Temporary pensions tax arrangement for NHS staff


In a letter in November 2019, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has agreed to a temporary commitment to make payments to certain clinical staff outside of the NHS pension schemes to restore the value of their pension benefits package. These rules apply if they have elected to use the scheme pays facility to settle an annual allowance tax charge arising from their pension saving in the NHS schemes in 2019/20.

Meanwhile, under a temporary measure the Scottish government is introducing, between 1 December 2019 and 31 March 2020, NHS staff in Scotland who can show they are likely to breach the pensions annual allowance for 2019/20 will be able to receive pay in lieu of employer pension contributions.

The announcements follow reports that senior NHS clinicians pension tax charges are making them retire early or change their working habits. The Department of Health and Social Care estimates that a third of consultants and GPs may be turning down extra shifts because of how the NHS Pension Scheme interacts with the wider pension tax rules.

Internet links: GOV.UK letters GOV.SCOT news

HMRC issues guidance on cryptoassets


HMRC has published guidance for people who hold cryptoassets, typically cryptocurrency or Bitcoin, explaining what taxes they may need to pay and what records they need to keep. HMRC has also published further information for businesses and companies about the tax treatment of cryptoasset transactions.

HMRC advises that these papers set out HMRC’s view of the appropriate tax treatment of cryptoassets, based on the law as it stands on the date of publication and that the tax policy in this area may develop as the sector develops.

Internet link: GOV.UK tax on cryptoassets

Check employment status for tax tool update


HMRC has issued an update to the Check employment status tool (CEST) in advance of the introduction of new tax rules proposed for individuals who provide their personal services via an ‘intermediary’ to a medium or large business. The tool is designed to give HMRC’s view of the status of contracts and has received criticism.

The new rules are expected to apply from 6 April 2020, similar rules were introduced in 2017 for public sector organisations receiving services from intermediaries, typically Personal Services Companies (PSC).

Please contact us for help and advice on whether you are caught by the new rules or should be applying the new rules to someone your business engages via a PSC.

Internet link: GOV.UK CEST

Making sure gifts to employees are tax-free


Some employers may wish to give a small gift to their employees. As long as the employer meets the relevant conditions, no tax charge will arise on the employee. #A tax exemption is available which should help employers ensure that the benefits provided are exempt and do not result in a reportable employee benefit in kind. In order for the benefit to be exempt it must satisfy the following conditions:

  • the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50 per employee (or on average when gifts are made to multiple employees)
  • the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher
  • the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of a contractual arrangement (including salary sacrifice)
  • the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties
  • where the employer is a ‘close’ company and the benefit is provided to an individual who is a director, an office holder or a member of their household or their family, then the exemption is capped at a total cost of £300 in a tax year.

If any of these conditions are not met then the benefit will be taxed in the normal way subject to any other exemptions or allowable deductions.

No more than £50

One of the main conditions is that the cost of the benefit does not exceed £50. If the cost is above £50 the full amount is taxable, not just the excess over £50. The cost of providing the benefit to each employee and not the overall cost to the employer determines whether the benefit can be treated as a trivial benefit. So, a benefit costing up to £50 per employee whether provided to one or more employees can be treated as trivial. Where the individual cost for each employee cannot be established, an average could be used. HMRC examples consider various gifts including turkeys, bottles of wine and gift vouchers.

Further details on how the exemption works, including family member situations, are contained in the HMRC manual.

However if you are unsure please do get in touch before assuming the gift you are about to provide is covered by the exemption.

Internet link: HMRC manual

Nepal Fund Raiser


Three years ago we help a local student to raise funds through sponsorship to help schools Tanzania.

Now we are looking to help another student who wants to help by volunteering his time in a Nepalese hospital next summer Here’s the story:

George who spent a year working for MGD before starting his Medical training is going to Nepal to work in a hospital next summer. The work is unpaid as Is his travel and subsistence for this part of his training.
He has set up a fundraising page to help with the cost of his expense in providing this valuable support for the medical profession out in Nepal. He is also donating anything beyond his cost to the hospital fund where he is visiting. This fundraising is much needed.

The information about what he is doing and why is on the go funding page.

George is very interested in mountaineering and climbing and is an experienced skier having raced at international level from childhood.

He is undertaking this with two other medical students from Liverpool University. Each are responsible for self-funding and arranging the Nepalese hospital training themselves. On the basis of gaining experience and providing useful expertise in an area in which they see themselves progressing in the future. George is intending to work alongside Neuro and plastic surgeons already practicing out there.
George has already spent time in Asia working in hospital having spent 2 weeks in 2016 working in a hospital in Thailand where he gained his interest in surgery.

We are helping George with his fundraising efforts by publicising this through our advertising channels including social media.

George will provide information and photos from his visit next summer.

But you can help George to achieve right now by visiting his Gofundme page

More to follow.