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Posted by admin
August - 5 - 2011

 

Budget 2011 – Main announcements

 This page summarises the key, new announcements made by the Chancellor in Budget 2011 on tax, duties and national Insurance contributions that we think will be of interest to businesses.

 Business Taxes

Corporation Tax Main Rate

The Government is reducing:

• the main rate of corporation tax to 26 per cent for the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2011;

• the main rate of corporation tax to 25 per cent for the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2012; and

• the small profits rate of corporation tax to 20 per cent from the Financial Year commencing 1 April 2011.

VAT: revalorisation of registration and deregistration thresholds

The following changes will be made to the VAT registration and deregistration thresholds:

• the taxable turnover threshold, which determines whether a person must be registered for VAT, will be increased from £70,000 to £73,000;

• the taxable turnover threshold which determines whether a person may apply for deregistration will be increased from £68,000 to £71,000; and

• the registration and deregistration threshold for relevant acquisitions from other EU Member States will also be increased from £70,000 to £73,000.

The revalorised thresholds have effect on or after 1 April 2011. The simplified reporting requirement (three line accounts) for the income tax Self Assessment return will continue to be aligned with the VAT registration threshold.

Oil: Supplementary Charge and Decommissioning Relief

The rate of the supplementary charge levied on profits from UK oil and gas production will increase from 20 per cent to 32 per cent from 24 March 2011. As part of the fair fuel stabiliser, if in future years the oil price falls below a set trigger price on a sustained basis, the Government will reduce the supplementary charge back towards 20 per cent on a staged and affordable basis while prices remain low. The Government believes that a trigger price of US $75 per barrel would be appropriate, and will set a final level and mechanism after seeking the views of oil and gas companies and motoring groups.

With effect from Budget 2012, tax relief for decommissioning expenditure will be restricted to the 20 per cent rate of supplementary charge. There will be no restrictions to decommissioning relief beyond this level for the lifetime of this Parliament. The Government will work with the industry with the aim of announcing further, longer term, certainty on decommissioning at Budget 2012. Recognising the importance of continuing investment in the North Sea including in marginal gas fields, the Government will also consider with the industry the case for introducing a new category of field that would qualify for field allowance.

 Controlled Foreign Companies

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2011 to deliver a package of interim improvements to the controlled foreign companies (CFCs) rules as a first step to make the rules easier to operate ahead of full reform in 2012. The interim changes will have effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2011 other than the extension to the transitional rules for the holding company exemptions which is deemed always to have had effect. Following consultation, a number of changes were made to ensure that the improvements delivered the desired outcome. This includes amending the three year temporary exemption to include overseas subsidiaries that are not currently CFCs but that have been in the past.

The full reform will introduce a mainly entity based system that will operate in a targeted and more territorial way by bringing within a CFC charge only the proportion of overseas profits that have been artificially diverted from the UK. The new rules will include a finance company partial exemption that, in broad terms, results in an effective UK tax rate of one-quarter of the main rate on profits derived from overseas group financing arrangements. This will result in a rate of 5.75 per cent by 2014. The Government will be consulting on this measure. A consultation document describing the new regime will be published in May 2011 with draft legislation in the autumn of 2011, for inclusion in Finance Bill 2012.

 Research and Development

Subject to State aid approval the rate of the additional deduction for expenditure on research and development (R&D) for companies that are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be increased from 75 per cent to 100 per cent from 1 April 2011, giving a total deduction of 200 per cent. The rate of vaccine research relief for SMEs will be reduced to 20 per cent from the same date.

Following consultation on the support that the R&D tax reliefs provide to innovation and on the recommendations of the Dyson review, the Government will publish a response in May which will include further consultation on the detail of proposed changes. Subject to State aid approval and to this consultation the rules will be simplified including:

• the rule limiting a company’s payable R&D tax credit to the amount of PAYE and national insurance contributions (NICs) it pays will abolished.

• the £10,000 minimum expenditure condition will be abolished for all companies.

