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The introduction of the National Living Wage

The government has announced the introduction of a new National Living Wage (NLW) for working people aged 25 years and above from April 2016. Initially the NLW is set at £7.20, which is 50p above the current National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NLW is set to rise to over £9 an hour by 2020.

Changes in Employment Allowance

The government has also announced that Employment Allowance will rise from £2,000 to £3,000 from April 2016. The Employment Allowance gives businesses a reduction in the employer National Insurance they pay, so this is a welcome announcement. As this increase in Employment Allowance is focussed on businesses and charities that support employment, companies where the director is the sole employee will no longer be able to claim the Employment Allowance. This change in claiming Employment Allowance also comes into force from April 2016.

Forthcoming Scottish rate of income tax

From April 2016 the Scottish Parliament will have responsibility for a Scottish rate of income tax. From this date the Scottish rate will be charged on the non-savings income of Scottish residents. As such, from April next year it is likely that Scottish taxpayers will pay a different rate of income tax to the rate paid by the rest of the UK. The rate of Scottish income tax has not yet been finalised and it is expected that the Scottish Finance Minister will announce the thresholds and rates later this year.

Regardless of where the employer is based, all payrolls must operate the Scottish rates of income tax for Scottish residents. This means that businesses across the rest of the UK could have to apply Scottish rates of income tax in their PAYE.

Abolition of Employers’ NI contributions for apprentices

From April 2016 employers of apprentices who are under 25 will no longer be required to pay employer NI contributions on earnings up to the Upper Earnings Limit. This will produce savings for all employers of apprentices. If this applies to you then please let us know.

Hawsons are monitoring these issues

We will be monitoring these issues and their impact on PAYE along with our software provider; however, we wanted you to be aware of the changes.

For more information please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact or contact your nearest office.

If you are thinking of outsourcing your payroll please visit our payroll page, where you can download our free guide to outsourcing your payroll.

Stephen Charles is a tax partner at the firm, specialising in corporate and business taxation. For more details and advice, please contact Stephen on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

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