Furlough – Frequently Asked Questions for Glos Employers

ESB Accountancy’s Furlough FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions for Gloucestershire employers.

ESB Accountancy's Furlough FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions for Gloucestershire employers.

This blog post leads on from yesterday’s ESB Accountancy’s previous post at – Furlough – it’s meaning for Gloucestershire employers

Do I have to place all of my employees on furlough, or can I be selective?

It is clear that the Treasury does not envisage an all or nothing approach. Some employers will need to maintain a skeleton staff even if the majority of their operations are shutting down. Some will only need to send a relatively small proportion of their employees home while other parts of the business carry on almost as normal. It is clear that employers and employees will be able to benefit from the scheme in either scenario.

Can we change which employees are furloughed at any one time – can an employee be furloughed, brought back to work and then furloughed again?

The guidance makes it clear that the minimum period for which an employee may be furloughed and take advantage of the scheme is three weeks. However there is nothing to suggest that an employer cannot rotate staff in and out of the furlough scheme provided that each rotation is at least three weeks long. This not only allows the employer to focus on those areas of the business that need attention at any one time, but also allows a fair distribution of work and leave among employees.

The furlough scheme does not pay all of an employee’s salary – do I have to top up their pay to the full amount?

The guidance says that this is voluntary – but it is in reality a matter for the contract of employment. For most employees on a salary, or with a guaranteed minimum number of hours the employer remains obliged to pay the employee in full if it is not in a position to offer work. To that extent the furlough scheme subsidises the employer’s wage cost but does not replace the obligation to pay wages.

If there is a clause in the contract allowing the employee to be laid off without pay then the payments made under the furlough scheme will be in addition to the employee’s contractual entitlement and there will be no obligation to top up the employee’s pay to the full amount.

This means that even with the benefit of the furlough scheme the employer may be facing a substantial contractual obligation to employees for whom it can provide no work. One option is to agree a temporary reduction in salary so that the amount paid by the furlough scheme represents the full amount to which the employee is entitled. The employer could make the employee’s consent to such a change dependent on the employer designating them as furloughed rather than making them redundant.

Can I instruct employees to take annual leave if I cannot offer them work?

Under the Working Time Regulations an employer can instruct a worker to take annual leave by giving notice that is at least twice the duration of the leave that must be taken. So if the employer wants the employee to take two weeks’ of annual leave entitlement then it must give the employee four weeks’ notice of this. There is of course nothing to stop employers and employees from agreeing that any given period without work should be treated as annual leave – although the terms of the furlough scheme will reduce the incentive to reach agreements of this sort.

Can I instruct employees to take annual leave while they are on furlough?

Nothing the guidance so-far published by the Government would seem to prevent this. However an employee forced to take annual leave would normally be entitled to be paid in full for that period rather than at the capped figure provided for in the job retention scheme.

What about if they are off sick or self-isolating?

It is well established that a worker cannot be forced to take annual leave while off sick.

How do I stop too many employees taking what is left of their annual leave later in the year?

The Government has amended the Working Time Regulations to allow employees who have been prevented from taking their basic four-week annual leave entitlement to carry over that leave for up to two years. Where it is not reasonably practicable for employees to take their full entitlement this year, therefore, they will be able to defer their remaining leave to next year. The additional leave of 1.6 weeks must still however be taken in the current holiday year.

The Regulations also make it clear however that the employer can only defer the employee’s request to take annual leave where it has ‘good reason’ to do so. While a rush in demand for leave towards the end of the year may well satisfy this requirement, the employer should make every effort to accommodate requests for leave where possible.

Can employees be furloughed during their notice period?

There is nothing in the scheme to prevent this.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new tax, finance and accounting laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Furlough – meaning for Glos employers

ESB Accountancy explains what furlough means and how is it different from being laid off for Gloucestershire employers?

ESB Accountancy explains what furlough means and how is it different from being laid off?

Furlough means ‘temporary leave of absence’ and it is not a term that has been used in UK employment law – until now.

