HM Revenue & Customs has attracted sharp words from some bosses over its encouragement to employers to include certain messaging on payslips in relation to next month’s rise in National Insurance (NI) contributions.
What is the controversy about?
The Daily Telegraph has reported that business owners are being urged by the department to state on employee payslips why the NI tax is going up.
On several occasions, the tax authority has reached out to business owners, insisting that they declare the increase in NI rates is “for the NHS”.
An email, seen by the newspaper, said: “The message should read: ‘1.25pc uplift in NICs funds NHS, health and social care’”. The message was also featured in bulletins sent by HMRC to employers last month.
An HMRC spokesperson said it wasn’t mandatory for employers to include such messaging on their workers’ payslips, but that it was nonetheless “strongly encouraged”.
“A bad tax being introduced at the wrong time”
There was somewhat less enthusiasm for HMRC’s move from the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) chief economist Kitty Ussher, who described it as an “odd initiative” attempting to justify “a deeply unpopular and regressive tax on jobs.”
She continued: “Trying to change the branding doesn’t alter the fact that this is a bad tax being introduced at the wrong time.”
Craig Beaumont, speaking for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), expressed similar sentiments, stating that “taking away people’s pay rises during a cost of living crisis is bad enough, but then having the state instruct firms to write PR on payslips just adds insult to injury.”
Meanwhile, Edward Troup, a former senior civil servant at the tax office, questioned on social media whether such a request was within the legal powers of HMRC.
Optimise your firm’s bookkeeping and payroll in readiness for the latest tax changes
With the NI increase planned to take effect from 6th April and employees, employers and the self-employed all set to be hit in the pocket as a result, it’s crucial to ensure your own organisation is as well-prepared as it can be for the looming changes.
It could be a great moment, then, to request the highest standard of payroll assistance from a UK-based company that you can trust.
Britebooks can be very much that company; simply get in touch with our bookkeeping and payroll experts in Plymouth or Wellington today for further information and advice on how we can help.
HM Revenue & Customs has attracted sharp words from some bosses over its encouragement to employers to include certain messaging on payslips in relation to next month’s rise in National I…
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