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Latest news

Real Time Filing

Another well kept secret of HMRC.

 

At the end of this month the consultation period comes to an end. Consultation about the implementation of one of the most far reaching changes to the operation of PAYE almost since it was introduced.

Now that just about everyone is filing online, the next stage is to enforce filing each month rather than at the end of the year. This change is an essential one for Government, allowing it to implement a number of other changes but most critically, PAYE will then become a more instantly collectible debt than at present. This small change is due to come into force in April 2012 - just over 12 months from now.

As every employer knows, if one delays paying HMRC PAYE contributions, one can achieve a cash advantage for a little while and even with the new penalty regime in place, it is still easier and significantly cheaper to borrow from the taxman than the bank.

However HMRC have not been lucky with PAYE systems implementations - last year's millions of incorrect Notices of Codings was their most recent disaster - and there is no reason to assume that this one will work any better. To make matters worse, payroll is going online completely by then and all of the Employers CD Rom support services are disappearing at the same time, and 2012 is also the year when employers compulsory pension contributions is due to start.

Looks like an exciting and tedious time coming up soon.

JohnF

 

HMRC Task Forces on the march

HMRC announced back last year that they would be creating 12 Task Forces which would be geographically specific and carry out intensive bursts of compliance activity into high risk trade sectors.

Wolfattack

A further 6 task forces have just recently been announced following the success of an attack on restaurants in London, Scotland and the North West of England. Over 530 businesses were investigated and unpaid tax of almost £700k identified in just 10% of the total and 22 business owners now face prosecution and potentially a prison sentence. 2 restaurant owners were detained in Edinburgh and subjected to interview as part of the Scottish element of the investigations.

The 6 new task forces announced are:

  • Scrap Metal Dealers in Scotland
  • Landlords & Construction Traders in the North West and in North Wales
  • Taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns on time in the South East of England
  • Fast Food outlets in Scotland
  • Commercial companies who have failed to comply with the "Option to Tax" (related to VAT and property).

 

It would be easy to assume that if your sector is being targeted elsewhere in the UK but not in your area that you are safe. You could not be farther from the truth. Task Forces identify the problem, its potential for collecting more tax and gain knowledge and experience of the sector, thus making it easier for an even more targeted trip to other geographical areas of the country.

Oh and they are checking for illegal workers at the same time so often the UK Border Agency and the police accompany HMRC on these visits. The penalty for employing an illegal worker is £10000 per employee and criminal prosecution as well.

At NGM we have the skills and experience to help you with all of this - in the first place if you contact us early enough we can get you protected from fees using our Tax investigation Service and we have the right contacts if things get serious and you end up receiving a Human Rights warning.

Don't want to worry you though - have a happy January!

 

JohnF