HMRC have recently introduced a new way of handling calls on some of their helplines and they are looking for Employers to offer their feedback through a short survey.
The new system is called Intelligent Telephony Automation or ITA. HMRC say that this new technology will help improve the handling of calls, instead of being offered different options or pressing different buttons the system will recognise and react to what the customer says. The customer will be put onto the correct adviser for their question even if they have called an incorrect telephone number.
HMRC are also automating elements of the security process, based on the information that the customer provides the system, the adviser will know why they are calling and whether or not the customer has passed security. HMRC are hoping that this will speed up the time that advisers spend with customers and it will allow them to focus on the issue and the call could be completed a lot quicker.
This new system will prompt customers to say a few words and the reason for their call. It is designed to recognise key words or phrases such as Maternity/RTI/P45 and can forward the call onto the correct Adviser or ask further questions if required. HMRC say the system has been widely tested with all accents from all over the UK. The HMRC would like customers that have called the helpline and have used the ITA system to complete a short survey by Friday 29th November to give their feedback and to see if there are any ways that the system could be improved.
With the increased amount of students entering the workplace owing close to £30000 (for tuition fees averaging £9000 a year along with living costs) it could be many years until a student debt is repaid. Once an employee has commenced employment student loan deductions will be taken at source from their pay and sent by their employer to HMRC so the sooner this begins the sooner the student loan is paid off.
When should an employer begin taking student loan deductions ?
1. When a receipt is received from HMRC of a start notice SL1 informing the employer from when they should start taking the student loan deduction.
2. The employee has a P45 from a previous employer and there is a yes ticked beside liable for student loan or any other mark at item 5 on the P45.
3. If the employee does not have a previous P45 they must complete a starter checklist (similar to a P46 form) one of the questions asks if the student has a student loan that has not been fully repaid and is not being repaid directly to the students loan company. If the employee answers yes student loan deductions are now due.
Where an employee does not provide a P45 to their new employer and a starter checklist is filled out the employee may not admit to having to pay a student loan so the preferred option to set up a new employee would be to receive the P45 from the previous employer or a start notice SL1 which they would receive from HMRC.
10% of 1.1m people affected by High Income Child Benefit Charge have still not contacted HMRC and could face losing the benefit and receive penalties.
Parents on individual salaries of £50,000 or higher were required to either opt out of receiving Child Benefit or register for Self Assessment by the October 5th deadline, in order to avoid financial penalties. Families in which parents each earn less than £50,000 are likely to continue to receive child benefit without having to pay the money back.
Penalties will be raised on a case by case basis and depending on the circumstance, the penalty could be reduced to zero, however tax would still be applicable.
It must also be noted that eligibility for child benefit depends not just on earnings but on "adjusted net income". This includes all taxable net income, including rental income and investments. bonuses and benefits in kind.