National Minimum Wage disputes
Following our successful advice to the retailer Iceland Foods Limited, we continue to advise clients from the retail sector. Following the re-introduction of penalties and HMRC recommencing enforcement of NMW, the team advises issues such as the operation of salary sacrifice schemes, uniform policies and unpaid working time. We are able to assist clients by navigating the enquiry stage and engaging in a dialogue with HMRC to ensure matters are resolved before being issued with a Notice of Underpayment.
IR35 compliance checks
The team has successfully worked alongside the firm's Employment and Private teams with IR35 disputes and compliance checks.
Given that IR35 is ever evolving, it is essential for the team to keep up-to-date with developments in legislation and guidance to consider any impact on our existing clients. We have been able to work alongside our clients, their HR teams and Financial Officers, to first determine whether workers have been correctly categorised as employees or self-employed, and then to assist in implementing procedures to ensure that the businesses apply the rules correctly.
COVID-19 support schemes
The team has developed expertise in COVID-19 related support schemes, particularly the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (i.e. the furlough scheme). Due to the urgent introduction of the furlough scheme, there was limited guidance available to employers in understanding how the scheme worked in practice. As a result, employers may find themselves in difficultly, particularly when inadvertent breaches of the scheme occur without their knowledge.
The Tax Disputes team can assist clients in navigating through the furlough scheme rules and we are able to identify when potential errors have been made when applying the scheme rules and will consider whether a voluntary disclosure should be made to HMRC. The extension of the furlough scheme resulted in collaboration with the firm's Employment group, in preparing voluntary disclosures for employers, to avoid paying significant penalties and receiving nudge letters from HMRC.