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What is cabotage?

Although it sounds like a culinary dish – a cabbage compote (?) – cabotage is defined as the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country. Its present relevance is a rule that restricts hauliers from the EU who can only make two cabotage ...

What is cabotage?

Although it sounds like a culinary dish – a cabbage compote (?) – cabotage is defined as the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country. Its present relevance is a rule that restricts hauliers from the EU who can only make two cabotage ...

Reduction in support for hospitality sector

The temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%), introduced to assist qualifying hospitality trades disrupted by COVID lockdown measures, was increased to 12.5% from 1 October 2021. Based on present information, from 31 March 2022, this 12.5% rate will revert to the 20% standard rate. This reduction in VAT applied to the sales of hospitality trades ...

Tax year end – all change?

At present, self-employed traders (sole traders and partnerships) are taxed for each tax year on profits for the accounting period ending in that tax year. Therefore, if a trader’s accounting year end is 31 December, their assessment for 2021-22 will be based on adjusted profits for the year ending 31 December 2021. Which means that ...

Better late than never

A recent HMRC press release confirmed that sole traders and buy-to-let property businesses (but not incorporated businesses) will have an extra year to prepare for the digitalisation of Income Tax. Recognising the challenges faced by many UK businesses and their representatives as the country emerges from the pandemic, and having listened to stakeholder feedback, the ...

New measures to ease fuel supply chain pressures

The UK Government has announced that further measures will be put in place to help ease supply chain pressures as spikes in demand for fuel create a panic buying hysteria. This added pressure to already stretched supply chains is a further blow to affected businesses across the UK. The Government has announced the new measures ...

Tax Diary October/November 2021

1 October 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2020. 19 October 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2021.) 19 October 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Students are warned of tax scams

University students taking part-time jobs are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, HMRC is warning. Higher numbers of students going to university this year means more young people may choose to take on part-time work. Being new to interacting with HMRC and unfamiliar with genuine contact from the department could make them vulnerable ...

Data easing for the UK?

In a recent press release issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with the leading title “Unleashing Data’s Power”, it was announced: “The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is set for an overhaul to drive greater innovation and growth in the UK’s data sector and better protect the public from major data threats, ...

NIC increase – now you see it, now you don’t

From April 2022, in line with announcements made last month, National Insurance Class 1 contributions (that will affect employed persons and their employers) and Class 4 contributions (that will affect the self-employed), are increasing by 1.25%. These increases will affect all employed and self-employed workers that presently pay National Insurance. This increase will only apply ...

Dividend tax increases

If you have been keeping up with announcements from Downing Street, you will know that from April 2022 the hybrid rates of Income Tax on dividend income are increasing by 1.25 percentage points. The changes from April 2022 are: The first £2,000 of dividends received are free of any additional tax charge, no change here. ...

Dividend tax increase 2022

As well as increasing National Insurance contributions from April 2022 – the 1.25% increase announced earlier this month – the Treasury also increased the hybrid income tax rates applied to dividends received, by the same amount and from the same date. The changes from April 2022 are: The first £2,000 of dividends received are free ...

HMRC warns students of tax scams

HMRC is warning university students new to the world of working to be wary of potential scams. With higher numbers joining university, we are likely to see more students take on part-time work. As many young people may be unfamiliar with HMRC and legitimate contact from the department could make them vulnerable to scams. There ...

NIC and Levy high jinks

No surprises when the Prime Minister announced a hefty 1.25% increase in NIC Class 1 and Class 4 rates from April 2022. The announcement was widely predicted. Effectively, this is a tax increase on earnings (employed or self-employed) and on costs for employers. It is odd that a 1.25% increase in Income Tax would have ...

Government backs UK entrepreneurs with six hundred million of Start Up loans

The UK Government’s Start Up Loans scheme has now provided £600 million in loans to small businesses outside London, providing extensive support for entrepreneurs across the UK. The initiative, run by the British Business Bank, was created in 2012 to provide a wide range of smaller businesses with more opportunities to create jobs, expand and ...

What is round the corner?

Having glimpsed the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, many of us will have everything crossed that progress towards normality will continue. The winter months are not a brilliant time for infection and we should expect the usual rash of flu, and now COVID, cases to increase. In the past two years words ...

Hundreds of business names dismissed by Companies House during pandemic

Over the last two years, Companies House has disallowed more than 800 business names for being ‘too offensive’. Building That Fought Hitler Limited, Cambridge Cannabis Club Limited, Fancy a Bomb Ltd and Fit as Fork Ltd are among the company names that have been rejected by the executive agency and trading fund for the government. ...

Tax-free childcare costs

Families are reminded that they may be able to claim for tax-free childcare costs to help pay for breakfast and after school clubs as children go back to school. In a recent press release HMRC confirmed that Eligible families can save money on their childcare and benefit from a government top-up worth up to £2,000 ...

SMEs can enhance business performance by joining Peer Network scheme

A government-funded Peer Networks scheme is offering support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK. The programme, which is free to join, helps organisations tackle common business challenges through interactive action learning. Additionally, the scheme’s trained mentors help small and medium-sized businesses handle new opportunities and build a strong support network. Business leaders ...

Supply chain issues gaining traction

News broke in recent days that McDonalds were running out of supplies. As a direct result of these supply chain issues their iconic milk shakes are being dropped from menus together with other bottled drinks. These particular shortages will apply to outlets in England, Scotland and Wales. Supplies in Northern Ireland are holding up, so ...

Tax Diary September/October 2021

1 September 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2020. 19 September 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2021) 19 September 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Tax collection options

If you do not pay your tax bill on time and cannot make an alternative arrangement to pay, HMRC can take ‘enforcement action’ to recover any tax you owe. You can usually avoid enforcement action by contacting HMRC as soon as you know you have missed a tax payment or cannot pay on time. They ...

Furlough figures continue to fall

Almost three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March as the economy began to bounce back and businesses reopened, according to new statistics. This is unsurprising as employers are now expected to cover 20% of any hours not worked with government providing 60%. It will be sobering to see how the final ...

Can you claim the marriage allowance?

In a recent news story published on the GOV.UK website, HMRC confirmed that nearly 1.8 million married couples and those in civil partnerships are claiming the Marriage Allowance to save up to £252 a year in Income Tax. The allowance enables married couples or those in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances if ...

Electric vehicles for company car drivers

As most drivers of a company car will be aware, if you have any private use of the vehicle this will result in a significant Income Tax charge. The benefit charge is the way that HMRC levy tax on this benefit in kind; and the higher the CO2 footprint of your company car, the higher ...

HMRC discloses employer explanations for not paying legal minimum wage

‘She only makes the tea’ and ‘my employees are on standby’ are just some of the strange excuses used by businesses who have paid their workers under the National Minimum Wage, the UK tax office has revealed. Every employed worker in Great Britain is legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage, but many employers tried ...

More UK businesses join vaccine uptake drive

In a recent press release the government announced that more of the country’s leading businesses from a variety of industries have pledged their support for the UK’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination programme by offering incentives to vaccinated customers. Asda, lastminute.com, National Express, FREE NOW taxis and Better leisure centres will be offering discounts to people who ...

Fewest number of people on furlough since the scheme began

Furlough numbers have recently fallen to a record-low since the beginning of the pandemic, government data has confirmed. When businesses started reopening earlier this year, furlough numbers plunged by three million and have gradually declined ever since. records show that at the end of June 2021, nearly two million British workers were on furlough, dropping ...

Companies closed after abusing COVID loan support

In what is likely to be the tip of a significant ice-berg, two companies who fraudulently applied for thousands of pounds in grants and loans have been wound up in the courts. According to a recent government press release the two separate companies submitted false documents to at least 41 local authorities and the Government’s ...

Could you benefit from additional tax relief?

Couples may be eligible to reduce their Income Tax by up to £252 a year by sharing their Personal Allowances. HMRC has announced that nearly 1.8 million married couples and those in civil partnership are using Marriage Allowance to save up to £252 a year in Income Tax. Marriage Allowance allows married couples, or those ...

Help to Grow Scheme

It is still possible to register for one of two schemes under the Help to Grow banner.   Help to Grow Management Help to Grow: Management is an Executive Development programme accredited by the Small Business Charter, with 1:1 business mentor support throughout. The 12-week practical curriculum has modules spanning financial management, strategies for growth ...

UK to reduce unnecessary red tape for British businesses

Ministers have revealed bold plans to reform and modernise the way regulations are made and implemented in the UK. Following Brexit, the UK has the freedom to make and implement regulations that place British businesses and consumers first – freeing firms from excessive formality and reducing costs, while boosting competition, innovation and economic growth.   ...

Making use of under-utilised resources

Many businesses will have seen a reduction in activity as a direct result of the COVID pandemic. Assets and resources previously fully employed now lie idle or are under-utilised. In this post today we have listed a few ideas that may help you create new income streams from these resources. For example:   Premises Do ...

New reforms to protect consumers hard-earned cash

The UK Government’s Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has revealed an arsenal of planned reforms to boost competition and protect the public from rip-offs, fraud and exploitation as the pandemic restrictions lift. Plans set out in a new consultation will deliver on the manifesto commitment to ‘give the Competition and Markets Authority enhanced powers to tackle ...

Tax Diary August/September 2021

1 August 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2020. 19 August 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2021) 19 August 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Tax-free property and trading income

You can claim up to £1,000 each tax year in tax-free allowances for property or trading income. If you have both types of income, you will qualify for a £1,000 allowance for each. If your annual gross property income is £1,000 or less, from one or more property businesses you will not have to tell ...

Sponsoring a charity

Charity sponsorship payments are different from donations because your company gets something related to your business in return. Typically, your business brand would be promoted by the charity in some way. You can deduct sponsorship payments from your business profits before you pay tax by treating them as business expenses. Payments qualify as business expenses ...

Business entertaining and tax relief

Expenditure on business entertainment is not allowable as a deduction against profits. Nor may a deduction be made for any expenditure which is incidental to business entertainment. The meaning of ‘incidental’ is not defined by HMRC but should be interpreted to mean any expenditure that is incurred directly or indirectly in connection with the provision ...

VAT – Second-hand cars – using the Margin Scheme

If you sell second-hand vehicles and you were not charged VAT when you purchased the vehicle, using the Margin Scheme will save you money. If you did not use the VAT Margin Scheme, you would have to account for VAT on the full selling price of each vehicle. However, if you use the Margin Scheme, ...

The furlough cliff edge

Unless government has a change of heart the present furlough scheme will close 30 September 2021. Businesses that have depended on this grant to hold teams together will – from 1 October – need to decide if business activity has increased sufficiently to maintain their workforces at current levels or consider redundancy options. Planning is ...

Government acknowledges HGV driver shortage

In an open letter to the UK logistics sector, the Government has announced an urgent initiative to resolve the mounting shortage of lorry drivers in the UK. Following Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of EU nationals – who make up a significant proportion of workers in the UK logistics industry – are having to ...

Time to check Minimum Wage Rates?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a statement urging students and other summer workers to check that they are being paid the correct National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates. In the 2020/21 tax year, HMRC helped over 150,000 workers across the UK to recover over £16 million remuneration that was due to them because incorrect ...

Claiming for work-related expenses

The tax office is now open for claims from employees that have incurred work-related costs for the year to 5 April 2021 and have not been – and will not be – reimbursed by their employers. How to make a claim – the DIY approach You can claim online, by post or by phone. This ...

Is inflation something to be concerned about?

Inflation is a measure of how much the value of currency depreciates each year. For example, if prices for a loaf of bread rise by 3% in a year, you would have to earn that extra 3% to continue to purchase bread, so your extra earnings would have no extra value. According to the Bank ...

Is July 19th freedom-day?

