News from HMRC about Furlough (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)

The new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on Sunday 1 November, has now been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), (Furlough), which was due to end on 31‌ October, will now be extended, with the UK government paying 80% of wages for the hours furloughed employees do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 for periods from 1 November.  Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme.

You will need to pay all employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions. You can choose to top up your furloughed employees’ wages beyond the 80% paid by the UK government for hours not worked, but you are not required to do so.

There will be no gap in support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and this extension.

Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the original scheme, which was due to end on 31st October 2020. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.  ACAS also provides more details here

What you need to do now

  • Check if your employees are eligible for the scheme here
  • Agree working hours with your employees, so they know if they are furloughed fully or part-time during November.
  • Keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC need to check it.  You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV‌.UK.‌ 

Further help and advice can be found here

Statutory Maternity Pay and Pay Rises

Statutory Maternity Pay and LeaveEmployee earnings affected by a pay rise

A pay rise must not be withheld because of maternity leave.

You must recalculate the average weekly earnings (AWE) to take account of pay rises awarded, or that would have been awarded had your employee not been on maternity leave.

This applies if the pay rise was effective from anytime between the start of the 8 week relevant period for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and the end of the statutory maternity leave.

If a pay rise is awarded after you’ve calculated your employee’s earnings, and that pay rise is effective from the start date of the relevant period but before the Maternity Pay Period (MPP) ends, you must:

  • recalculate the AWE to include the pay rise as though it was effective from the beginning of the relevant period
  • pay any extra SMP due

If a pay rise is awarded which, when recalculated, means that earnings are now high enough for your employee to get SMP when they could not before, you must:

  1. Work out 90% of the AWE.
  2. Take away the standard rate of SMP.
  3. Pay the difference for 6 weeks.

If 90% of the AWE is less than the standard rate you might not have to pay your employee anything.

This is because they may have received the balance of SMP due from Jobcentre Plus (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) as Maternity Allowance (MA).

Not all women are entitled to MA, or the MA may be less than the SMP your employee is now entitled to. You should ask them to get a letter from the Jobcentre Plus (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) to confirm how much MA was received.

If your employee gives you a letter from the Jobcentre Plus office (or the Jobs and Benefits office in Northern Ireland) showing how much MA was received:

  1. Work out the total amount of SMP they’re entitled to.
  2. Take away the MA that was paid.
  3. Take away any SMP you’ve already paid.
  4. Pay your employee the difference.

Your employee should still benefit from a pay rise, even if they do not intend to return to work with you after their maternity leave has ended.

If a pay award is made after they have terminated their employment and the pay rise is backdated to when they were working for you, or were on maternity leave with you, they may be entitled to benefit from the pay rise. You must check the terms of their old contract of employment.

If more than one pay rise has been awarded during the period they were on maternity leave you’ll need to make separate calculations for each one.

Further details can be found here

PAYE Form P60 for your employees

Form P60 pictureIf you employ staff, you must give all employees a P60 at the end of each tax year, if they are working for you on 5 April.  This must provide this by 31 May, on paper or electronically.  You can either:

You can’t download blank P45 and P60 forms.

Contact HMRC if you have problems ordering online, your order hasn’t arrived in 7 working days, or to order by telephone 0300 123 1074.

A P60 shows an employee the tax that has been paid on their salary during the tax year (6 April – 5 April).  They will get a separate P60 for each of their jobs.

They need this P60 to prove how much tax they have paid on their salary, for example:

  • to claim back overpaid tax
  • to apply for tax credits
  • as proof of their income if they apply for a loan or a mortgage

They can check how much tax they paid last year if they think they might have paid too much (https://www.gov.uk/check-income-tax-last-year)

Student Loan Repayments for 2 or more jobs

Student Loan RepaymentYou’ll only repay your student loan when your income is over the threshold amount for your repayment plan 

The threshold amounts change on 6 April every year

From 6 April 2020, the repayment threshold for pre-2012 (Plan 1) loans will rise to £19,390.

The repayment threshold for post-2012 (plan 2) loans will rise to £26,575 from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021.

Student Loan Repayment if you have 2 or more jobs

If you’re employed, your repayments will be taken out of your salary. The repayments will be from the jobs where you earn over the minimum amount, not your combined income.

Example

You have a Plan 1 loan.

You have 2 jobs, both paying you a regular monthly wage. Before tax and other deductions, you earn £1,000 a month from one job and £800 a month for the other.

You will not have to make repayments because neither salary is above the £1,577 a month threshold.

Example

You have a Plan 2 loan.

You have 2 jobs, both paying you a regular monthly wage. Before tax and other deductions, you earn £2,300 a month from one job and £500 a month for the other.

You will only make repayments on the income from the job that pays you £2,300 a month because it’s above the £2,143 threshold.

