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Newsletter July 2009

Our newsletter this month highlights the deferral of plans to extend paternity leave, changes to the HMRC bank accounts, changes to company car advisory fuel rates and heads up on the Government's activity to clamp down on the use of overseas tax havens.

The next newsletter will be published Thursday 6 August 2009.

Paternity leave extension deferred

The UK Government had planned to give fathers the right to claim up to 6 months paternity leave from April 2010. Because of the economic slowdown, they have decided not to bring the changes in that soon. As a result fathers are still only entitled to two weeks leave which is usually taken immediately after the baby is born.

The legislation is already in place to give the extra leave but it will not be implemented until the economy can cope.

Mothers and adopters were also going to have the right to additional statutory pay (up from 9 to 12 months) but it looks as though this is also on hold.

The legislation in more detail:

The Work and Families Act 2006 already allows regulations to be made that would permit working fathers to take up to 26 weeks of paternity leave, some of which can be paid, if the mother returns to work before the end of the one-year maternity leave period to which she is entitled.

The new provision would be available during the second six months of the child's life, so in effect, fathers would be able to 'share' some of the maternity leave which is currently only preserved for the mother. The entitlement would also extend to couples who are adopting and to partners and civil partners of mothers.

A Government spokesman has now said that the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is continuing to review the appropriateness of all new regulations due to come into force in the current economic climate and as a result, a date has not yet been announced for extending paternity rights.

At the same time, the Government had proposed to extend statutory maternity pay and statutory adoption pay from nine to 12 months (to coincide with the period of maternity and adoption leave) and it looks as if this is also on hold.

HMRC changed bank account details

Taxpayers who currently make bank payments direct to the Accounts Office at Shipley and Cumbernauld should note the following bank account change.

The new bank account details are:

Accounts Office Shipley

Account Name: HMRC Shipley
Sort Code: 08 32 10
Account Number: 12001020

Accounts Office Cumbernauld

Account Name: HMRC Cumbernauld
Sort Code: 08 32 10
Account Number 12001039

If you use online banking and have stored templates to make payments to Shipley or Cumbernauld, make sure you change them to include the new account details set out above.

Full details of the change can be found on the HMRC website www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc.

There is also a cryptic one step forwards, one step back note on the HMRC web site; it reads:

"HMRC is aware that some customers are experiencing problems making payments from their banks to the new HMRC bank accounts. We are working to resolve this with the banks involved as quickly as possible. If this affects you, you can continue to use the old HMRC account details to make your payments. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

Company cars - new advisory fuel rates

Changes have been announced to the company car advisory fuel rates with effect from 1 July 2009.

These are the rates you would use to calculate the petrol cost of your private motoring, if you pay this back to your employer to avoid the fuel based benefit in kind charge. Employers can also use the figure to isolate the petrol cost of car mileage claims in order to recover an appropriate amount of VAT - businesses still need to retain fuel receipts.

Some of the rates have been reduced in light of slightly lower fuel prices at the pumps. The figures are arranged as engine size first, followed by three rates (pence per mile), for Petrol, Diesel and LPG.

1400cc or less: 10p, 10p, 7p

1401cc to 2000cc: 12p, 10p, 8p

Over 2000cc: 18p, 13p, 12p

Petrol hybrid cars are treated as petrol cars for this purpose.

The fuel rates are usually reviewed twice a year effective 1 January and 1 July although may change more often where there is significant fluctuation in fuel prices.

Clampdown on overseas tax havens

As evidence that our Government are serious about clamping down on the use of overseas tax havens to avoid UK tax, readers may be interested in the following information regarding the Cayman Islands.

A new Double Taxation Arrangement (DTA) between the UK and the Cayman Islands was recently signed in London.

The new DTA has been drafted to deal with the avoidance of double taxation and the exchange of information necessary to prevent fraud. The arrangement will apply to taxpayers who are resident in either the UK, Cayman Islands or both jurisdictions. In the UK the agreement will apply to income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax (in relation to the exchange of information), inheritance tax and VAT.

The exchange of information provisions meets the OECD standards and it is expected this new DTA will help combat tax avoidance and money laundering involving both countries.

The DTA will take effect once both countries have finalised the legislative procedures needed to give the arrangement the force of law in both countries.

Tax Diary July/August 2009

1st July 2009
Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 September 2008.

6th July 2009
Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NIC's.

6th July 2009
Deadline for submission of new Tax Credit application for 2009-2010, if you want to secure a full years claim.

19th July 2009
Pay Class 1A NIC's (by the 22 July 2009 if paid electronically).

19th July 2009
PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2009. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 July 2009)

19th July 2009
Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 July 2009.

19th July 2009
CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 July 2009 is payable by today.

1st August 2009
Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 October 2008.

19th August 2009
PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2009. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2009).

19th August 2009
Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 August 2009.

19th August 2009
CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 August 2009 is payable by today.

Rates & Allowances

Rates and allowances for income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and the pension scheme earnings cap are set out below.

Alexander Probin
Suite 5
125/129 Witton Street
t - 01606 359008
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