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Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 31 May 2023, including: advisory fuel rates; service availability indicators for payment plans; visitor levy legislation; and an update to SAYE bonus rates.

Advisory fuel rates

HMRC has published its second quarterly advisory fuel rates for 2023. The rates are only for employees using a company car. The rates can be used when employers are reimbursing employees for business travel in their company cars or the employer needs the employee to pay for fuel used for private travel.

From 1 June 2023, the rates for petrol engines and electric cars remain unchanged from the previous quarter. The LPG rates for engines over 1400cc have increased by a penny. The diesel rates have reduced by a penny for engines of 2000cc or less and by 2p for engines over 2000cc.

Employers can use previous rates for up to one month after the date the new rates apply.

Check service availability for online payment plans

Taxpayers and agents can now check the availability and planned downtime for two more HMRC services. The status of the income tax self assessment payment plan can be checked here. The status of the employers PAYE payment plan can be checked here.

Setting up a payment plan allows taxpayers to spread payment of their tax liability over a set period of time. Payment plans are only permitted in certain conditions and if the taxpayer is unable to pay in full by the due payment date. For income tax self assessment, a payment plan can normally only be agreed in the 60 days following the due date of 31 January.

Scotland paves the way for visitor levy

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill has been published and will be voted on by the Scottish Parliament. If passed, the Bill allows for local councils in Scotland to apply a levy on stays in overnight accommodation. The levy is based on a percentage of the accommodation cost, and revenues raised must be reinvested in local tourism services and facilities. The Bill sets out that councils will have the choice of whether to charge a visitor levy.

Bonus rates updated for Save As You Earn

Save As You Earn (SAYE) schemes bonus rates are being updated along with the specimen prospectus and other guidance set out in the latest Employment Related Securities Bulletin. The current bonus rate that has applied since 2014 is 0%. The change should result in positive bonuses being paid to employees who sign up for schemes from 18 August 2023.

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