There has been quite a lot of comment about the distribution of a new starter checklist to be used for employees who commence employment on or after 6 April 2019.
This new checklist is needed to take account of employees with postgraduate loans (PGL). The income threshold for starting to repay a PGL is £21,000, and the debt is repaid at the rate of 6% of income above that level. A former student may have both a plan 1 or 2 undergraduate loan and a PGL. Repayment of the undergraduate loan is collected concurrently with the PGL, but the PGL repayments only start from 6 April 2019.
A link to the new checklist was provided in the HMRC publications released in February: Agent Update issue 70 and Employer Bulletin issue 76. However, when the link is followed it takes you back to the 2016 version of the starter checklist which does not include boxes for the PGL.
Apparently, the new 2019 starter checklist was agreed by the professional bodies and HMRC, but when it was submitted to gov.uk to set up as an online form the ordering of the boxes was changed, so the form was withdrawn.
A new version of the 2019 start checklist should be released soon, so keep an eye out for the next Employer Bulletin due in April, and for emails from HMRC advising that the starter checklist has been amended.
Where an employee has a PGL and needs to make repayments HMRC should send the employer a form PGL1 to instruct the employer to start making deductions. Payroll software for 2019/20 should include an amended FPS which has an additional box to report repayments of PGL.
Written by the Tax Advice Network