Sep 2015


NMW Reminder - new rates apply from 1st October 2015

The new rates are dependent on age and are as follows:

Workers aged 21 and over: £6.70 an hour
Development rate for workers aged 18-20: £5.30 an hour
Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: £3.87 an hour
Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in first year of the apprenticeship: £3.30 an hour

In addition to the above, from April 2016, the government will introduce a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above, initially set at £7.20 – a rise of 70p relative to the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate, and 50p above the increase coming into force on 1st October.

The National Minimum Wage will continue to apply from April 2016 for those aged 21 to 24.

Posted byAnn TigheinPayroll Software

Sep 2015


HMRC are setting up a compliance team to target those employers who are not in compliance with the National Minimum Wage.

It is part of a series of measures announced by Business Secretary Sajid Javid to ensure employers pay the legal minimum rate and further backed up by David Cameron who announced stringent penalties for non compliant employers. These include doubling penalties for non-payment of the NMW, increasing the enforcement budget, and disqualifying those found guilty from being a company director for 15 years.

“This one-nation government is committed to making work pay and making sure hardworking people get the salary they are entitled to,” added Javid.

From next April, firms will have to pay all workers aged over 25 at least £7.20 an hour - compared to £6.50 now. The minimum wage will be increased to £9 by 2020 with Britain having one of the most generous pay guarantees in the world.

“There is no excuse for employers flouting minimum wage rules,” said Javid. “These announcements will ensure those who do try to cheat staff out of pay will feel the full force of the law.”

The new compliance team will investigate the most serious cases of employers failing to pay NMW, including the national living wage, which will be introduced from April 2016. It will have power to issue penalties, pursue prosecutions, and name and shame the most exploitative businesses.

Although the maximum penalty of £20,000 a worker remains, the calculation of penalties on those who fail to comply will increase from 100 per cent of arrears to 200 per cent. However, this will be halved if payment is made within 14 days. This reform is intended to increase compliance and ensure tough consequences for those who break the law.

The government also announced that it will work with payroll providers to ensure their software can check that staff is paid what they are entitled to. It will also improve guidance and support.

Posted byAnn TigheinContract of employment

Sep 2015


Young adults planning early for retirement

The launch of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions in 2012 is being hailed as helping to develop a greater pension savings culture across the UK.

A new study carried out by charity The National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) and AXA Investment Managers, has found that today’s young adults in the UK are likely to start thinking about their retirement plans at the age of 27, compared to their parent’s generation who on average did not start thinking about life after work until the age of 41.

Similarly, research conducted by NEST in 2014 also found that people aged under 30 were embracing automatic enrolment more than any other age group, with just one in every 20 workers aged between 22 and 29 choosing to opt out of their workplace pension scheme.

Stephanie Condra, market strategist at AXA Investment Managers, said: “It’s never too early or too late to get ready for retirement.”

Approximately five million people have so far been placed in a workplace pension, and there are around another five million still to be placed in a scheme as auto-enrolment continues to be rolled out across employers.

Posted byVictoria ClarkeinAuto Enrolment

Sep 2015


HMRC received 11,500 tweets from frustrated callers in the last year complaining about long waits

Citizens Advice reported that those who took to twitter to complain spent an average of 47 minutes waiting to speak to someone. The charity said it helped with 295,000 queries in the past 12 months which could have required people to contact HMRC. Official figures from HMRC suggest on average wait time of 10 minutes. Citizens Advice calculated that hanging on the line to HMRC for 47 minutes will, charged at the standard landline rate, cost consumers £4.66 in call charges.

Citizens Advice looked at complaints made to the @HMRCgovuk Twitter account between September last year and August after those seeking help from the charity reported not being able to get through to HMRC to resolve issues.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "People are paying the price for not getting through to HMRC. From fines for not completing a tax return in time to under or overpayments for tax credits, people can be left out of pocket because they cannot speak to HMRC on the phone.

"Work and caring responsibilities means not everyone will be able to wait for three quarters of an hour to ask HMRC a question.

"We have consistently raised this issue with the Government. But evidence from across the Citizens Advice service, and our new research, shows HMRC is still failing to provide a timely service.

"There is already a clear demand to be able to speak to HMRC. With the roll-out of Universal Credit and big changes to tax credits just around the corner this is only going to grow. HMRC needs to urgently address the problems many people are experiencing with phone lines."

Posted byBrian O'KeeffeinHMRC

Sep 2015


Error 1046: Authentication Failure is the most common issue when trying to submit your Real Time Information to HMRC

The Error 1046 will state: The supplied user credentials failed validation for the requested service.

BrightPay does not check your User/Sender ID and Password as we don’t know what they should be. BrightPay sends this information to the Government Gateway. If you get this Error 1046 it means that the Government Gateway has rejected the submission.

Is the User/Sender ID and Password correct?

Ensure that you can access the HMRC website at using your User ID and Password that you entered in BrightPay. If you are unable to log in you can call the HMRC Online Services Helpdesk on 0300 200 3600.

Is your password greater than 12 digits?

When you are entering your password into the HMRC website, only the first 12 digits will be accepted. However when entering your password into the software it recognises all digits and deems anything after the first 12 as being incorrect causing the Error 1046. If your password is longer than 12 digits, only use the first 12 in BrightPay.

Is your Government Gateway activated?

Once you have registered to use HMRC’s Government Gateway your new Activation Code will be sent via post within 7 days. Once received you can log into HMRC online using your User ID and Password and activate the service. You must do this within 28 days of the date shown on the Activation Code letter.

Double check the information you entered in BrightPay!

Ensure that your PAYE reference number, Accounts office reference and HMRC office name are entered correctly and match the details that HMRC have for you. Check the references don’t have 'Z' instead of '2' or '0' in place of 'O'. Ensure your email address is correct and matches the one you have registered with HMRC.

Posted byBrian O'KeeffeinHMRCOnline filingPayroll SoftwareRTI