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Small Employers Relief (SER)

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Background

An employer qualifies for SER if they paid or were liable to pay Class 1 NICs to HMRC (Account Office) of a fixed amount (or less) in the qualifying tax year.

From April 2002, a small employer for this purpose is defined as 'An employer who pays (or is liable to pay) total gross Class 1 NICs (excluding Class 1A and Class 1B) of £40,000 or less in the qualifying year'.

From April 2004 onwards, the total gross Class 1 NICs for a small employer to qualify for SER was increased to £45,000.

The qualifying tax year is the last complete tax year before the start of the employee's Qualifying Week(QW).

Example

The QW for Linda’s baby is Sunday 2/01/11 to Saturday 8/01/11, which falls in the 2010-11 tax year. The qualifying tax year for SER is therefore 2009-2010.

To calculate whether the total Class 1 NICs paid or payable is £45,000 or less

– Include employer's and employee's contributions for the year

– Exclude Class 1A and Class 1B contributions

– Deduct any NIC Rebate due for the year

– Deduct any NIC Holiday claimed

New employers should divide the total Class 1 NICs due in the qualifying tax year, or due date in the current tax year (whichever is appropriate), by the number of relevant months and multiply by 12.

From April 2004, small employers who qualify for Small Employers Relief (SER) were allowed to recover

– 100 per cent of the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) / SAP / SPP paid to their employees

Plus

– 4.5 per cent compensation

From April 2011, small employers who qualify for Small Employers Relief (SER) are allowed to recover

– 100 per cent of the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) / SAP / OSPP / ASPP paid to their employees

Plus

– 3 per cent compensation

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