Concern about agency
workers' understanding of recent employment changes
THE Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG)
is urging workers to consider their relationship with umbrella companies
carefully, especially as a key advantage of using such companies has now been
New rules from 6 April 2016 prevent workers engaged through an employment
intermediary, such as agency workers working through an umbrella company, from
benefiting from Tax and National Insurance contribution (NIC) relief for home to
work travel expenses.
But umbrella companies continue to exist in part because many agencies are
unwilling to deal with taxes and day to day staffing issues, preferring to
delegate such matters to umbrella companies. To try and attract workers they may
be 'selling' the other, non travel expense related benefits they can
provide over agency PAYE. An example may be marketing 'employee' rather
than 'agency worker' employment rights and the ability to provide a
continuous payroll link from one assignment to the next.
LITRG is concerned about the potential for agency workers to be confused by all
the marketing claims, and it has produced a guide for the workers so they can
analyse some of the key Tax related points they may be hearing.
Anthony Thomas, Chairman of LITRG, said:- "If you are thinking of paying a
fee to an umbrella company, it is important to understand what you are getting
for your money; you should not just accept things you are told about still
being able to claim for expenses other than those related to home to work travel
for example, without trying to understand for yourself how worthwhile this
really is to you.
The general expenses rules, which apply equally to those under agency PAYE as to
those working for an umbrella company, are very tightly drawn, meaning there may
be few expenses for the umbrella company to process. In addition, even if you do have some
expenses that qualify for Tax Relief, the umbrella company should probably not
be giving you Tax Relief there and then as part of your weekly/monthly payroll. Instead you will need to claim
Tax Relief at the end of the year; assuming that your potentially fluctuating
earnings over the course of the year mean you pay enough Tax to do so; which is
actually just the standard position for workers across the board.
It may be that your circumstances mean that you are still attracted to umbrella
PAYE over agency PAYE and this is fine. Our message is simply to weigh up all
the issues before making that decision and hopefully our guidance will help you
Next of kin appeal for
relatives of Olive McLeod
SEFTON Coroner's Office are appealing
for the public's help in tracing the family of a woman from Bootle who has died.
Olive McLeod aged 81, of Washington Parade, died at her home address, on Friday,
22 July 2016. Anyone with information that could help the coroner trace Mrs
McLeod's next of kin is asked to contact Stephen Craig at Sefton Coroner's
Office on:- 0151 777 3422.
Look again at plans to
target online VAT loss
THE Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
has called on the Government to rethink its approach to ensuring online sellers
pay the correct amount of VAT.
Non-EU traders who sell goods to UK consumers via online marketplaces are not
always paying the correct amount of VAT and duty to Britain's HMRC, even though
these traders should normally register for VAT in the UK and charge VAT on these
sales. Popular online marketplaces include:- eBay and Amazon.
Under HMRC's proposal overseas traders would appoint a UK Tax representative who
will be liable for their VAT and/or would need to provide security to guarantee
payment. If these traders fail to comply and online marketplaces do not help
stop the abuse, the online marketplaces themselves will become jointly and
severally liable for the unpaid VAT.
The CIOT has told HMRC that its proposal is at risk of capturing too many
businesses through the use of imprecisely defined terms, such as a 'fulfilment
house' (which include online marketplaces). This risks many businesses,
including SMEs, being burdened unnecessarily. The CIOT also told HMRC that
it believes the primary targets should be those overseas sellers who seek to
evade the Tax and not legitimate UK businesses which unwittingly deal with them.
Peter Dylewski, Chair of the CIOT's Indirect Taxes Sub Committee, said:-
"We fully support HMRC's will to tackle this issue because internet trading
makes it easy for overseas businesses to sell into the UK, but difficult for
HMRC to ensure that UK VAT is being properly declared.
Our concern with HMRC's proposal is that it targets intermediaries in the supply
chain and not those who are failing to comply. On the 1 hand, this places a
burden on legitimate UK business and on the other hand it may unintentionally
give the impression to potential Tax evaders that they will not be pursued by HMRC.
We would therefore urge the Government to explore a fairer and more effective
The CIOT is encouraging HMRC to explore other possible solutions, such as the
undisclosed agency route; the online marketplace could remit the VAT on the full
sale price of the goods to HMRC and the proceeds (net of its commission) to the
seller. Overseas businesses could opt out of this arrangement if they could
prove they are Tax compliant or not actually in business.
The consultation forms part of a package of measures announced in Budget 2016.
Fatal road road traffic
collision in Formby
ON Friday, 22 July 2016, at about
2.30pm, emergency services were called to a report of a collision involving 2
vehicles on Orrell Hill Lane, close to the Red Squirrel pub. We a informed that
Betty Jones, 84 years, from Southport, had been taken to Hospital for treatment,
but later died. The drivers of both cars stopped at the scene and are assisting
Officers. Merseyside Police are asking that anyone who was in the area at the
time who may have witnessed this incident to contact the MSOC Roads Policing
Officers on:- 0151 777 5747, quoting reference number:- '0516168080', or
Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.