FreeAgent are the first to admit their payroll system is pretty basic. Finding an alternative isn’t easy.
No payroll provider links to FreeAgent so whichever one you choose, you’ll have to enter the payroll details manually every week/month. Third party payroll processing is expensive and you’ll still have to enter the payroll details yourself.
FreeAgent copes best when there are no changes to the payroll (new employees, leavers, bonuses, etc.). Problems can arise with incorrect PAYE Codes, no P45 and directors starting employment part way through the tax year. At the end of the tax year FreeAgent doesn’t allow you to submit your Employer Annual Return (P35, P14s and P60s) from the software. You have to register with HMRC and enter the details online.
Our solution to these problems is to offer two services:-
- During the year we will monitor the changes to your payroll (new employees, leavers, new PAYE Codes) and make sure they have been dealt with correctly. We’ll also point out, where possible, errors in the Codes themselves. The price for this service is £80 per year.
- At the end of the tax year we will complete your P35, P14s and P60s based on the information in FreeAgent and submit them to HMRC. We will send you copies of the forms, together with an acknowledgement from HMRC that the return was submitted on time. Late submission incurs a penalty of £100 for every month it is late. The price for this service is £80 per year.
The price for both is £150 per year.
HMRC have published details of what to do if your employer goes into liquidation when you’re having deductions made from your pay to repay your student loan.
Their advice, however, seems somewhat back to front. Contacting the liquidator if you have no proof of deductions made isn’t the answer. Liquidators may not be able to extract the necessary information , or worse still, may not even be bothered about your problem.
The answer is look after your paperwork (payslips, P60s) just in case you need them.
I would desperately like to believe that whoever wrote the latest HMRC press release does have a sense of humour because it is funny.
Taxman urges employers to ditch AN Other
is a plea to employers to get their PAYE paperwork in order, after more than 500 returns claimed to employ “AN Other”, and the mistakes don’t end there.
128 staff were entered as Mr, Ms or Mrs “Dummy”
572 people had surnames which only included the letter X, ranging from Mr X to Mrs XXXXXX
75 staff had the surname “Casual”, 11 “Cleaners”, 9 “Workers” and 6 “Students”
824 employees were called “Unknown” and
40 people were apparently 200 years old or more after incorrect dates of birth were submitted.
HMRC have just announced that you are now able to view (but more importantly check) your PAYE Coding Notices online but only if you’re registered for Self Assessment. So if you’re employed but don’t have to complete a Tax Return you still can’t view the details online.
If you are registered for Self Assessment , however, and you do want to use the service you must have registered for HMRC Online Services and enrolled for Self Assessment Online to access the details.
When I wrote the post about work rules I never imagined the Financial Times would publish my letter to the Editor suggesting a third rule.
P.S. The reference to graduates relates to the original article. In my opinion the rules relate to everybody – graduates are no better or no worse than non-graduates (just so I don’t upset any particular group!)
Yesterday’s Financial Times published a letter from Mr David Sharpe of Guildford who suggested two rules to make people more employable:
First, turn up for work on time every day.
Second, while you are at work get on with what you are supposed to be doing.
And then concluded with the statement
Life is often very uncomplicated.
HMRC may think they’re being generous this Christmas with their latest press release titled
Student festive helpers could get tax free income gift
but they are more likely to be seen as Scrooge rather than Father Christmas.
Reminding students “that they may not have to pay tax on the income they receive over the festive season” and describing it as a “gift” when it’s highly likely they aren’t liable to tax anyway is hardly generous.
Most small businesses are struggling with the amount of employment legislation which has been introduced over the last twelve years.
The recent bad weather has added to their problems with many businesses having to lay off staff but not many of those businesses seem to be aware of Statutory Guarantee Pay.
Briefly, it is the minimum an employee should be paid for any complete day when they are laid-off work. To get statutory guarantee pay they must:
- have been employed continuously for at least one month (this includes part-time workers)
- reasonably make sure they are available for work
- not refuse any reasonable alternative work, including work that is not in their contract
- not have been laid-off because of industrial action
More information is available on the Business Link website and the BIS site.
The only crumb of comfort I can offer to hard-pressed employers is that the upper limit is £21.20 per day (although this will be revised on February 1st).