Service set to shed light on copyright

A new service designed to help businesses and consumers better understand copyright laws has been announced by the government.

The online Copyright Notices Service will provide clear and impartial information on what is and what is not allowed under copyright law.

The service asks businesses to identify areas where there is particular confusion or misunderstanding and will target its guidance on those issues. The aim is to provide a reliable and trusted point of reference for businesses and creators of copyright works.

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Report calls for employee benefits shake-up

The complex system for reporting and taxing employee benefits and expenses is ripe for a complete overhaul, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has concluded.

Publishing an interim report on 8 August, the OTS said it now planned to focus on four core areas in the coming months – HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) administration of the system, including the P11D form, travel and subsistence,  accommodation and termination payments.

It makes 43 suggestions for quick simplifications, including streamlining the cycle to work scheme, aligning tax and national insurance treatment of mileage rates over 45p, changes to HMRC forms and publishing a list of items that automatically qualify for a dispensation, meaning that no benefit arises for employees.

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New NMW rates on the way

Employers are reminded that new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will take effect from 1 October 2013. From that date, the rate for employees aged 21 and over will rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 and by 5p to £5.03 for those aged 18-20. Under-18s will receive a 4p an hour increase, taking their hourly rate to £3.72, while the rate for apprentices aged Read more…

Survey seeks views on RTI

Tax experts are urging as many employers as possible to take part in an online survey around Real Time Information (RTI) payroll reporting. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched the survey to gather the experiences of employers – along with those of software and payroll service providers – in reporting payments to employees on or before the date of payment. The Chartered Institute of Read more…

Higher earning parents get tax reminder

Higher earning parents who have been claiming child benefit since January this year have until 5 October to register for tax self assessment to avoid any High Income Child Benefit Charge penalties. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said on 10 August that it would be writing to around two million higher rate taxpayers to remind them that if their income is more than £50,000 and Read more…

Workers say ‘We’re in’ to auto-enrolment

Over 90 per cent of people placed in a workplace pension under the auto-enrolment initiative are staying in, according to new research. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed the figure on 8 August, as part of research carried out with the 50 biggest employers to join the automatic enrolment programme. The findings also suggest that young people are leading the way in the Read more…

Report calls for employee benefits shake-up

The complex system for reporting and taxing employee benefits and expenses is ripe for a complete overhaul, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has concluded. Publishing an interim report on 8 August, the OTS said it now planned to focus on four core areas in the coming months – HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) administration of the system, including the P11D form, travel and subsistence,  accommodation Read more…

New guidance on personal data requests

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued new guidance for businesses and other organisations to help them deal with requests from individuals for their personal data.

The Data Protection Act gives everyone the right to find out what information an organisation holds about them by making a subject access request, allowing them to find out important information ranging from details on their credit history to data contained in health records. Once received, an organisation normally has 40 days to reply to the request.

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Online advice service takes off

Workplace experts Acas say that more than 50,000 people have used its new online advice service in just two months.

Acas Helpline online offers 24-hour free advice and guidance on rights at work and employment law. It provides an instant response to work-related questions or employers or employees can use the service so that they feel better informed before talking to an Acas helpline adviser.

Helpline online answers over 600 of the most frequently asked workplace questions on topics ranging from maternity and family friendly rights to absence and bullying and harassment.

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Survey seeks views on RTI

Tax experts are urging as many employers as possible to take part in an online survey around Real Time Information (RTI) payroll reporting.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched the survey to gather the experiences of employers – along with those of software and payroll service providers – in reporting payments to employees on or before the date of payment.

Read more…