24 February 2021: This month’s top technical stories on ICAEW Insights include updates on self assessment penalties, IR35 changes and a major change to the government’s Kickstart Scheme.
Coronavirus: Employment taxes
ICAEW insights, technical guidance and news updates on tax measures affecting UK employment taxation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
10 February: ICAEW’s Tax Faculty has urged HMRC to confirm whether coronavirus antigen tests paid for by employers will continue to be exempt from income tax and national insurance after 5 April, and to clarify guidance on the difference between antigen tests and antibody tests which are not exempt.
10 February 2021: Respected tax authority Rebecca Benneyworth has written two new TAXguides offering valuable insights into the key issues facing agents at the start of 2021 and exploring what business structure has the lowest tax burden.
7 January 2021: As HMRC is resisting calls for an easement on self assessment late filing penalties, ICAEW’s Tax Faculty outlines the options available to taxpayers and agents who will have difficulty filing or paying.
18 December 2020: Employees that joined a cycle-to-work scheme on or before 20 December 2020 will not be liable for income tax benefit-in-kind charge, reveals Treasury.
19 November: Legislation will come into force on 8 December providing a temporary exemption from income tax and national insurance on coronavirus antigen tests provided to employees.
10 November 2020: Wales introduces support to remove the financial disadvantage to care workers of staying away from work due to coronavirus. However, the guidance gives rise to numerous questions concerning eligibility, calculations and claims.
Updated 15 October: Employees required to work from home can have a £6 per week or £26 per month allowance paid tax-free by employers or, during the pandemic, can claim a deduction from earnings for this allowance, HMRC has confirmed.
28 September 2020: The employee benefits-in-kind (BiK) regime is not fit for purpose for a post-COVID world ICAEW has told HMRC.
10 July: HMRC has confirmed that equipment to protect employees from coronavirus is non-taxable, but reissued guidance suggests that tests purchased by staff and reimbursed by employers may be subject to tax.
3 Jul 2020: An ICAEW poll has found that accountants consider a cut in VAT rates to be the most effective way of boosting the UK economy following the coronavirus crisis.
30 June: HMRC’s latest employer bulletin contains several reminders to stop firms falling behind with standard obligations during the coronavirus pandemic, such as suffixing “2013” to the reference when paying 2019/20 Class 1A NIC.
11 June: HMRC has issued further support on how employment related securities (ERS) are affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including how such arrangements interact with furlough grant payments. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty provides a breakdown of the guidance.
29 May 2020: Employers can file their Appendix 4, 7A and 7B end-of-year reports by email, HMRC has confirmed.
26 May: As the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme launches, Tax Faculty members outline useful information to help businesses make a claim.
19 May 2020: Small employers and their tax agents will be able to submit claims for rebates of statutory sick pay linked to coronavirus from 26 May, HMRC has confirmed.
14 May: Organisations reimbursing staff for equipment purchases enabling them to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic will not have to pay tax, confirms Treasury minister.
28 April: As COVID-19 dramatically changes the way in which we work, the House of Lords is recommending that the government rethinks IR35’s expansion and looks for a better way to tax work. Anita Monteith outlines the recommendations.
27 April: HMRC has confirmed that reclaims of employees' coronavirus-related statutory sick pay qualify as state aid under the EU commission’s COVID-19 temporary framework which caps support.
14 April 2020: HMRC has confirmed that changes to salary sacrifice schemes caused by the coronavirus pandemic will retain transitional relief from the optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA) rules.