'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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

    £15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate