In this month’s Enews we report on a late reprieve for childcare vouchers and Spring Statement announcements. We also consider new Data Protection rules coming into force in May. With the legislation enacted for the roll out of Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) and the latest changes for employers there is lots to update you on.
New data protection rules from General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the
Data Protection Act in the UK from 25 May 2018.
GDPR is designed to safeguard personal data of citizens from EU member states, with particular emphasis on transparency and accountability. It applies to all businesses in the EU and non-compliance will lead to substantial fines.
The new GDPR is a regulation which is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The regulation will become a law without exception in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.
The government has also confirmed that the UK will replace the 1988 Data Protection Act (DPA) with legislation that mirrors GDPR, post-Brexit. This means that any business, big or small, will be required to comply with GDPR – which deals with secure collection, storage and usage of clients’ personal data.
Failure to comply with the regulation can result in heavy fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the businesses’ annual turnover (whichever is higher amount).
Internet link: ICO guide to GDPR
Employer-Supported Childcare gets a reprieve
Many employers help employees with childcare costs, often by providing childcare vouchers by way of salary sacrifice. Following the roll out of Tax-Free Childcare (TFC), the new government scheme to help working parents, existing Employer-Supported Childcare (ESC) schemes were expected to close to new joiners from April 2018.
However following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Education Secretary Damian Hinds, made a concession to delay scrapping the scheme by six-months.
The Childcare Choices website which provides useful guidance to parents on the childcare options available to them including ESC, TFC and other free entitlements has been updated to show that childcare vouchers will be available to new joiners until the end of September 2018.
Under the rules employees already using ESC can choose whether to remain in existing schemes or switch to TFC, but parents cannot be in both TFC and ESC at the same time.
Internet link: GOV.UK Childcare Choices
Making Tax Digital for VAT from April 2019
The regulations to bring into force Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) are now law, and digital VAT returns will be required from 1 April 2019.
MTDfV is the first phase of HMRC’s landmark Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime, which will ultimately require taxpayers to move to a fully digital tax system. Regulations have now been issued which set out the requirements for MTDfV.
Under the new rules, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) must keep digital records for VAT purposes and provide their VAT return information to HMRC using MTD functional compatible software.
The new rules have effect from 1 April 2019, where a taxpayer has a ‘prescribed accounting period’ which begins on that date, and otherwise from the first day of a taxpayer’s first prescribed accounting period beginning after 1 April 2019.
HMRC is piloting MTDfV during 2018, ahead of its introduction in April 2019. Keeping digital records and making quarterly updates will not be mandatory for taxes other than VAT before April 2020, although businesses below the VAT threshold which have voluntarily registered for VAT can opt to join the scheme.
As with electronic VAT filing at present, there will be some exemptions from MTD for VAT. However, the exemption categories are tightly-drawn and unlikely to be applicable to most VAT registered businesses.
Keeping digital records will not mean businesses are mandated to use digital invoices and receipts but the actual recording of supplies made and received must be digital. It is likely that third party commercial software will be required. Software will not be available from HMRC. The use of spreadsheets will be allowed, but they will have to be combined with add-on software to meet HMRC’s requirements.
Internet link: GOV.UK statutory instrument
Welsh Land Transaction Tax introduced
From 1 April 2018, Land Transaction Tax (LTT) will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). LTT will be collected by the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA). HMRC has published guidance on the introduction of the new tax and the way in which property transactions straddling 1 April 2018 and cross border transactions will be dealt with.
Property Taxes across the UK
From 22 November 2017, there is an exemption for first-time buyers from SDLT on the first £300,000 when buying a home, where the total price of the property is not more than £500,000. 5% is payable on purchases between £300,000 and £500,000. However, with devolved taxes, buying a property in Scotland and Wales can bring different tax consequences.
In Scotland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) applies instead of SDLT. Therefore an LBTT relief for first-time buyers of properties up to £175,000 has been proposed in the Scottish Draft Budget 2018/19. This is subject to a government consultation before the relief launches in 2018/19.
Welsh first-time buyers benefit from first-time buyers SDLT relief until 31 March 2018. Land Transaction Tax (LTT) replaces SDLT in Wales from 1 April 2018. The starting rate for LTT will be £180,000, benefiting not just first-time buyers but other home buyers in Wales. A higher rate, of 3% over standard rates for additional residential properties, applies to purchases throughout the UK whether SDLT, LBTT or LTT applies. A new land-transaction-tax-calculator is available.
