HMRC has released the latest issue of the 'Employer Bulletin' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced which are relevant to employers and agents.

The topics covered in the latest edition include the following:

  • Coronavirus relief measures. Updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, Deferral of VAT payments, general Coronavirus guidance on supporting employees and a Benefits and Tax Credits Update.
  • Short term business visitor changes. HMRC’s rules for employers with short term business visitors (STBVs) from overseas branches or territories with which the UK does not have a Double Taxation Agreement changed from 6 April 2020. This is known as STBV Appendix 8. A number of changes have been made to HMRC’s guidance due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Off-payroll working rules. The government has postponed the roll-out of off-payroll working rules to the private sector until 6 April 2021. This deferral was announced in response to COVID-19, to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic impacts of the pandemic and the government remains committed to introducing this policy.
  • COVID 19 – Salary Sacrifice. If an employee wishes to amend their terms and conditions of employment and opt out of a salary sacrifice arrangement directly because of the change in their circumstances due to COVID-19 (including furlough arrangements), this can be done. HMRC’s guidance includes further details.
  • Claiming Employment Allowance. The Employment Allowance increased by a third to £4,000 from 6 April 2020. The allowance is now only available to employers with employer NIC liabilities of under £100,000 in the previous tax year. Connected employers or those with multiple PAYE schemes will have their contributions aggregated to assess eligibility for the allowance.
  • Official Rate of Interest for the 2020-21 tax year. From 6 April 2020, the official rate of interest was reduced to 2.25% (from 2.5%). This interest rate is used to calculate the Income Tax charge on the benefit of employment related loans and the taxable benefit of some employer-provided living accommodation.

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