ET4B’s Winter Newsletter 2018 looks at some of the more pressing matters currently on our, and our clients’ agendas.
One aspect affecting nearly all employers is the changes planned on treatment of employment termination payments. Upon implementation the changes are now being justified on a robust agenda of ‘fairness and clarity’, with the previous pretences of extra ‘simplicity’ and tax-neutrality having been dropped. This presents the prospect of more work for employers and more tax/NIC to pay (for almost every employer and employee).
A few specific points of interpretation in respect of the new termination payments rules have very recently (14 February 2018) been clarified by HMRC in its February 2018 Employer Bulletin.
Firstly, HMRC has confirmed that payments made on or after 6 April 2018, but relating to a termination before that date, would fall under the ‘old’ rather than ‘new’ rules.
Secondly HMRC confirms that genuine redundancy payments (whether statutory, or non-statutory i.e. at enhanced rates agreed between employer and employee) should not be looked at under the new Post Employment Notice Pay rules i.e. they will still qualify for the £30,000 exemption. This is consistent with existing treatment which in effect goes as far back as the ‘Inland Revenue’ Statement Of Practice 1 of 1994 – so it would been a major disappointment if HMRC had decided to take a more stringent view here.
Finally the Employer Bulletin does confirm that the proposed withdrawal of Foreign Service Relief on termination payments from 6 April 2018 is still intended, but remains subject to further Parliamentary Approval.
Other than termination payments, the Newsletter looks at other hot topics concerning the government’s ongoing concern on employed v self-employed status, the increase in HMRC minimum wage reviews, changes in tax treatment of flexible benefits (or Optional Remuneration Arrangements to use the current terminology), possible changes to the way employee expenses are treated, and the proposed further uplift in taxation for diesel company car drivers.
We trust you find the Newsletter of interest. If you think we can assist, on these or any other employment/worker related matters, please of course contact us contact us.