News
Employers who owe their workers thousands of pounds for failing to pay them the correct National Minimum Wage have been named and shamed by Business Secretary Vince Cable today (28 February 2014).

The government is introducing a series of tougher measures to crack down on employers who flout National Minimum Wage law. The first of these, a tougher naming and shaming scheme, came into effect on 1 October 2013.

Five employers are the first to be named under the stricter rules, who between them owe workers a total of over £6,800 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling £3,381.40.

The 5 employers are:
•Peter Oakes of Peter Oakes Ltd, Macclesfield, neglected to pay £3619.70 to 2 workers
•Lisa Maria Cathcart of Salon Sienna, Manchester, neglected to pay £1760.48 to a worker
•Mohammed Yamin of Minto Guest House, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £808.56 to a worker
•Anne Henderson of Chambers Hairdressers, Middlesbrough neglected to pay £452.22 to a worker
•Ruzi Ruzyyev a car wash operator in Carmarthen neglected to pay £225.38 to a worker

As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers who fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage will face higher financial penalties of up to £20,000 as of 7 March 2014.

The government also plans to legislate at the earliest opportunity so that employers will also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum fine applying to each employer. In the most serious cases, employers can also face criminal prosecution.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:


“Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

“We know that people are put off using a business’ service if it is found guilty of not paying its workers the minimum wage. This is a clear warning to employers: you will damage your reputation and face a stiff penalty, if you don’t pay the minimum wage.

“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. It’s not only fair, it’s the law. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline.”

The new higher penalties that will come into force on 7 March 2014 will increase the National Minimum Wage financial penalty percentage from 50% to 100% of total underpayments and the maximum penalty applied from £5,000 to £20,000.

Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage, which were increased on 1 October 2013, and may vary depending on the circumstances of their workers.

Employers are also encouraged to make sure they take into account all details that can affect how much workers are entitled to be paid - including such things as age, accommodation, travel time and deductions for uniform hire.

The 5 cases named today (28 February 2014) were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue and Customs after the workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights helpline. Employers who are unsure of National Minimum Wage rules can also get free advice and information from the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.

Notes to editors

1.The National Minimum Wage rates changed on 1 October 2013:
•the adult rate increased by 12p to £6.31 an hour
•the rate for 18 to 20 year olds increased by 5p to £5.03 an hour
•the rate for 16 to 17 year olds increased by 4p to £3.72 an hour
•the apprentice rate increased by 3p to £2.68 an hour
•the accommodation offset increased to £4.91

2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates and face financial penalties of up to £5,000 increasing to £20,000 from 7 March 2014. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under the previous scheme there were seven criteria for naming, and an employer had to meet 1 of these to be named plus the financial criteria.

4.These criteria have been removed and under the revised scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) by HMRC unless there are very exceptional cases. This notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law. These 5 employers are amongst the first complaints, where HMRC have finalised their investigations, since the revised scheme came into effect.

5.Employers have 28 days to appeal against the NoU. If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the very exceptional criteria: naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family or there are national security risks associated with naming, or there other factors which suggests that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer or company. Of these, the public interest criteria will only apply in very exceptional circumstances. BIS will normally expect to inform the employer of the outcome of any representations made within 14 days of receipt of any representation made by the employer. If BIS do not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.

6.The government will continue to publicise the decisions of employment tribunals in cases where an employer has unsuccessfully appealed against a NoU. HMRC will also continue to publicise county court judgments and other orders made against employers who HMRC have had to take to court to recover arrears of wages for workers.

7.The current penalty for NMW is calculated as 50% of the total underpayment for all the workers specified in the NoU. Where the amount would be less than £100, the minimum penalty of £100 should be applied. Where this amount would be more than £5,000, the maximum penalty of £5,000 should be applied. The penalty is reduced by 50% if the employer pays back the arrears owed to workers within 14 days.

