Accepting Coins in Payment

Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning in the settlement of debts. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender.  It does not mean that any ordinary transaction has to take place in legal tender or only within the amount denominated by the legislation.

Both parties to a transaction are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes.

In order to comply with the very strict rules governing an actual legal tender transaction it is necessary, for example, to offer the exact amount due because no change can be demanded.

Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amount:

£2 – for any amount

£1 – for any amount

50p – for any amount not exceeding £10

20p – for any amount not exceeding £10

10p – for any amount not exceeding £5

5p – for any amount not exceeding £5

2p – for any amount not exceeding 20p

1p – for any amount not exceeding 20p

Merging Charities?

Image result for merging charitiesThe merger of charities means two or more separate charities coming together to form one organisation. In such cases, either a new charity is formed to carry on the work or take on the assets of the original charities or one charity assumes control of another.

Before you start, decide whether merging is in your charity’s interests. It could be less risky and more efficient to work with another charity more informally. You should read the Charity Commission’s guidance on collaborative working, making mergers succeed and its mergers checklist.

When thinking about a merger, you must make sure that:

  • the governing documents of the charities involved allow the merger
  • all the charities involved have similar aims

Tips for successful mergers

  1. The merger should be in the best interests of the charities’ beneficiaries
  2. The charities involved must be compatible in objects, culture and values
  3. Effective communication with all stakeholders from the outset is vital – processes and outcomes should be clear to all involved
  4. The charities’ trustees should be united in believing that the merger is the best way forward
  5. Identify the key roles and responsibilities in the merger process
  6. Communicate and negotiate in a way that reflects the interests of all parties
  7. Contact the Charity Commission at an early stage if advice is needed

Workplace Pensions Re-enrolment

Image result for workplace pensions re-enrolmentRe-enrolment

Every three years you must put certain staff back into a pension scheme.

This is called ‘re-enrolment’

Your re-enrolment duties must be carried out approximately three years after your automatic enrolment staging date.  Your duties will vary depending on whether you identify that you have staff to re-enrol, or whether you have no staff to re-enrol.  Either way, you will need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to tell the Pensions Regulator how you have met your duties.

Remember, re-enrolment and re-declaration is your legal duty and if you don’t act you could be fined.

There are 3 stages for you to follow:

  1. Choose your re-enrolment date – you should do this now
  2. Assess your staff – do this on your re-enrolment date
  3. Write to staff you have re-enrolled – do this within 6 weeks of your re-enrolment date

More help and advice can be found here

A Reminder of Wage Changes from April 2019

The rates are as follows:

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2018 (current rate) £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
April 2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90

National Insurance Category Letters

HMRCEmployers use an employee’s National Insurance Category Letter when they run payroll to work out how much they both need to contribute.

Most employees have category letter A.  Employees can find their category letter on their payslip.

Category letter Employee group
A All employees apart from those in groups B, C, J, H, M and Z in this table
B Married women and widows entitled to pay reduced National Insurance
C Employees over the State Pension Age
J Employees who can defer National Insurance because they’re already paying it in another job
H Apprentice under 25
M Employees under 21
Z Employees under 21 who can defer National Insurance because they’re already paying it in another job

Category letter X

Employers use category letter X for employees who don’t have to pay National Insurance, for example because they’re under 16.

Workplace Pensions – Changing Jobs

What happens to your pension if you change jobs?

Pensions-AE-Word-CloudYour workplace pension still belongs to you. If you do not carry on paying into the scheme, the money will remain invested and you’ll get a pension when you reach the scheme’s pension age.

You can join another workplace scheme if you get a new job.

If you do, you may be able to:

Ask your pension providers about your options.

Get help and advice

You can get free, impartial information about transferring your pension from:

You can also get impartial advice about workplace pensions from an independent financial adviser. You’ll usually have to pay for the advice.

You can find more detailed information here

Payroll: Annual Reporting and Tasks

Image result for PayrollAs an employer running payroll, you need to:

  • report to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the previous tax year (which ends on 5 April) and give your employees a P60
  • prepare for the new tax year, which starts on 6 April
  What you need to do   When
Send your final payroll report of the year On or before your employees’ payday
Update employee payroll records From 6 April
Update payroll software From 6 April (or earlier if the software provider asks you to)
Give your employees a P60 By 31 May
Report employee expenses and benefits By 6 July

Maternity Leave and Workplace Pensions

wpid-paternityPaid leave

During paid leave, you and your employee carry on making pension contributions.

Maternity and other parental leave

You and your employee will continue to make pension contributions if they are getting paid during maternity leave.

If they are not getting paid, you as the employer will still have to make pension contributions in the first 26 weeks of their leave (‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’). You have to carry on making contributions afterwards if it’s in their contract.  Check your workplace maternity policy.

More details can be found here

If you need any further help, please contact us here

Independent Examination of Accounts

Image result for independent examination of accountsCharity law requires those charities with a gross income of more than £25,000 to have some form of external scrutiny of their accounts.

The role of the independent examiner is to provide an independent scrutiny of the accounts. The examiner plays a part in maintaining public trust and confidence in charities

This limited form of check (sometimes referred to as ‘negative assurance’) contrasts with an audit. The examiner is only required to confirm whether any material matters of concern have come to their attention, whilst an auditor is required to provide an opinion on whether a charity’s accounts give a ‘true and fair view’.

An auditor builds up a body of evidence to support a positive statement as to whether the accounts give a ‘true and fair view’. An audit is carried out in accordance with international auditing standards and the audit guidance issued by the Financial Reporting Council.

An Independent Examination is therefore a limited form of scrutiny compared to an audit. It provides less assurance in terms of the depth of work which is to be carried out and is limited as to the matters on which the examiner reports.

An Independent Examination involves a review of the accounting records kept by the charity and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records. It also involves a review of the accounts and the consideration of any unusual items and/or disclosures provided. The examiner must also consider whether any matters of concern have come to the examiner’s attention as a result of the independent examination that should be included in their report to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

The trustees may opt for an independent examination provided an audit is not required by charity law.  The charity must have an audit for financial years ending on or after 31 March 2015 if either its gross income exceeds £1m or, its gross income exceeds £250,000 and the aggregate value of assets (before deduction of liabilities) exceeds £3.26 million.

Charity Annual Return

If your registered charity’s financial year ended on 31 March 2018, then the deadline for submitting the charity’s accounts/ annual return to the Charity Commissionis 31 January 2019.

The Charity Commission has produced guidance on how to prepare an annual return. You can find that here

New questions in the 2018 annual returnFor the annual return 2018/2019, you need to be aware that there will be new questions to answer.  You can find more information about that here

If you need any further advice, then you can contact our office  here