Policy News Journal - 2014-15

Some of the other rate increases include:

 The car fuel benefit charge multiplier increases from £21,700 to £22,100  The van fuel benefit charge increases from £581 to £594  The van benefit charge increases from £3,090 to £3,150

More details on these rates and tables can be found here .

CIPP comment The Chancellor’s decision to be more generous will be welcomed by basic and higher rate taxpayers alike, particularly by those who were expecting to fall into the higher rate tax bracket for the first time. He’s managed to pass on the full £600 increase to higher rate tax payers for the first time in five years, which may help the Tory’s case in a few months’ time. However, his change of mind is not such good news for payroll software providers and others who had thought their preparations for the April 2015 changes were complete. They’ll need to do a bit more work on them. The Autumn Statement does not mention automatic enrolment thresholds, which are currently equivalent to various tax and NI thresholds. However, consultation on changes to the automatic enrolment thresholds is still in progress. The Autumn Statement papers confirm the announcement made at Budget 2014 in respect of the government being able to recover tax and tax credit debits from bank accounts. The papers also detail the further safeguards announced last month:  A guaranteed face-to-face visit from an HMRC agent to every debtor who is considered for debt recovery through this measure – this will allow HMRC to identify vulnerable debtors to provide them with appropriate support  Slower implementation of DRD in the first year to allow HMRC to start the process on a small, targeted basis, and gain experience and feedback  Ensuring that judicial oversight of the process is enshrined in legislation, by allowing for appeal to the County Court  Scotland will be removed from the scope of DRD as HMRC already has ‘summary warrant’ powers in Scotland to recover debts in a similar, though not identical, manner to DRD. Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD)

CIPP comment The CIPP welcomes these additional safeguards.

Zero hour contracts and umbrella companies

The government will review the increasing use of overarching contracts of employment by employment intermediaries such as ‘umbrella companies’. These arrangements enable workers to obtain tax relief for home to work travel that would not ordinarily be available. The government will publish a discussion paper shortly to inform possible action at Budget 2015. CIPP comment This announcement will come as no surprise to anyone, as zero hour contracts have been in the press lately. The government clearly doesn’t like the fact that home to work travel can be paid and tax relief claimed, so once again umbrella companies are to be looked at!

Student loans for post-graduates

Collecting student loan repayments will already become more complicated from 2016 when the new threshold for Plan 2 student loans comes into force, meaning that employers will potentially be collecting student loan repayments at two different thresholds depending on

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 34 of 521

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