• changes will also be made to the rules governing the provision of relief for work done by subcontractors under the large company scheme.

Bank Levy

In the June 2010 Budget the Government announced that it intended to introduce a bank levy (the Levy), effective from 1 January 2011, in respect of certain equity and liabilities on banks’ balance sheets. Following consultation on a number of operational issues around design and implementation, including possible and proposed approaches to defining taxable entities and the tax base, the Government

published a response document on 21 October 2010 along with an HMRC Technical Note setting out the Government’s proposals for the design of the Levy including changes made as a result of the consultation.

The Government announced on 8 February 2011 an increase in the effective rate of the Levy for the year 2011. The rates were increased so that the Levy will raise the target yield of £2.5 billion for the first year. Therefore, the rates for the calendar year 2011 will be:

• 1 January 2011 – 28 February 2011 0.05 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.025 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities;

• 1 March 2011 – 30 April 2011 0.1 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.05 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities; and

• 1 May 2011 – 31 December 2011 0.075 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.0375 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities.

The Bank Levy rates will be increased from 1 January 2012 onwards from those announced on 9 December 2010 to offset the benefit of the further decrease in corporation tax. The rates for 2012 onwards will now be 0.078 per cent for short-term chargeable liabilities and 0.039 per cent for long-term chargeable equity and liabilities.

Revenue Protection

 All measures are detailed in Overview of Tax legislation and Rates. A small number of measures come into effect on 23 or 24 March 2011. These are in respect of:

• Corporation tax anti-avoidance derecognition

• Sale of lessor companies

• Stamp Duty Land Tax

• Corporate gains degrouping charges

• Oil and gas: intangible fixed assets

Tax Administration

Office of Tax Simplification – Review of Reliefs

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) was commissioned by the Chancellor to undertake a review of the reliefs and allowances available in the tax system. The OTS published their final report on 3 March 2011 (available on the HM Treasury website) in which they recommended abolishing a number of reliefs. Some of these reliefs have no further use, some are poorly targeted and several have an administrative burden that outweighs their benefit. The Government welcomes the recommendations and, based on the findings of the OTS and ongoing work by HMRC, intends to abolish a number of reliefs.

Posted by admin
August - 3 - 2011

Budget Summary 2010 

Changes to the personal allowance, basic rate limit and upper earnings limit for NIC Legislation will be introduced to provide for the following income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) changes for the tax year 2011-12:

• the personal allowance for those aged under 65 will be increased by £1,000 to £7,475;

• the basic rate limit will be reduced so that higher rate taxpayers do not benefit from the increase in the personal allowance. The exact figure will be confirmed when September’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) is known; • the alignment of the Upper Earnings/Profits Limit (UEL/UPL) with the higher rate threshold (the total of the personal allowance for those aged under 65 and the basic rate limit) will be maintained by reducing the UEL/UPL; and

• the secondary threshold, which is the point at which employers start to pay Class 1 NICs, is to be increased by an extra £21 per week above indexation. Taken together, these measures reduce the tax liability for those on lower incomes and have no impact on most higher rate taxpayers who are employees or self employed and will help employers.

Main Changes to Tax Credits and Child Benefit

• The Government will reduce tax credit eligibility for families with household income above £40,000 from April 2011 and make further changes in 2012-13;

• The Government will increase both withdrawal rates to 41%;

• The Government has announced the removal of a number of elements from the Tax Credits system including the baby element (6 April 2011) and the age 50+ element (6 April 2012);

• The Government will use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to uprate all of those elements of tax credits due to be uprated by RPI from April 2011. The child element of the Child Tax Credit will increase by £150 above CPI in 2011-12 and £60 above CPI in 2012-13. The rate of Child Benefit will remain at current levels until April 2014, which will help fund increases in the child element of the Child Tax Credit;

• The backdating provisions have been shortened to one month with effect from 6 April 2012 from the current 93 days and amendments will also be made to the income disregard for income increases from 6 April 2011 and an introduction of a disregard for income falls from 6 April 2012; and

• Whilst the Government has chosen to continue with the previously announced decision on Working Tax Credits of the over 60s, they have reversed the March 2010 announcement to increase for those with children aged one or two.