Next week, many of the present lockdown regulations in England are being relaxed. But cautionary guidance has also been published. It recommends: Meeting in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open. Wearing a face covering where you meet people you do not normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces. Washing ...

Business rates overall for England

One of the largest fixed costs associated with business premises are rates payments to local authorities. The present system for reviewing rates in England is somewhat antiquated, the last review in England was 2017. The government had previously undertaken to move to more frequent revaluations, having introduced legislation to bring forward the next revaluations to ...

Furlough support changed 1 July 2021

Employers will need to start contributing to work not done by furloughed employees from 1 July 2021. The update from HMRC is reproduced below: From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced, and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the ...

Tax Diary July/August 2021

1 July 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 September 2020. 6 July 2021 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs. 19 July 2021 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2021 if paid electronically). 19 ...

Taking goods abroad to sell?

You must declare goods that you take with you to sell outside the UK – for example if they are in your baggage or in a private vehicle. There is a different process if you take goods abroad temporarily (for example samples for a trade fair) or use a courier or freight forwarder. Most countries ...

Beware tax credit renewal scams

Tax credits applicants should be vigilant and alert to potential scams, HMRC has warned. In the 12 months to 30 April 2021, HMRC responded to more than 1,154,300 referrals of suspicious contact from the public. More than 576,960 of these offered bogus tax rebates. In the same period, HMRC has worked with telecoms companies and ...

What is the Unclaimed Estates List?

If an individual dies and for whatever reason executors or the Treasury Solicitor’s department are unable to track down beneficiaries, the unclaimed estate falls under the care of the Bona Vacantia and Government Legal Department. The Division publishes a list of unclaimed estates which have been recently referred, but not yet administered, and historic cases ...

July 19th – normality to be resumed?

Release from social distancing restrictions, in England, is deferred until 19 July 2021, which for most of us, means no change up to that date. We are still required to work from home when we can and maintain the other Step 3 social distancing provisions. However, there are a few additional concessions that will apply ...

Business risk is increasing

COVID disruption has added a further layer to the business risk cake. Do you know how many of your customers are at risk of failure? It is estimated that between 20% and 30% of small businesses, and a sprinkling of larger concerns, will cease to trade as we start to emerge from COVID lockdown; if ...

Payroll – late filing penalties 2021-22

HMRC have issued the following comments on their adoption of a risk-based penalty strategy for 2021-22. They said: Following HMRC’s review of the effectiveness of the risk-based approach to late filing PAYE and late payment penalties, we can confirm this approach will continue for the 2021 to 2022 tax year. This means that late filing ...

Informed v guesswork

First, let’s define these terms. “informed” – a decision or judgement based on an understanding of the facts of the situation. “guesswork” the process or results of estimating or concluding something without sufficient information to be sure of being correct. And between these two extremes varying degrees of certainty will apply. From a business point ...

Ready for tax payments next month?

January and July are positive cash flow months for the UK Treasury as a number of significant taxes fall due for collection. Next month, July 2021, taxpayers may need to settle the following liabilities: 1 July 2021, companies with corporation tax due for the year end date 30 September 2020, will need to pay corporation ...

Beware bogus contacts from HMRC

None of us are particularly thrilled to receive communications from HMRC, but fraudulent contacts, by email and other means, are becoming commonplace and innocent members of the public are being left out of pocket. According to HMRC, in the 12 months to 30 April 2021, they responded to more than 1,154,300 referrals of suspicious contact ...

VAT Deferral Scheme deadline

The online portal for the new VAT payment scheme closes on 21 June 2021. Over half a million businesses deferred £34 billion in VAT payments due between March and June 2020 under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme. Businesses had until 31 March 2021 to pay this deferred VAT or, if they could not afford to ...

Outlook for employment

Government continues to be optimistic about the outlook for employment. In a recent press release they said: “Furlough numbers have fallen to their lowest level this year, according to official statistics published 3 June, as the number of people relying on the scheme fell to 3.4 million.” And yet that is still 3.4 million who ...

The 7-year rule

If there is any Inheritance Tax to pay on gifts you make during your lifetime, it is charged at 40% on gifts given in the 3 years before you die. Gifts made 3 to 7 years before your death are taxed on a reducing, sliding scale known as ‘taper relief’. Years between gift and death ...

Tax Diary June/July 2021

1 June 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2020. 19 June 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2021) 19 June 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Importing goods for the first time?

If you are new to the import process the following check list will provide you with a rough guide to what you need to do: You need an EORI number that starts with GB to import goods into England, Wales or Scotland. You will need a new one if you have an EORI that does ...

Furlough scheme ends September 2021

There are still a significant number of UK employees that are furloughed. Unfortunately, this scheme is scheduled to end 30 September 2021. Businesses that are struggling to re-establish themselves following the downside effects of repeated lockdown, may be faced with difficult decisions as this deadline approaches. The pundits are expecting a significant rise in the ...

Prepare benefit in kind returns to HMRC

Next month, as you will see from the Tax Diary notes for July, employers that provide any form of taxable benefit to clients will need to prepare and file P11D returns to HMRC. The deadline to file is 6 July 2021. You will also need to provide employees affected with a copy of their P11D ...

Package holiday refunds

Package holiday companies have been instructed to respect the refund rights of holidaymakers ahead of the summer period. In a recent press release, this is what the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said: The CMA has published a further open letter to the sector and also sent it directly to the 100 package travel firms ...

Update on the Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme

The government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have announced that the temporary Trade Credit Reinsurance (TCR) scheme will close on 30 June as planned. TCR was designed as a temporary solution for companies struggling to get insurance cover for transactions because of the pandemic. It is now ending in the context of a ...

Company super-deductions and tax increases

One of the more innovative aspects of the recent March budget was the introduction of the rather grandly named super-deduction. Limited companies that invest in qualifying assets in the two-year period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023, will be eligible for a 130% tax write-off. What this means is that if you buy say ...

