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The National Minimum Wage increases on Wednesday 1st October

From 1 October 2014, the rate of National Minimum Wage (NMW) for employees will rise as follows: Aged 21 and over – from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour Apprentices under 19 and those aged 19+ in the first year of their apprenticeship – from £2.68 to … [Read More...]

Charities Beware of Over Egging the Pudding

The Serpentine Trust is a registered charity that ran an art gallery and operated schemes whereby the supporters could make annual payments to assist them. To make the opportunity more appealing, the contributors received various benefits such as invitations to events, priority booking for events and complimentary exhibition catalogues. HMRC considered that the sums paid by the supporters were consideration for the standard-rated supply of the benefits. The Serpentine Trust appealed, contending that the gifts were de minimis, meaning that they were not provided ‘for’ the payments; they should be apportioned between the part that was attributable to the benefits (the consideration) and the part that was in excess (a donation). The tribunal found that the benefits had real value, which was likely to exceed the cost of providing them. There was a single supply to the supporter to partake in exclusive events and receive offers from the Serpentine Trust. That supply was entirely … [Read More...]

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The National Minimum Wage increases on Wednesday 1st October

From 1 October 2014, the rate of National Minimum Wage (NMW) for employees will rise as follows: Aged 21 and over – from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour Apprentices under 19 and those aged 19+ in the first year of their apprenticeship – from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour Aged 18 to 20 – from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour Aged 16 and 17 – from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour Employers who fail to pay the NMW could face a fine of £200 for each underpaid employee. The Department of Trade and Industry also states that employers who continue to ignore their responsibility to pay NMW within seven days of an enforcement notice could also face prosecution. This could result in a criminal record and a £5,000 fine – however the maximum penalty can be up to £20,000 per worker. Dismissing a worker due to their eligibility for the NMW will count as unfair dismissal. Workers do not have to serve any qualifying period in order to gain protection against this form of unfair dismissal. Additionally, the … [Read More...]

Default surcharge – Tribunal accepts poor economic climate as “reasonable excuse”

Scrimsign (Micro-electronics) Ltd succeeded in their argument that the cause of their late VAT returns payment was due to the “insufficiency of funds” caused by the recession. Additionally, the attitude of the banks and existing customers, who were dictating unfair terms and conditions, was also accepted as an explanation. The tribunal concluded that their temporary lack of funds was not triggered by any carelessness on their own part, but by the struggling economy. This prevented them from meeting their VAT obligations timeously. Scrimsign Ltd believed that the effects of the recession were difficult to predict and could not reasonably be avoided. As all outstanding sums were paid as soon as it was possible to do so, it was accepted that they had a sufficient excuse for their late payment. This is an interesting decision that could open the door to many similar cases. In this case, Scrimsign Ltd would appear to have been a creditable witness and the Tribunal Chairman has been … [Read More...]

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