Corporation Tax – Rates

The Chancellor has announced that:

• legislation will be introduced to cut the main rate of corporation tax (CT) to 27 per cent for the Financial Year (FY) commencing 1 April 2011;

• the small profits rate of corporation tax for FY 2011 will be 20 per cent. This will be legislated in Finance Bill 2011; and

• there will be further cuts in the main rate in future years: 26 per cent in 2012-13, 25 per cent in 2013–14, 24 per cent in 2014-15.

Change to the standard rate of VAT The standard rate of VAT will increase to 20 per cent on 4 January 2011.

Zero rated supplies, such as basic foodstuffs, children’s clothing and books; exempt supplies, such as education and health; and supplies subject to VAT at the reduced 5 per cent rate, such as domestic fuel and power, are not affected by this change.

There are no changes to the Cash Accounting or Annual Accounting Scheme.

Anti-forestalling legislation will be included in the Finance Bill 2010 to prevent the 17.5 per cent rate applying to supplies of goods or services that are provided on or after 4 January 2011, subject to certain conditions.

Review of Powers: Excise Compliance Checks

This measure makes changes to the compliance checking framework for excise duties, covering information and inspection powers, record-keeping rules and time limits. It will amend current legislation covering record-keeping, time limits and information and inspection powers.

A first consultation on excise modernisation and compliance checks was published in July 2009. The second consultation, published at the Pre-Budget Report 2009, listed the responses and proposed updating the existing compliance checking framework which is mainly in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Draft legislation to supplement that consultation was published on 14 January 2010 and a summary of responses to that consultation together with an impact assessment were published on 24 March 2010. A final Impact Assessment is being published today, 22 June 2010.

Pensions – Annual Allowance

The Government has today (22 June 2010) announced it is considering restricting pensions tax relief from 6 April 2011, by reforming the existing pension savings allowances, principally by significantly reducing the annual allowance. The Government will discuss the changes with interested parties but provisional analysis has suggested that the level of a reformed annual allowance may be in the region of £30,000 to £45,000.

The reformed allowances would replace the high income excess relief charge, which currently is due to come into force on 6 April 2011. Legislation will be brought in to allow the high income excess relief charge legislation to be repealed.

Regional Employer NICs Holiday for New Businesses

On 22 June 2010 the Budget Report stated:

‘The Government will shortly announce details of a scheme to help new businesses in targeted areas of the UK that need it most. During a three year qualifying period, new businesses which start up in these areas will get a substantial reduction in their employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

Within the qualifying period, these employers will not have to pay the first £5,000 of Class 1 employer NICs due in the first twelve months of employment. This will apply for each of the first 10 employees hired in the first year of business and operate in selected countries and regions.

Subject to meeting the necessary legal requirements, the scheme is intended to start no later than September 2010. Any new business set up from 22 June which meets the criteria set out in the forthcoming announcement will benefit from the scheme.’

The countries and regions which will benefit will be Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West, the East Midlands, the West Midlands and the South West.

Posted by admin
August - 3 - 2011

Many people on lower earnings, and who work 30 hours or more per week could be entitled to Working Tax Credit (You don’t have to have children to claim working tax credit).

Working Tax Credit helps to make work pay by providing an income top-up for people with earnings below a certain level.

Your employees could claim if they:-

  • Are aged 25 or over
  • Work 30 hours or more a week
  • Earn up to £13,190 a year (or £17,956 as a couple).

 

Employees aged 16 or over who are parents, or have a disability, and those over 50 returning to work after a period of being on benefits, may also be entitled if they work at least 16 hours per week.

To find out what your employees could claim they can visit www.direct.gov.uk/taxcredits or call 0845 300 3900 for a claim form.

