There has been concern expressed by those in the industry that many haulage companies are unaware of a new tax that they will have to pay, which comes into effect in 2017. This is the ‘Apprenticeship Levy’, which is a tax on all UK employers to fund new apprenticeships in a goal to deliver more and better training programmes. |
A Closer Look at the Levy
Many businesses are aware of new industry apprenticeships, but it is apparent that some are still unaware that they will be paying a new tax this year. Therefore, it is worth taking a closer look and seeing how it can be used to your own benefit. The policy will come into effect at the start of the new tax year – 6 April 2017. It will affect employment in all sectors around the UK, but only applies to companies with annual payrolls over £3 million. The levy is set to be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s payroll and will be operated via the PAYE process. Each employer will also receive £15,000 to offset against their payment.
The Apprenticeship Levy is being introduced in a government bid to boost productivity by investing in human capital. The policy will deliver new and better apprenticeships to all sectors and the Government has committed to an additional 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020. They believe that by placing employers at the centre of the system, it will encourage them to participate in the programme so that they can train future employees.
Who is Required to Pay?
It has been said that some firms do not realise that they fit the parameters for the levy. Any company with a payroll that exceeds £3 million at consolidated group level will be required to pay. This means that small haulage companies could be forced to pay if they have other activities within their business; these could include warehousing, van operations or workshops. It is also likely to impact any haulage firms that have roughly 80 trucks or more in their fleet. In addition to this, there is no guarantee that the £3 million figure will not be reduced in years to come.
Capitalising on the Tax
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has stated that the levy is “unwelcome”, but they believe that operators can recoup the cost of the tax as funding for apprenticeships. The new Trailblazer apprentices are well funded from April 2017 and the RHA expects many haulage companies to set up their own in-house training operation, whilst others will use local training providers. The RHA also stated that they will work hard to ensure that businesses in the industry capitalise on the opportunity to take better control of training and recruitment.
If you are unsure if you will be required to pay the new tax, or you would like to discuss the apprenticeship scheme in more detail, contact your accountant or go to the HMRC’s website.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies and drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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