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Christmas Bonuses, Gifts and Parties

December 2, 2019 by JSO

Christmas Bonuses, Gifts and Parties

Are you considering paying your employees a bonus in their December payroll?  Bonuses are a good incentive and thank you to hard-working employees, but should you slip them £50 cash in their pocket?

The answer to this question is most definitely “no”.  All bonuses, commission, overtime, tips etc. MUST be paid through the payroll.  Tax, NI and Auto Enrolment pension contributions do need to be paid on this income in exactly the same way as normal salaries.

Can I treat my staff to a gift?

You can, but you do need to determine whether the gift  could be resold or exchanged for cash or if it could be deemed a trivial benefit and will, therefore, be exempt from tax.

What is a trivial benefit?

A trivial benefit is an unexpected gift for no particular reason, other than the boss being in a good mood today!!

HMRC rules state that a trivial benefit has to meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • it cost you £50 or less to provide
  • it isn’t cash or a cash voucher
  • it isn’t a reward for their work or performance
  • it isn’t in the terms of their contract


Why not give a turkey as a gift this Christmas?  Providing it does not become a regular gift each year, it could be a trivial benefit.  We will write more on trivial benefits at a later date; keep an eye on future blogs from Just Simply Organised.


Staff Christmas Party a good idea?


There are times when a party for your staff can be completely exempt from tax and National Insurance, providing the following rules are adhered to:

  • £150 or less per head
  • annual, such as a Christmas party or summer barbecue
  • open to all your employees; sadly not partners


If the company decides to pay for partners, it will be a non-allowable expense.


Confused?  Not sure of the rules?  Why not call Just Simply Organised for help with all of your bookkeeping and payroll requirements?



All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Christmas Opening Hours

November 20, 2019 by JSO

Christmas Opening Hours          

Just Simply Organised will be closed for our annual Christmas break from 12 noon Tuesday 24th December 2019 to Thursday 2nd January 2020 9.00 am.

Please see the below important information regarding the processing and filing of payrolls in December.

If your payroll stays constant each month, it will be processed during the week commencing 9th December; if you have any adjustments or additions to make to your salaries in December, please could we have the information before this date. Please remember that any bonuses, etc. must be processed through the payroll and cannot be paid separately.

If you advise us of your payroll requirements each month, please can we have the information as early as possible in the month and no later than 10am on Friday 20th December*.   This will ensure that we have sufficient time to process, email you for confirmation and file before the Christmas break.  We will prioritise sending payslips to all clients so that the figures are available for paying employees and reports will follow as soon as we are able.

*We can take a limited number of payrolls for processing on Monday 23rd December; please contact us to book in your payroll for this day if required.  No payrolls can be processed on 24th December.

If these deadlines pose a problem for you, please do let us know so that we can accommodate your payroll and file with HMRC on time.

Can we take this opportunity to wish all of our clients a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Thank you for your help and assuring you of our best attention at all times.

Making Tax Digital Update

November 8, 2019 by JSO

Help Us to Help You with accurate MTD VAT returns

From October 2019, any businesses which were previously deferred from having to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT will have to file their returns in line with the new rules.  At the outset of MTD, HMRC announced a deferral period for business which fell into certain categories (see the link below):

www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital/overview -of-making-tax-digital

Switching to digital accounts feels like an unnecessary hurdle for many small businesses.  Just Simply Organised are bookkeeping specialists and are more than happy to transform your box of paperwork into accurate, reliable accounts, enabling the filing of comprehensive VAT returns, which are fully compliant with MTD rules. MTD does not only mean that returns have to be filed digitally, it requires that clients have a full digital record of all transactions.  We can help you with the transition from manual spreadsheets to digital accounts, taking away that admin burden and allowing you to get on with running your business.

It is very tempting to think that photos of receipts and invoices will suffice, but do remember that HMRC still ask for hardcopy paperwork in the case of an investigation.  Even if you use software where you can transfer photos of receipts directly into the software, you often still have to log in and make the relevant entry manually and the photo is kept alongside this entry; just taking the photo is not enough – the relevant bookkeeping entry still has to be made.

Once we are filing your VAT returns under HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital regulations, it is important that we have all paperwork for the quarter.  When we file your VAT return, we have to sign a declaration which confirms that the submission is a true and accurate account of all of the transactions in the relevant period.  Just Simply Organised cannot do this if we are aware that we are missing some paperwork and, therefore, have no choice but to post the missing item to director’s loan or drawings as appropriate.  This means that the item will not be an allowable expense for tax or VAT purposes.

It is, therefore, very important that you are able to let us have all invoices and receipts which are dated in the quarter; please note that it is the actual date of the paperwork, not when the item was paid that is important.