Posted by admin
August - 3 - 2011

Quick reference guide to rates, thresholds and fees

Introduction

Rates, thresholds and fees, as well as rules and regulations, can alter annually with changes being announced in the Budget and usually implemented from the beginning of a tax year.
Over a year, a business owner has to make certain reports (returns) and payments to various government bodies. Some of these reports are made at the end of the tax year, some are made at the end of what is called an ‘accounting period’ while others are made quarterly or monthly.
Regardless of when a return or payment is made, you will need to ensure that you use the correct rate or allowance for the relevant tax year, or you may face a penalty.

Quick reference guide to rates, thresholds and fees

Other business-related facts and figures

Data protection

If your business processes personal information, you must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. You must register as a ‘data controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The registration fee is £35 per year. Data controllers can charge up to £10 to provide information to someone who has asked to see it.

Late payment charges

Credit management procedures are key to your business’ financial health and even its survival once you are operational. If you receive late payments from customers, you are allowed to claim reasonable debt-recovery costs.
Currently late payment charges are:

  • £40 for debts up to £999.99
  • £70 for debts from £1,000-£9,999.99
  • £100 for debts of £10,000 and above

You are also entitled to claim interest on late payments under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act. Interest is charged at 8 per cent over Bank of England base rate and is fixed for six-month periods.

Tax on business vehicles

The earnings threshold for treating company cars as a benefit in kind is £8,500 per year, including any taxable benefits and expenses payments.

Packaging recycling and recovery

The threshold for the requirement to register for recycling and recovery is turnover above £2 million and more than 50 tonnes of packaging handled annually.

Quick reference guide to rates, thresholds and fees

Income tax rates and allowances
Income tax is payable if you employ others or you are the director of your own limited company.
How much you deduct from wages or salary depends on the appropriate tax rate and tax band. Income tax is payable to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) through the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system.

Tax rates and bands
Tax rate Tax bands in 2009-10
Basic rate: 20% £0-£37,400
Higher rate: 40% Over £37,400

The Chancellor announced in his April 2009 budget that there will be an additional higher rate of income tax of 50 per cent for taxable incomes over £150,000 per year from 2010-11.
The Chancellor also announced in his 2009 Pre-Budget Report that banks will be required to pay tax at a rate of 50 per cent on all bonuses paid to bank staff over £25,000 between 9 December 2009 and 5 April 2010.
A tax allowance is the amount of tax-free income an employee can earn in a year. All employees are currently entitled to a basic tax allowance. Some employees will be entitled to more than one allowance.

Income tax allowances
Type of allowance

Earnings for 2009-10 
and 2010-11

Personal allowance £6,475
Personal allowance (aged 65-74) £9,490
Personal allowance (aged 75 and over) £9,640
Income limited for age-related allowances £22,900
Married couple’s allowance for people born before 6 April 1935 £6,865
Married couple’s allowance – aged 75 or over £6,965
Minimum amount of married couple’s allowance £2,670
Blind person’s allowance £1,890

From 2010-11 the basic personal allowance for those earning over £100,000 will be gradually reduced to nil. The personal allowance will be reduced by £1 for each £2 over £100,000 until it has been completely withdrawn.

Quick reference guide to rates, thresholds and fees

National Insurance contributions
The majority of the working population is required to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs). These contributions go towards certain social security benefits, such as the state pension and jobseekers allowance.
The different types of NICs:

Primary Class 1 NICs – paid by employed people

An employee only starts paying NICs once they are earning above the earnings threshold (ET). If an employee earns less than the earnings threshold, they are treated as paying NICs on the earnings between the lower earnings limit (LEL) and the earnings threshold. Employees pay NICs at a lower percentage rate on earnings above the upper earnings limit (UEL).

Secondary Class 1 NICs – paid by employers

An employer pays secondary NICs on the same level of earnings as employees but there is no upper earnings limit.

