Q. I'm an IT contractor currently working for a government department through my own company, for £300 per day. I've heard that all contractors will have to go on the department payroll. I don't want to be a wage-slave, so what should I do?
A. The government has announced that all senior appointments in government departments, such as executive positions, will have to be paid through payroll. This does not apply to other contractors. However, other government department contractors who are engaged for six months or more, and who are paid more than £220 per day, must when their contracts come up for renewal, or start afresh, include terms that allow the government department to seek formal assurance that income tax and NI obligations are being met. We can help you provide this assurance if it is requested.
Q. I don't have the all the figures needed to complete the tax credits renewal form, and I'm worried I'll lose my tax credits as the deadline is 31 July. The main problem is my income is as a musician as I don't know what my total income is until I receive the royalty statements.
A. Don't panic. You are required to return the tax credits renewals form by 31 July, or renew by phone, but you can submit estimated figures for 2011/12. When your self-employed accounts are ready you can submit the final figures and your tax credits award will be adjusted as necessary. As long as you submit final figures by 31 January 2013 you should not lose your tax credits.
Q. What's all this about RTI? Do I have to do something by October? Is it going to cost me more?
A. Real Time Information (RTI) is a new way of submitting PAYE information to the tax office. All employers will have to use RTI by October 2013 (not this year), but some employers are starting to use RTI early in a test phase from April 2012. The aim is to add more employers to the RTI project at intervals, depending on how the first tests go. The tax office says your payroll software should cope with RTI when the time comes. We suggest you ask your software provider when their RTI update will be ready, and how much it will cost. We can help you prepare your payroll for RTI. This involves checking you have the full name, gender, date of birth and accurate NI number for every employee, including those who earn less than the NI threshold.
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