We are increasingly finding that businesses are using other payment platforms such as Amazon, Paypal, Ebay etc. for business purchases.  We will need all of the paperwork relating to these online transactions, which must be in the name of the business, if a Limited Company, or the owner of the business in respect of a sole trader or partnership.  We are repeatedly having to request that clients revert to the supplier to obtain a revised VAT invoice in the correct name. Why not take a little time today to set up accounts in the business name with the platforms you use most often?

Please help us to help you by letting us have all of your paperwork for the period and responding to any queries as soon as you are able.  Thank you.

All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Top 3 questions from employees regarding Auto-Enrolment (Workplace) Pensions.

November 1, 2019 by JSO


The top 3 questions that employees are asking their pension companies are:


  1. What is re-enrolment and what does it mean if I have been re-enrolled?
  2. How do I track down my lost pension savings?
  3. Where can I find out more about my Online Pension account – viewing my annual statement, updating my details and nominating my beneficiaries?


If your employees are asking you these questions, Just Simply Organised can help.  We are an experienced payroll bureau providing full payroll and Auto-Enrolment pension services to our clients.


All employees need to be encouraged to engage with their pension company via their online account so that they can administer their own pension account and keep track of their retirement savings.  1 in 5 people have lost track of a pension and it is important that employees recognise that it is their responsibility to administer their Auto-Enrolment pension pot, just as they would any other financial commitment that they have.


While Auto- Enrolment is the employer’s responsibility, Just Simply Organised have a pro-active approach to encouraging employees to engage with their Auto-Enrolment Pension, providing links to relevant website information via messages issued with their payslips, which are securely emailed to each individual employee.  We can also provide employer resources which can be displayed in the workplace to further employee involvement in their pension pot.


Please click on the attached link to find out more about tracing lost pensions.





Be ready for the regulator’s inspections

The Pensions Regulator has been vigilant with their required inspections in recent months. With an unknown London-based company being fined £350,000 for not meeting their pension duties* – employers will need to be ready.

Darren Ryder, The Pensions Regulator’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, commented on the fine: “This case also demonstrates it’s vital to carry out both ongoing duties and re-enrolment correctly. We will take action to ensure that not only are staff put into a pension, but they continue to receive the correct contributions on an ongoing basis, that those who opt out are re-enrolled correctly, and given their right to start saving.”

It’s the employer’s responsibility to carry out their duties and provide the regulator with the evidence they require, but you don’t need to do this alone.  Just Simply Organised can help with this.  If we run your payroll and Auto Enrolment Pension, all of the required records are available.  If you are notified of a forthcoming inspection, please contact us in advance and we can provide the necessary information so that you have it all to hand.


*Source: The Pensions Regulator’s press release: Employer handed six figure fine for workplace pension failures


All content provided in this blog is for information purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Do any of your employees qualify for statutory sick pay?

June 11, 2015 by Lyn Lulham

Do any of your employees qualify for statutory sick pay?

  • Have they been absent for 4 or more days?
  • Have they started working for you yet?
  • Have they notified you within the terms of their contract?
  • Are they earning at least the lower earnings level of NI?

All of the above criteria must be met for an employee to qualify for SSP. However did you know that if an employee is absent due to illness and is then absent again within 8 weeks, these periods of illness are treated as linked? Even if they are not for the same illness, the SSP rules still apply.

For more information on SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) or our payroll solutions, feel free get in touch with us. Alternatively for more detail on SSP and linked PIW’s (Period of incapacity to work) visit our client area page.

JSO Networking Events

September 18, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

We were pleased to host a free Networking Coffee morning at our offices on 10th September – and it was such a success that we will be holding them bi-monthly from now on! The feedback from attendees was fantastic and we’re thrilled that everyone found the event so beneficial.

The coffee mornings are a great way to meet other like-minded local business people in an informal and friendly setting. We will have a special guest at each session, as well as home made cakes, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

The next Networking Coffee morning is coming soon! Keep an eye on our blog for more details.

The new Pensions Law affects your business – Part II

August 27, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

Last week, Part I of our Pensions Law blog introduced you to the new Automatic Enrolment legislation that is being introduced in stages over the next four years for all businesses that have at least one UK worker in the UK with a minimum of £9440 per annum in qualifying earnings. We discussed the mandatory staging dates as well as gave you some insight into choosing a pension scheme for your company.

Keep reading for Part II, and remember, automatic enrolment doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming for your business. JSO have teamed up with an IFA so that we can best advise our clients at the appropriate time and we’ll also deal with all of the extra data processing that is required.

Registering with the Regulator

You are legally obligated to register with the Pensions Regulator and provide them with certain information about auto enrolment within your business, including the number of people you’ve enrolled, how many people were already in a pension scheme with you and which scheme you’ve chosen for your business. You must provide exact numbers and details and this must be done within four calendar months of your staging date or you could be fined.

