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Review: Tolley’s Tax Essentials – Employment Taxes 2003-04

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Title:Employment Taxes 2003-04
Author: Gina Antczak
Contributing editor: Ian Nichol
Price: £39.00
Publisher: Lexis Nexis
ISBN: 0754521850
Review by: Rebecca Cave

Isn’t it refreshing when a reference book actually delivers what it promises on the cover. Across the front of this volume Lexis Nexis claim: ‘Fast answers to key tax problems’. I’ve been dipping in and out of Employment Taxes for some weeks now, and the publishers are right!

When the book arrived I wasn’t expecting great revelations. The Inland Revenue provide so much information in the various PAYE leaflets, what more could there be to say on the subject? But there is always something you don’t know in tax, and if it’s in the area of payroll you look darn stupid when you get it wrong.

This book covers all the essential payroll stuff about Revenue forms, benefits in kind, and national insurance, but it also explains those tricky areas where you can really come unstuck fast, like termination payments or the peculiar tax treatment of clergy. For example did you know there are four common pitfalls for ex-gratia payments and six planning points?

The commentary is clear and concise with short paragraphs, frequent headings, lots of examples and excellent cross referencing, so you always know that you have covered all the angles on a subject. The book even covers your back with a brief explanation of the VAT implications of various benefits in kind and a short run through of the Construction Industry scheme.

This short guide cannot the last word on detailed planning using share schemes or pensions, but it can be your first briefing point before you talk to an expert. Remember employment taxes is one of those areas where the multiplier applies: a little flea of an error on one person gets multiplied across the whole workforce and back six years so soon you have an elephant of a problem on your hands.

So you need to know, and you need a fast and efficient reference book at a reasonable price. This is it. At just £39.00 it costs less than a meal out. Buy it before you make that elephant mistake.

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