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HMRC have released the updated VAT Fuel Scale Charge rates, to apply from 1 May 2017.  To view the updated rate click  here


HMRC have republished the Flat Rate Scheme guidance leaflet 733 on 3 April 2017.  This follows the changes introduced in respect of "Limited Cost Businesses".  See para 4.4.
For the complete guidance leaflet click here.


The rules around employing foreign workers are changing. From April, the Tier 2 minimum salary will be increasing for the second time in six months to £30,000 per year. Certain roles, including nurses and some teachers, are exempt from the rise until July 2019. All Tier 2 sponsors will be required to pay an Immigration Skills Charge from the 6th April. This is set at £1,000 per year for each Certificate of Sponsorship, with a reduced rate of £364 for small and charitable sponsors.

Larger employers are facing a double change with the introduction of the gender pay gap and the apprenticeship levy. From the 6th April, private sector employers with 250 or more employees have to report on their gender pay gap each year. Employers have to take a data snapshot of pay details on the 5th April 2017 and produce a report containing specific calculations within a year. The report needs to be uploaded to their website and a government website.

The apprenticeship levy requires employers with an annual paybill of more than £3 million to pay 0.5% of their total paybill in to a digital apprenticeship account on a monthly basis, minus a £15,000 government allowance. The levy amount can be used to pay for apprentice training for up to two years after entering the account


On the 1st April, the National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour for workers aged 25 and over. All other National Minimum Wage rates will also increase from the same date to:

  • £7.05 per hour for 21-24 year olds;
  • £5.60 per hour for 18-20 year olds;
  • £4.05 per hour for those over compulsory school age but under 18; and
  • £3.50 per hour for those on the apprentice rate (where the apprentice is under 19 or 19+ but in the first year of their apprenticeship).

Employers will also see increases in statutory payments. Statutory Maternity Pay and all other family friendly payments will increase to £140.98 per week from the 2nd April. From the 6th April, Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £89.35 per week for up to 28 weeks.


The government’s new digital tax initiative is due to be phased in between 2018 and 2020, with the stated aim of creating an ‘accessible tax system fit for the digital age’. HMRC has been consulting on the detail and, following feedback from the business community, has now published its response regarding the much-debated new framework.  Please click on the paragraph title for a detailed explanation of how the new system will work and how it will affect taxpayers.


Be under no illusion.  This is the biggest change to the taxation system since the introduction of self assessment and it affects individuals and businesses.  You do need to start planning now for the changes that are coming.


HMRC Have updated their guidance to correct VAT errors and make adjustments or claims.  To view the updated guidance leaflet 700/45 click here.


The VAT road fuel scale charges are amended with effect from 1 May 2017. Businesses must use the new scales from the start of the next prescribed accounting period beginning on or after 1 May 2017.   To view the new scale charges applicable to the period 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2018 click here.


Plans to increase National Insurance rates for self-employed people - announced in the 2017 Budget  - have been dropped.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the government will not proceed with the increases which were criticised for breaking a 2015 manifesto pledge.

He told MPs in a Commons statement: "There will be no increases in National Insurance rates in this Parliament."


  • Today is Take Five day, which is part of the national Take Five campaign to combat financial fraud in the UK. In 2015, £755 million was lost to financial fraud but we can all help to lower this figure by remembering one simple action - to stop and think.

It's important to stay vigilant and protect yourself and your organisation against scams and fraud.


HMRC has introduced a new online service for making appeals against penalties for late submission of self assessment tax returns. Approximately 840,000 taxpayers missed the 31 January 2017 deadline for filing their 2015/16 self assessment tax return online (down from 870,000 for 2014/15).

If the criteria for filing a self assessment tax return are not met for 2015/16 HMRC should agree to withdraw the return and cancel any late filing penalties, without the need for an appeal.

If a return is required, it must be filed before HMRC will consider an appeal against the late filing penalties.

This online service is not available to agents and ICAEW is making representations to HMRC.

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