Call 01527 521717 for a free consultation
Revenue Scotland launched
On 1 April 2015, Scotland’s new tax authority, Revenue Scotland, began to accept tax returns for the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Scottish Landfill Tax.
The Scotland Act 2012 paved the way for the Scottish Parliament to launch these two new taxes. Further legislation established Revenue Scotland as the tax authority responsible for collecting Scotland‘s devolved taxes. In 2015, in line with international good practice, it became established in statute as a Non-Ministerial Department and therefore operates at arm’s length from Ministers.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney commented that:
'For the first time in 300 years, with the launch of Revenue Scotland, Scotland is able to collect and manage some of our own taxes. Years of preparation and consultation have gone into ensuring this independent agency is ready to manage these two new taxes.'
According to the Deputy First Minister the new rates for LBTT will see that more than 40,000 Scottish home buyers will pay less tax than they would have done under UK Stamp Duty Land Tax and that 50% of buyers will pay no tax at all.
Class 2 National Insurance Contributions
The CA8480 form to apply for a refund of Class 2 NICs has recently been updated. Taxpayers might use this form if they paid too much Class 2 NICs, shouldn’t have paid Class 2 NICs or if they qualified for the small earnings exception.
Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are paid by all self-employed taxpayers unless they qualify for the small earnings exception or other exemptions which remove the necessity to pay NICs. Class 2 NICs are payable at a flat weekly rate currently, £2.80. Class 2 NICs count towards payments such as the basic State Pension, the employment and support allowance, maternity allowance and bereavement benefits.
Since April 2015, the way Class 2 NICs are collected has changed. Previously, payments for Class 2 NICs become due six-monthly or could be paid monthly or quarterly by direct debit. All of these payment options will no longer be available after July 2015 when the last payments relating to 2014-15 will become due.
Going forward, the collection of Class 2 NICs for 2015-16 will be aligned through Self Assessment with Income Tax and Class 4 NICs. The first payment relating to 2015-16 will become due on 31 January 2017.
PAYE Settlement Agreements
A PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) allows employers to make one annual payment to cover all the tax and National Insurance due on small or irregular taxable expenses or benefits for your employees.
The expenses or benefits included in a PSA must be defined as one of the following;
- minor - e.g. a small birthday present
- irregular - e.g. one-off relocation expenses over £8,000 (these are tax-free below £8,000)
- impracticable (difficult to work out the value of or divide up between individual employees) - e.g. shared cars or taxi journeys
Employers that are required to notify HMRC of the value of items included in a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) must do so using form PSA1. The form for the tax year ended 5 April 2015 has recently been published on GOV.UK. The latest date for an electronic payment for a PSA for the year ended 5 April 2015 to clear into HMRC’s bank account is 22 October. Employers that pay by cheque must ensure that the payment reaches HMRC’s Accounts Office by 19 October.
There may be interest and / or a late payment penalty due where the payment is made late. Payments for PSAs must include a unique PSA reference number. Employers that do not have a PSA reference number should contact the office dealing with their application for advice.