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Charitable giving claiming tax relief on your donations

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					Business Online                                                                                           Spring 2008 Newsletter



Charitable giving:
claiming tax relief
on your donations
Using the Gift Aid scheme to make charitable donations                          If your income varies
can both benefit the charity you give to, whilst also                           you may pay 40% tax
saving you tax. For those eligible, Gift Aid can increase                       in some tax years but not
the value of your charitable donation by allowing the                           in others. This means your
                                                                                charitable gifts will only earn
recipient organisation to reclaim the basic rate of tax on
                                                                                you extra tax relief when they
your contribution. Higher rate taxpayers may then claim                         are paid in a higher-earning year.
tax relief on the difference between the basic and higher                       However, you can now carry back Gift
rate of tax, thus allowing you to make the most of your                         Aid donations that are made before you
charitable gift.                                                                submit your self assessment tax return
                                                                                by completing the relevant box on that
To include a charitable donation in the Gift Aid scheme all you need
                                                                                tax return.
to do is confirm to the charity that you are a UK taxpayer. This can be
done over the phone, by signing a form, or by checking a statement on
a website run by the charity. You may also be asked to give your name
                                                                                Example
and address for the charity’s records. One declaration can cover many           If you submit your tax return for the year ended 5 April 2008 on
gifts to the same charity, spread over a number of years.                       31 December 2008, the Gift Aided donations you make in the
                                                                                period from 6 April 2008 to 31 December 2008 can be treated as
Once your declaration is received the charity can claim back an extra
                                                                                if they were actually paid in the year to 5 April 2008. This ‘carry
28.2% of the amount you gave. This means that for every £78 you
                                                                                back’ increases your tax relief for 2007/08, and may reduce the
donate, the charity can claim back £22, representing the basic rate
                                                                                balancing payment of tax you are due to make on 31 January 2009.
income tax you have already paid on your gross income of £100.
                                                                                If your balancing payment reduces, your first on-account payment
If you are a higher rate taxpayer paying income tax at 40%, the charity         for 2008/09 will also reduce, leaving you less tax to pay overall in
  cannot claim back any further tax, but you can. When you give £78             January.
     under the Gift Aid scheme you can claim an extra £18 in tax relief,
                                                                                Remember, the donations you carried back will not gain extra
            which is 18% of your gross gift of £100. You may claim this
                                                                                tax relief in the 2008/09 tax year. The charity that received your
                                             extra tax relief through
                                                                                donations will not be affected by your carry-back election.
                                                   your self assessment
                                                       tax return.              When the basic rate of tax reduces from 22% to 20% on 6 April
                                                                                2008, the charity reclaim will reduce to 25% of the amount you
                                                                                give.
                                                                                However, the higher rate tax relief given on Gift Aid donations will
                                                                                increase from 18% to 20%. As a higher rate taxpayer you will gain
                                                                                more tax relief if you keep your donations within 2008/09 rather
                                                                                than carrying them back to the tax year ending on 5 April 2008.


                                                                                              Contact us for more information on how Gift
                                                                                              Aid may help to reduce your tax payments.