8.The government announced on 15 January 2014 that they will be increasing the financial penalty percentage from 50% to 100% of the unpaid wages owed to workers. From the 7 March 2014, the revised maximum penalty will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. Where this amount is less than £100, the minimum penalty of £100 should still be applied. Where this amount is more than £20,000, the maximum penalty of £20,000 should be applied. The government will also bring in legislation as soon as possible so that the maximum £20,000 penalty can apply to each underpaid worker. Primary legislation is needed to introduce a penalty of £20,000 per worker into the NMW Act 1998.

9.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:
•to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
•to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
•to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
•to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
Today a further 25 employers who failed to pay their employees the minimum wage have been named under the new regime introduced last October 2013, which makes it easier to name and shame wrongdoers. Between them they owe workers more than £43,000 in arrears and in addition have to pay financial penalties totalling over £21,000.

Business Minister Jenny Willott said:


“Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”

The government has introduced a series of tougher measures to crack down on employers that break National Minimum Wage law. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage also face new penalties of up to £20,000 - 4 times higher than before.

The government also plans to legislate in the new parliamentary session so that employers can also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum penalty applying to each employer. This will mean if an employer underpays 10 workers, they could face penalties of up to £200,000.

The 25 employers are:
•Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, neglected to pay £7,310.65 to 3 workers
•Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, neglected to pay £6,426.12 to a worker
•Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £6,200.28 to 4 workers
•Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3,739.58 to a worker
•A2ZEE Construction Ltd, Cramlington, neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers
•Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, neglected to pay £3,037.53 to 2 workers
•Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn at Onneley, Crewe, Cheshire, neglected to pay £2,057.88 to 4 workers
•Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, neglected to pay £1,415.82 to a worker
•Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, neglected to pay £1,413.88 to a worker
•Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, neglected to pay £1,237.79 to 2 workers
•Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, neglected to pay £1,236.72 to a worker
•We are Mop! Ltd, London, neglected to pay £1,018.05 to 2 workers
•Mrs Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, neglected to pay £823.40 to a worker
•Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £806.37 to 2 workers
•Masterpart Distribution Ltd, Essex, neglected to pay £718.62 to a worker
•Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, neglected to pay £556.80 to a worker
•Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £494.07 to a worker
•Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, neglected to pay £461.84 to a worker
•Luigi’s Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, neglected to pay £281.04 to 5 workers
•CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker
•Mr Gary Calder, Mr Richard Calder and Mr Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, neglected to pay £256.55 to a worker
•Dakal Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £252.00 to 2 workers
•Michael at Zoom Limited, Havant, neglected to pay £242.28 to 3 workers
•HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers
•Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, neglected to pay £134.35 to 8 workers

The 25 cases named today (8 June 2014) were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs after workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights helpline. Employers who are unsure of National Minimum Wage rules can also get free advice and information from the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or by visiting www.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.

The government has announced the following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2014:
•a 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour)
•a 10p (2%) increase in the rate for 18-20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13per hour)
•a 7p (2%) increase in the rate for 16-17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour)
•a 5p (2%) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour)

2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less. All 25 cases named today failed to pay the national minimum wage and have arrears of over £100.

4.Employers have 28 days to appeal against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law). If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the very exceptional criteria: naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family or there are national security risks associated with naming, or there other factors which suggests that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer or company. Of these, the public interest criteria will only apply in very exceptional circumstances. BIS will normally expect to inform the employer of the outcome of any representations made within 14 days of receipt of any representation made by the employer. If BIS does not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.

5.Further information about the revised BIS NMW naming scheme can be found at Enforcing national minimum wage law.
Today (8 June 2014), a further 25 employers who failed to pay their employees the minimum wage have been named under the new regime introduced last October 2013, which makes it easier to name and shame wrongdoers. Between them they owe workers more than £43,000 in arrears and in addition have to pay financial penalties totalling over £21,000.

Business Minister Jenny Willott said:


“Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”

The government has introduced a series of tougher measures to crack down on employers that break National Minimum Wage law. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage also face new penalties of up to £20,000 - 4 times higher than before.

The government also plans to legislate in the new parliamentary session so that employers can also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum penalty applying to each employer. This will mean if an employer underpays 10 workers, they could face penalties of up to £200,000.