Firm Merger

Following the announcement of the merger of Langdon West Williams and Harmer Slater Limited, Langdon West Williams is now a division of and will trade under the Harmer Slater Limited brand. The new combined business will bring together expertise to provide a comprehensive range of accounting advisory, assurance and tax services tailored to organisations of ...

New tariff suspension scheme for the UK

To reduce costs for UK firms that import certain goods from abroad, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced a new tariff suspension scheme. The aim, according to a recent press release, is designed to make UK companies more competitive. The published details of the scheme are reproduced below: From next month, firms based ...

New rules to curb pension scammers.

The government is helping shut the door on social media scammers trying to plunder people’s pensions under new scam prevention measures due this autumn. Under the plans, suspicious requests could be stopped if pensions savers have been approached to access or transfer their savings uninvited via social media. Such unsolicited contact would trigger a “red ...

How the lockdown rules are changing from 17th May

Fingers crossed that the present rise of the Indian COVID variant is restricted to localised outbreaks and that the intended relaxation of lockdown will generally go ahead as planned from 17th May. It would be a cruel irony if businesses that have been stocking up and training staff were told they could not open after ...

Did you overclaim the SEISS grant?

A reminder that HMRC have set out detailed guidance for the self-employed who may have over-claimed any of their Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants. The guidance is reproduced below: You must tell HMRC if, when you made the claim, you were not eligible for the grant. For example: for the first or second grant, ...

Running a limited company

Limited companies are owned by shareholders and managed by directors. Very often, especially in the case of smaller companies, the owners and managers (shareholders and directors) are the same persons. Unfortunately, each has separate roles and responsibilities. For example, as a director of a limited company you must: follow the company’s rules, shown in its ...

Are your Child Benefits under threat?

For some time now, HMRC have had the power to claw back some or all of the Child Benefits you receive if either parent’s income exceeds £50,000. The benefit is recovered by the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). This states that if either parent had income over £50,000 and: either partner received Child Benefit, ...

Tax Diary May/June 2021

1 May 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 July 2020. 19 May 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2021). 19 May 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 March 2021

The advisory electricity rate for fully electric cars is 4 pence per mile. Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for advisory fuel rates. The advisory fuel rates for petrol, LPG and diesel cars are shown in these tables. From 1 March 2021 You can use the previous rates for up to ...

Averaging profits for creators of literary or artistic works

A special relief is available for creators of literary or artistic works under which they can claim to add together their profits for 2 years and be taxable on the average of those profits if certain conditions are met. This helps to even out fluctuating tax charges for creative persons who may pay little tax ...

Charity – using a subsidiary trading company

One or more charities can set up a subsidiary trading company to trade on their behalf. This may be a useful strategy if your charity: makes profits on trading that is not linked to its primary purpose makes a profit that comes close to or is higher than the small trading tax exemption limit wants ...

A new government-backed loan scheme

A new Recovery Loan Scheme was launched 6 April 2021, to provide much needed liquidity to businesses affected by COVID lockdown measures. Under the scheme, loans of up to £10m are available. The minimum facility sizes vary, starting at £1,000 for asset and invoice finance, and £25,001 for term loans and overdrafts. Potentially, these loans ...

Data Protection obligations

Everyone in business that handles personal data must register for data protection purposes with the Information Commissioners Office. Most business will need to pay an annual fee of £40 or £60 but this can rise to £2,900. Some organisations only pay £40 regardless of their size and turnover. These are: charities and small occupational pension ...

Beware trading into insolvency

The present pandemic has created just the right conditions for certain businesses to trade their way into insolvency. As we start the gradual withdrawal from lockdown, consumers will be on the lookout to spend after months of enforced home “arrest”. This will likely fuel an increase in economic activity on an unprecedented scale as we ...

New build your own home funding

Considering a home build? It would seem that government is keen to support this activity as they have just announced new plans to provide over £150 million in new government funding. This is aimed to make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own homes. The ‘Help to Build’ scheme will ensure ...

New Recovery Loan Scheme

A new government backed loan scheme was launched 6 April 2021. A recent news story confirming the details is reproduced below: The scheme, which was announced at budget and runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through a diverse network of accredited commercial lenders.   26 ...

The new Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The mortgage guarantee scheme that was announced March 2021 is intended as a temporary measure. It will be open for new mortgage applications from April 2021 to December 2022, in line with the government’s view that the current scarcity of high loan-to-value lending is primarily a response to the pandemic rather than a symptom of ...

National Insurance cut for employers of veterans

A National Insurance contributions holiday for businesses who employ armed forces veterans comes into force 6 April 2021. The policy allows employers to claim National Insurance contributions relief for veterans they have hired during their first year of civilian employment after leaving the armed forces. Who qualifies? Employers will only be able to claim National ...

Lockdown rule changes 12 April 2021

On 12 April, the rules that government has required us to follow to combat COVID-19, changed. From that date: non-essential retail will be able to reopen personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen outdoor hospitality ...

Tax Diary April/May 2021

1 April 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2020. 19 April 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2021) 19 April 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Challenges for 2021-22

The new tax year starts 6 April 2021, and without dwelling too much on the historical trickery that has landed us with this odd commencement date, what are the challenges we will need to grapple with in the coming year? Keeping clear of COVID Pretty obvious really, no-one would willingly risk a dose of COVID-19 ...

New National Minimum Wage rates apply from 1 April 2021

Employers who have employees paid at the National Living Wage (NLW) or National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates should be applying new rates of pay from 1 April 2021. In full, the increases from April 1, 2021 are: NLW (23 ) has increased 2.2%, from £8.72 to £8.91 NMW (21-22) has increased 2%, from £8.20 to ...

Small Business Brexit Support Fund

Since 15 March 2021, smaller businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. Small and ...

Furlough scheme changes from 1 July 2021

The government has confirmed its intention that furloughed employees will be paid 80% of their wages for hours not worked under the furlough scheme. Up to 30 June 2021, this payment will be fully-funded by government and capped at £2,500 per month. From 1 July 2021, employers are required to contribute 10% of the 80% ...