NICs thresholds for employees and employers
NICs threshold Earnings per week 2009-10
Primary Class 1: ET £110
Secondary Class 1: ET £110
Primary Class 1: LEL £95
Primary Class 1: UEL £844

The Chancellor announced in his 2009 Pre-Budget Report that the LEL will increase to £97 per week in 2010-11.

NICs rates for employees and employers
Type Rate for 2009-10
Primary Class 1: employees earning over the ET 11% of £110.01 to £844 per week and 1% on all earnings above £844
Secondary Class 1: Employees earning over the ET 12.8% of earnings above £110 per week
Married women paying reduced rate NICs 4.85% of £110.01 to £844 per week and 1% on all earnings above £844
Employees’ contracted – out rebate 1.6%
Employers’ contracted – out rebate (salary-related schemes) 3.7%
Employers’ contracted – out rebate (money-purchase schemes) 1.4%

NIC rates for the self-employed

You will need to complete a self-assessment tax return on an annual basis. This will show the level of profits that you are declaring.

Class 2 NICs

If you are self-employed, you are probably liable for Class 2 NICs, which are payable at a flat weekly rate of £2.40 per week in 2009-10.
You do not have to pay Class 2 NICs if you earn less than £5,075 in 2009-10 and have a Small Earnings Exception certificate.

Class 4 NICs

Class 4 NICs you pay on annual profits above a certain level, at a rate of 8 per cent between the lower and upper profits limit and 1 per cent on profits above the upper profits limits.

  • Class 4 lower profits limit: £5,715 in 2009-10
  • Class 4 upper profits limit: £43,875 in 2009-10

The Chancellor announced in his 2009 Pre-Budget Report that NICs rates for 2010-11 for employees and employers will remain unchanged at the 2009-10 rates. However, he announced that Class 1, Class 4 and Class 1A and 1B NIC rates will increase in 2011-12.

Quick reference guide to rates, thresholds and fees

 

Employees’ pay and deductions
If your business has employees, you are responsible for deducting income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) from their earnings. You can do this using the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system.
You will need to inform both your employees and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of how much has been deducted every year.
You may also need to manage other payroll deductions, such as payment for student loans.

Legal obligations

A range of legal obligations also apply to staff pay. Depending on the age of your staff and other conditions, varying rates of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will apply.

NMW rates for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2009

  • £5.80 an hour for workers aged 22 or over
  • £4.83 an hour for workers aged 18 to 21
  • £3.57 an hour for workers aged 16 and 17 who are over compulsory school age

The government has also confirmed that for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2010 the adult rate of NMW will apply to those aged 21 and over (currently payable to those aged 22 and over).
Certain groups of workers are not entitled to the NMW.
Under certain conditions, you may also have to pay an employee statutory sick pay (SSP), statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) or statutory adoption pay (SAP).

Statutory pay rates
Statutory pay type Pay rate
SSP £79.15 per week
SMP Six weeks at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings followed by a further 33 weeks at £123.06 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings – whichever is lower.
SPP One or two weeks’ pay at £123.06 per week or 90% of weekly earnings – whichever is lower. If the employee opts to take two weeks’ leave, they must be taken together.
SAP 39 weeks at £123.06 per week or 90% of weekly earnings – whichever is lower.

The above rate of SSP will apply from 6 April 2009 and from 5 April 2009 (the first Sunday in April) for SAP, SMP and SPP for employees earning over £95 per week in 2009-10 (£97 per week in 2010-11).
You may also have to pay an employee redundancy pay. Redundancy pay is based on an employee’s age and the length of time they have worked continuously for you (up to a maximum of 20 years). You are required to pay:

  • 1.5 weeks’ pay for each year’s service over the age of 41
  • one week’s pay for each year’s service between the ages of 22 and 40
  • 0.5 week’s pay for each year’s service up to the age of 21

There is a limit on the amount of a week’s pay that can be taken into account when entitlement is calculated. The limit is £380 per week with an overall maximum of £11,400 from 1 October 2009.