                        Inside this Issue...
    Spring              The new ISA regime: benefits for savers         The Companies Act and your business:       Business Round-Up
                                                                        what you need to know
     2008                                                                                                          Web Watch & Reminders for
                        Employment references: a legal minefield?       Rise in fuel charges for company cars      your Spring diary
The new ISA regime: benefits for savers
Changes to the rules governing Individual Savings                                 of existing cash ISA savings will have to relate to the whole
Accounts (ISAs) are set to come into force on 6 April 2008.                       amount saved in the current tax year, up to the day of the
The Government believes that the reforms will provide                             transfer
more ‘certainty, simplicity and flexibility for savers’.                      •	 Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) will be converted to stocks and
                                                                                 shares ISAs.
Under the Government proposals, the following
key changes will take effect:                                                 There are also proposals to allow Child Trust Fund (CTF) accounts
                                                                              to rollover into ISAs on maturity. The first CTF accounts will mature
         • ISAs will be made available indefinitely; there is no              in 2020, and there will be consultation on the best way to facilitate
            set end date                                                      the rollover.
               • Every adult will have an annual ISA investment
                                                                               Northern Rock customers
                 allowance of £7,200. Up to £3,600 can be
                    invested in a cash ISA with one provider; the              The Government has also introduced special measures to ensure
                       remainder of the £7,200 can be invested                 that Northern Rock customers are not penalised for withdrawing
                          in a stocks and shares ISA with the                  savings during the bank’s period of financial instability last year.
                             same or another provider
                                                                               Special dispensations enable Northern Rock savers who
                                 • The regulations remove the                  withdrew cash from their ISA accounts between 13 and 19
                                  designations of ‘mini’ and ‘maxi’            September 2007 inclusive, to reclaim lost tax advantages by
                                   ISAs                                        re-investing that money into an ISA account.
                                     • Savers will be allowed to               Those people to whom the rules apply have until 5 April 2008 to
                                      transfer existing savings from           re-deposit their funds into an ISA at Northern Rock, or obtain
                                       their cash ISA to their stocks          a certificate from the Newcastle-based bank for the amount
                                        and shares ISA, including              withdrawn and present this to an alternative ISA provider.
                                         cash ISA savings from
                                                                               These regulations are to be covered under the 2008 Finance Bill
                                          earlier years; for past
                                                                               and apply retrospectively from 13 September 2007.
                                            years the transfer will
                                             not affect the annual
                                              investment allowance
                                                                                 For more details on the changes to the ISA regime
                                                 •	 For the current              and the dispensation available for Northern Rock
                                                 tax year, the transfer          savers, and for further help with planning your
                                                                                 finances, please contact us.



Employment references: a legal minefield?
As an employer you will               Keep to the facts                      Take extra care when                   Disclaimers
inevitably be called upon                                                    dealing with sensitive                 Research suggests that not
to supply a reference for a           A key part of writing a legally
                                      sound reference is supplying           information                            enough employers are attaching
current or former member                                                                                            a disclaimer to references
                                      only factual information.              Employers should be wary when
of staff at some stage                Confirming dates of employment                                                they provide. An organisation
                                                                             providing information of a
during your career. With              and the job title are a minimum        sensitive nature. Whilst confirming
                                                                                                                    may state that they do not
many job offers subject               requirement if you are going                                                  accept liability for any action
                                                                             the employee’s absence record is
to obtaining satisfactory             to provide a reference.                                                       brought by the employee over
                                                                             acceptable, supplying in-depth
references, they play                 Detailing the employee’s main                                                 the reference. However, it is
                                                                             details relating to their medical
                                      responsibilities and their reason                                             important to remember that
a pivotal role in the                                                        history is not. If an employee has
                                      for leaving is also recommended.                                              a disclaimer alone may not be
recruitment process.                                                         experienced significant periods of
                                                                                                                    enough to negate the duty of
                                                                             ill health, it may be worth advising
                                      Even if a reference is factually                                              care owed when completing a
While an employer is not legally                                             the prospective employer to liaise
                                      correct, the employer must take                                               reference.
bound to supply a reference                                                  with the individual concerned on
                                      measures to ensure they avoid
for a current or past employee,                                              the matter to avoid a potential
                                      creating an unfair or misleading
it is considered good practice                                               breach of confidentiality.
to do so. However, provide
                                      impression of the individual                                                   Five tips to aid success
an inaccurate or misleading
                                      concerned. Avoid deceptive or          Maintain consistency
                                      ambiguous wording to ensure                                                    y Keep to the facts
reference and your company                                                   Devise a company policy on
                                      clarity and accuracy.                                                          y Avoid misleading or ambiguous
could find itself subject to                                                 supplying references in order
litigation. Remember, data            If you have limited knowledge          to guarantee consistency.                 language to ensure clarity
protection rules dictate that         of the individual on a personal        Determine who should complete           y Attach a disclaimer
the individual concerned may          level then it is advisable to          incoming reference requests             y Devise a company policy to
request to view their reference.      make this known – it is better         and follow this procedure for             ensure consistency
You can help to avoid the             to keep your statement short           all future references. It is also
potential dangers by following        rather than risk creating a            recommended that employers              y Avoid giving verbal references
some simple steps to help your        misleading representation of           refrain from supplying verbal             and disclosing detailed medical
business comply with the relevant     the employee’s character.              references in today’s litigious           records
legislation.                                                                 society.