The 25 employers are:
•Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, neglected to pay £7,310.65 to 3 workers
•Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, neglected to pay £6,426.12 to a worker
•Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £6,200.28 to 4 workers
•Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3,739.58 to a worker
•A2ZEE Construction Ltd, Cramlington, neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers
•Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, neglected to pay £3,037.53 to 2 workers
•Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn at Onneley, Crewe, Cheshire, neglected to pay £2,057.88 to 4 workers
•Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, neglected to pay £1,415.82 to a worker
•Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, neglected to pay £1,413.88 to a worker
•Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, neglected to pay £1,237.79 to 2 workers
•Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, neglected to pay £1,236.72 to a worker
•We are Mop! Ltd, London, neglected to pay £1,018.05 to 2 workers
•Mrs Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, neglected to pay £823.40 to a worker
•Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £806.37 to 2 workers
•Masterpart Distribution Ltd, Essex, neglected to pay £718.62 to a worker
•Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, neglected to pay £556.80 to a worker
•Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £494.07 to a worker
•Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, neglected to pay £461.84 to a worker
•Luigi’s Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, neglected to pay £281.04 to 5 workers
•CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker
•Mr Gary Calder, Mr Richard Calder and Mr Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, neglected to pay £256.55 to a worker
•Dakal Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £252.00 to 2 workers
•Michael at Zoom Limited, Havant, neglected to pay £242.28 to 3 workers
•HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers
•Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, neglected to pay £134.35 to 8 workers

The 25 cases named today (8 June 2014) were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs after workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights helpline. Employers who are unsure of National Minimum Wage rules can also get free advice and information from the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or by visiting www.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.

The government has announced the following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2014:
•a 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour)
•a 10p (2%) increase in the rate for 18-20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13per hour)
•a 7p (2%) increase in the rate for 16-17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour)
•a 5p (2%) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour)

2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less. All 25 cases named today failed to pay the national minimum wage and have arrears of over £100.

4.Employers have 28 days to appeal against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law). If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the very exceptional criteria: naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family or there are national security risks associated with naming, or there other factors which suggests that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer or company. Of these, the public interest criteria will only apply in very exceptional circumstances. BIS will normally expect to inform the employer of the outcome of any representations made within 14 days of receipt of any representation made by the employer. If BIS does not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.

5.Further information about the revised BIS NMW naming scheme can be found at Enforcing national minimum wage law.
Today (8 June 2014), a further 25 employers who failed to pay their employees the minimum wage have been named under the new regime introduced last October 2013, which makes it easier to name and shame wrongdoers. Between them they owe workers more than £43,000 in arrears and in addition have to pay financial penalties totalling over £21,000.

Business Minister Jenny Willott said:


“Paying less than the minimum wage is not only wrong, it’s illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences.

“Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. If anyone suspects they are not being paid the wage they are legally entitled to they should call the Pay and Work Rights helpline on 0800 917 2368.”

The government has introduced a series of tougher measures to crack down on employers that break National Minimum Wage law. As well as being publicly named and shamed, employers that fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage also face new penalties of up to £20,000 - 4 times higher than before.

The government also plans to legislate in the new parliamentary session so that employers can also be given penalties of up to £20,000 for each individual worker they have underpaid, rather than the maximum penalty applying to each employer. This will mean if an employer underpays 10 workers, they could face penalties of up to £200,000.