Temporary extension of loss relief carry-backs

Many businesses across the UK are likely to make losses in the 2020-21 tax year due to the havoc resulting from COVID disruption. Which was why the announcement in the recent Budget that losses can be carried back for an extended period was most welcome. The policy objective aims to provide a cashflow benefit to ...

Recently self-employed?

If you became self-employed after 5 April 2019 and you have submitted your 2019-20 tax return before 2 March 2021, you may be eligible for the next two Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants for the quarter end 30 April 2021 and the final claims period to 30 September 2021. HMRC has announced that they ...

Super-deductions, what are they?

Perhaps the most innovative give-away in the recent budget was “Super-deductions for investment expenditure”. What does this mean? Companies that invest in qualifying plant and machinery in the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023 will benefit from enhanced capital allowances. Investments in assets that qualify for the main rate of capital allowances ...

New funding for high streets and seaside resorts

The government has announced new measures to support a safe and successful reopening of the high streets and seaside resorts ahead of the summer season. A new £56 million Welcome Back Fund will help councils boost tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas, markets and food stall pop-ups – giving people safer ...

The Finance Bill 2021

An outline of the Finance Bill 2021 has been published and provides the legal framework for changes announced in the recent Budget. We have reproduced below the published text. This is subject to scrutiny by parliament and may change before the Bill receives Royal Assent. The Bill will ensure a number of tax changes set ...

HMRC clarifies furlough queries

HMRC has recently clarified the action you need to take if you have claimed too little or too much under the furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). They are published in a FAQ format. Here’s what they say: What if I’ve claimed too much in error? If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and ...

What are Super-Deductions?

Most company business owners understand that if you incur a cost that is wholly and exclusively for the purpose of your trade, then it can be deducted from your taxable profits or added to tax losses. Likewise, if companies invest in plant or other equipment that qualifies for tax relief, even though the expenditure is ...

Pension pot top-ups before 6 April 2021

The 2020/21 tax year comes to an end on 5 April 2021. As this date approaches, it is prudent to review your pension contributions and consider whether it would be beneficial to top up your pension before the end of the tax year. Is there a limit on tax-relieved contributions? Yes — tax relief is ...

SEISS – the net widens

One aspect of the recent budget will please self-employed business owners that have previously been unable to claim under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as they commenced trading after 5 April 2019. As long as you submitted your self-assessment tax return for 2019-20 before midnight 2 March 2021, and you meet the other qualifying ...

Stealth Tax

You may have noticed that a certain phrase came up more than once in the Chancellor’s Budget speech last week. The phrase went something like this: Allowances/rates will be frozen at this level until April 2026. That’s four years of flat-lining rates and allowances and it applies to income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax ...

Tax Diary March/April 2021

1 March 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2020. 2 March 2021 – Self-assessment tax for 2019/20 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically ...

Minimum Wage levels from April 2021

From April 2021, the National Living Wage (NLW) will be the statutory minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over. It currently applies to workers aged 25 and over. The reduction in the NLW age threshold follows a review of the structure of the National Minimum Wage youth rates and recommendations made by the Low ...

Exporters – simplified declarations

You can make a simplified declaration before you export your goods. This is called ‘presenting’ your goods to customs. The first part of your declaration does not need as much information as a full declaration. When it’s approved, you can export your goods or move them from your premises. You will still need to give ...

Marriage Allowance claim

HMRC published the following press release on Valentine’s Day 2021. HMRC is encouraging married couples and people in civil partnerships to sign up for a tax break this year. Marriage Allowance offers individuals the chance to transfer part of their Personal Allowance to their husband, wife or civil partner, which could reduce their tax by ...

Tax breaks working from home

Employed persons If your employer requires that you work from home, this will apply to many employees during the various COVID lock-down periods, HMRC will allow you to claim for any extra costs associated with working from home. To save you calculating what these extra costs might be, HMRC has agreed a claim based on ...

Spring Budget 2021 Summary

COVID-19 related support measures for UK businesses The Treasury is to continue the two existing major support schemes in an attempt to hold back a significant increase in unemployment rates as business owners grapple with the effects of COVID-19 disruption. Details are set out below. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme This scheme, nicknamed the Furlough Scheme, ...

Gender gap closing in UK board rooms

More than a third (34.3%) of FTSE 350 board positions are now held by women, with the number of women on boards increasing by 50% over the last 5 years, data released today (Wednesday 24 February) shows, representing a dramatic shift in representation at the very highest levels of British business. The data has been ...

Challenges as we emerge from lockdown

There is no guarantee that the heady mix of vaccination and easing of lockdown will contain the spread of COVID-19. However, based on government predictions, they are willing to start the process of easing lockdown restrictions. The relaxation of restrictions will depend on four tests. They are: The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully. Evidence shows ...

Supreme Court determines Uber drivers are workers

In a landmark decision handed out by the Supreme Court last week, the respondents, Yaseen Aslam, James Farrer, Robert Dawson and others have had their claim upheld that they are “workers” and not self-employed drivers for Uber; as such they qualify for rights under the Employment Rights Act, the Minimum Wage Act and Working Time ...

Do you qualify for the fourth SEISS grant?

To qualify for the Self-Employed Support Scheme HMRC expects you to make an honest assessment about whether you reasonably believe your business will have a significant reduction in profits as well as meeting financial considerations based on previously submitted tax returns. The closing date for the third grant – 1 November 2020 to 29 January ...

Tax claims if working from home

Many employed persons will have spent a large chunk of the current tax year, 2020-21, working from home due to COVID restrictions. HMRC will accept a claim to cover any additional costs you may have incurred. Must be required to work from home You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs ...

