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Local business owners should prepare for pensions spot checks, warns local tax specialist

Local business owners should prepare for spot checks on their staff pension schemes a local tax specialist has warned.

David Underwood who owns TaxAssist Accountants in Harrogate said: “Spot checks are being carried out across the country by the Pensions Regulator to ensure that employers are complying with the new rules on workplace pensions.

“Local business owners need to prepare for the short-notice inspections, which will check whether they are automatically enrolling qualifying staff in a company pension scheme and contributing to their pension pot.

“Every month, the Regulator is announcing a clampdown on new towns and cities, with spot checks already carried out in London, the North West, Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland.

“We’re advising many local businesses, which have now received notices from the Pensions Regulator giving the date from which they must comply with automatic enrolment. Many have planned well in advance and have fully compliant pension schemes up and running already.

“But for those employers who are yet to comply with the new rules, there is the prospect of a £400 fixed penalty escalating to daily fines set at a minimum of £50 per day.

“Those fines increase to £500 per day if they have over five employees and can reach a maximum of £10,000 per day if they have 500 or more employees, with the possibility of civil penalties and court action.”

In the first three months of 2017, the Pensions Regulator issued more than four thousand fixed penalty notices and over a thousand escalating penalty notices. Some 200,000 employers per quarter will be reaching their staging date for workplace pension schemes this year.

TaxAssist Accountants Harrogate is a local business, operating across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon, providing tax and accountancy advice and services purely to small businesses.

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