The 25 employers are:
•Christine Cadden and Nicola Banks of Renaissance, Wirral, neglected to pay £7,310.65 to 3 workers
•Alan King and John King of Arthur Simpson & Co, Bradford, neglected to pay £6,426.12 to a worker
•Central Heating Services Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £6,200.28 to 4 workers
•Cargilfield School Ltd, Edinburgh, neglected to pay £3,739.58 to a worker
•A2ZEE Construction Ltd, Cramlington, neglected to pay £3,375.51 to 14 workers
•Mr and Mrs Balasco of Eugenio, Bristol, neglected to pay £3,037.53 to 2 workers
•Mr and Mrs Hampton of The Wheatsheaf Inn at Onneley, Crewe, Cheshire, neglected to pay £2,057.88 to 4 workers
•Steven Stainton of Steven Stainton Joinery, Cumbria, neglected to pay £1,415.82 to a worker
•Runbaro Ltd, Swindon, neglected to pay £1,413.88 to a worker
•Satwinder Singh Khatter and Tejinder Singh Khatter of The Bath Hotel, Reading, neglected to pay £1,237.79 to 2 workers
•Richard Last of Classic Carpentry, Godalming, neglected to pay £1,236.72 to a worker
•We are Mop! Ltd, London, neglected to pay £1,018.05 to 2 workers
•Mrs Sue English of Legends Hairdressers, Colchester, neglected to pay £823.40 to a worker
•Saftdwin Ltd, Hampshire, neglected to pay £806.37 to 2 workers
•Masterpart Distribution Ltd, Essex, neglected to pay £718.62 to a worker
•Perth Hotels Ltd, Perth, neglected to pay £556.80 to a worker
•Bryants Nurseries Ltd, Hertfordshire, neglected to pay £494.07 to a worker
•Dove Mill Retail Outlet Ltd, Bolton, neglected to pay £461.84 to a worker
•Luigi’s Little Italy Ltd, Yorkshire, neglected to pay £281.04 to 5 workers
•CPS SW Ltd, Exmouth, neglected to pay £261.29 to a worker
•Mr Gary Calder, Mr Richard Calder and Mr Neil Calder of Avenue Agricultural, Northamptonshire, neglected to pay £256.55 to a worker
•Dakal Ltd, Northampton, neglected to pay £252.00 to 2 workers
•Michael at Zoom Limited, Havant, neglected to pay £242.28 to 3 workers
•HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, Manchester, neglected to pay £149.00 to 15 workers
•Sun Shack Ltd, Hamilton, neglected to pay £134.35 to 8 workers

The 25 cases named today (8 June 2014) were thoroughly investigated by HM Revenue & Customs after workers made complaints to the free and confidential Pay and Work Rights helpline. Employers who are unsure of National Minimum Wage rules can also get free advice and information from the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368 or by visiting www.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

1.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the National Minimum Wage.

The government has announced the following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2014:
•a 19p (3%) increase in the adult rate (from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour)
•a 10p (2%) increase in the rate for 18-20 year olds (from £5.03 to £5.13per hour)
•a 7p (2%) increase in the rate for 16-17 year olds (from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour)
•a 5p (2%) increase in the rate for apprentices (from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour)

2.The government is committed to increasing compliance with minimum wage legislation and effective enforcement of it. Everyone who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. The BIS scheme to name employers who break minimum wage law came into effect on 1 January 2011. The scheme is one of a range of tools at the government’s disposal to tackle this issue. Employers who pay workers less than the minimum wage not only have to pay back arrears of wages at current minimum wage rates but also face financial penalties of up to £20,000. In the most serious cases employers can be prosecuted.

3.From 1 October 2013 the government revised the naming scheme to make it simpler to name and shame employers who break the law. Under this scheme the government will name all employers that have been issued with a Notice of Underpayment (NoU) unless employers meet one of the exceptional criteria or have arrears of £100 or less. All 25 cases named today failed to pay the national minimum wage and have arrears of over £100.

4.Employers have 28 days to appeal against the NoU (this notice sets out the owed wages to be paid by the employer together with the penalty for not complying with minimum wage law). If the employer does not appeal or unsuccessfully appeals against this NoU, BIS will consider them for naming. The employer then has 14 days to make representations to BIS outlining whether they meet any of the very exceptional criteria: naming by BIS carries a risk of personal harm to an individual or their family or there are national security risks associated with naming, or there other factors which suggests that it would not be in the public interest to name the employer or company. Of these, the public interest criteria will only apply in very exceptional circumstances. BIS will normally expect to inform the employer of the outcome of any representations made within 14 days of receipt of any representation made by the employer. If BIS does not receive any representations or the representations received are unsuccessful, the employer will be named via a BIS press release under this scheme.

5.Further information about the revised BIS NMW naming scheme can be found at Enforcing national minimum wage law.

