Orca Pay Group partners with WTT Consulting to underpin payroll compliance solution

24th March, 2021

Orca Pay Group is delighted to announce a new partnership with award-winning tax advisers WTT Consulting, whose expertise will underpin The Apex, Orca Pay Group’s pioneering platform designed to ensure supply chain payroll compliance under the Off-Payroll rules.

Recognised by The Contracting Awards as Best Legal, Compliance or Tax Adviser, WTT Consulting has a wealth of experience in the contracting sector, which it will draw upon in providing a monthly audit of payments made by Orca Pay Group to its employees via The Apex.

Off-Payroll rules: Why is payroll compliance so important?

With the Off-Payroll rules due to be introduced to the private sector on 6 April 2021, the partnership is a timely one. Of particular concern to many recruitment agencies and end-clients are the debt transfer provisions within the legislation.

These rules permit HMRC to pursue both parties for any outstanding tax and penalties arising from non-compliance elsewhere in the contractor supply chain. A late addition to the Off-Payroll rules, the debt transfer provisions have reaffirmed the importance of ensuring compliance throughout the supply chain.

Furthermore, unwitting engagement with non-compliant umbrella and payroll companies also risks subjecting recruitment agencies and clients to charges and criminal prosecution under the Criminal Finances Act 2017, which punishes the failure of companies to prevent the facilitation of UK tax evasion by an associated person. Those successfully prosecuted face an unlimited fine and possible ancillary sanctions.

How does a third party payroll audit work?

Protecting against these risks was the key motive behind the development of The Apex, an umbrella payroll platform that provides users with absolute transparency and assurance that payments are being compliantly processed and tax correctly paid.

Though The Apex contains several features which demonstrate and document compliance, WTT Consulting’s audits will provide a crucial independent outlook, subjecting The Apex to professionally regulated assessment procedures.

On a monthly basis, WTT Consulting will examine all payments made via The Apex, ensuring accurate tax and NIC deductions have been made and that holiday pay is correctly calculated.

Having reconciled the deductions against the corresponding HMRC RTI submissions and Orca Pay Group’s company bank account to confirm that every penny of tax has been paid, WTT will then publish a monthly compliance statement.

Payroll audit aims to provide peace of mind

By testing The Apex against WTT Consulting’s rigorous compliance framework, the audit process is intended to help recruitment agencies and their clients achieve absolute clarity and genuine peace of mind.

As Orca Pay Group CEO Robert Sharp highlights, WTT’s specialist expertise makes the tax adviser the ideal partner to help deliver on this promise: “ He adds: “We are proud to be the first umbrella company to actively raise the bar when it comes to compliance and transparency and hope others will follow.”

WTT Consulting Director of Tax Investigations, Tom Wallace, said this: “With the forthcoming changes to IR35 meaning more agencies than ever will be using umbrella companies to make payments to contractors, it has never been more important to bring the highest compliance standards to the industry. We see this as a massive step in transparency at a time when it is needed the most, and we hope that such transparency gives confidence to contractors, agencies, and end clients, becoming the norm for umbrellas of all sizes.”

Orca Pay Group is committed to acting in the best interests of contractors, recruiters and end-clients. To learn more about our pioneering payroll compliance solution, contact a member of our team on 0800 090 3798 or info@orcapaygroup.co.uk.