Anna’s Accountancy Alerts – Week 47 (20th – 26th February 2023)

Anna’s Accountancy Alerts - Week 47 (20th - 26th February 2023)

HMRC response when telephoning

The waiting time for callers to HMRC is not improving with an average 14-minute wait time while one in five calls were not answered

Nearly six out of 10 (58.5%) callers waited more than 10 minutes for a response. This figure has worsened since the beginning of the financial year when 71.4% of callers had to wait more than 10 minutes for a response.

HMRC is keen to encourage taxpayers to use online services instead of phoning call centres, but demand for telephony services remains high.

Preventing work-related stress: the leading cause of illness at work

Stress, anxiety and depression is the biggest cause of work-related illness in Great Britain and numbers continue to rise. According to the latest statistics there were 914,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22. 17 million working days were lost due to stress in this period.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) stress website has plenty of advice and includes examples of stress risk assessments tailored to different business sizes, as well as case studies and much more.

40% taxpayers set to increase

The latest estimates from HMRC show that 1,130,000 more people will pay higher rate tax by the 2027/28 tax year as the government has frozen thresholds until 2028.

This means that over 7.1m people will be subject to higher rate tax, representing more than one in five taxpayers.

The higher rate of tax is charged on anyone with an income between £50,271 to £150,000 at a rate of 40%, while the additional rate is taxed on income over £150,000 at 45%. Usually, the bands increase with inflation. From April 2023, the additional rate threshold will also be reduced to £125,000.

The reason more people move into new tax bands is because of fiscal drag. Fiscal drag happens when the income level at which taxes start to be collected and the amount of income that can be earned tax-free does not increase at the same rate as inflation or income growth.

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