Chartered Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
Clothing, followed by tobacco and alcohol, are the most common counterfeited items in the UK according to a new report published today (11 June 2014), detailing the extent of intellectual property (IP) crime, and the UK’s response. The report was launched on the first day of the International IP Enforcement Summit as the government underlined its commitment to tackling IP crime.

Opening the summit, Business Secretary Vince Cable outlined the importance of IP rich industries to the UK economy and society. Better collaboration, with industry and across borders, is a key theme of the summit on how to strengthen the fight against IP crime, estimated to account for 10% of global trade.

IP Minister Lord Younger said:


“The value of IP to the economy is unquestionable. The UK invests much more in knowledge and ideas than it does in assets such as buildings and machinery, and IP intensive industries account for a third of all jobs in the EU.

“The government is committed to supporting these industries and making sure that intellectual property rights are understood and respected. Working together is the best way to tackle this issue.”

New figures published today reveal the extent of intellectual property crime activity and the UK response. A special report, published for the International IP Enforcement Summit, taking place in London over 11 and 12 June 2014, showed:
•the top 5 counterfeit products investigated by Trading Standards are clothing, tobacco, alcohol, footwear and DVDs
•72 million links to infringing digital material removed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), up from 10 million in 2012 to 2013
•the specialist City of London IP Crime Unit is investigating nearly £30 million worth of IP crime in its first 9 months

The Business Secretary also announced the strengthening of the enforcement relationship with China. Following his recent visit to Qingdao, where Dr Cable launched the Global Digital Media and Entertainment Alliance, he set out how the UK and China are working more closely to tackle intellectual property crime.

Lord Younger added:


“The UK is a centre of excellence for intellectual property-rich companies and it is vital that we create the confidence for UK firms to grow overseas. Collaboration and partnership are key to that. The UK and China are working ever more closely to reduce the impact of IP crime.”

Recent initiatives have built on UK agencies’ ability to work together with counterparts in China. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), National Crime Agency (NCA) and HMRC representatives in Beijing have helped with the training of Chinese IP enforcement officers, shared technical understanding of our respective intellectual property systems and are now exchanging intelligence. This has enabled the UK and China to work together to identify and arrest criminals operating between the 2 countries and to share the evidence gathered.

The summit, hosted jointly by the IPO and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), provided a chance for more than 300 delegates from across the world to discuss best practice and collaboration to strengthen the way this global issue is addressed. Summit delegates considered how to tackle trade in counterfeit goods as well as the challenges posed by the digital world, both through illegal downloading and streaming but also from new and emerging technologies such as 3D printing.

Notes to editors
1.The new highlight report on IP crime, from the UK’s IP Crime Group is published today (11 June 2014).
2.The independent Taylor Wessing Global IP Index 2013 ranked the UK as the best IP regime in the world, and the US Chamber of Commerce ranked the UK’s enforcement framework as the global leader. The UK is at the forefront of tackling IP crime, and this week’s summit has provided an opportunity to share best practice and build on existing and develop new collaborations to strengthen the international approach to counterfeit goods and online piracy.

RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, introduced to Parliament today (25 June 2014), will remove barriers to growth for small firms, strengthen the foundations for a sustainable recovery, and create jobs.

The bill builds on the government’s commitment to help make the UK the most attractive place to start, finance and grow a business.

It will ensure that businesses that play by the rules cannot be undercut by those who break the law and that Britain continues to be recognised globally as a trusted and fair place to do business.

