By Ian Holloway, head of legislation and compliance at Cintra HR & Payroll Services
HMRC’s Employer Bulletin is always worth a read for ‘the latest in payroll news’. April 2017’s edition, however, was an interesting mixture of understatement, reminders, old news, new news and no news. My quick summary:
As bullet points:
• The Spring Budget review was covered in one sentence saying ‘little’ happened that impacted payroll. This made me revisit the 6 pages that I had written to see if I had created fake news! I think that the Budget did contain information that was worthy of passing on.
• Changes to the valuation of Benefits in Kind (page 8). This is the change from the salary sacrifice regime to the Optional Remuneration Arrangement regime (OpRA). This is something that is certainly payroll-related and very relevant yet covered in less than 50 words. In fairness, maybe this is because the legislation is not finalised, least of all the guidance.
• P11D deadline for tax year 2016/17 with useful links (pages 2 and 3)
• New version of HMRC’s Basic Payroll Tools available to download from 30 March 2017 (page 5)
• Claiming tax relief for expenses that have not been reimbursed by the employer (page 7)
• Paying HMRC electronically (pages 9 and 10)
• Maybe it is only me that is tired of reading about the Apprenticeship Levy! (pages 3 and 4)
• Scottish Income Tax (page 5)
• Scottish Income Tax and the interaction with the Basic Earnings Assessment (pages 5 and 6). We could have done with this confirmation before the start of the tax year, though I did try and publicise it as much as I could when I knew in February 2017
• Student Loan threshold (page 6)
• National Minimum / Living Wage rates for the first full pay reference period on or after 01 April 2017 (page 8)
• PAYE Refresh (pages 4 and 5). This is relevant, as HMRC are soon to be using our real time data submission to amend tax codes more frequently in-year. A better source of information and guidance is HMRC’s Changes to PAYE in 2017 Employer information and support pack
• Tax-Free Childcare goes live on 28 April 2017. In fact, it was launched on 21 April. The Bulletin directs people to the new Childcare Choices website and is quite good in that it clearly tells you the options available depending on which country of the UK you live in
• Student Loan Plan 2 variable interest rate (page 6). It is worthwhile knowing, however, I do believe that the first port of call for the ex-student should be the Student Loans Company
• Student Loans for off-payroll workers (page 7). Goodness knows how this will work with automated systems
• Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (page 8). I am not totally sure that this is payroll-related, unless I have missed something
• Off-payroll working in the public sector from 06 April 2017. Again, this is not finalised in legislation or guidance but is very relevant and I give you this link to the current guidance
• OpRA. Please see the guidance and keep your eyes peeled from the finalised Finance Bill which may change it!
Even though I have doubts that this issue was representative of the latest news in payroll, I still recommend signing up for HMRC alerts.
Posted on 4th May 2017 by Jerome Smail
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