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Audit Regulations set to change The proposals are that for companies with financial years ending on or after 1st October 2012 they will be exempt from audit if they meet the general requirements deeming them to be a small company under the Companies Act 2006 Real Time Information, employers and pension providers In April 2013 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is introducing a new way of reporting PAYE: Real Time Information, or RTI. 'Real Time Information' means that employers and pension providers will tell HMRC about PAYE payments at the time they are made as part of their payroll process. Payroll software will collect the necessary information and send it to HMRC Online. So you will submit information about PAYE payments throughout the year as part of your payroll process, rather than at the end of the year as you do now. RTI only affects the submission of PAYE information - payment arrangements will remain unchanged. Most employers will be legally required to report payroll information in real time from April 2013 with all employers doing so before October 2013. HMRC will tell you when your business needs to make this move. HMRC Taskforce extends to Solicitors The legal profession in London is among those being targeted by new HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) taskforces as the UK government seeks to recover around £20m in tax from a variety of schemes. Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. HMRC began using taskforces in May, 2011, drawing on £917m set aside by the government as part of a spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011-12. The government's aim is to raise an additional £7bn a year by 2014-15. Together, these latest taskforces are expected to generate £19.5m. They will concentrate on a number of areas, including the legal profession in London and the grocery and retail trade across Wales and the north and south west of England, the latter of which will bring in an additional £7m. A crackdown on tax avoidance in the hair and beauty trade in north east England will raise a projected £3.5m, a restaurant taskforce concentrating on the south east and the Isle of Wight £2.5m, and a Scottish motor trade taskforce £3m. Announcing the taskforces, Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “We have made it clear that we will not tolerate tax evasion and we are determined to crack down on the minority who choose to break the rules. We are on target to collect more than £50m as a result of taskforces launched in 2011/12.” New HMRC specialist teams set to increase number of IR35 reviews Although new guidelines have been published by HMRC it has made no difference to the underlying IR35 legislation itself, it could signal the start of a concerted effort by the tax authorities to carry out an increased number of compliance reviews.    Most contractors 'at risk' according to IR35 test The business entity test is intended to be used by individuals (or 'businesses') to assess how likely they are to be selected for an IR35 review. However, as many commentators have noted already, the majority of contractors taking the test are likely be at a 'medium' or 'high' risk of attracting HMRC's attention. The tests included and the scoring adopted simply confirms the already easy to recognise 'low risk' businesses. They do not bring any improved clarity or certainty to any of the 'medium' risk taxpayers that the originally proposed business tests were designed to address." The main point of the tests is to establish whether or not you are 'in business on your own account', not whether or not your are caught by IR35.    New specialist HMRC IR35 compliance teams Although the new guidance has not affected the Intermediaries Legislation itself, now contractors face the additional burden of trying to score as many points as possible on the IR35 business test in order to escape the unwelcome advances of the newly created specialist compliance teams. Retail Distribution Review (RDR) On 1st January 2013 the RDR is with us heralding a completely new way in which financial services operate. As financal advisers ourselves we are committed to provide a first class service on a fee only basis. Please refer to www.fsa.gov.uk for further information on all of the changes.
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