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Welcome to the January 2020 Newsletter from Certax Accounting

December 30, 2019

Following weeks of campaigning, the Conservative Party won December's General Election with a Commons majority of 80 – its biggest majority since 1987. In his victory speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to take the UK out of the EU by 31 January.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Sajid Javid recently stated that the expansion of the off-payroll rules to the private sector will be reviewed. The Chancellor said that he wants to ensure that the proposed changes are 'right to take forward'.

 

Off-payroll changes to be reviewed

The expansion of the off-payroll rules to the private sector will be reviewed, says Chancellor Sajid Javid.

In 2017, HMRC introduced new off-payroll rules to the public sector, which saw some contractors' net income cut significantly.

From 6 April 2020, new tax rules will use the 2017 changes as a starting point for the extension to businesses in the private sector. Responsibility for operating the off-payroll rules will be transferred from the individual to the organisation, agency or third party engaging the worker. Only medium and large organisations will be subject to this change.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme, the Chancellor said: 'We have promised a review of how we can help the self-employed with things like mortgages and pensions.

'One thing in particular I want to look at again are the proposed changes to IR35. I want to make sure that the proposed changes are right to take forward.

'We have made it clear . . . that we are on the side of self-employed people. We will be having a review, and it makes sense to include the proposed changes to IR35 in that review.'

The Chancellor's promise came just a week after HMRC updated its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool. The update is the tool's first, and means that if an engager does not know a worker, the tool will not ask questions about their circumstances.

 

UK to press ahead with Digital Services Tax despite warnings from US

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will continue with plans to impose its Digital Services Tax (DST) on American tech giants, despite the US threatening France for a similar move.

The DST will apply a 2% tax to the revenues of certain digital businesses. A double threshold will exist, meaning that businesses will have to generate revenues from in-scope business models of at least £500 million globally to become taxable under the DST.

The tax was first proposed by the former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, and is expected to raise £500 million a year. Canada, Austria and Indonesia have also pledged to introduce a tax on digital businesses.

France has already imposed a 3% levy on digital companies with revenues above €750 million (£670 million), of which at least €25 million is generated from French users.

However, this has led to President Donald Trump threatening to impose significant tariffs on French imports to the US. These tariffs could affect exports of products such as cheese and champagne.

Commenting on the tax, the Prime Minister said: 'I do think we need to look at the operation of the big digital companies and huge revenues they have in this country and the amount of tax that they pay. We need to sort that out. They need to make a fairer contribution

 

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