Pensions, Tax and Payroll – Businesses benefit from expert insight

There has been lots of press recently around the need for businesses to ensure their automatic enrolment duties are fulfilled correctly, and the danger of not getting it right which could have a big impact upon employees.

This recent news highlights the need for businesses to seek professional advice either from a financial planner in choosing the right pension scheme, or a payroll provider who can ensure the scheme fits with the systems and processes already in place.  The key to this is ensuring whatever choices are made,  there is a good fit with the business.

This backs up the message local businesses received at a recent event, Essentials of Payroll, Pensions and Tax 2016 which took place on 18 February at the Halston Apartment Hotel in Carlisle.

Managing Partner, Paul Dickson opened the event, followed by MP, John Stevenson who set the scene for the day. 

Paul said “We are very pleased to be able to host an educational event to help local businesses; the event was part of our planned activities to support businesses in these areas, and give them the right information so that they can make the right choices for their business.”

John said “Every business in the UK will have to make pension changes. I was therefore very pleased that businesses in Carlisle were given the opportunity to attend this event. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to show my support for local businesses, and for those businesses to hear from HMRC and the Minister regarding these changes”.

The aim of this event was to provide an overview of employer obligations for automatic enrolment and Neil Esslemont of the Pensions Regulator did not disappoint.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also provided an update on what HMRC is doing to help small businesses.  Mike Crabtree shared the principles for the small business strategy, including how integration, simplification, personalisation and certainty featured in their plans. 

Mike went on to advise the different communications HMRC now provide to help businesses, for example, webinars, social media, guidance and information on specific taxes.  Growth hubs are designed to help businesses and Carlisle is pleased to host such a hub.

The Minister and Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke also attended the event, sharing the government’s aspirations for all things digital.  Mr Gauke removed the myths surrounding the recent media reporting on quarterly reporting and explained HMRC would work with businesses to make digital a reality.  Mr Gauke said: “I am committed to helping business in Cumbria flourish by freeing them from red tape and creating a simpler tax system. By 2020 we will abolish the dreaded annual return and replace it with digital tax accounts which will save businesses time and money. Many taxpayers have told us that they want more certainty over their tax bill and access to an in-year picture of their tax position, which their new digital accounts will provide. And we'll always ensure that those who really can't file digitally are protected and helped.”

There were also two presenters from Armstrong Watson, Toni Carver from Armstrong Watson Financial Planning who shared some insights into choosing the right pension scheme and Karen Thomson, Director of Armstrong Watson Payroll and Employee Services.  Karen provided an overview of the key payroll legislation coming into force from April 2016.

Karen, who was responsible for the event said “it was a privilege to network with local businesses and ensure they were up to date with the latest government, tax, pensions and payroll legislation”.

For a copy of the presentations please contact

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