Measures focussed on helping small business will:
•improve access to finance through increasing the availability and sources of investment for small businesses, so that they can secure the funding they need to grow •open up access to small business credit data, level the playing field between providers and make it easier for a small business to seek a loan from a lender other than their bank
•the introduction of ‘cheque imaging’ to speed up cheque clearing from 6 days to 2
•increase trade credit availability by a potential £1.8 billion by enabling HMRC to share non-financial VAT registration data on a controlled basis to qualifying organisations

•cut red tape by ensuring regulations affecting business are reviewed frequently and remain effective. It will also introduce a requirement for government to publish a target for its impact on regulatory burdens in each parliamentary term, holding future governments to account
•introduce a Pubs Code and Adjudicator to govern the relationship between pub-owning companies and their tied tenants, bringing fairness to the sole traders and small businesses that run approximately 20,000 tied pubs across England and Wales
•enhance the reputation of the UK as a trusted and fair place to do business by increasing transparency around who owns and controls UK companies; and helping deter and sanction those who hide their interest in UK companies to facilitate illegal activities or who otherwise fall short of expected standards of behaviour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:


“The government is working hard to improve the environment for small businesses. Better access to finance for SMEs, measures to boost trust and transparency in British business and increasing fairness in the workplace are key issues that this bill aims to address.

“Our flagship measures will help hard-working people have confidence in their employers by tackling abuses in zero hours contracts, give publicans a fairer deal over big pub companies, tougher penalties for those who don’t pay the minimum wage and greater clarity around who owns and controls our companies.”

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:


“Every village, town and city throughout the country is host to a range of small businesses from shops, garages and cafés, to manufacturing firms and tech start-ups. We are backing business every step of the way with the first small business bill, to help create the prosperity and secure the jobs we need.

“Small businesses are the driving force of our economy and this bill is part of the government’s commitment to back enterprise and help firms to start-up and scale-up.”

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the new bill and the increased focus on small firms.

John Allan, FSB National Chairman said:


“The small business bill reflects growing recognition of the role small businesses have to play in driving forward the economy and the need to do all we can to support them in that effort.

“This landmark bill is welcomed by our members. It includes measures that we have pushed for in our discussions with government and indeed all political parties over the last 12 months to help them support their growth ambitions – such as action on late payment terms for smaller suppliers and to beef up scrutiny of unnecessary regulation.”

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill also introduces measures to:
•stop abuse of individuals on zero hour contracts by making sure they are not tied exclusively to 1 employer
•deter employers from breaking National Minimum Wage legislation by amending the power to set the maximum penalty for under payment so it can be calculated on a per worker basis
•strengthen the rules on director disqualifications to widen the matters of misconduct courts must take into account when disqualifying, including conduct in overseas companies, and measures to help creditors recoup losses resulting from director misconduct
•assist small business expansion overseas by increasing the support available from UK Export Finance and widening its powers, making it easier for all businesses, regardless of size, to expand in the international marketplace
•streamline insolvency law to remove unnecessary costs and ensure effective oversight of insolvency practitioners so they deliver their services at a fair and reasonable cost that reflects the work undertaken
•improve companies’ payment practices so that small businesses can negotiate fair terms and ensure more of their invoices are paid on time
•provide new and improved information on learning outcomes by tracking students through education into the labour market; identifying which schools and colleges provide the best routes to sustainable employment.

Notes to editors:
1.More information can be found at The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.
2.The UK is a great place to set up a business and more people than ever are beginning new enterprises. The government is backing business every step of the way and introducing legislation to help make the UK the most attractive place to start, finance and grow a business. The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will help to build a stronger and fairer economy by supporting small businesses as they compete, and ensure they are not disadvantaged by those that do not play by the rules. It will foster and back the entrepreneurial spirit and build on the UK’s reputation as a fair and trusted place to do business. The bill sets out measures to help hard working people have confidence in their employers and reduce the barriers that can hold businesses back from growth.

RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
From Monday 3 November over 24 million people will start receiving their first Annual Tax Summary from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which breaks down exactly how their tax is spent by the Exchequer.

8 million taxpayers who complete self-assessment returns will be able to access their tax summary online, while the 16 million PAYE taxpayers who received a tax coding notice from HMRC for 2013 to 2014 will receive their summary in the post over the next seven weeks.

The summaries were first announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne at Budget 2012 in a move to make tax more transparent and easier to understand. They will set out how much tax and National Insurance each person paid in the previous year and how it contributed to public expenditure.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:


“I promised that taxpayers would know much more about how much direct tax they pay and how that money is spent.

“Now we’re delivering on that promise by giving 24m taxpayers a new personal tax summary.

