are doing their self assessment tax returns – in case you haven’t heard, the deadline is 31st January.

Often, even in simple cases with no other income, the self-assessment calculation comes out a pound or two different from the figures on the P60. In week 53 cases (which I’ll explain later) the difference can be significantly higher. The obvious question is, which is right?

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