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Dates For Your Diary

07 January 2014

Download a copy of our popular tax calendar for 2014 to ensure you don’t miss any deadline dates!

Also, we’ve noted some other important dates below which you will need to keep in mind in the months ahead.

Pension Auto Enrolment

A new law means that every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they:
• are aged between 22 and State Pension age
• earn more than £9,440 a year
• work in the UK
This is called ‘automatic enrolment’.

The date you need to enrol your employees (known as the ‘staging’ date) depends on your PAYE code and the number of employees in your business.  HMRC will write to you to confirm your business’s staging date but you can check yours now at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/tools/staging-date.aspx.  Many large companies already require to be enrolled.  Businesses with 50 to 249 employees will usually have staging dates between 1 April 2014 and 1 April 2015.  Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will normally have staging dates between 1 June 2015 and 1 April 2017 (or earlier in certain circumstances).

Every employer must submit certain information to the regulator about how they’ve complied with auto enrolment requirements.  Plus the employer must complete registration even if they don’t have anyone to automatically enrol.  Registration is mandatory and there are fines if you don’t do it on time, so keep in mind that the registration deadline is 5 months after the ‘staging’ date for all businesses staging after 1 April 2014.

Changes Announced in the Autumn Statement

  • There is a proposal to abolish employer national insurance contributions for employees aged under 21 until earnings exceed the upper earnings limit (currently £797 per week).  This should take effect from 5 April 2015.
  • The personal allowance for income tax is to rise to £10,000 and the higher rate threshold is also to increase to £41,865 for 2014/15.
  • Part of the personal allowance (£1,000 for 2015/16) is to be transferrable between married couples and civil partners from April 2015, provided neither is a higher rate taxpayer.
  • The annual allowance for pension scheme contributions is to reduce from £50,000 to £40,000 per annum from 2014/15.
  • The Revenue are to tighten up on taxable car benefits.  Specifically they will be looking at ensuring that taxable car benefits can only be reduced by payments for private use made in the relevant tax year and ensuring that where an employer leases a car to an employee at reduced rates, the benefit is taxed as a car benefit rather than as employment earnings.
  • The ‘associated company’ rules for corporation tax are to be simplified in April 2015 – companies are to be associated only if they are part of a 51% group.
  • The main rate of corporation tax is to reduce so that the main and small profits rate will be unified at 20%.
  • Changes are to be made to the Principal Private Residence relief available on the sale of property.  Currently the last 36 months of ownership are automatically exempt from capital gains tax provided the individual lived there at some time during their ownership of the property.  For disposals after 5 April 2014, this will be reduced so that only the last 18 months will automatically qualify. (Full relief is still available for periods where the property is actually occupied as the main residence.)
  • From April 2015, capital gains tax will be imposed on gains made by non residents who sell residential property in the UK.

Pre Year End Tax Planning

Finally, don’t forget to speak to your tax adviser about what steps you could be taking now to reduce your tax bill for the year ending 5 April 2014.  Some common pre year end tax planning ideas include:

  • Using up income tax personal allowances and capital gains tax and inheritance tax annual exemptions.
  • Making additional pension contributions and charitable donations (under gift aid) to maximise higher rate tax relief.
  • Consider the timing of dividends to be declared by owner managed companies
  • Consider the timing of capital expenditure qualifying for capital allowances and other business costs to ensure tax relief is maximised.
  • Consider the timing of the disposal of loss making assets in order to shelter capital gains on profit making assets.
  • Use inter-spouse gifts of capital assets to fully utilise both spouses’ annual exemptions.
  • Pay the maximum into your ISA to get the full benefit of tax free savings.
  • Invest in Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes, Enterprise Investment Schemes or Venture Capital Trusts to take advantage of the tax relief thereon.

For further information regarding any of the above please contact pberry@springfords.com or your usual Springfords adviser.

This is a general guide which is intended to give background information and is not a substitute for taking specifc advice based on your particular circumstances.

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