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Wright In Touch October 2023 (Issue 116)

Updated: Oct 5, 2023



Wright & Co Wednesbury Outside Offices

Welcome …

To our October 2023 newsletter designed to bring you tax tips and news to keep you one step ahead.







Contents

  • ADVISORY FUEL RATES - MUST BE EFFECTIVE 01 OCTOBER 2023

  • R&D TAX RELIEF - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED

  • REGISTER FOR SELF ASSESSMENT - THE DEADLINE APPROACHES

  • STATUTORY PATERNITY LEAVE AND PAY CHANGES IN 2024

  • QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  • KEY DATES


ADVISORY FUEL RATES - MUST BE EFFECTIVE 01 OCTOBER 2023

The Advisory Fuel Rates (AFRs) have had their quarterly review and HMRC published revised rates from 01 September 2023. With rising fuel prices again, it's not surprising there were changes - mainly for cars with a higher cc. The following rates are effective 01 September 2023 but HMRC say the old rates can be used for one month from this date. So, from 01 October 2023 you must be using the following rates (with the old rates in brackets and * indicating where there's been a change):

Petrol (or hybrid)

Rate

1400cc or less

13p (13p)

1401 to 2000cc

16p (15p)*

Over 2000cc

25p (23p)*

LPG

Rate

1400cc or less

10p (10p)

1401 to 2000cc

12p (12p)

Over 2000cc

19p (18p)*

Diesel

Rate

1600cc or less

12 (12p)

1601 to 2000cc

14p (14p)

Over 2000cc

19p (18p)*

The Advisory Electricity Rate for fully-electric cars increased from 9p per mile to 10p.


There are important points worth repeating about these rates:


– They relate to mileage in company car. The rates for business mileage in private cars are at the (higher) Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs)

– They are the rate of reimbursement to employees for business travel OR the rates used to calculate amounts employees should repay when they are required to make good the cost of any private travel

– Where you reimburse (or ask for repayment) at higher rates there's a tax and National Insurance liability unless you can justify the fuel cost per mile is higher


The last point is important and if you do use rates greater than HMRC's rates, you need to be able to demonstrate and justify why. Maybe fuel costs in your area are higher than HMRC's UK average ones. It's all about justifying which means more records to keep!


R&D TAX RELIEF - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED

Research and Development (R&D) is a Corporation Tax relief that is a Government support to some UK companies working on innovative projects in science and technology. There are currently two R&D schemes:


– For large companies, Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) and

– For small or medium enterprises (SMEs), SME R&D tax relief


There are strict terms and conditions of eligibility and the Government has introduced measures to tackle what it perceives as abuse of this support package and non-compliance. At the same time, though, they have updated what counts as qualifying expenditure, including 21st century realities such as costs for data licences and cloud computing.


For NEW R&D relief claims for accounting periods starting on or after 01 April 2023, from 08 August 2023 the following changes are in place:


– New claims must be made digitally accompanied by a compulsory additional information form

– Notifications must be made in advance of any R&D claim being made on a Corporation Tax return, and

– The notification and additional information form must contain details of any agent involved with making the R&D claim


Note that not all companies involved in innovation will be entitled to claim R&D tax relief. An accountant will be able to advise on an effective and achievable business plan for your company and help make a grant application - or advise if an application will be turned down.


REGISTER FOR SELF ASSESSMENT - THE DEADLINE APPROACHES

The deadline for registering for Self-Assessment is 05 October 2023 (for 2022/23 tax year with tax returns due by 31 January 2024). Individuals must complete and send a tax return if, in 2022/23:


– You had self-employed income above £1,000, or

– You are a partner in a business partnership, or

– You were liable to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge, or

– You had taxable income over £100,000


There are also other situations where you may have to complete a tax return such as receiving foreign income or income from savings, investments and dividends. You are advised to use the 'Check if you need to send a Self-Assessment tax return' tool on Gov.UK.


HMRC have announced the income over £100,000 threshold will increase to £150,000 for the tax year 2023/24. This may mean less people need to file a tax return for 2023/24 (though you will for 2022/23). However, you should be aware that once registered for Self-Assessment you remain liable to complete a tax return. If you do not, HMRC will issue late filing penalties and could create an estimated tax liability which you are required to pay.


Registering (online) is far easier than deregistering (online form using a Government Gateway login, telephone or HMRC's chat facility)!