It seems that an employer will be asked to designate an employee as being ‘furloughed’ meaning that they are being kept on the payroll, but not being given any work to do. This is in reality no different from a ‘lay-off’ but the Government seems keen not to refer to it in that way. This may be because the term ‘lay-off’ is sometimes used (inaccurately) as though it is interchangeable with ‘redundancy’ – even though they have distinct and separate meanings in employment legislation.

Which employees are covered by the scheme?

Potentially, any employee who was on the employer’s PAYE system by 28 February 2020 is covered. This does leave any employees who were in the process of changing jobs and who joined their new employer at the beginning of March in some difficulty. It could also mean that employees who are transferred under TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) are left out. Although they will be deemed to have been continuously employed by their new employer, this will not alter the fact that they were not actually on the PAYE scheme at the relevant date. This is the sort of issue that HMRC may be asked to revisit when, for example, recently transferred canteen staff find that they may not qualify to be furloughed.

Does the scheme apply to zero-hours contracts?

It seems clear that the scheme will apply to anyone who is on the employer’s payroll. This mean that zero-hour staff will be included provided they are paid through PAYE. Those who are not on the payroll will not qualify under the furlough scheme but could benefit from a separate scheme aimed at the self-employed. This is something that they will need to pursue directly with HMRC.

Can we choose which employees to place on furlough and which to ask to come into work?

The guidance published so far suggests that it will be for the employer to designate an employee as furloughed in which case the choice of who to place on furlough will be essentially one for the employer to make. It would be sensible when making the choice to take into account the personal circumstances of individual employees. Those with caring commitments for example might find it much harder to continue working – even from home – than those without. Ultimately however the employer will be able to make its decision based on the needs of the business ensuring that it retains access to the skills and experience that it needs to continue operating as best it can.

What wages will it cover? How will pay be calculated?

The scheme covers 80 per cent of wage costs to a maximum of £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that subsidised wage. Commission and bonuses are not recoverable and it seems likely – although the guidance does not address the point – that tips and gratuities will also be excluded.

The amount payable will be based on the employee’s normal salary. Where the pay is variable then the employer can claim for the higher of either the same month’s earnings from the previous year or the average monthly earnings from the 2019-2020 tax year. Where the employee has been employed for less than a year, the employer should take an average of their earnings since they started work.

Does it only apply if we don’t pay the wages – or will be able to recover wages that we have already paid?

The scheme is intended to help those employers who have chosen to keep employees on the books rather than make them redundant. We can certainly expect that it will refund employers who have already been paying employees from March 1st provided that the employees have not been doing any work in that period.

Can I bring back employees who have already been made redundant?

The Government is encouraging employers to reemploy staff that were dismissed for redundancy after 1 March 2020 but before the scheme was announced. It seems that the employer will be able to claim in respect of such employees even in respect of the time they were unemployed. There will, however, be no obligation to take this step.

For more information on Furlough and what it could mean for your business in Gloucestershire, please see our next post: Furlough – Frequently Asked Questions for Glos Employers

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new tax, finance and accounting laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Coronavirus – Frequently Asked Questions

ESB Accountancy in Glos explains what is the Government’s ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ and when does it come into effect?

ESB Accountancy in Glos explains what is the Government’s ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ and when does it come into effect?

The Government has announced a radical job retention scheme that will cover 80% of the wage costs of employees who are ‘furloughed’ by their employer – up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

ESB Accountancy now has some detailed guidance of how the system will operate but it is not yet up and running. The Government plans to have it in place in time for the April payroll (although we think that is optimistic), and it will be backdated to cover the period from 1 March 2020.

If an employee does not have the virus but is living with someone who does, should they be signed off sick?

They certainly should stay at home. If they are not ill but can work from home then there is no need for them to be treated as being on sick leave. If they cannot work at home then the Statutory Sick pay scheme has been amended to make it clear that the time they spend self-isolating will count as a period of incapacity for work. However rather than place them on sick leave the employer may choose to take advantage of the Government’s proposed job retention (furlough) scheme.

What evidence can I ask for that an employee is genuinely ill or required to self-isolate?

The normal practice of obtaining a fit note from a GP is clearly no longer a feasible option. The Government has introduced an online scheme through NHS 111 under which an employee, after answering a series of questions can be emailed an ‘isolation note’ indicating that they should remain at home either because they have coronavirus symptoms or because they should be self-isolating. This note will be deemed to be adequate evidence of their inability to work for the purposes of SSP – essentially equivalent to a fit note.

Can an employee refuse to come to work for fear of contracting the virus?

If the workplace is not one that the Government has ordered to close then the position remains that employees can be required to work. The strong advice from Government is that the employee should work from home whenever this is possible. But where homeworking is simply not an option the advice is that employees can still travel into work.

This means that in most circumstances the employer can still require the employee to come to work as normal. This assumes of course that the employer has, as far as is possible, put in place the appropriate social distancing measures so that the workplace is as safe as it can be. If the employee reasonably believes the employer is instructing the employee to work in unsafe conditions and refuses to come into work, and is dismissed as a result, that will be an automatically unfair dismissal (and the normal two years’ service is not required).

Employers will want to be sensitive to employees who have good reason to be particularly cautious because of an underlying condition or because of their contact with vulnerable people. In these circumstances – and where home working is not an option – the employee is probably best treated as either being off sick or ‘on furlough’ (see below).

If I am required to close my premises, am I still obliged to pay employees?

That depends on the terms of their contracts. Salaried employees will be entitled to full pay if you close the workplace unless there is a clause in the contract allowing you to lay them off for a temporary period without pay. The same goes for hourly paid employees with a minimum number of guaranteed hours. Where there is no set obligation to provide a minimum number of hours then the employer will not be obliged to pay for hours that the employee is not actually asked to work.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new tax, finance and accounting laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

 

Tax advice for Residential landlords in Gloucestershire

HMRC has recently released some tax advice for residential Landlords.

HMRC has recently released some tax advice for residential Landlords. Gloucestershire.

They describe it fetchingly as “HMRC’s property income manual at PIM20158” where the reduction is computed using (b) or (c), the difference between that figure and (a) is carried forward to calculate the basic rate reduction in the following year.

Alternatively ESB Accountancy in Gloucestershire provides a more straightforward explanation for residential landlords in Glos.

Although cash accounting was introduced under the banner of simplification, in reality, the existence of two sets of rules creates new choices. Since 2017/18, the cash basis applies by default to landlord clients ‘with straightforward tax affairs’ where the cash basis receipts do not exceed £150,000 and where the landlord has not elected for the accruals basis to apply.

There are certain exclusions from cash basis, which are detailed in HMRC’s Property Income Manual at PIM1092. Note also that where a client has more than one type of property business, (say, a UK business alongside an overseas property business) each business qualifies separately for any election to use accruals accounting.

These would need to be considered client by client. Repairs and renovations
An area that can cause headaches for clients is spending on repairs and renovations. Generally, repairs count as revenue expenditure, deductible if wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the property business, whereas enhancement expenditure is capital expenditure, usually disallowed.

In overview, the basic rules for residential landlords are set out below:

• Capital allowances are not available for residential letting businesses, except for certain cars and assets used in furnished holiday lets.
• Replacement of domestic stand-alone items for a tenant’s use, such as furniture, crockery, furnishings and household appliances can be covered by replacement of domestic items relief (ITTOIA 2005,s. 311A).

This tax relief has a number of restrictions:

• no deduction is given for the initial cost of providing the items, only for the cost of replacements;
• replacements must be ‘like for like’ – any enhancement is excluded from deduction;
• ‘fixtures’ are specifically excluded. This category includes boilers and heating systems and any other items which are fixed ‘in or to a dwelling-house as to become, in law, part of that dwelling-house’ (ITTOIA 2005, s. 311A(14))
• Repair or renovation of fittings may be deductible under case law rules. In a letter to the ICAEW and CIOT in 2014, HMRC confirmed that replacement of sanitary and kitchen units would be a repair. The logic here is that replacing kitchen or bathroom units may be viewed as a ‘repair’ to the house. Examples of the distinction between repairing an asset (allowable) and replacing an entire asset (capital expenditure) are set out in HMRC’s Business Income Manual at BIM46911. Repairs to fixtures can be deductible so long as they are not replacement, alteration or improvement expenses: BIM35430 discusses the principles involved.
• For dilapidations, especially where renovation expenditure is incurred on a newly acquired property
prior to first letting, a key issue is ‘could the asset be used in the business before the expenditure in
question is incurredfi’ This approach is based on the old favourites of Odeon Associated Theatres Ltd v
Jones (1971) 48 TC 257 and Law Shipping Co Ltd v IR Commrs (1923) 12 TC 621.

Strategic planning for residential landlords in Glos

As the final phase of the finance cost restriction kicks in, landlord clients may still need to consider alternative strategies, such as:
• transferring property to a spouse or civil partner paying tax at a lower rate – remembering to factor in land tax considerations;
• squeezing property into the more favourable holiday letting rules;
• making future acquisitions via a company.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new tax, finance and accounting laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Residential Landlords Tax situation in Glos

ESB Accountancy reminds Residential Landlords of their tax situation in Glos, Gloucestershire

ESB

As we head towards a new tax year, advisers might want to initiate conversations with residential landlord clients on a range of topics with the potential to sway tax bills. These include the annal phase
of the restriction for finance costs and, given that opt out is on an annual basis, a review of the use of the simplified cash basis for unincorporated property businesses.

Replacement of domestic items and fixtures is also worth consideration.

Since April 2017, tax relief on finance costs for landlords of residential properties has been steadily restricted. From 6 April 2020, the restriction is fully in place.

Which costs? – Restricted finance costs include:

• interest on mortgages;
• loans – including loans to buy furnishings; and
• overdrafts.
Other costs affected are alternative finance returns, fees and other incidental costs for getting or repaying mortgages and loans, discounts, premiums and disguised interest.

For clients who have a mixed property portfolio, note that where there is an element of duality in the borrowing – say a loan for residential and commercial property together – the legislation does not set out how apportionment should be made; only that it should be ‘on a just and reasonable basis’.

HMRC state in their Property Income Manual at PIM2056 that ‘It is necessary to consider the purpose of the borrowing – the use made of the funds – during the period when the interest accrues’.

Only the element attributable to the residential property business is restricted – the restriction does not apply for loans to buy commercial property.

HMRC’s Property Income Manual then sets out possible approaches for making an apportionment. These include, for example, using the ratio of relevant floor area in a building with both residential and office accommodation.

Where office space is converted to a residential unit, in tandem with an upgrade of other office space, it is suggested that multiplying the mortgage interest cost by the amount spent on the residential flat, as a proportion of the total loan taken out for all the upgrading work, might be appropriate.

The changes to the way in which relief for finance costs is given restrict tax relief on residential property finance costs to a basic rate tax credit. Rather than taking finance costs into account before profit is computed, the income tax liability is computed on profits before deducting finance costs and reducing that liability by a basic rate ‘tax reduction’ (calculated by multiplying the finance costs by the basic rate of tax of 20%).

The change affects:
• UK resident individuals letting out residential property in the UK or overseas;
• non-UK resident individuals letting out residential property in the UK;
• individuals letting such property in partnership; and • trustees or beneficiaries of trusts liable for income tax on property profits.

However, it does not impact on:
• UK resident companies;
• non-UK resident companies;
• landlords of furnished holiday lets.

Not only does this impact the way clients get relief for interest and other finance costs, since it also changes the way taxable income is calculated, there can be other knock-on implications, such as pushing income above the High Income Child Benefit Charge £50,000 threshold, for example.

HMRC estimate that 82% of landlords won’t be faced with larger tax bills because of the change. Others,
however, may be pushed into higher tax bands. For Scottish taxpayers, the impact can be felt at lower income levels, with the changes potentially pushing a basic rate
taxpayer into the Scottish intermediate rate.

Working it out: overview
The reduction is the basic rate value of the lower of:
(a) finance costs – costs not deducted from rental income in the tax year (this will be a proportion of finance costs for the transitional years) plus any finance costs brought forward;
(b) property business profits – the profits of the property business in the tax year (after using any brought forward losses)
(c) adjusted total income – income (after losses and reliefs, and excluding savings and dividends income) that exceeds the personal allowance.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Entrepreneurs’ Tax relief – how to benefit

How to benefit from Entrepreneurs’ Tax relief

How to benefit from Entrepreneurs' tax relief

Entrepreneurs’ relief and business property relief are two extremely valuable reliefs available to business
owners. Whilst many advisers are familiar with the way these reliefs apply to company shares, they must
also be aware of how the rules and conditions apply to unincorporated businesses.

Entrepreneurs’ Tax relief

Entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) has now been with us for over a decade. The mechanics of the relief have been tinkered with over the years but have always sought to apply a 10% tax rate to qualifying gains, subject to a lifetime limit. As of 2019/20, the lifetime limit is £10 million.

Entrepreneurs’ relief can be worth up to £1 million in reduced capital gains tax per individual, i.e. (20% – 10%) x £10 million.

The way that ER applies to trading company shares is generally well understood, e.g. the ‘personal company test’, despite recent complications – including the extension of the minimum holding period from one year to two years, and the introduction of elections designed to protect minority shareholders. However, ER also applies to a material disposal of a business, or part of a business.

The upheaval of the dividend tax regime from 2016 onward means that being a sole trader (or using a
partnership) can actually be more tax efficient than using a single director-shareholder company at higher profit levels, depending on the level of income required. As a result, it is likely that advisers will see an increase in disposals of unincorporated businesses that require ER to be considered.

Entrepreneur Tax two year rule

In order for ER to apply on the disposal of a business, the individual must have owned the interest for at least 24 months, ending with the date of disposal or the date that trading ceased in anticipation of being sold.

There is no requirement that the business be a going concern when transferred. Any assets that are retained but were in use by the business at the date of cessation can
qualify for ER as a post-cessation disposal as long as they are disposed of within three years of cessation.

It’s relatively easy to identify the disposal of the whole of a business. In that instance the practical challenge will be to establish whether the business activity itself qualifies for ER, and whether the other conditions are met. However, if only part of a business is sold things are more complicated.

Part disposals

There is no automatic entitlement to ER for straight sales of individual business assets, or a collection thereof.

Rather, it must be demonstrated that what is being disposed of constitutes a separate activity. In particular,ER will be denied if the essence of what is happening is a simple downsizing exercise.

Example 1
John owns two shops in neighbouring towns. These use a single warehouse, sell the same items, have the same branding, name and profit margins. Staff are required to work between sites. In the event of a sale of one of the shops, it is likely that HMRC would seek to deny relief as it is not a sale of a distinct part of the business.

Example 2
Jane owns a jewellery shop and a green-grocers on the high street. There is no interdependence other than Jane’s management. A sale of either business would probably qualify for ER, subject to other conditions being met, as it is easy to distinguish between the two business activities.

Note that a disposal of an interest in the business if a new partner joins can qualify for ER.

HMRC’s Entrepreneur tax view and conflicting case law

HMRC guidance in their Capital Gains Manual at CG64030 onward suggests the ‘interference’ approach
is adopted, i.e. the extent to which the disposal interferes with the ongoing business. However, in Gilbert T/A United Foods [2012] (TC01542), the First-tier Tribunal opined that the interference principle, established in the earlier case of McGregor v Adcock [1977] (TC692), only applied in the specific circumstances of that case, namely that of farmland.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

The responsibilities of a Company Director and a Company Officer Part 3

When is someone a Company Director and a Company Officer Part 3?

When is someone a Company Director and a Company Officer Part 3?

Mr Malik – the “Pizza worker” contended that the lead role at the meeting had come about because he was instructed to lead by Mr Munaim.

He denied any admission of responsibility for company financial affairs. He attributed his detailed knowledge of the cash reconciliation and ordering to his position as a long-serving employee – his ability to estimate takings likewise. He had no explanation other than long service as to why his name should have be used as a contact, or on a letter.

He also produced a letter, written after the company had been struck off, from Mr Munaim to the effect that he was only an employee with no significant control or influence on the business.

Correspondence from the accountants stated that Mr Malik was an employee, and that they dealt with Mr Munaim in regard to accounting and payroll.

Mr Malik maintained that his role in cashing up arose because he was usually on the premises until the shop closed, and that if he was not, the job would be done by other employees. In oral evidence, he denied having any role in preparing the diary of payments given to HMRC.

He ‘was adamant that he was not a directing mind or controlling person in relation to the business and in particular that he did not instruct Mr Munaim what to do and that Mr Munaim did not act in accordance with (his) instructions or directions.’

A Worker, a Manager and a Director

The Tribunal lent towards HMRC’s opinion. It found, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Malik was a manager of the pizza business. In reaching the conclusion, it also looked at the surrounding circumstances: that Mr Malik was a director of the first two companies operating the pizza franchise at that address, and directed another pizza business concurrently.

It therefore considered that ‘given his experience and seniority’ it was more likely that he was in a managerial position rather than being an employee limited to taking orders, cooking and delivering pizzas. It also instanced the ‘relatively small points’ of being named on correspondence and used as a contact for the business.

Part of the digital data revolution at HMRC, which includes MTD for VAT, is the use of big data analytics in tax compliance. HMRC, with its massive data pool, will increasingly be able to spot trends which may be invisible to agents.

This has far reaching consequences. HMRC are able to attach clients to advisers, see which businesses have been operating from which premises, and who has been involved.

Who is a Company Director – a Gloucestershire Overview Part 2

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Who is a Company Director – a Gloucestershire Overview Part 2

The role of a Company Director and a Company Officer

The role of a Company Director and a Company Officer

In the current case, Mr Malik stated that ‘owners/ managers come and go’ as a result of the business being run as a franchise. Evidence of a number of companies operating from the same address was provided. None had ever registered for VAT. Though dates and names sometimes failed to tally, there were three names that recurred with some persistence: those of Mr Munaim, Mr Malik and one other.

Mr Malik had additional business interests. During the period in question, he was the director of five other companies. One of these was also a pizza business.

 Classification of a person’s role in a business

What was Mr Malik’s role within the business? And what evidence did the Tribunal look at to make a decision?

HMRC took the following as instancing a high degree of involvement in the business.

First of all, there was Mr Munaim’s initial oral evidence. When HMRC made their opening move, an unannounced inspection visit to the business, only Mr Munaim was present. Mr Munaim stated that his uncle, Mr Malik, dealt with financial responsibilities.

On being told that Mr Malik recorded sales and other business details, HMRC requested a second meeting with Mr Malik present. At this meeting, Mr Malik explained Mr Munaim’s comments as the result of a young man’s panic, prompting him to say ‘things which were not correct’.

Secondly, there was the existence of Mr Malik’s name on some business correspondence. HMRC spotted a letter starting ‘Dear Fahim/Malik’ from a packaging firm in the course of its inspection. In one case, a third party enquiry also showed him as listed as the contact for the business.

As another instance of a close connection between Mr Malik and Mr Munaim, HMRC cited the fact that HMRC’s PAYE records ‘listed Mr Malik’s National Insurance number against Mr Munaim’s name. There was no explanation as to how HMRC’s systems could allow this to happen but … this must reflect the information … provided to HMRC by the business.’

Thirdly, there was the meeting with HMRC. It was noted here that Mr Malik led in answering questions, despite the presence of a director, Mr Munaim, and his accountant. This created the impression, in HMRC’s eyes, that Mr Malik took a key role in running the business. Their notes of the meeting set out that Mr Malik:

• was usually responsible for cashing up at the end of the day;

• was responsible for administering PAYE;

• reconciled takings between card payments, cash payments and expenditure, and reconciled the order receipts with takings;

• had a detailed knowledge of the ordering system;

• was able to give fairly precise figures for weekly turnover, and could compare this with weekly turnover in the ‘early days’.

Who is a Company Director – a Gloucestershire Overview Part 1

The responsibilities of a Company Director and a Company Officer Part 3

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Who is a Company Director – a Gloucestershire Overview

What does it mean to be an Officer and a Director of a company?

 What does it mean to be an officer and Director of a company?

It may seem like a daft question but people need to be able to answer the question confidently – or they could get into trouble with HMRC.

Pizza business – slicing up the ownership roles

A Pizza business was issued with a penalty notice of over £138,000 was at issue. It had been charged as a penalty for Newham Pizza Ltd’s deliberate and concealed failure to notify HMRC of a liability to register for VAT. Since the business, a franchise, had applied to be struck off the Companies House register,

HMRC had also issued personal liability notices to Newham’s director, Mr Munaim and his uncle, Mr Malik, who was an employee of the company, making each liable for 50% of the penalty.

This was done under powers conferred by FA 2008, Sch. 41, para. 22. Paragraph 22 allows HMRC to make an officer of the company – specifically a director, shadow director, manager or secretary – liable for a penalty which is payable by the company for a deliberate failure, if that failure is attributable to the relevant individual.

What was the role of Mr Malik? And why was his status contentious?

The case turned on whether Mr Malik was, as he maintained, ‘simply an employee’ – whose remit was limited to making pizzas, phone calls and deliveries – or whether he was an officer of the company. And then, if so, whether the company’s failure was attributable to him.

Paragraph 22(3) provides a reminder that an officer includes a shadow director within the meaning of the Companies Act 2006, s. 251. The relevant wording in s. 251 is that a ‘shadow director’ in relation to a company ‘means a person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the directors of the company are accustomed to act.’

FA 2008, Sch. 41 does not, however, define ‘manager’. This was therefore held to take its normal meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary provides the following definition:
‘A person who manages (a department of) a business, organisation, institution, etc; a person with an executive or supervisory function within an organisation.’

This all had to work within the context of pizza takeaway and delivery businesses which had operated from the premises for some years, morphing periodically in terms of the business entity and personnel involved.

Such ‘phoenix’ businesses have increasingly been the target of anti-avoidance legislation, including the security rules for VAT and other taxes. Here was a test of the effectiveness of the anti-avoidance rules. Had HMRC sufficient powers to bypass a legal structure and find the people behind the mask?

This all has very real implications for people, as your next new client may be operating from premises out of which a succession of businesses has operated. HMRC will be more than aware of the position: for you it could be an unwelcome shock.

In the current case, Mr Malik stated that ‘owners/ managers come and go’ as a result of the business being run as a franchise. Evidence of a number of companies operating from the same address was provided. None had ever registered for VAT. Though dates and names sometimes failed to tally, there were three names that recurred with some persistence: those of Mr Munaim, Mr Malik and one other.

Who is a Company Director Roles – Part 2 to follow

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and guidelines by ESB Accountancy

Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and support guidelines for Glos businesses by ESB Accountancy

Making Tax Digital (MTD) help and support guidelines for Glos businesses by ESB Accountancy

MTD for VAT

For most VAT registered businesses with VATable turnover over the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, Making Tax Digital for VAT applies from the start of the first VAT accounting period beginning on or after 1 April 2019. However, for some businesses, the start date is delayed until 1 October 2019. Please ask us if you are unsure which category you fall into.

Capital allowance for non-residential buildings and structures

The introduction of a new capital allowance for non-residential buildings and structures was announced at the time of the 2018 Budget, and a technical note was published for consultation at that time. The allowance is available for businesses that invest in non-residential structures or buildings on or after 29 October 2018 and is given on a straight-line basis at a rate of 2%.

At the time of the Spring Statement 2019, draft legislation was published for comment. As a result of the consultation process, some changes were made.

Legislation to provide for the new capital allowance was laid before Parliament and came into force on 5 July 2019.

