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March Question and Answer Section
Q. The Taxman has sent me a new PAYE code for 2013/14, which includes about £1000 of savings income taxed at 40%. I don't know how he got that figure as I don't have any savings, and I only draw dividends from my company up to the limit of the 20% tax band.
A. The Taxman has looked at the income reported on your tax return for 2011/12, of say £7,475 wages plus £35,000 gross dividends (total £42,475), and assumed you will continue to receive the same amounts of wages and dividends in 2013/14. However, in 2013/14 your tax free personal allowance will be £9,440 and the limit of the 20% tax band will be £32,010 (total £41,450). If you draw the same amounts from your company in 2013/14 as you did in 2011/12, you will be taxed on £1,025 at the higher rate (40% for salary, 32.5% for dividends). To avoid the higher tax rate you will need to restrict the amount you draw from your company in 2013/14, and tell the Taxman to amend your PAYE code on the basis of you estimated salary and dividends for the year.
Q. I run a small B&B which has three let bedrooms, my family uses the other two bedrooms of the property. How should I calculate how much of the property's running costs relate to the B&B business?
A. The answer is to include all of the property's running costs (power, rates and repairs) in your B&B accounts and take out, or 'disallow', an amount that relates to your family's use of the property. This is called a private use adjustment. In many towns the private use adjustment for B&Bs has been agreed locally with the Inspector of Taxes as a monthly or annual rate. However, from 1 April 2013 national rates of private use adjustment have been set by the Taxman as follows:
- 1 family member living in the premises: £350
- 2 family members living in the premises: £500
- 3 or more family members living in the premises: £650
Q. My family business is very traditional; the factory-floor workers are paid weekly, the management are paid monthly and the senior directors are paid quarterly. How will I report all these different pay dates under real time information (RTI)?
A. This is a problem, as the RTI system was designed on the basis that all employees on the same payroll are paid at the same time. Under RTI you must submit a report for the entire payroll called a Full Payment Summary (FPS), every time the employees are paid. Running the FPS with only say the weekly employees receiving pay will cause errors unless adjustments are done for those employees who are not being paid on that particular pay date. A solution may be to segment your payroll into weekly, monthly and quarterly runs, but you need to talk to your payroll software provider to check if that is possible, before you start to implement RTI.