With the introduction of pensions and universal credits, there have been a few changes which have either already taken place or are about to be introduced which we feel you may benefit from knowing about, so here they are in summary.
The staging date for Auto Enrolment for our My Max contractors was 1st August 2013, with My Max 2 and 3 following in 2014.
We have been busy contacting all of our My Max contractors regarding the workplace pensions scheme provided by Nest. A small proportion of our contractors have decided to opt-in while the majority seem to be waiting to hear more when they are auto enrolled.
Our contractors can find more information in our pension FAQ document which is available in the 'useful info' section of our online portal.
You may have heard about Universal Credit, which will eventually replace tax credits. Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment for people in work or out of work.
Universal Credit was introduced in parts of Greater Manchester and Cheshire on 29 April 2013. From October 2013 it will be gradually introduced in other areas across the UK.
Most people getting tax credits aren't affected at this stage. Even if you live in one of the areas where Universal Credit is introduced, your tax credit payments will continue as normal.
By 2017 Universal Credit will have replaced all of the following:
- tax credits - both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
One important thing to note is that Universal Credit will not replace Child Benefit. You can read more information regarding universal credits here.
HMRC launch a 'where's my reply' service
Are your contractors sick of waiting for a response from HMRC?
If so, they have recently launched a new service which will provide individuals waiting for a response from HMRC with a proposed date of when they can expect a reply regarding their enquiry. All that's needed is to provide brief details of what the enquiry was regarding, choose from the drop down list as to why contact was initially made with HMRC, how contact was made contact and when. The form will then give an estimated reply date. The new functionality can be accessed here.
Keeping safe online with HMRC
HMRC will never send an enticing email informing of a tax rebate, nor will they ask anyone to disclose personal or payment information by email.
Everyone should always be weary of the taxman that comes bearing gifts and our article can help you to spot those fraudulent emails.
If you have any doubt that an email that either you or one of your contractors have received from HMRC is note genuine please do not follow any links, disclose any personal details or respond to it. Please forward it to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org then delete it.