UK Pensions Bill receives Royal Assent

The UK Pensions Act will bolster protections for savers and further the government’s green agenda by supporting progress towards net zero. New powers to penalise errant bosses The Act will strengthen protections for pension savers by extending the powers of the Pensions Regulator, introducing the power to issue civil penalties of up to £1 million, ...

Prospects for 2021

The short-term outlook for UK businesses operating in sectors badly affected by the present COVID lock-down directives is not good. Many cannot trade, many others are facing reduced turnover. Both will be struggling to maintain reserves – stay solvent – and cash-flow. There are strategies that affected businesses can use to reduce fixed costs and ...

New UK subsidies to replace EU State Aid

The following announcement provides encouragement that a replacement for the EU State Aid process is in development. Details from a recent Government press release are set out below. A new UK-wide system for providing more flexible and tailored financial support to businesses has been set out under plans by the Business Secretary, taking advantage of ...

Current tax year will still end 5 April 2021

It is doubtful that HMRC will change the tax year end date. The current tax year will therefore come to an end on 5 April 2021. Which means that tax-payers still have two months (February and March 2021) to take advantage of any tax planning strategies that may advantage their tax liabilities for 2020-21. As ...

Tax office moves the penalty spot

During the last week of January, HMRC finally accepted that many tax-payers would not make the filing deadline – 31 January 2021 – for their 2019-20 self-assessment tax return; due, in the main, to continuing COVID disruption. As a gesture, they have confirmed that: Self-Assessment tax-payers who cannot file their tax return by the 31 ...

Tax Diary February/March 2021

1 February 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2020. 19 February 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2021) 19 February 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Did you defer VAT payments last year?

If you took advantage of the offer to defer VAT payments falling due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 – to help out with the impact of COVID disruption – your now have three choices. You can: pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021 opt in to the ...

Repay private petrol and save tax

At first sight, company cars drivers whose private fuel costs are met by their employers may seem to be onto a good thing, but there is a nasty tax hit… Enter, the Car Fuel Benefit charge. When the current tax year ends, 5 April 2021, the illustration below demonstrates how a cash payment to an ...

Online payment plans

Almost 25,000 Self-Assessment customers have set up an online payment plan to manage their tax liabilities in up to 12 monthly instalments, totalling £69.1 million, HMRC revealed recently. In October, HMRC increased the threshold for self-serve Time to Pay arrangements from £10,000 to £30,000 for Self-Assessment taxpayers. Once they have completed their 2019-20 tax return ...

Reminder of CIS VAT changes

Contractors and subcontractors registered for VAT and the Construction Industry Scheme will need to use the VAT reverse charge process for building and construction services from 1 March 2021. VAT registered subcontractors affected by this change will no longer add VAT to their invoices to contractors. Instead, the contractors’ accounting system will need to add ...

Business relief for Inheritance Tax

It is possible that your estate will pay no IHT on the valuation of any business assets. The amount of relief available depends on the type of assets held at death. Your estate may be able to claim 50% or possibly 100% relief. You can get 100% Business Relief on: a business or interest in ...

Do you continue to trade with the EU?

Government have set out a list of six actions that all businesses who continue to trade with EU customers or suppliers should complete now that the formal transition has ended.. The list is: Goods – if you import or export goods to the EU, you must get an EORI number, make customs declarations or employ ...

Private residence, court actions available on separation or divorce

Couples may have experienced the difficulties that can arise when couples separate or divorce. One area where they may need to resolve are the options that courts have to direct ownership of the marital home. The courts can exercise their jurisdiction in the following ways. By recognising an existing equitable interest of the spouse or ...

Consider online tax payment plans

January is the month that taxpayers registered for self-assessment need to pay their taxes. Usually, this amounts to any underpayment for the previous tax year and a first payment on account for the current tax year. Unfortunately, HMRC will base their payment on account for 2020-21 on the self-assessment liability for the previous tax year, ...

Why go digital?

There is a major advantage to recording business transactions digitally; once the basic data has been entered it can be interrogated and represented in endless types of reports. During the present COVID disruption this ability to drill down or summarise data should be used to support business owners in making appropriate decisions. Accounting software, used ...

Business Lock-down summary January 2021

We have prepared the following lists from information published on the GOV.UK website. It sets out which businesses are required to close, and which can remain open during the current COVID lock-down. Those required to close face compounded financial difficulties as their ability to create revenue is at best restricted and in many cases stopped ...

Is your 2019-20 tax return filed?

Readers who have not yet filed their 2019-20 self-assessment tax return for 2019-20 have less than one month to do so. The online filing deadline is 31 January 2021. Could clients reading this article, who have not supplied all the information we have requested to complete their outstanding 2019-20 returns, please contact us with any ...

Best wishes for 2021

The turning of the old year into the potential for the new year has usually generated the Happy New Year salutation. And indeed, we do wish our readers all the very best for 2021. But what challenges we face. Will schools reopen, are we facing a further national lock-down, will our already extended business owners ...

The transition period has ended

From the beginning of this month the Brexit transition period has ended. Negotiations to secure a trade agreement between the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021, have completed and we have a deal. Readers who import or export goods from or to the EU will now need to face the following challenges in ...

Tax Diary January/February 2021

1 January 2021 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 March 2020. 19 January 2021 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 January 2021. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 January 2021) 19 January 2021 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Strategies for the self-employed

The end of the calendar year is a popular accounting date for many businesses, but for those of us with a year-end accounting date of 31 March 2020, reviewing your management accounts for the nine months to the end of December 2020 can have real benefits. For example: If you are self-employed and for the ...

The end is nigh

In just three short months the present tax year – 2020-21 – will end midnight, 5th April 2021. The UK’s tax code is predominantly time limited. Any reliefs and exemptions from UK taxes for 2020-21 will mostly expire at the end of the tax year. Accordingly, there is an imperative to review your tax affairs ...

Scammers posing as HMRC

We already have more than our fair share of adversity to deal with at present, don’t let criminals add to your woes by defrauding you of hard-earned cash resources. HMRC has recently published a warning to taxpayers about scammers posing as HMRC employees. They said: Self-Assessment customers should be alert to criminals claiming to be ...