How to Make Contributions

There are several different types of contribution schemes but most will require an employer to pay a minimum of 8% of the employee’s qualifying earnings – this includes at least 3% from the employer and in many cases, 1% of Government tax relief.

Opt-out and Opt-In

Employees do have the right to opt out of the pension scheme chosen by your business and if this is within one month of enrolment, they must be paid back any contributions deducted from their pay. Likewise, employers are obligated to put certain other workers, besides eligible jobholders, into a pension scheme if these employees ask – more information will be available about this soon.

It is important to remember that employees’ decisions to opt in or opt out should be made without influence from the employer.

Record Keeping

Complete and accurate records must be kept about your workers and their pension scheme for a minimum of six years in most cases. Records can be kept electronically or on paper but must be legible and available if regulators ask to see them. You will also need to keep information on the ages and earnings of each of your employees.

Communicating the Changes to Staff

It is important that you inform your employees about all of these changes and how they will be affected by them – it’s the employer’s duty to provide the right information at the right time and to ensure that it is complete and correct. The information must be provided in writing, which can include email. As the information will most likely include personal data and details, you should write to each worker individually. There will however be certain updates that you can provide generically, for example, joining packs or information about employees’ rights to opt in.

If you would like to discuss how the changes are going to affect your business, call us now.

Remember, we will take all the time, effort and confusion OUT of automatic enrolment for your business – telephone us now on 01892 770612.

The new Pensions Law affects your business – Part I

August 20, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

If you have at least one UK worker then you need to be ready for the new Automatic Enrolment Pensions Law which is being introduced in stages over the next four years.

Your business will be allocated a ‘staging date’ and from this period onwards, you are required by law to automatically enrol all eligible workers into a workplace pension and make contributions on their behalf. You will also need to register with The Pensions Regulator as well as provide your workers with information regarding the changes and how they will be affected. If you already offer a pension scheme, then you are obligated to ensure that it is fully compliant with the changes.

Automatic enrolment doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming for your business. JSO have teamed up with an IFA so that we can best advise our clients at the appropriate time – not only will we be providing you with your staging date, but we’ll also deal with all of the extra data processing that is required.

In the meantime, we’ve put together some key information on automatic enrolment in our two part blog. Keep reading for Part I and check back next week for Part II.

Staging Dates

Automatic enrolment commenced in Oct 2012 and its introduction will continue over the next four years. The size of your business determines when your staging date will be. You can bring forward your staging date but you can’t delay it.

Eligible Businesses

If you have at least one worker aged between 22 and the State Pension age with at least £9440 per annum in qualifying earnings and works in the UK, you are obligated to comply with these changes. You will need to formally assess every one of your employees to determine whether they are ‘eligible jobholders’.

Choosing a Pension Scheme

Employers will need to select a pension scheme for their eligible jobholders and this could be an existing scheme already utilised by your business or a completely new scheme. It’s important to remember however that the scheme you choose must meet the strict criteria of the changes such as no barriers on age limits or probationary periods and no need for staff to provide extra information about themselves or opt in individually. One option is the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) which was recently established by the Government to assist employers, including those with low to medium earners, to comply with the new automatic enrolment legislation. NEST is required to accept all employers who apply.

Next week, we’ll be providing information on

  • Registering with the Regulator
  • How to Make Contributions
  • Record Keeping
  • Communicating the Changes to Staff

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss how the changes are going to affect your business, call us now. Remember, we will take all the time and effort OUT of automatic enrolment. If you want to stay focused on the important parts of your business, telephone us now on  01892 770612.

RTI – Tax Code Confusion

June 17, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

If you’re confused by the PAYE tax code you’ve been issued by HMRC, you’re in the same boat as several thousands of others who have all been sent incorrect codes.

The issue has stemmed from the complexities of trying to synchronise employee records with HMRC records. Small errors on the Employer Alignment Submissions or Full Payment Submissions made to HMRC by employers means that taxable benefits aren’t being recognised and as such, an incorrect tax code is then issued.

Any employee not included in the submissions is classified as a departing member of staff however if subsequent submissions include this member of staff, they are regarded as a new staff member and issued a new tax code. Additionally, if any part of the form is incomplete with the missing information included in later submissions, the same problem occurs.

HMRC is advising all those affected to disregard their new code and continue using their old code, until the issues are fully resolved.

If RTI is costing you valuable time that you should be investing in other areas of your business, why not contact us to discuss how we can help you – phone 01892 770 612 or email lyn@justsimplyorganised.co.uk.

Follow us on Twitter and Linked In!

March 12, 2013 by Lyn Lulham

Keep up to date with JSO’s important information and industry news by following us on Twitter and Linked In.

@LynLulham                                    uk.linkedin.com/pub/lyn-lulham/17/99a/3b1/

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