BBC presenters may be forced to abandon limited companies, and take 25% pay cut
According to newspaper reports published over the past two weeks, the BBC may soon force some of its leading names to join the Corporation’s payroll, having allowed many to operate via their own limited companies for many years.
The BBC faced criticism following a Public Accounts Committee report last year, which suggested that the BBC should do more to prevent its ‘on air talent’ from engaging in potential tax avoidance (a significant number work via intermediaries rather than being paid in a traditional manner).
In late 2012, the BBC said that just under 150 of its 467 presenters worked via their own ‘personal service companies’, and that these individuals worked exclusively for the BBC. As a result of the PAC report, and a subsequent internal review by Deloitte, the Corporation said that an estimated 131 limited company presenters would be placed on the payroll once their current contracts expired.
According to The Telegraph, BBC presenters will face tax cuts of between 13 and 25% when thy join the payroll, depending on the terms of their new contracts.
Read more here.
20 recommendations to simplify taxation of expenses and benefits
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), which previously provided the Government with recommendations on how best to overhaul IR35, has now provided 20 proposals to simplify the way employee benefits and expenses are taxed.
One key recommendation is to do away with the P11D form, which is currently used to report ‘benefits in kind’ to HMRC, and process the taxation of benefits via the payroll system instead. To reduce the amount of red-tape associated with small expenses claims, the OTS suggests that any claims for £50 or less should be free from taxation.
Access the full report and recommendations here.
HMRC provides rare self-assessment deadline extension
In an unusual announcement, HMRC has extended the self-assessment deadline by over two weeks – until 15th February, for a minority taxpayers who have had trouble accessing the online tax return system.
Sadly, if you’ve simply forgotten to file your SATR on time, you won’t get a reprieve. The extension is only available to people who signed up to file online, or requested a new User ID or password between 21st January and the tax deadline of midnight on 31st January.
Importantly, this new deadline only applies to the submission of the tax return itself. Any tax owed for the 2012/13 tax year should still have been paid by the end of January.
You can read a copy of the extension email, which has been reproduced on the Tolleys website.
PCG welcomes PM’s support for small businesses
At the FSB conference last week, David Cameron promised to continue cutting the amount of red-tape small businesses have to deal with. The Government, via its ‘Red Tape Challenge’ has pledge to scrap or amend 3,000 rules and recommendations by the end of this parliament.
Simon McVicker (Director of Policy and Public Affairs at contractors’ group, PCG), commented:
“Small businesses are a hugely diverse group, including 1.72m freelancers who want to stay small, but play a big part in creating growth and enabling entrepreneurialism. The Prime Minister identified some of the major problems that freelancers face, such as red tape and late payment and we welcome action in these areas.”