Tax Freedom Day

Tax Freedom Day
Paul Chappell
Written by Paul Chappell
Friday, 03 June 2016 09:32

Snappy title I know! However, and this is the important bit, the day when you officially stopped working for HM Government is getting later and later each year. 2014 was 30th May and 2015 was 31st May. 2016 has yet to be announced, however will not be earlier than 31st May.

So you didn’t realise that 5 months of your working year was spent battling your way through life for no benefit for yourself. Of course this is an average across the UK taxpaying public. So is there anything that can be done to manage our pay and tax for our benefit rather than HMRC’s?

Mobile Telephones

They are part of everyday life, some people are totally reliant on them! However an employer provided mobile telephone, used privately, does not attract a benefit in kind and is therefore free of income tax and National Insurance. Furthermore, your employer can offset the costs of the telephones against their profits. A win win position.

Salary Sacrifice

Sacrificing salary, doesn’t sound like a tax saving scheme? Think again. A Salary Sacrifice allows an employee to obtain tax and NIC relief for pension contributions, childcare voucher, cycle to work schemes and other employment benefits that may ordinarily be paid for out of their own money. For a basic rate taxpayer there will be an immediate saving of 20% in tax and 12% National Insurance.

As an example a pension contribution of £100 through a salary sacrifice, paid over to the pension company by the employer, will on cost £68.

Tax Codes

How can a tax code issued by HMRC save tax? Recent publicity has shown that HMRC have issued thousands of incorrect tax code notifications. A simple check of the tax code, and HMRC’s explanation of the code, will reveal any errors of the code number. Errors will affect the amount of tax that is deducted and can run into hundreds of pounds. A simple check, a simple remedy!

Working from Home

Do you work from home? If the answer is yes; did you know that you can claim a weekly allowance of £4 to cover the costs? The claim is quick and simple, a call to HMRC claiming the allowance. It may only amount to £208 per year, but that is a £41 tax saving for a basic rate payer.

Paul Chappell

Paul joined Dataplan from HM Revenue and Customs in 2007 and runs our PAYE compliance and investigation services.

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