HMRC has issued guidance on the changes in Wales and the transitional rules for property transactions.
Income tax changes from 6 April 2018
The personal allowance for 2018/19 is £11,850. However, some individuals do not benefit from the full personal allowance. There is a reduction in the personal allowance for those with ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000, which is £1 for every £2 of income above £100,000. So for 2018/19 there is no personal allowance where adjusted net income exceeds £123,700.
The basic rate of tax is currently 20%. From 6 April 2018 the band of income taxable at this rate is £34,500 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £46,350 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. Additional rate taxpayers pay tax at 45% on their income in excess of £150,000.
The tax on income (other than savings and dividend income) is different for taxpayers who are resident in Scotland to taxpayers resident elsewhere in the UK. The Scottish income tax rates and bands apply to income such as employment income, self-employed trade profits and property income.
In the 2018/19 Scottish Budget, the Finance and Constitution Secretary for Scotland, Derek Mackay announced significant changes to income tax bands and rates for Scottish resident taxpayers, introducing five possible income tax rates. The income tax rates range between 19% and 46%. Scottish taxpayers are entitled to the same personal allowance as individuals in the rest of the UK.
Scottish Bands £
0 – 2,000
2,001 – 12,150
12,151 – 31,580
31,581 – 150,000
From April 2019, the National Assembly for Wales has the right to vary the rates of income tax payable by Welsh taxpayers.
Dividend allowance down to £2,000
In 2017/18 the first £5,000 of dividends are chargeable to tax at 0% (the Dividend Allowance). From 6 April 2018 the Dividend Allowance is reduced to £2,000. Dividends received above the allowance are taxed at the following rates:
- 7.5% for basic rate taxpayers
- 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers
- 38.1% for additional rate taxpayers.
Update for employers and their employees
HMRC’s latest Employer Bulletin includes useful updates for employers as we approach the start on the new tax year on 6 April 2018.
The Bulletin includes articles on:
- end of year reporting for payroll and reporting benefits in kind
- P9 Notice of Coding and the system of in year tax code adjustments known as Dynamic Coding
- new rules for termination payments made on, or after, 6 April 2018
- Scottish income tax changes
- a reminder to those paying the Apprenticeship Levy to spend their Levy on Apprenticeship Training
- National Minimum and National Living Wage increases from 1 April 2018.
If you would like help with payroll contact us.
Internet link: Employer Bulletin
Spring Statement announces consultations
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement on Tuesday 13 March 2018. In his speech, the Chancellor announced consultations would be issued on:
- how to help the UK’s least productive businesses to learn from, and catch-up with, the most productive
- how to eliminate late payments particularly to benefit small business
- whether the use of non-agricultural red diesel tax relief contributes to poor air quality in urban areas
- consultation on reduced Vehicle Excise Duty rates for the cleanest vans.
He also made available further details on some consultations which are considered briefly below:
- Making Tax Digital sanctions for late submission and late payment – Following significant support on consultation, the government intends to take forward points based late submission penalties. There will be further consultation on the draft legislation to be published in summer 2018.
- Tackling the plastic problem – The government will call for evidence as to how changes to the tax system could be used to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are wasted by reducing unnecessary production, increasing re-use and improving recycling. The government would also like to explore how to drive innovation in this area to achieve the same outcomes.
- Cash and digital payments – The government will consult and seek evidence about how the role of digital payments is to fit into the growing digital economy. This will include identifying what further work can be done to remove barriers to digital payments. At the same time the government acknowledges that cash must remain accessible and secure.
- Online platforms – The government has launched a call for evidence on the role of online platforms in ensuring tax compliance by their users. The types of online platforms the government is principally interested in are platforms that allow people to earn money from spare resources such as cars and spare rooms, that allow people to use their time to generate extra income and that connect buyers with individuals or businesses offering services or goods for sale. The government wants to ensure that, where people have tax obligations because of these activities, it is easy for them to comply.
- VAT collection split payment – The government wants to combat online VAT fraud by harnessing new technology and is consulting on VAT split payment. This will utilise payments industry technology to collect VAT on online sales and transfer it directly to HMRC.
- VAT registration threshold call for evidence – The government considers that the current design of the VAT registration threshold may be dis-incentivising small businesses from growing their business and improving their productivity.
We will update you on the outcome of the consultations..
Internet link: gov.uk Spring Statement 2018