Belfast Telegraph

New tax year new approach

Sam Beattie
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As we approach the end of the tax year, employers should take a few minutes to note important changes and actions impacting PAYE operations and compliance.

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The new tax year will bring about a first for workers; a note from the Government on their payslip. It's doubtful this message will be welcomed, as it highlights a 1.25% drop in take-home pay, due to the implementation of the Health & Social Care levy. The Government are asking employers and software suppliers to add some text to the payslips in the 2022/23 tax year, stating “1.25% uplift in NICs funds NHS, Health & Social Care”. While including this is not mandatory, it should be added “where possible”.  As things stand, the first to be impacted will be those paid weekly (tax week 1, Friday 8th April). You might want to check in with your payroll provider to ensure that this is in hand before workers begin to ask.

At the time of writing, some Government officials appear to be distancing themselves from the change, with increasing talk of it being removed or deferred. When combined with the increased utility costs and higher inflation, a delay or removal of the increase would be welcomed by many.

Increases to National Minimum and Living Wage have been notified, and employers should ensure that their workers are paid at or above the new rates as of 6th April. Software upgrades will change the core rate, but this needs to be applied at each stage of the process, including time and attendance, overtime rates, etc. to ensure staff are paid accurately. The main rate now applies to workers aged 23+ and tracking staff as they cross age thresholds is key to basic compliance.   

HMRC has reopened the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) reclaim process, allowing Employers to reclaim up to 2-weeks of SSP, or £96.35 per week. This process is separate from Real Time Information (RTI) submissions, and you will need your Government Gateway ID again. Any SSP will have to be processed and submitted to HMRC on a Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or after 21 December 2021. Once that has been established a claim can be made on the gateway.

In today's climate, there is an increasing number of employees, across all grades, working in different jurisdictions. While this shift to more flexible working will benefit many, it also creates compliance issues for employers and employees alike when borders are crossed and jurisdictions change. Pre-Covid, this topic would have largely been the preserve of workers in the global mobility space, however, the emphasis has changed with flexible working. How HMRC and tax agencies in different jurisdictions will align their compliance activities to meet the challenges of flexible working remains to be seen. When flexible arrangements are tested against social security and income tax obligations, some flexible arrangements may need to realign. Short Term Business Visitor Arrangements, A1 certificates, and shadow payroll may well be the new normal.