Company cars: The future is electric!

Government figures show that battery/hybrid electric vehicles make up more than half of all new cars sold, with fully electric vehicle (EV) sales having risen 70% in the last year. Fleet cars represents a large proportion of the new car sales. In this article we consider the incentives and other tax implications associated with EVs which make them so attractive as company cars.

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Support Analyst

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be the first point of contact to provide 1st, 2nd technical support for the Service Desk
  • Provide cover to the business from 08:00 – 18:00 on a shift basis
  • Accurately record all details of calls (via telephone or email) on the Service Desk application and pro-actively manage the call queue on a regular basis
  • Maintain a high degree of customer service for all support queries and adhere to all service management principles
  • Take ownership of user problems and be proactive when dealing with user issues
  • Update and maintain the IT asset database whilst ensuring a high degree of accuracy
  • Support the firm’s laptop environment with Windows 10 and Office 365
  • Application support of key business applications
  • Providing remote assistance to support staff and partners working away from the office
  • Provide support for the cloud hosted Teams telephony and collaborative system
  • Configure, deploy and support the firm’s fleet of mobile devices and printers
  • Support new and existing users in the use of the firm’s IT system by providing necessary training and advice including induction training for new staff
  • Configure and deploy desktop PCs, laptops in line with departmental deployment / moves & changes processes
  • Follow and maintain departmental procedures, such as the starter & leaver process
  • Work with the Systems Administrator \ IT Service Delivery Manager on complex problems
  • Assist the IT team with the implementation of new projects

 

Required Skills

  • 2-3 years’ experience working within a 1st/2nd line Service Desk support role
  • Knowledge of Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Knowledge of Windows 10
  • Knowledge and experience with Office 365
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written

 

Preferred skills and qualifications

  • Strong networking and troubleshooting experience
  • ITIL Foundation

haysmacintyre: supporting you with all your employment tax queries

Furthermore, following the recent announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that further funds are going to be made available to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), we are likely to see an increase in compliance reviews and enquiries. Our Employment Tax team provides a range of advisory and compliance services to help employers understand their obligations and how they can manage their risk.

We are starting to see HMRC undertaking enquiries into the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Over the coming months, we will start to see an increase in the number of active employer compliance and IR35 enquiries HMRC will pursue to help minimise any loss of revenue to the Exchequer.

Employers should take proactive steps to help protect their position. At haysmacintyre, we can help with the drafting of internal policies but also identify any areas of weakness within an employers’ process which may need to be addressed. For further information, please contact Nick Bustin, Employment Tax Director.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims – are you ready for potential enquiries?

As part of the audit process, HMRC will want to establish not only if the employer was entitled to claim under the Scheme, but also if the amounts claimed had been correctly calculated. If HMRC have reason to suspect any claim was not made in accordance with the HM Treasury Direction, they will seek to recover the amounts overclaimed together with interest and penalties.

Where an employer has made claims under the Scheme, they are required to keep a copy of all records for six years which must include:

  • Details of the employees for who claims were made
  • The amount claimed during each claim period
  • The claim reference number
  • The calculations prepared in support of the claim
  • Details of how you arrived at your flexi-furlough claims (from 1 July 2020), especially:
    • Usual hours worked
    • Actual hours worked
    • Hours the employee was furloughed
  • Copies of all written agreements between the employer and employee where the latter agreed to be furloughed

Employers also need to be aware that HMRC are looking at other records to see whether employees were required to work, for example during the first phase of the Scheme when flexi-furloughing was not possible. HMRC will review social media records, emails, building access records, and mileage records, especially in cases where the enquiry has been instigated by a disgruntled employee reporting their employer about breaches in how the Scheme was operated.

If you receive an enquiry notice from HMRC, before you do anything further, please speak with Nick Bustin, Employment Tax Director.

End of year deadlines: are you prepared?

