Our newsletter this month includes: government efforts to enforce minimum wage regulation and the abuse of UK business structures for nefarious purposes; employees’ holiday entitlements and what to do if you can’t pay your tax.
In a recent press release, HMRC urged underpaid workers to complain as figures show that the number of workers getting the money they're owed by employers has doubled after interventions by HMRC.
According to latest figures, in 2017-18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in pay owed to more than a record 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers.
HMRC launched its online complaints service in January 2017, and this has contributed to the 132% increase in the number of complaints received over the last year and the amount of money HMRC has been able to recoup for those unfairly underpaid.
The figures are published as the government launches its annual advertising campaign designed to encourage workers to act if they are not receiving the National Living Wage or the National Minimum Wage.
Industries most affected include restaurants, bars, hotels and hairdressing.
People not receiving at least the minimum wage can fill in an online pay and work rights complaints form.
It is the responsibility of employers, no matter how big or small, to pay the correct wage to their staff, and failing to do so can result in fines of 200% of the arrears, public naming and, for the worst offences, criminal prosecution.
From 1 April 2018, the government’s National Living Wage rate increased by 33p to £7.83 per hour for those aged 25 and over.
The National Minimum Wage increased:
by 33p to £7.38 per hour for those aged 21 to 24;
by 30p to £5.90 per hour for those aged 18 to 20;
by 15p to £4.20 per hour for those aged 16 to 17;
Reforms are being considered that will ensure that Scottish Limited Partnerships continue to be used as a legitimate vehicle for investment in the UK.
Measures to crack down on the abuse of a specialised financial arrangement to launder foreign money through the UK was unveiled at the end of April 2018. This is part of a package of government reforms.
Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) and Limited Partnerships (LPs) are used by thousands of legitimate British businesses, particularly the private equity and pensions industry, to invest more than £30 billion a year in the UK. SLPs and LPs are business entities created by two or more partners where at least one partner is liable for what they invest.
However, evidence published shows the growing evidence that SLPs have been exploited in complex money laundering schemes, including one which involved using over 100 SLPs to move up to $80 billion out of Russia. They have also been linked to international criminal networks in Eastern Europe and other locations and have allegedly been used in arms deals.
Figures published, as part of the launch of the government consultation on this issue, show that just 5 frontmen were responsible for over half of 6,800 SLPs registered between January 2016 and mid-May 2017. By June 2017, 17,000 SLPs, over half of all SLPs, were registered at just 10 addresses.
New proposals would make it clearer who runs limited partnerships to enable British investors to continue to use them legitimately and invest in the UK, while cracking down on their use in unlawful activities. These include:
Requiring a real connection to the UK, including ensuring SLPs do business or maintain a service address in Scotland.
Registering new SLPs through a company formation agent, this will ensure that frontmen will be subjected to anti-money laundering checks.
New powers for Companies House to remove limited partnerships from the company register if they are dissolved or are no longer operating.
The reforms being proposed will apply to all limited partnerships in the UK and will also include new annual reporting requirements for limited partnerships in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, all of which will help Companies House ensure they comply with the law.
Last year, the government introduced laws requiring SLPs to report their beneficial owner and make their ownership structure more transparent, this resulted in an 80% reduction in the number of SLPs registered. Recent, additional reforms seek to raise standards further.
The following definitions should help to clarify employee and employer rights and responsibilities regarding entitlement to holiday pay.
Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.
Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days paid annual leave per year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday.
Part-time workers are entitled to less paid holiday than full-time workers. They are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks of paid holiday but this amounts to fewer than 28 days because they work fewer hours per week.
Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days, and so staff working 6 days a week are still only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday.
Bank holidays or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave. An employer can also choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum. They don’t have to apply all the rules that apply to statutory leave to the extra leave. For example, a worker might need to be employed for a certain amount of time before they become entitled to the additional entitlement.
Additionally, workers have the right to:
get paid for leave;
build up (‘accrue’) holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave;
build up holiday entitlement while off work sick;
request holiday at the same time as sick leave.
HMRC will consider extended options for settling your outstanding tax bill. The key is to contact HMRC, explain why you can’t pay on time, and discuss how you can settle any outstanding liabilities.
If you can’t pay before the deadline, call the Business Payment Support Service. Anyone can use this service, not just businesses.
Business Payment Support Service
Telephone: 0300 200 3835
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 4pm
Nominated partners in business partnerships can negotiate time to pay with HMRC on behalf of the partnership or individual partners.
If you’ve missed your payment date
If you’ve received a payment demand, like a tax bill or a letter threatening you with legal action, call the HMRC office that sent you the letter.
Call the Business Payment Support Service if you haven’t received a bill or letter about payment yet.
Call the Self-assessment helpline if you’ve missed your payment date.
1 June 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2017.
19 June 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2018)
19 June 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2018.
19 June 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2018 is payable by today.
1 July 2018 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2017.
6 July 2018 - Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs.
19 July 2018 - Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2018 if paid electronically).
19 July 2018 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2018. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 July 2018)
19 July 2018 - Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 July 2018.
19 July 2018 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 July 2018 is payable by today.