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March Questions and Answers

Newsletter issue - March 2015.

Q. In the February newsletter you said holiday pay was not a contractual right. I don't understand how that can be the case. Please explain.

A. New regulations came into force from 8 January 2015 which indicates that employees can't take a claim to a civil court for breach of contract if their employer fails to pay amounts of holiday pay on the basis of an entitlement under the Working Time regulations. The new regulations indicate that the right to holiday pay is a separate statutory right not contractual right. However, if the amount of holiday pay is stipulated in the employee's employment contract, and that amount is not paid, the employee may be able to claim breach of contract.

Q. My company uses the flat rate VAT scheme, so we don't reclaim VAT on the things we buy. When I set up the company it bought some office furniture for £1,500. I am now moving to new offices and selling the old furniture. Must the company charge VAT on the sale of the furniture even though it didn't reclaim VAT when it purchased the items?

A. Any sales the company makes, including selling on surplus assets, must carry VAT as the company is VAT-registered. There are different rules when selling land or buildings. The fact that the company didn't reclaim VAT when it purchased the assets is irrelevant.

Q. I run a pub which has a cash machine (ATM) inside. I've just received an extra business rates bill from the local authority in respect of the cash machine for £3,600! They haven't charged a separate bill for the ATM before now. Is there anything I can do?

A. You can appeal against the business property valuation, including the treatment of the ATM as a separate property. Do this by contacting the national Valuation Office Agency (VOA). If you can't agree a reduction in the property's rateable value you can take your case to a Valuation Tribunal. But don't delay, as if you succeed in getting a reduction in the rates due, you will only get a refund for periods from 2010 to 2015, if your appeal was made by 31 March 2015.