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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Paying and Recovering - SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP: sole owner of more than one business

If a sole owner has more than one business, and each operates its own PAYE scheme, you have look at the individual circumstances and decide if you can treat them as separate businesses for SMP/SAP/SPP/ShPP purposes.

Consider in these types of cases whether:

  • the staff are recruited by each business
  • the staff are interchangeable between the businesses
  • each business has its own bank account, and
  • each business has its own set of accounts, for example, if one business failed would it directly affect the viability of the others.

If the answers to these questions indicate that they are separate businesses, then the owner would need to total the Class 1 NICs liability in the qualifying tax year for each business to see if they qualified for SER.

Alternatively, if the answers indicate that each business is an integral part of the employer’s trade as a whole then the employer may be less likely to qualify for SER. This is because they would need to calculate the total Class 1 NICs liability in the qualifying tax year for all the businesses.