      The advice in this guide is not exhaustive and it is recommended that you consult an expert if you are unsure of your legal obligations.
The Companies Act and                                                                                Rise in fuel
your business: what you                                                                              charges for
need to know                                                                                         company
Many features of company law
date back more than 100 years,
                                                   In addition, a comprehensive code of
                                                   accounting and reporting will be required
                                                                                                     cars
and are not necessarily suitable for               from April 2008, while provisions stating
                                                   that shareholders may agree limitation of         From 6 April 2008 the cost of
regulating modern companies. The                                                                     providing fuel free of charge for
                                                   auditors’ liability will also come into effect.
new Companies Act, passed in 2006,                                                                   company cars will increase by
aims to modernise and simplify                     Reforms to commence in                            over 17%.
company law and thereby reduce the                 October 2008
red tape burden faced by businesses.                                                                 The fuel multiplier will rise from £14,400
                                                   Key parts of the new legislation that are
                                                                                                     to £16,900. This is used to calculate the
Following the Government’s recent publication      scheduled to come into force in October
                                                                                                     amount on which directors and employees
of a final implementation timetable for the Act,   this year include new rules that prohibit
                                                                                                     pay tax at up to 40%, and employers pay
selected changes are set to come into effect       the use of another company to fill the post
                                                                                                     national insurance contributions (NICs) at
in April and October 2008, while some of the       of sole director in order to protect the
                                                                                                     11.8%.
remaining provisions have been delayed until       owner’s personal details. From 1 October
1 October 2009.                                    2008 companies must have at least one             Directors paying tax at 40% will incur
                                                   director who is a ‘natural person’.               a rise of up to £350 a year from 6 April
Reforms to commence in                                                                               2008, with an increase of up to £103.25
                                                   Changes to the legislation governing child
April 2008                                                                                           in NICs for the company.
                                                   directors are also scheduled to commence
Despite the delay to key parts of the              on this date. If you currently have young         Meanwhile new advisory fuel rates,
Companies Act, the changes scheduled to            relatives registered as directors of your         used for negotiating mileage payments
come into force this April will still go ahead     company they will have to resign if they          for business travel in company cars,
as planned. The biggest change for small           will be under 16 years old on 1 October           came into effect from 1 January 2008.
companies is that the post of Company              2008.                                             Recommended reimbursement for
Secretary will be optional from 6 April 2008.                                                        journeys made in petrol vehicles up to
Your current Company Secretary may resign          Measures affected by the delay                    1400cc now stands at 11 pence per mile.
from that date, although all the forms and         Key provisions affected by the delay              It may still be beneficial for some
registration documents they may currently          include the reforms relating to share
deal with will still need to be completed and
                                                                                                     directors and employees to receive
                                                   capital, company formation and directors’
filed. This change will make it easier for a       residential addresses. Under the latter,          free fuel – remember that private
single person to run their own company.            directors may file ‘service’ rather than          motoring includes travelling from
                                                   home addresses. Although you must                 home to work – so talk to us to
Also coming into effect are important
                                                   provide Companies House with your private         reduce the impact the changes may
changes to the way company accounts
have to be prepared and filed at Companies
                                                   residential address, it will be kept on a         have on your business.
                                                   secure private register.
House. At present, private companies
have ten months from the end of their
accounting year to file full or abbreviated        For help and further information on
accounts with Companies House. This period         the forthcoming changes, please do                   Five tips to reduce fuel
will reduce to nine months for accounting          contact us.                                          consumption
periods beginning after 5 April
2008. Abbreviated accounts                                                                              1. Use your gears wisely
will still be permitted for
small companies.                                                                                        2. Check your tyre pressures

                                                                                                        3. Choose an economical vehicle
                                                                                                           such as a hybrid or diesel car

                                                                                                        4. Check that your spark plugs
                                                                                                           are in good condition