STATUTORY PATERNITY LEAVE AND PAY CHANGES IN 2024

These affect us personally and professionally and if you have policies and procedures regarding Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL) and Pay (SPP), be aware of changes coming from the start of the 2024/25 tax year. This information is provided to help you prepare.


The Government committed to making it easier for fathers to take leave (and pay) as follows:


– The 2 weeks can be taken in non-consecutive blocks of one week (compared to the fixed regime now)

– Instead of having to take the 2 weeks within 56 days of the birth / placement of a child, this is extended to 52 weeks

– The employee will have to provide a 'Notification of entitlement' 15 weeks before the birth / placement AND

– A leave request form 28 days before the required leave dates


There is NOT a change to the eligibility and rate of payment / reclaim criteria just the current rules will be more flexible. Legislation will be introduced so the changes are effective 06 April 2024 and in place by 08 March 2024 (28 days before 06 April 2024).


A small change but a major one for employers. So, we have prepared a simple action checklist below:

Item

Why?

Check (Y / N / N/A)

Policies and procedures

There are changes to the length of time over which leave (and pay) can be taken, how it can be taken and notifications the employee must give.

Software

Payroll and HR software must allow the flexibility from 06 April 2024. If you use HMRC's Basic PAYE Tools, they have advised this will be updated.

Gov.UK forms

The forms will change and you need to have these in your possession (the SC3, SC4, SC5, SPP1 and SPP2).

Internal forms

The above are not mandatory and you may have your own versions to update. Remember, there is the notification of entitlement AND the notification of leave start date.

Online guidance

HMRC produce a range of calculators, eligibility checker and guidance. They assure these will be updated in time for the reforms. Make sure you are referring to the correct and updated guidance.

Communicate!

This is a reform of an existing entitlement. But people need to know!


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


Q1. We have started reimbursing London’s extended Ultra Low Emission Zone charges when an employee must pay them whilst on business for us. Can we reimburse them free of tax?


A: Yes, the reimbursement can be made free of tax (and National Insurance). Think that this is a cost the employee has had to incur as a result of doing their job. So, really, it’s treated the same way as any other motoring cost you may reimburse such as the cost of parking or a toll road. You are very much advised to make sure all expenses reimbursed are receipted just in case HMRC checks in future!


Q2. Our accountant has asked we complete a paper 64-8 authorising them to act as their agent for the Construction Industry Scheme. Can they include a scanned picture of my signature on the form or do I have to physically sign it?

Q3. We are considering outsourcing our accounts and payroll function, even though they have worked OK in-house ever since we set the business up. We are a small employer with about 30 staff. Can you give me a few key pointers so I can prepare a business case for this?



OCTOBER KEY DATES



1st


– HMRC’s Advisory Fuel Rates (published in September) must be implemented by employers by the date


5th


– The deadline for individuals, trusts and partnerships to notify HMRC of the need to register for Self-Assessment (2022/23 tax year)


15th


– If a US expatriate had a 2022 federal tax return extension agreed, 15 October 2023 is the deadline for filing. Note that 15 October 2023 is a Sunday and the due date is delayed until the next business day (the 16th)


19th


– Deadline for sending the Employer Payment Summary (EPS) for tax month ending 05 October 2023

– Deadline for paying HMRC all PAYE, NICs, Student Loans and CIS deductions (less child-related statutory payments) if paying by a non-electronic method


22nd


– Deadline for paying HMRC all PAYE, NICs, Student Loans and CIS deductions (less child-related statutory payments) if paying electronically. 22 October 2023 is a Sunday and HMRC must have cleared funds on or before this date so ensure you submit by Friday the 20th


31st


– The filing deadline for paper Self-Assessment tax returns (individuals, trusts and partnerships



Need Help ?


Please contact us if we can help you with these or any other tax or accounts matters.

In addition, if there’s anyone else who you think would benefit from the newsletter, please forward the email to them or ask them to contact us to be added to the newsletter list.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature and no assurance of accuracy can be given. It is not a substitute for specific professional advice in your own circumstances. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a consequence of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.


Copyright © Wright & Co Partnership Limited. All rights reserved. The Squires, 5 Walsall Street, Wednesbury, West Midlands, WS10 9BZ Company Registration No. 04492483 Registered in England and Wales

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