Concerned about tax payments due 31 January 2021?

UK taxpayers that file a tax return will need to pay a variety of self-assessment tax and NIC liabilities that will fall due at the end of January 2021. They include:   · The second payment on account for 2019-20 if deferred when first due 31 July 2020. · Any balance of taxes unpaid for ...

Parting shot from the Chancellor

For a man that has admitted he has concerns about the level of government funding committed to the support of businesses during the last nine months, Rishi Sunak’s disclosure last week that he is extending the furlough scheme to the end of April 2021 points to a deepening concern in government that we are not ...

Looks like we are heading for a no-deal exit from the EU

If the following criteria apply, this is what our government recommend that you do from 1 January 2021: You: Are British Live and work in the UK Travel to the EU for business reasons Have no plans in the short-term to travel abroad for holidays Do not plan to move to the EU Run and/or ...

Accounting for import VAT on your VAT return

From 1 January 2021, if your business is registered for VAT in the UK, you will need to consider how to treat VAT added to imports from the EU. Accounting for import VAT on your VAT Return means you will declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, rather than having to pay ...

Possible crackdown on unfair employment clauses

The following update is copied from a government press release recently issued by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. New proposed measures to allow workers’ greater freedom to find new or additional work were unveiled by Business Secretary Alok Sharma 4 December 2020. In a major win for the UK’s lowest paid workers, ...

What have we learnt from 2020?

To answer this question, we should take a look at a few adjectives that have been used to describe COVID-19’s effects on our personal and business lives. For example, unexpected, unprecedented, disruptive… Prior to the pandemic we assumed that tomorrow would turn out much like yesterday. Many businesses had become accustomed to managing cash flow ...

Summary of spending review 2021-22

A summary of the business elements of the recent Spending Review for next year are set out below: Continuing the UK’s recovery from coronavirus The Spending Review has set out the government’s intention to maintain support to protect jobs, businesses and livelihoods, while stimulating the UK’s economic recovery. In the Spending Review the government has ...

Tax Diary December 2020/January 2021

1 December 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 28 February 2020. 19 December 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 December 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 December 2020) 19 December 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Customs changes from 1 January 2021

Most smaller businesses will not have the resources to train and employ their own customs clearance staff in which case you may have to consider using a customs agent or broker. We have reproduced the advice on the GOV.UK website on this critical issue below. If you do import or export goods from and to ...

Trivial benefits are not so trivial

A reminder that It is possible to make small tax-free payments to employees, including directors, and this might be an appropriate time to make a small tax-free bonus in advance of the annual Christmas, New Year holidays. Employers and employees don’t have to pay tax on small benefits provided they comply with the following rules: ...

Self-Assessment filing deadline draws near

If you have still not submitted all of the information we need to complete your 2019-20 tax return, could we ask you to respond as soon as you can as the deadline is fast approaching – 31 January 2021. HMRC has made no announcement that this deadline will be extended. Accordingly, the initial £100 late ...

More on extended furlough scheme

Most employers who are eligible will be aware that the furlough scheme (the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) has been extended for five months – from 1 November 2020 to 31 March 2021. The general terms for the first quarter to 31 January 2021 are: Maximum claim per employee is 80% of hours not worked. Furlough ...

Employers note increase in National Living Wage

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, confirmed a small increase in the National Living Wage rates from April 2021. Employers will need to diarise these increases otherwise they may break their obligation to pay these rates and risk penalties. The increase in the NLW will mean that low-paid workers’ incomes rise broadly in line with predicted wage ...

Are you ready for 1 January 2021?

When we awake to the new year we will no longer be in transition; we will be out of the EU and will have to cope with a wide range of regulatory changes if we buy or sell goods or services to EU suppliers and customers. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy recently ...

Furlough claims from 1 November 2020

If you are making claims under the extended furlough scheme from 1 November 2020 you need to be aware of changes in the claims process. Perhaps the most significant is that claims need to be registered within 14 days of the relevant period end. In their revised guidance on this topic HMRC say: You can ...

Are you eligible for further self-employed grants?

Two quarterly grants have been paid to UK self-employed traders that qualify for the Self- Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). These covered the periods up to 31 October 2020. The Chancellor has announced that two further quarterly payments will be made. Traders will still need to qualify for the payments and in particular: Have been ...

Current businesses subject to lock-down

We have reproduced below a list of businesses which must close during the period 5 November to 2 December 2020. Business based in England and required to close To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include: Non-essential retail, such ...

Are you eligible for Universal Credit?

What to do if you are placed in a financial position where you do not have sufficient income to meet your monthly outgoings and you are unable to find work to plug the gap. The main government assistance for those who find themselves in this position is to register for Universal Credits. The following notes ...

Government financial support extended

Government financial support for UK businesses affected by the COVID pandemic have been extended in the past week. Thankfully, relief for employees of affected companies and the self-employed have been announced in tandem. A short summary of the main changes follows: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) This furlough scheme will now be extended until the ...

Get ready for end of EU transition period

Government have recently promoted their online webinars that aim to support businesses who will be affected by the end of the EU exit transition period, 31 December 2020. Here’s what the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial activity have to say: Over 3,000 people have attended government webinars to help them get ready for the ...

Are you making the most of your accounts data?

Many of us have taken the step from manual to digital accounting systems. But are you making the most of features provided? Without a doubt, accounts software offers a wealth of reports many of which will likely be of limited use to businesses, however, many will be of use. There is a temptation to stick ...

Tax Diary November/December 2020

1 November 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 January 2020. 19 November 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 November 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 November 2020.) 19 November 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Make hay while higher rate relief is available

For many years Chancellors have threatened to reduce the Income Tax relief that can be claimed for payments into a private pension scheme. There have been reductions in the amount of contributions that can be made and the size of the pension fund that can be accumulated, but thus far, allowable contributions may still attract ...

