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Dealing with the Changed Personal Allowance

Newsletter issue - August 08.

The announcement by the Chancellor Alistair Darling about the changes to the personal allowance and the basic rate tax band for 2008/09 took HMRC by surprise as much as everyone else. It has taken a few months to work out how to tweak the PAYE system so everyone pays the right amount of tax in 2008/09.

HMRC have now decided not to reissue every single PAYE code. Instead employers will have to add 60 to every PAYE code that has an L suffix. This means code 543L will become 603L. For all other letter suffixes you must wait for a new PAYE code to be issued. L is the most frequently used suffix, so you as an employer are effectively doing HMRC's work, and picking up the costs incurred by the Chancellor's change of mind.

The new codes should be applied from the first payday on or after 7 September 2008. The PAYE tables, or your payroll computer system, will ensure that monthly paid employees, who are on the basic rate of tax will receive a tax reduction through the payroll of around £60 over the remainder of the tax year. This will normally reduce the employee's total tax deductions for the month, but in rare cases it will create a refund for the employee of tax he has paid earlier in the tax year.

Where a refund of tax is due you should deduct the amount needed to make the refund from the total of PAYE, NICs, CIS and student loans due to be paid over to HMRC for that period. If this total is not large enough to cover the refunds due to your entire workforce, you can ask for funding directly from HMRC. Do this by contacting the relevant HMRC Accounts Office by post or fax. You also need to inform the HMRC Accounts Office that there is no PAYE payment to make for the period, by telephoning 0845 366 7816 with your payroll details or online at:

HMRC are sending out new PAYE tables and guidance to all employers included on an employers' CD-ROM in August. You will also be able to order paper versions of leaflets and forms from the HMRC orderline (08457 646 646) after 12 August. If you have any questions about how to treat new employees, dealing with student employees or related matters do ask us.

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