Another fantastic year for PSTAX
PSTAX, the leading public sector tax advisor, celebrates another successful year providing innovative taxation solutions, consultancy, and PSTAX Club membership to public bodies across the UK. PSTAX has been involved in various noteworthy initiatives across the last 12 months, including advising multiple local government reorganisations, delivering comprehensive training courses and unique e-learning solutions, and securing significant SDLT refunds for nearly 50 councils.
Local Government Reorganisation
This year’s significant accomplishment for the Employment Tax and VAT teams was advising on local government reorganisations (LGRs) for Somerset, North Yorkshire, and Cumbria councils. PSTAX has gained unrivalled expertise in advising LGRs and providing taxation advice to councils during the last three rounds (Dorset, Buckinghamshire, and Northamptonshire). Working closely with the councils and HMRC, the team ensured a smooth transition to the four new unitary councils. LGRs are very demanding of the involved council officers and require a diligent and comprehensive approach. PSTAX’s role is to provide the essential support needed to help remove taxation from the many issues council officers need to worry about. PSTAX’s team was instrumental in providing valuable insights into the implications of the reorganisation and ensuring a smooth transition.
IR35 – Off-payroll working
PSTAX has also supported local authority clients to act appropriately following the circular letter from HMRC’s Employment Status & Intermediaries team regarding off-payroll workers on IR35. The letter provided clients with the opportunity to correct any issues and ensure compliance with the new regulations. PSTAX has advised many Section 33 bodies through the process with guidance, providing valuable advice and support.
E-Learning courses for off-payroll working (IR35)
PSTAX developed a unique e-learning solution to train staff at public bodies to understand, navigate and manage the risks of tax compliance for off-payroll workers (IR35). The specially designed platform is interactive with real-life scenarios to support the users’ learning, providing context to help users better understand. Clients have praised the IR35 e-Learning for its convenience and effectiveness. This year, PSTAX has over 500 subscriptions to the service from local authorities, police forces and fire and rescue services.
Leading into the new financial year, the Employment Tax team at PSTAX will support public bodies with P11D submissions, managing the change to paperless. PSTAX’s experts will scrutinise the data before submission, ensuring everything is in accordance with HMRC’s requirements. This initiative will help clients streamline their processes and reduce their compliance risk.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
PSTAX’s VAT team identified a little-recognised land tax relief for local authorities and has now supported nearly 50 councils to secure SDLT refunds and continues to support more. Eligible for purchases within the previous four years, significant refunds have been made to councils across England, with two councils receiving over £2 million so far. PSTAX has also supported clients’ claims for relief on future purchases, ensuring they avoid any undue SDLT.
VAT and indirect taxes
The PSTAX VAT and indirect taxes helpline has had the busiest year on record, and we have continued to deliver under the terms of our 24-hour response guarantee. Our 280+ clients rely on this essential service, and we have played a vital role in assisting them with everyday queries through to complex liability issues.
Care Contracts Restructuring
The VAT team at PSTAX has also been integral in helping local authorities navigate the complex area of care contract restructuring. After providing free educational seminars on the background and risk of the restructuring, PSTAX and Sharpe Pritchard launched a joint due diligence service for councils considering restructuring requests from care providers. A local authority can only operate within a specific legal framework. It must meet numerous regulatory, procurement, contractual, tax compliance, and other responsibilities.
Local authorities typically want to cooperate with providers and are happy to consider requests for a contract restructure. But to ensure they meet their various responsibilities, it is prudent for local authorities to conduct a due diligence review of a provider’s proposals to ensure they would not create any unacceptable risks to its ability to comply with those responsibilities.
PSTAX and Sharpe Prichard have joined to offer a due diligence service that will satisfy the requirements of HMRC and other relevant bodies.
By instructing PSTAX and Sharpe Prichard to carry out the due diligence exercise, local authorities can agree to an appropriate novation request significantly more quickly and efficiently.
Supporting Town and Parish Councils
The VAT team at PSTAX is proud to have been selected by the Society of Local Council Clerks as its preferred tax advisor. The Society’s six thousand plus members across town and parish councils will have access to the PSTAX helpline services. The local council clerks will benefit from intuitive and speedy responses from PSTAX experts to their VAT queries.
Employment tax and VAT training and seminars
Over the last year, PSTAX has delivered a comprehensive curriculum of courses and seminars. All carefully planned to provide training on the essential topics in employment tax and compliance issues for in-house professionals, the PSTAX experts provide unrivalled insight powered by their sector-leading knowledge and experience. The events for the new calendar year have been released. The events will give participants the tools and knowledge to manage effectively their organisations’ tax obligations over 23/24.
New Team Members
“We are very proud of the team’s accomplishments through the last financial year. We have secured over £5 million in SDLT refunds for councils in England, expanded further into Scotland and welcomed new members to the team. I am grateful to all our colleagues for their hard work and dedication. We’ve achieved record numbers for the e-Learning platform and look forward to beating them in the next financial year. Our focus for the financial year ahead is to maximise opportunities for SDLT refunds for councils and support clients with the P11D submission changes”.
PSTAX Management Team