“It is a revolution in transparency and it will show how hardworking taxpayers have to pay for what governments spend.”

At Budget 2012 the Chancellor announced that around 20 million taxpayers would receive a tax summary detailing how their 2013 to 2014 tax year income tax and National Insurance contributions have been calculated.

In April this year the Chancellor announced that 4 million more people than previously announced would receive the summary. The additional people are PAYE taxpayers who have had recent contact from HMRC setting out their tax calculation for an earlier tax year. These might be people with more complicated or changing circumstances such as a new job.

There are 29.9 million income taxpayers in the UK. Any taxpayer who does not receive a tax summary can use HMRC’s tax calculator to estimate their tax bill and see how it contributes to public spending. The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple app store or Google Play by searching ‘HMRC tax calculator’.

RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
The 31 October paper-filing deadline for 2013/14 tax returns has now passed. Even if you have no tax to pay, or you eventually pay your tax on time, a late paper return will still land you with the £100 penalty.

Now it’s November, the only way to avoid a penalty is by submitting your tax return online by 31 January.

To send an online tax return, you must be registered for HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an Activation Code in the post, so allow time for this to arrive. If you haven’t registered for online filing, you can do so by visiting the GOV.UK website and following the instructions.

RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
You can file now and pay later – as long as you pay what you owe by 31 January.

Help and advice on filing your return is available from the GOV.UK website or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310 (open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday).
 
Date of Posting: 16 December 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
A former Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) president and a fellow company director who were jailed for pension scheme tax fraud in 2013 have been ordered to pay back a total of £5.1m.

Andrew Meeson and Peter Bradley must repay the money within six months or serve a further 10 years in jail, HMRC said in a statement. Meeson became ATT president in July 2011 but stepped down just three months later, citing personal reasons relating to an HMRC investigation.

Confiscation proceedings at Birmingham Crown Court followed HMRC’s financial investigation into the men’s assets.

Meeson and Bradley were both sentenced to eight and a half years in jail in March 2013. They had conspired to receive £5m in fraudulent income tax repayments via their company, Tudor Capital Management Limited, HMRC said. “The pair claimed that the repayments were due on pension contributions of £25m made by scheme members, but HMRC investigators found that these contributions did not exist.”

Meeson, aged 53, lived in George Street, Wolverhampton, at the time of his conviction. He was ordered to repay £1,642,205.

Bradley, aged 47, formerly of Springhill Lane, Lower Penn, Wolverhampton, was ordered to repay £3,458,002.

Adrian Farley, HMRC assistant director, criminal investigation said: “Meeson and Bradley committed blatant theft, exploiting their positions of trust and authority. Our priority is to track down tax fraudsters and to confiscate their ill-gotten gains. If they do not pay up, they face a substantial additional prison sentence – and they will still owe the money on release.”

An ATT spokesperson said: “It is right that HMRC take firm action against tax fraud. They have our full support in doing so.”

Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 01 October 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
Q. My consulting company holds a significant amount of cash and I would like it to buy a piece of art work as an investment, what are the tax implications?

A. If the artwork is kept at your home there will be a taxable benefit in kind, which needs to be declared on the annual form P11D.
Say the art work cost £30,000:
You will pay income tax on 20% x £30,000 = £6,000 at your marginal rate, each year. The company must also pay class 1A NICs of 13.8% x £6,000 = £828 per year.

If the artwork is to be kept in a bank vault as a pure investment, there won't be a benefit in kind charge for you. However, the business must pay the insurance and storage costs, for which there will be no tax deduction. There is also no tax deduction for the cost of buying the artwork as it is not an item used for the business.

If the company closes any creditors will be able to access the value of that art, just as if it was cash. If the business is solvent when it closes holding significant investments, it may not qualify for entrepreneurs' relief, which would otherwise reduce the tax you pay on any gain made on the liquidated asset of the company down to 10%.

Q. I am currently aged 57 and while I have been out of the country, I have paid voluntary national insurance contributions to allow me to qualify for the state pension. I recently asked the Pensions Service whether I need to carry on paying voluntary NICs but I'm very confused about the answer. Do I need 10, 30 or 35 qualifying years, to get the full state pension?

