'Should my teenage son be reporting his income to the tax office?'

Potential employer seems over-zealous in expecting 15-year-old to produce a P60 for babysitting and carwashing

Q: My 15-year-old son applied for a job over the summer holidays and was told he was suitable. The firm took up his references and then said they couldn't employ him because he hadn't paid tax on his previous earnings.

He's only ever earned a few pounds here and there through babysitting, washing cars for neighbours and so on. The only way the firm can know what he's earned is because he gave one of the neighbours as a referee.

He's still at school so he hasn't had time to earn enough to pay tax. Is this reasonable? He's so disappointed at missing this opportunity. Shouldn't we be encouraging young people to find summer jobs?

MK

A: Just about every teenager in the UK could find themselves in this trap if all firms took this rigid approach. And HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would be in a terrible bind if it decided to send tax inspectors out chasing schoolchildren for details of their earnings.

Anyone, regardless of age, who earns enough in any tax year to exceed the personal allowance (£8,105 in 2012-13) is likely to be liable to pay tax on the amount over and above the personal allowance. Anyone earning money through self-employment should declare it to HMRC even if they aren't liable for any income tax on the earnings. So, in theory, your son should declare his earnings to HMRC.

But given that HMRC isn't in the habit of checking up on children and young people, it must feel it's unlikely that there are vast amounts of unpaid tax owed by teenagers. So, it seems odd the firm is being so strict.

This is probably a case of an HR person being a little overzealous. I would be tempted to write to the company's head of HR explaining that your son has never earned enough to pay tax and asking them to reconsider.

***

Q: We live in a flat which has a long lease. Along with our nine neighbours in the block we have set up a company which owns the freehold and we all own a share in that company.

We are having problems with the property managers we've appointed to carry out maintenance. That has led to disputes and as a result the two flat owners who are the directors of our own company have decided to resign. I don't think anyone else in the block has time to take on being a director but I'm worried about what will happen if no one steps forward at the residents' meeting next week.

I have called Companies House and been told that if there are no directors for 28 days the company will be wound up. What would that mean in real terms?

CS

A: If there are no new directors appointed at the end of 28 days Companies House will step in and wind the company up and the company's assets will belong to the Crown. So in effect the freehold will belong to the Crown.

I suspect that people are just not facing up to the fact that they will have to put a bit more time and effort into their homes than they would like. As you each own a share of the freehold, you and your neighbours are jointly responsible for the whole of the building as well as your own individual flats. It is therefore in your own interests to look after it.

Put in writing what Companies House has said and give everyone a copy before the meeting. If you are prepared to put yourself forward as one of the new directors I'm sure you will find others are prepared to follow your lead.

moneyagonyaunt.com

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

    £20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

    Marketing Manager

    £40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

    Market Risk Manager - Investment Banking - Mandarin Speaker

    £45,000 - £65,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is a well-known APAC Corporate and...

    Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

    £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain