This update was first published in the April 2012 UK edition of Accounting and Business magazine.
HM Revenue & Customs’s Employer and Agent Strategy team provides informal highlights as a result of listening to employer feedback and working in partnership with stakeholders. Two recent updates are the requirements where no annual return is due and the new working from home rate.
Employers who did not have to complete a P11 deductions working sheet, or equivalent, during the 2011–12 tax year do not need to file an employer annual return. But employers must inform HMRC if they have no return to make sure that HMRC records are updated and any unnecessary reminders and penalty notices are not issued.
HMRC prefers employers to inform it by email (see link) but states that last year it could not process a significant number of forms because it could not link the reference number on the form with the correct employer record.
The update on new working from home rates highlights that employers can reimburse employees who work regularly from home for the additional household expenses they incur, without incurring an extra tax or national insurance contribution charge.
The additional expenses that employers may reimburse are those connected with the day-to-day running of the employee’s home. This might include additional costs of heating and lighting the work area, or additional insurance costs.
HMRC states: ‘Because it might be difficult for employers to calculate the exact additional costs, we have previously published a guideline rate that can be paid without having to justify the amount paid or the employee having to keep any records to demonstrate the additional expenditure. The guideline rate is not a maximum amount and greater amounts can be paid where there is evidence to justify them.’
From 6 April 2012 the guideline rate employers can pay employees who work regularly from home increases from £3 to £4 per week.
Glenn Collins, head of technical advisory, ACCA UK