Employment tax

There’s now tax legislation and regulation designed to cover your whole range of workers, whether they’re employees or off-payroll, such as agencies, intermediaries or personal service companies. It’s an area rapidly growing in complexity and subtlety, and one in which HRMC reviews are increasingly common.

This is good news for the economy, but it might throw up some challenges for your business.

We understand exactly how much time and expertise goes into managing employment tax, so we’ve built a team with the skills and experience to make yours effortless. Our specialists help companies of all sizes ensuring efficient tax structuring and first-rate employment tax compliance, whilst optimising employee packages so you can attract and retain the people you need to grow and flourish. From company car planning to salary sacrifice, departing employees to the Apprenticeship Levy, we’ve got the expertise to help, whatever your structure or sector.

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Nick Jinks, Chief Commerical Officer at Azets.

Here are just a few of our services:

  • The Construction Industry Scheme
  • Engaging off-payroll workers
  • Employer expenses policies
  • HMRC employment tax audits
  • Workplace and travel issues
  • Global mobility
  • Employee Ownership & Share Schemes.

If you’re a contractor or subcontractor working in construction, you are required to comply with the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

So, what exactly does that mean?

The CIS requires contractors to verify the identity and tax status of any subcontractors they engage for a construction project before they make payment, so HMRC can instruct whether tax needs to be withheld by the contractor and at what rate. Contractors are also required to file monthly returns to HMRC and provide statements to subcontractors, wherever they have withheld tax. This doesn’t just apply to the construction sector; it can also apply to other businesses spending significantly on construction, too.

It can be a lengthy process, but it’s an important one, and increasingly subject to reviews by HMRC.

That’s why we offer a specialist service to subcontractors and contractors needing help with verification, reporting and tax deduction in line with CIS. With a broad range of experience in helping businesses ensure that their CIS processes are sufficiently detailed to meet the rigours of an HMRC review, we’re confident we can build whatever support you need – so you can keep building.

Engaging off-payroll workers 

With the freelance economy booming, businesses are increasingly looking to engage workers off-payroll. And with new working practices comes new legislation.

As of April 2021, personal service companies (PSCs) are coming under greater scrutiny. Whether your business engages someone as a sole trader, contracts with their personal service company (PSC) or uses an employment intermediary, you must now consider the ‘employment status’ of all off-payroll workers. If HRMC determines that your workers are more akin to employees than self-employed individuals, they will have to be paid under deduction of PAYE.

Unsurprisingly, this can be expensive. Any re-categorisation of workers from self-employed to employed results in a PAYE cost and, as HRMC will apply the change to the past four years, the costs can build rapidly if you have multiple people who have been engaged off-payroll across several tax years.

It can also be confusing, with many complex factors being used to determine employment status.

That’s where we come in. Our tax advisors offer a dedicated stream of support for businesses facing the challenge of off-payroll tax. We will help you consider the most appropriate engagement mechanism for your workers, ensure the appropriate approach to tax and national insurance treatment, and help you structure the basis on which you engage genuinely self-employed individuals too.

With 2021 approaching fast and off-payroll work set to grow even more, it’s essential for businesses to establish best practices now.

HMRC keep a very close eye on employment tax. Employment tax reviews routinely reap large claims, and they can also trigger broader cross-taxes investigations.

The upshot? Your employment tax policies should be a high priority.

But crafting policies that are as robust and compliant as possible, while also meeting the commercial needs of your business and people, can be a tough task. That’s why our tax team are ready to review your existing procedures and documentation, including:

  • Expenses and benefits policies
  • Employer reporting returns; P11D and PAYE Settlement Agreements
  • Expense claims
  • Staff handbooks.

We’ll talk to key members in the business, conduct a full audit of your material, then help you create policies and processes that will optimise employment tax for your organisation, your people, and HMRC.

HMRC employment tax audits

Have you been selected for an employment tax audit by HRMC? Let us help.

Our team of tax experts can support your business through the entire review process. This is a key part of what we do, and we are very experienced in representing our clients in front of HMRC.

From the very first communication we’ll be by your side: helping you prepare for the review, providing daily support while it’s going on and managing the negotiations through to settlement. We know that tax reviews can be disruptive and time-consuming, so we ensure you have the expertise you need to make the process as smooth as possible. Our proactive approach, supported by years of experience, will lower the risk of expensive retrospective charges and make sure you stay in control at a high-pressure time.

Workplace and travel issues

If there’s one certainty in the post-Covid world, it’s that flexible working is here to stay.

Daily commuting to a single office is increasingly the exception, rather than the rule. Whether your people are travelling between different sites in the business, working in different regions on a regular basis, or indeed working from home, it’s likely that their movements are becoming more fluid and less predictable. For employers, this means that calculating the tax around travel, meal and accommodation costs is becoming highly complex.

This is especially the case for businesses with multiple sites. If an employee travels to a temporary workplace, such as a client or supplier’s office or a customer’s home, the costs paid or reimbursed by their employer are taxable. But the situation around travelling to other offices, sites or depots owned by the business is less clear. If your people are visiting an alternative base regularly, it might be considered a second permanent workplace - making the expenses taxable after all.

In short: if you have mobile employees and multiple sites, you need tax efficient solutions. And our employment tax team have the skills and experience to help you find them, whatever your size or sector.

To discuss how we can help you, get in touch.

Share schemes are one of the most effective tools for attracting, retaining and incentivising your top talent. But with so many different types of scheme to choose from, finding just the right one for your business can be difficult.

For one thing, you need to consider the different tax treatment of various schemes, which in themselves can be complex. Then you have to balance the tax implications with both your commercial objectives and where you currently are in the growth journey of your business.

Our experienced tax advisers can help you explore a number of employee incentives and share schemes and support you in finding exactly the right fit for your situation and goals. The most common schemes that we advise on are:

  • Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI)
  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP)
  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP)
  • Save as You Earn (SAYE) schemes

To discuss how we can help find the right schemes for you, get in touch.

Video calls can do a lot - but in a globalised world, there’s no way of avoiding international travel. And whether your people are heading off on assignments abroad on business trips, global mobility comes with tax and social security implications for both employers and employees.

Our Global Mobility Services teamwork with a diverse range of clients, from small businesses taking their first steps in working across borders to blue chips with large establish expatriate programmes, guiding them through the issues that arise as a result of a transient workforce.

Whether your people are going to or from the UK, we can help you stay compliant in any relevant jurisdictions, secure the best cost efficiencies on any travel or assignments, ensure that those involved are aware of any potential personal tax implications and, most importantly, support them through the stresses and uncertainties that relocation may bring.

We have extensive experience helping organisations with their compliance and reporting around Short Term Business Visitors and Non-Resident Directors – significant risk areas for many companies. And we can also assist individuals looking to make a cross-border move outside of employment, perhaps because of family commitments or because they’re looking to retire.

Thanks to our international association, we are able to offer a comprehensive and joined-up approach to our expatriate services, wherever your people are working. Here are just a sample of our services:

For the employer

  • Assignment planning and structuring
  • Assignment costing analysis
  • Assistance with assignment policy drafting
  • Coordination across the various tax jurisdictions involved
  • Payroll advice and services (including shadow/modified payrolls)
  • Social security advice and compliance

For the employee

  • Arrival and departure briefings to outline tax consequences
  • Home and host country tax return preparation
  • Tax reconciliation calculations

To discuss how we can help you and your people move with ease, get in touch.

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