Below, we explain some typical tasks that are involved in the end of year reporting and how you can best prepare, whilst highlighting issues that should be considered for this and the following tax year.typical tasks table

Changes from 6 April 2022 that should be implemented into the payroll process

  • National minimum/living wage increases from 1 April 2022
  • Temporary increase in employer and employee NIC of 1.25% each due to the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy
  • Alignment of employee primary NIC threshold with basic tax allowance of £12,570 (£9,880) from July 2022
  • Increase of employment allowance from £4,000 to £5,000 for those businesses whose employers’ Class 1 NIC liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year

Other considerations

  • With employees returning to the office, some companies may be considering reinstating cancelled or postponed annual functions, such as Christmas parties, so it is possible that the £150 inclusive of VAT threshold may be breached where two annual functions are held in the same tax year
  • Hybrid working and possibly the Green agenda has meant that businesses need to consider their expense policy in relation to travel expenses, as well as the reporting of taxable costs. Something that comes to mind is the provision of bicycles under their cycle-to-work schemes. One of the key criteria for the exemption is that the cycle is to be used ‘mainly for qualifying journeys’. This condition was relaxed for employees who joined and received their cycling equipment on or before 20 December 2020 and the easement ends on 5 April 2022
  • Some benefits are exempt from tax or NIC liability such as work-related training, health screening, interest-free loans of up to £10,000, trivial benefits (up to £50 inclusive of VAT per event), annual events such as Christmas parties (£150 inclusive of VAT per attendee) and weekly contributions of £6 per week by your employer towards the cost of working from home. Exemptions should be utilised wherever possible to reduce the tax and NIC liabilities

Conclusion

In the last couple of years, the employment taxes field has seen a raft of employment taxes easements being introduced which are now falling away. Additionally, with hybrid working, certain benefits such as company cars are not as appealing, meaning that a more attractive option should be available such as electric cars or other benefits.

Staying compliant in this ever-changing environment is difficult, so please contact the Employment Tax team should you have any questions or require further assistance.

How to mitigate the impact of new tax rise

The Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021 (the levy) was introduced to pay for an increase in funding for health and social care. The implementation of the levy will occur in two stages, both of which will have considerable impact on employers. So, what do employers need to know about the change, and what steps are available to help them mitigate any impact?

Investigation into the implementation of IR35 reforms

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published its report on lessons to be learnt from the implementation of the reforms to the IR35 legislation for off-payroll working arrangements in the public sector.

The legislation was introduced in 2000 to prevent workers from avoiding the deduction of PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance by working through a personal service company. The first significant changes to the rules were introduced in 2017, as they related to the public sector, with the requirement to oversee the compliance obligations passing from the personal service company to the client, or agency who was responsible for making the payments. Further changes then followed for the public sector, which came into effect from April 2021.

Whilst the administrative responsibilities have passed on to the client, the underlying rules for determining the deemed employment status have not!

The report has highlighted the following key findings:

  • HMRC have seen an increase in tax revenues and the number of workers deemed to be employed for tax purposes
  • There is no clear legal route to appeal deemed employment status determinations
  • HMRC may have underestimated the cost to employers on implementing the reforms
  • Despite improvements, Inherent differences between the public and private sectors mean that HMRC faces new and challenging risks following wider implementation of IR35 reforms.

Unsurprisingly, several recommendations have been made where HMRC should:

  • Further develop the ‘check employment status tool’ (CEST), together with any supporting guidance to make its use easier and allow for more accurate out-puts
  • Assess the usefulness of CEST for different sectors
  • Provide examples of good implementation to promote compliance by helping organisations get determinations and tax deductions right first time
  • Update its estimate of compliance costs to hiring organisations based on actual experience, to help all parties within the worker supply-chain
  • Build on its improved collaboration with stakeholders to enable constructive discussions and pre-empt challenges in the public and private sectors.

Client action points

Whilst the NAO report considers the impact on the public sector changes, any organisation who is engaging workers outside of the payroll must consider the IR35 legislation with a degree of urgency.

Recent tribunal decisions, which consider the facts of the specific case under review, are providing different and often conflicting outcomes. It is therefore imperative that not only are the contractual arrangements reviewed, but also the policies and procedures surrounding the contractor process.

For further information, please contact Nick Bustin, or a member of the Employment Tax team at haysmacintyre.

‘Bodge the Builder’ – Construction Industry Scheme challenges

The onus is on contractors to operate the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) correctly, yet errors are commonplace. They can prove costly, especially if a subcontractor does not have gross payment status, since the contractor is liable for the additional tax , including any interest and penalties that may be levied by HMRC.

With this in mind, we thought it would be beneficial to provide a brief overview of CIS, why it was introduced, how it has evolved over the years, recent changes and common mistakes contractors make when operating or not operating CIS.

Read the full factsheet here.

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