Auto Enrolment for small businesses

A new step-by-step guide to help small businesses get ready for their automatic enrolment duties has been launched by the Pensions Regulator. The online guide has been written specifically for employers with between 1 and 50 staff, and explains how to complete key tasks such as; knowing when to be ready, providing a point of contact for the regulator, checking who needs to be enrolled and creating a plan of action.

New research published by the Pensions Regulator shows that while levels of awareness of auto enrolment remain high amongst all employers, more than 20% of those due to stage between June and November this year had not yet drawn up plans to meet their dates.  The regulator has warned those small and micro employers that they must start preparing for the enrolment duties.

New tax year – new rates and allowances

As businesses enter the new tax year on 6 April we are urging businesses to prepare for the new tax arrangements.  UK companies will pay a reduced rate of corporation tax on their profits (cut to 20%).  Employers hiring under 21s will also no longer face National Insurance Contribution tax bills.

For individuals, the standard personal allowance is increased to £10,600, but this could be larger if you receive the blind persons allowance or were born before 6 April 1938.  For those born before 6 April 1935 you may be able to claim the Married Couple’s Allowance, for others you may be able to claim the new Marriage Allowance.  If you receive over £50,000 per annum in income you may have to pay all, or part of any Child Benefit received.  Please contact someone in the office to find the most efficient way to do this.

Charity Audit threshold changes take effect

The government has published a detailed document surmising the Charity accounting framework.

Charity audit thresholds have changed in an effort to reduce the regulatory burden for charities, with changes taking effect from 31/03/2015.

The basic audit threshold changes from £500,000 to £1m, meaning fewer charities will be required to have their accounts formally audited.

Those charities can instead have their accounts independently examined to ensure a high level of assurance remains.  A service that we can offer, please contact Tony if you are interested in knowing more.

Other changes that come into effect include:

  • Increasing the aggregate gross income threshold at which point charities should have group accounts from £500,000 to £1m
  • Increasing the preparation threshold for group accounts from £500,000 to £1m