Payroll reporting

Employers are required to report details on an employee’s pay and deductions to HMRC on or before the date that payment is made to the employee by making a full payment submission (FPS). If no payments are made to any employees in the tax month, an employer payment summary(EPS) shouldbesentinstead. Penalties are charged if in more than one tax month in the tax year:
• the FPS was late;

• HMRC did not receive the expected number of FPSs; or

• an EPS was not sent in a month in which no employees were paid.

HMRC have recently updated their guidance on what happens if payroll information is not reported on time.

HMRC allow a three day period of grace and will generally not charge a penalty if the FPS is filed within three days of the payment date. However, this is a concession not a right and should not be relied on; HMRC may charge penalties where an employer regularly files in this three-day window.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Off payroll business rules (IR35) explained by ESB Accountancy

Rules for business off payroll working (IR35) from April 2020 explained by ESB Accountancy

Rules for business off payroll working (IR35) from April 2020 explained by ESB Accountancy

Legislation has been published in draft which extends the off-payroll working rules as they apply to end clients in the public sector to large and medium sized end clients in the private sector.

The rules apply where workers supply their services via an intermediary, such as a personal service company, to an end client which is a large or medium private sector organisation. Companies Act 2006 definitions are used to determine whether an organisation is large or medium sized.

The rules shift responsibility for determining whether the off-payroll working rules apply and, if they do, deducting tax and National Insurance from payments made to the worker’s personal service company, from the worker’s personal service company to the end client to whom the services are supplied.

The amended business off payroll rules do not apply to small organisations, which will continue to apply the IR35 rules as now.

Under the IR35 rules, a 5% deduction is available to reflect the cost to the personal service company of administering the rules. This will not be available from 6 April 2020 in respect of engagements with medium and large organisations.

The draft legislation is available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/ government/publications/rules-for- off-payroll-working-from-april-2020, together with a tax information and impact note and explanatory notes.

Comments on the draft legislation are sought by 5 September 2019.

The legislation makes changes which cover the existing IR35 rules and the rules as they apply from 6 April 2017 to public sector end clients.

The existing IR 35 rules will continue to apply where services are provided via an intermediary to an end client that is outside the public sector and is small.

The rules are extended to include large and medium sized end clients in the private sector and are amended so that they work for both the private and public sector. Companies Act 2006 definitions are used to determine whether an organisation is small. The changes in the rules apply from 6 April 2020.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Business Finance Bill clauses published by Govt

Draft business clauses for inclusion in the Finance Bill 2019-20 have been published for consultation to ensure that the legislation works as intended.

The final contents of the Finance Bill 2019–20 will be subject to confirmation at the time of the 2019 Budget.

Each measure is accompanied by:

• a tax information and impact note which sets out what the legislation seeks to achieve, why the Government are undertaking the change and a summary of the expected impacts;

• the draft legislation; and

• an explanatory note which provides a more detailed guide to the legislation.

The consultation will close on 5 September 2019.

The draft Finance Bill clauses are available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/ finance-bill-2019-20.

The Government have also published impacting definitions for the tax information and impact notes and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s declaration. The impacting definitions explain what is meant by:

• the Exchequer impact;

• the economic impact;

• the individuals and household impact;

• the equalities impact; and

• the impact on businesses and civil society organisations.

The impacting definitions for the tax information and impact notes are available on the Gov.uk website at www.gov.uk/government/ publications/draft-finance-bill-2019- 20-legislation-impacting-definitions- and-declaration. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s declaration is on the same page.

If you don’t currently use software, or your software won’t be MTD-compatible, you’ll need an adviser who can file your VAT returns on your behalf.

Please talk to us at ESB Accountancy to discuss how your business can comply with the new laws – with several decades of financial experience here in Gloucestershire you can either ring us now on – email us on edith@esbaccountancy.co.uk or click the Contact Us buttonpayroll bookkeeping services small business help contact esb accountancy gloucestershire cheltenhamor please fill the form at the bottom of the contact us page.