Care at home: your responsibilities

'Death, taxes and childbirth! Never any convenient time'.

We could all echo the line from 'Gone with the Wind' quoted in a recent Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) report. But for the increasing number of people using home help, such as carers for disabled or elderly relatives, the OTS thinks tax can be particularly challenging.

If the work arrangement amounts to direct employment, the individual or family concerned should operate a PAYE scheme. This applies whether hiring help directly, or with funding from a body such as the local authority or NHS.

Some local authorities offer a payroll service. If not, HMRC's free Basic PAYE Tools (BPT) software can be used where working arrangements are straightforward. Further information about BPT can be found here Provision of payslips is now a legal obligation for employers, and in a welcome move, HMRC has advised that BPT is being updated to provide the functionality to do this from April 2020.

Employing home help also brings other responsibilities, such as the need to pay National Minimum or National Living Wage. There are also pensions auto-enrolment obligations and employment law issues to consider. We are always happy to advise in this area.

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