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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.

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/

Spring PAYE Changes

April 22, 2011 by Lyn Lulham

The new PAYE changes are set to affect employer annual returns and starter and leaver PAYE forms.

All information for employers of 50 employees or less as of April 2011 need to be sent online to HMRC, this includes;  starter and leaver forms, P45’s,P46’s and pension information.

May 19th is now the deadline for filing and any that are filed later than this date will receive a penalty. In addition, any that are filed on paper rather than online will now also receive a penalty.

HMRC will also be issuing penalties in two new areas;

  • Penalty notices will be issued in April to employers with 50 or more employees who have not filed starter and leaver forms online to HMRC.
  • As of May this year penalties are to be sent out for late payment of PAYE, meaning employers will be liable for penalty if they haven’t made payment online or in full from April 2010.

For more information please follow the link below, alternatively please do not hesitate to contact us.

HMRC – Spring PAYE Changes 

Self Assessment – New penalty regime for 2010/11

April 22, 2011 by Lyn Lulham

As of April 2011 HMRC will be issuing 2010/11 notices and paper returns. They will also include information on penalties detailing the implications of filing and paying late. The penalty issued previously for filing late was £100, now penalties are set to increase over time and as an example if someone is 6 months late they could incur a penalty of up to £1,300.

For more information and a clear breakdown of how penalties may be incurred please follow the link below alternatively please do not hesitate to contact us.

HMRC Self Assessment Penalty Information

New VAT Calculator!

April 15, 2011 by Lyn Lulham

We have just launched a VAT calculator on our website which aims to help you with your VAT queries. With VAT rates changing at such a fast rate in recent years the VAT calculator allows for different percentages according to the period being referred to and also allows either net or gross figures to be entered. It’s quick and easy to use and we are hoping it will prove to be a useful addition to our website.

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