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In brief: Northern Ireland; state pension; parental pay; promoters; charity relief; intermediaries; guidance

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Northern Ireland Bill progress

The Public Bill Committee completed its consideration on 5 February 2015 of the Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill to devolve corporation tax rate setting powers to Northern Ireland. The Bill has been republished with one technical amendment to the commencement provisions in clause 5. Report Stage will take place in the House of Commons on a date to be announced. The intention is for the Bill to receive royal assent before the general election in May and for the new powers to take effect in April 2017.

New state pension provisions

The Pensions Act 2014 (Commencement No 4) Order, SI 2015/134, has been made. This order brings into force provisions relating to the new state pension for people reaching pensionable age on or after 6 April 2016 (from 5 February 2015); and provisions relating to occupational pension schemes on short-service benefits (from 1 October 2015) and on the abolition of contracting-out for salary-related schemes (from 23 February 2015).

Shared parental pay regulations

The Statutory Shared Parental Pay (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations, SI 2015/125, have been laid before Parliament. These amending regulations replace references to ordinary statutory paternity pay and additional statutory paternity pay in certain other secondary legislation with references to statutory shared parental pay with effect from 26 February 2015. Other substituted references will come into force on 1 April 2015. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced statutory shared parental pay in place of additional statutory paternity pay from April 2015.

Promoters of tax avoidance schemes regulations

The Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (Prescribed Circumstances under Section 235) Regulations, SI 2015/130, come into force on 2 March 2015. These regulations, which in part have retrospective effect from 17 July 2014, exclude from the definition of ‘promoter’: (1) a company providing in-house taxation services to companies in the same group, on the condition that it has not within the last three years provided similar services to a person outside the group; and (2) individuals advising on discrete points of law or accountancy, but not on the overall design of a tax avoidance scheme. A draft of these regulations was published for consultation between July and October 2014.

Charity relief statistics consultation

HMRC is consulting until 10 April 2015 on proposals to publish charity tax relief statistics only once a year, in June, dropping the current December and April provisional publications. Responses must be sent via an online questionnaire.

Employment intermediaries consultation responses

Following consultation between October and November 2014 on a set of draft PAYE regulations, HMRC is to reduce the amount of information it will require employment intermediaries to report about the individual workers they supply to end clients. Details of payments will be required only for those treated as self-employed and not subject to PAYE. The final list of requirements is set out in a response document. Revised draft regulations and guidance will be published for further consultation shortly.

HMRC guidance

The following has been published on HMRC’s website.

  • Revenue & Customs Brief 1/2015: Tonnage tax – qualifying ships and flagging (notifying that FY 2015 will not be an ‘excepted year’ for tonnage tax purposes, meaning companies and groups starting to operate a vessel registered outside the EU and EEA will have to carry out a ‘flagging test’ to determine whether the ship qualifies for tonnage tax);
  • pension scheme newsletter, outlining the dangers of pension liberation; and
  • employment-related securities bulletin no. 19.
Issue: 1250
Categories: News