                                                                                                        5. Leave the car at home and
                                                                                                           choose public transport
Business Round-Up
Businesses to incur new penalties over illegal workers                           Taxpayers
Stiff penalties for businesses that employ illegal migrant workers are           could sue
due to take effect from 29 February 2008.                                        Revenue
Under new measures outlined by the Government, employers that                    following court
negligently hire illegal workers could incur a fine of up to £10,000,            ruling
while businesses that knowingly take on illegal migrants could face an           A landmark court
unlimited fine and/or a two year custodial sentence.                             ruling has found
The new penalties are designed to discourage what the Government                 that HM Revenue
has called ‘exploitative recruitment methods.’                                   and Customs
                                                                                 (HMRC) owes a
Employers are currently required to carry out checks to determine                duty of care to the
whether prospective employees are permitted to work in the UK,                   taxpayer for errors
providing them with a statutory defence from conviction if these legal           that it makes.
obligations are fulfilled. For this exemption to be valid, employers must
conduct repeat document checks at least once a year for members of               The Court of Appeal found that HMRC was liable for a series
staff that have limited leave to enter or remain in the UK. Employers            of mistakes made when processing builder Neil Martin’s
that consciously take on illegal workers are prohibited from using this          Construction Industry Scheme application in 1999. As a result
defence.                                                                         of the errors, Mr Martin lost £500,000 and experienced severe
                                                                                 disruption to his business.
The changes are just part of a wider Government clampdown on
immigration and a drive to strengthen ‘British values’. Plans to ban             The court unanimously agreed that HMRC owed a duty of care
unskilled non-EU workers from entering the UK have also been                     to the claimant under common law, creating a precedent that will
announced by the Home Office, while an Australian-style points system            potentially affect future judgments. The ruling will reportedly
is set to come into effect later this year.                                      have major implications for HMRC, whose staff regularly assist




                                                                                                                                                        This newsletter is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors
                                                                                 taxpayers in completing HMRC forms.
Migrants from outside the EU will have to pass a series of tests
designed to ensure they possess skills that will benefit the UK economy.         The decision repeals a 2006 High Court ruling in which HMRC
                                                                                 was found to owe no duty of care if negligence occurred.




                                                                                                                                                        can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication.
For more information on the new penalties, please visit
the Border and Immigration Agency website at                                     Please contact us for help in completing HMRC
www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk.                                                       documentation – we will be delighted to assist you.




Web Watch                                             Reminders for your Spring diary
Essential sites for
business owners                                        February 2008
                                                       14   Last date (for practical purposes) to      6    Disposals from today are subject to
Fraud Advisory Panel                                        request NIC deferment for 2007/08.              the ‘new’ CGT rules.
www.fraudadvisorypanel.org                                                                             14   Due date for income tax for the CT61
                                                       28 Last day to pay any balance of 2006/07
Aims to raise awareness of the damaging                   tax and Class 4 NIC to avoid an                   period to 31 March 2008.
effects of fraud and offers advice on how                 automatic 5% surcharge.
you can prevent it.                                                                                    19/22 Quarter 4 2007/08 PAYE remittance
                                                       March 2008                                            due.
The Pension Service                                    31   End of corporation tax financial year.     20   Interest will begin to accrue on unpaid
www.thepensionservice.gov.uk                                                                                PAYE/NI for 2007/08.
Contains useful information for businesses                  End of CT61 quarterly period.
                                                                                                       30   Normal annual adjustment for VAT partial
on pension schemes and benefits.                            Filing date for Corporation Tax Return          exemption calculations (monthly returns).
                                                            Form CT600 for period ended 31 March
J4B Grants                                                  2007.                                      May 2008
www.j4bgrants.co.uk                                                                                    3    Last day for notifying car changes in
                                                       April 2008
Funding information for UK businesses.                                                                      quarter to 5 April – P46 (Car).
                                                       5    Last day of 2007/08 tax year.
                                                                                                       19   Last day for filing forms P14, P35, P38,
Just Giving                                                 Deadline for 2007/08 ISAs.                      and P38A – 2007/08 PAYE returns –
www.justgiving.com                                                                                          without incurring penalties.
Provides tools to help with fundraising,                    Last day to make disposals using the
                                                            2007/08 CGT exemption and the ‘old’             Also last day for filing contractors’
including a charity search facility and
                                                            CGT rules.                                      returns.
automatic Gift Aid reclaim.
                                                            Last day for contracting back into the     31   Last day to issue 2007/08 P60s to
                                                            State Second Pension for 2007/08.               employees.

				
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