A. The rules for qualifying for the State Pension will change for anyone who reaches state pension age after 5 April 2016, so that includes you. A person currently needs 30 years of NICs to achieve full entitlement to the state pension, but that is to increase to 35 years for people who reach state pension age from April 2016. You will need a minimum of 10 qualifying years get any of the new state pension, which will be paid at a flat rate.

Q. How can I easily calculate a total amount to claim for the self-employed business I run from my home, for example the total amount of usage for rent, gas, insurance, council tax, internet usage, broadband?

A. There is an easy way to calculate the deductible amount of your home expenses, you simply record how many hours you work at home each month and claim the appropriate flat rate:

- Working 25 to 50 hours in home allows a £10 claim for the month
- Working 51 to 100 hours in home allows a £18 claim for the month
- Working 101 or more hours in home allows a £26 claim for the month

This rate covers the cost of power, telephone, internet access, but it doesn't cover council tax, insurance, rent or mortgage interest. Those other costs should be apportioned according to the space you use for your business in the property, and how many hours you use that space. We can help you with the calculation.


Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 01 October 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
Scottish Taxes

The Scottish people have spoken and the majority have decided they want Scotland to remain part of the UK. However, that doesn't mean everything will remain the same. We already know there will be two new taxes in Scotland from 1 April 2015, and a variation to income tax rates for Scottish taxpayers from 6 April 2016.

If you are planning to buy land or buildings in Scotland, you should be aware that the tax you will pay on top of the purchase price is currently uncertain for completion dates on or after 1 April 2015. This is because Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be replaced by Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for sales of land and buildings in Scotland from that date.

The LBTT will have different rules to the SDLT, which will continue to apply to land transactions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example LBTT will have a nil rate band as well as at least two other bands, but probably different bands and rates for residential and non-residential property. The rates and thresholds for the new LBTT are expected to be revealed as part of the Scottish Government's budget in October 2014.

The other new tax from 1 April 2015 is a Scottish replacement for landfill tax. The rates and thresholds for the Scottish landfill tax will also be announced as part of the Scottish Government's Budget for 2015/16 in October 2014.

From 6 April 2016 the Scottish Government will be able to replace 10p out of each tax band with the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT). This will apply to all individuals resident in Scotland including pensioners, who fall into a new definition of "Scottish taxpayer". However, the SRIT will have to apply within the tax bands imposed by the UK Government, and the personal allowances will not change.

As currently agreed (and this could change following negotiation for further powers) the rate of the SRIT must be the same for all the tax bands. For example if the SRIT is set at 10p, the total tax rates will remain where they currently stand for the whole of the UK: 20%, 40%, and 45%. If the SRIT is set at say 15p, Scottish taxpayers will pay income tax at 25%, 45% and 50%.

A new tax authority: Revenue Scotland, has been set up to administer the new Scottish taxes, and any other devolved taxes that may follow. Income tax, including SRIT, will continue to be administered by HMRC.

Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 01 October 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland
VAT on International Services

When you sell services to businesses in other countries, the sale will generally be outside the scope of UK VAT. You don't charge VAT on your invoice, but you need to report the value of that sale as part of the total in box 6 on your VAT return. There are exceptions to this general rule for services connected to land, live performances, catering or passenger transport.

If the sale is to a VAT registered business in another EU country the sale must also be reported on your EC Sales list. If your customer is not a business, or is not VAT registered, the sale should not be included on the EC sales list. However, from 2015 sales of various electronic services, broadcasting or telecoms to non-business customers could affect your liability to register for VAT in the customer's country.

If your customer is located outside of the EU, you don't report the sale on the EC sales list, but the value of the sale must still be added to the total to be declared in box 6 on your VAT return.

These distinctions are easy to get wrong, so do ask us if you have any doubts about how to report international sales.

Accountants in Sunderland
 
Date of Posting: 01 October 2014
Posted By: RM & Co Accountants in Sunderland

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