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HMRC offers new options for expense and benefit submissions

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has come forward to offer new options to employers when it comes to staff expense and benefit detail submissions.

If you’re using payroll software that may not have support for any existing way of reporting staff expenses and benefits, now the taxman will accept a new, non-compulsory option in the fom of an Online End-of-Year Expenses and Benefits form. The main target for this alternative reporting scheme is small and medium-sized firms, and in order to attract SMEs into using the new forms, the taxman has overhauled the process for reporting employee benefits and expenses, making it much more efficient and swifter as well.

HMRC has two forms that you can access from their website right now, entitled the Notification of Payrolled Benefits and No Return of Class 1A Conttributions, with the latter designed to handle National Insurance payments. Not to be undone, the taxman also included forms for agents that do the same thing for their clients.

However, this is just the beginning, as HMRC has plans to add quite a few more of these forms as the year continues, and could prove to be a serious boon for any small-sized firm – including limited contractors and other self-employed Brits – when it comes to submitting all the relevant details to the taxman, especially if their current payroll software lacks the ability to do so.

For what it’s worth I think it’s a fantastic idea and should be a real help to anyone who doesn’t have the money on hand to purchase new payroll software. Let’s face it: with the integration of the Real Time Information PAYE scheme, any firm that doesn’t have payroll software that can integrate with HMRC online is already having to shell out to remain in compliance with the new regulations, so cutting firms a break on this could spell the difference between profit and loss for the coming tax year.

The economy’s still not all that fantastic, after all, and many smaller firms and sole traders are still struggling to make ends meet. Placing more financial pressure on the nation’s SMEs or freelancer workers is hardly conducive to economic growth – and if we’re being honest, it’s more than just a bit obnoxious, especially as HMRC can’t seem to nail down these slippery multinationals when it comes to their tax avoidance but the taxman instead wrings every last penny from already suffering Brits!

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