Consultation on the operation of Insurance Premium Tax


HMRC has launched a consultation to review the extent to which the emerging practices are leading to ‘unfair tax outcomes’ in the administration and collection of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). HMRC’s consultation document states:

‘We have been made aware of business practices involving administration and arrangement fees which may be leading to unfair tax outcomes in the insurance industry.’

‘This involves the artificial manipulation of insurance and broker structures to create different tax outcomes. IPT is chargeable on the gross premiums, whereas fees are not subject to IPT or VAT.’

The consultation is open until 17 July 2019.

Internet link: Consultation

UK Investment Support Directory


International investors who wish to set up and expand their operations in the UK can now benefit from an online tool launched by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The new tool, termed the UK Investment Support Directory, enables international investors to connect with a range of businesses across the UK. Potential investors can find an expert in their specific industry or region.

According to the DIT, the UK Investment Support Directory has been created to make information about the investment process ‘more accessible’, and is part of a wider initiative to ‘generate more foreign direct investment in the UK’.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment, said:

‘The launch of the new UK Investment Support Directory is one of many ways in which the DIT is helping to drive investment to every corner of the UK. We hope this new directory will be an invaluable resource for investors thinking of setting up operations in the UK.’

Internet links: Investment Support Directory GOV.UK news

Payment on account confusion


Under self assessment taxpayers are required to make payments on account of their tax liabilities. The payment on account instalments consist of two payments on account of equal amounts:

  • the first on 31 January during the tax year and
  • the second on 31 July following the end of the tax year.

These are set by reference to the previous year’s income tax liability and Class 4 NIC if any.

A final payment (or repayment) is due on 31 January following the tax year.Payments are not due where the previous year’s liability is less than £1,000 or where 80% of the previous year’s bill was met by tax deductions at source.

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has warned that ‘some people may not receive the tax demands they expect by the end of July’ for their self assessment, even if it may be due.

ATT has issued a press release saying that the HMRC system did not correctly process all the payments on account information for 2018/19. As a consequence, the demand for the first payment on account for January 2019 may not have been issued.

Unless those taxpayers contacted HMRC, the next demand for payment on account, due on 31 July 2019, may also not be issued. HMRC has confirmed that if it has not issued a demand for payment on account, the full amount will be requested in January 2020.

Making a voluntary payment may not be processed correctly. If you want to make a payment on account that is due, then taxpayers or their agents are advised to contact HMRC.

Jon Stride, Co-Chair of the ATT’s Technical Steering Group, said:

‘If a taxpayer does not make any payments on account during 2019, then their tax bill in January 2020 could be significantly larger than they are expecting and could come as quite a shock. We are concerned that taxpayers may not realise what has happened and might not set aside enough money to meet their full tax bill in one amount next January.’

Internet links: AAT press release GOV.UK self assessment bills

New measures to ensure small businesses get paid on time


The government has announced a package of measures to ensure small businesses get paid on time. Under the proposals large businesses could be fined for failing to pay smaller suppliers on time as part of a robust package of measures.

The measures include: 

  • proposed new powers for the Small Business Commissioner to tackle late payments through fines and binding payment plans
  • company boards to be held accountable for supply chain payment practices for first time
  • the introduction of a new fund to encourage businesses to use technology to simplify invoicing, payment and credit management.

The government has also announced that responsibility of the voluntary code of best practice,  the Prompt Payment Code, will be moved to the Small Business Commissioner.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:

‘The vast majority of businesses pay their bills on time, with the amount owed in late payments halved over the last five years. But as a former small business owner, I know the huge impact a late payment can have on the ability of a small business to plan, invest and grow.’

‘Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy we want to ensure the UK is the best place to start and grow a business. These measures will ensure that small businesses are given the support they need and ensure that they get paid quickly – ending the unacceptable culture of late payment.’

Internet link: GOV.UK news

Employer Bulletin – latest guidance


HMRC has issued the June 2019 edition of the Employer Bulletin. This includes articles on a number of issues including:

  • labour supply chain fraud
  • using loans to avoid Optional Remuneration Rules
  • re-enrolment of staff back into a workplace pension scheme
  • GDPR fees
  • contractors operating CIS – new VAT reverse charge on building and construction services
  • using Tax-Free Childcare to make school holidays easier.

If you have any queries on payroll matters please contact us.

Internet link: Employer Bulletin