Starting a New Employee

HMRC Starter ChecklistYou usually have to pay your employees through PAYE if they earn £118 or more a week (£512 a month or £6,136 a year).You must tell HMRC about your new employee on or before their first pay day.
  1. Tell HMRC about a new employee.
  2. Get their personal details and P45 to work out their tax code.
  3. If you don’t have their P45, use HMRC’s ‘starter checklist’
  4. Check what to do when you start paying your employee.

You only need a starter checklist from your employee to work out their tax code if they do not have a P45, or if they left their last job before 6 April 2018.

You do not need to operate PAYE on volunteers if they only get expenses that are not subject to tax or National Insurance

Operate PAYE on students in the same way as you do for other employees.

Student loan repayments

You should make student loan deductions if any of the following apply:

  • your new employee’s P45 shows that deductions should continue
  • your new employee tells you they’re repaying a student loan, for example on a starter checklist
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends you form SL1 or form PGL1 and your employee earns over the income threshold for their loan

More details can be found here

Student Loan and Postgraduate Loan Repayment

Related imagePlan and loan types and thresholds

With effect from April 2019, the thresholds for making Student Loan deductions are:

  • Plan 1 – £18,935 annually (£1577.91 a month or £364.13 a week)
  • Plan 2 – £25,725 annually (£2143.75 a month or £494.71 a week)

Repayments for Plan 1 and Plan 2 are calculated at 9% of the income above the threshold.

Postgraduate Loans (PGL) – £21,000 (£1750 a month or £403.84 a week)

Repayments for PGL are calculated at 6% of the income above the threshold.

Starting Student loan and PGL deductions, checking plan and loan type

You should work out the correct figure of employee earnings on which Student Loan and PGL deductions are due. The figure to use is the same gross pay amount that you would use to calculate your employer’s secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions.

From 6 April 2019 your employee may be liable to repay a PGL at the same time as a Plan 1 or Plan 2 loan. If so, they’ll be due to repay 15% of the amount they earn over the threshold.

Start making Student Loan and PGL deductions from the next available payday using the correct plan and loan type, which you will select on your HMRC submission, if any of the following apply:

  • your new employee’s P45 shows deductions should continue – ask your employee to confirm their plan and loan type
  • your new employee tells you they’re repaying a Student Loan – ask your employee to confirm their plan and loan type
  • your new employee fills in a starter checklist showing they have a Student Loan – the checklist should tell you which plan type and loan type to use, if your employee has both plan type 1 and 2, ask them to check with the Student Loan Company for the correct plan type to take deductions under otherwise, default to plan type 1 until you receive a student loan start notice SL1 that HMRC sends you
  • HMRC sends you form SL1 ‘Start Notice’ – this will tell you which plan type to use
  • HMRC sends you form PGL1 ‘Start Notice’ – this will tell you they have a PGL
  • you receive a Generic Notification Service Student Loan reminder – ask your employee to confirm their plan and loan type

If your employee does not know which plan or loan type they’re on, ask them to check with the Student Loan Company (SLC). If they’re still unable to confirm their plan or loan type, start making deductions using Plan type 1 until you receive further instructions from HMRC – defaulting to Plan 1 is only available for Plan 1 or Plan 2 loans.

More detailed information can be found here

Making Tax Digital

Image result for Making Tax DigitalMaking Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs.

HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. Making Tax Digital is making fundamental changes to the way the tax system works – transforming tax administration so that it is:

  • more effective
  • more efficient
  • easier for taxpayers to get their tax right

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are now required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns for VAT periods that started on or after 1 April 2019.

HMRC provides a wide range of digital services and support for businesses and the self-employed.

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

Understanding Cumulative Tax Codes

Tax codes that are applied on a cumulative basis means that tax calculations look at the entire tax year when performing the tax calculation. Using a tax code on a cumulative basis means that every payday, the calculation performed is to work out the tax due on an employee’s earnings for the (tax) year to date then deduct from it the tax they have already paid on their earnings that (tax) year. The remaining figure is the tax due for the pay period.

A Cumulative Tax Code allows for an individual’s weekly / monthly Tax Free Allowance to be carried forward if it is not used. As an example – if an individual were to have a break from work (for example, due to unpaid leave or sickness etc), when they resume, it is often the case that they will pay little or no Tax until they have caught up with their Tax Free Allowances.

A non-cumulative tax code would be signified by an “X” or “W1/M1″ following the code. In these cases the tax would be worked out purely on the taxable pay for each individual pay period. Each payday is treated as if it is the first week or month of the tax year. Previous pay and tax details are ignored.

How to Register as an Employer with HMRC

You normally need to register as an employer with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you start employing staff, or using subcontractors for construction work.

You must register even if you’re only employing yourself, for example as the only director of a limited company.

You must register before the first payday. It usually takes up to 5 days to get your employer PAYE reference number. You can’t register more than 2 months before you start paying people.

If your business starts employing people on or after 6 April, you’ll get your employer PAYE reference number by 17 May.

To pay an employee before you get your employer PAYE reference number, you should:

  1. Run payroll
  2. Store your full payment submission
  3. Send a late full payment submission to HMRC

More information and help can be found here