How much of your estate will be taxed?

The present rate of Inheritance Tax (IHT) that is payable by your executors on your taxable estate is 40%. The good news is that you can reduce the impact of this tax, which effectively reduces the amount of your hard-won assets that is received by your beneficiaries. For example: The first £325,000 is tax-free. This ...

Students warned to avoid tax scams

Readers with children at university should pass on this message as students starting university this year are being warned by HMRC that they could be targeted by a fresh wave of tax scams. As new students start the academic year, they can be particularly vulnerable to cybercrime. With universities taking a blended approach to online ...

Cash back at all shops

Brits will be able to get cashback from shops without needing to buy anything under new proposals to protect the UK’s cash system announced 15 October 2020. Under the government proposals, cashback without a purchase could be widely available from retailers of all sizes in local communities across the UK. Although cash use is declining, ...

Tax return reminder

HMRC have recently published a press release entitled “Just 100 days left for Self -Assessment”. Before readers make the obvious connection, that this heralds the end of tax returns in the UK, it is purely a reminder that 2019-20 Self-Assessment returns need to be filed by 31 January 2021. Gathering together the information to complete ...

The Job Support Scheme options – open and closed

The revised Job Support Scheme (JSS) announced in the last few days comes in two varieties: Open and Closed. JSS Open Businesses in Tier 2 areas, that suffer the restrictions to sociability rules, never-the-less are not required to close. This is an insidious outcome for these traders, particularly those in the hospitality sector, as they ...

Export Growth Plan to help businesses

A package of measures to help businesses in England build back better following the pandemic was recently announced by the Government. The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Export Growth Plan provides additional financial support and expertise, some of which is targeted towards specific regions that are most in need. The plan includes a £38 million ...

Planning a new business?

If you are starting to give serious consideration to setting up your own business one of the issues you will need to consider is the type of business structure that best fits your planned business activity. How risky is your business? All business activity involves a certain degree of risk. Many of these risks can ...

New Freeports to complement post-Brexit trade

The government has outlined new plans for Freeports to turbo-charge post-Brexit trade. Details have been released that assert a number of new freeports are being planned across the UK. The first new Freeport is on track to open by the end of 2021. Responding to the consultation on the proposals the government confirmed that sea, ...

New rules for debt letters

The letters borrowers receive from their lenders when they are seriously behind on repayments will be easier to understand and less intimidating as a result of new rules proposed by the Treasury last week. The aim is to reduce stress and anxiety that borrowers may experience if they are unable to keep up with repayments ...

Extension of the Job Support Scheme

This extended support will be available to businesses across the UK that are required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. Businesses required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible to claim under this extended JSS scheme. To make a claim, employers must have ...

Have you over-claimed for COVID related support grants?

Readers who may have inadvertently over-claimed grants, the furlough scheme for example, should remedy the situation before HMRC start pro-actively investigating claims. The Finance Act 2020, contains an amnesty for notifying HMRC of any errors or overclaims within 90 days of the later of: any tax charge being payable due to the overclaim and the ...

New measures to sort late payers

New proposals have been outlined by government to ensure small businesses in the UK are paid on time. Currently £23.4 billion worth of late invoices are owed to small firms across Britain, impacting on businesses’ cash flow and ultimate survival. The proposals, as part of a new consultation launched 1 October 2020, look to give ...

Tax Diary October/November 2020

1 October 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 December 2019. 19 October 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 October 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 October 2020.) 19 October 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Smart Data laws on the way?

Consumers and small businesses will benefit from better deals and savings through innovative services, thanks to new Smart Data laws proposed by government. Smart Data enables businesses to provide consumers with more intuitive, easy-to-use services such as better account and bill management, switching services for savings, and targeted support for vulnerable consumers, by allowing businesses ...

Are you recording customers’ contact details?

In a press release issued 10 September 2020, the Department for Health and Social Care has reminded affected businesses that they have a legal obligation to record the contact details of their customers, visitors and staff. Affected concerns in England should note: businesses and other public settings where people meet socially including hospitality, close contact ...

Additional grant aid for local lockdown businesses

Last month the Treasury announced further support for businesses adversely affected by lockdown in local areas to control local outbreaks. Local Authorities will be funded to pay the grants now offered. Businesses in England required to close Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to ...

Annual Christmas bash?

Trying to double guess the social distancing rules is rather like placing bets on a throw of the dice. The current exhortation from the Prime Minister – to observe the rule of six – is yet a further change in the endless attempts at controlling coronavirus by manipulating social distancing regulation. But we all need ...

The new Job Support Scheme

After much head scratching at the Treasury, the son of the furlough scheme has been unveiled. Aptly called a Job Support Scheme JSS). When the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme finishes 31 October 2020, employers will need to register for the JSS which is being made available for six months from 1 November 2020. The JSS ...

100 towns to share 80 million pounds

Over 100 towns in England will be given up to £1 million to kick start regeneration projects and give areas a boost. This funding, which ranges from £500,000 up to £1 million per town, will be used to support projects that will make a difference to the area, such as new green spaces, the creation ...

The new Winter Economy Plan

Job Support Scheme A new 6-month scheme starting from 1 November 2020. This scheme has been designed to support viable jobs and employees must work at least one-third of their hours, paid as normal, in order to qualify for the scheme. The government and employer will then each cover one-third of any remaining hours the ...

Contact details or else…

Hospitality trades are now mandated to collect the contact details of customers. Which logically assumes that if a customer refuses to provide this information they must be turned away? The contact details required include: name contact number date of visit arrival time departure time, if possible All collected data must comply with GDPR and will ...

Are you ready for NHS COVID-19 app?

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app. The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues QR codes will be an ...

Travel corridors

It is almost impossible to keep up with changes to overseas territories that require us to self-isolate when returning to the UK from a holiday or business trip. The government have coined the phrase “travel corridor” to provide a focus for countries that are considered COVID hot spots – and therefore exempt or removed from ...

HMRC put their case

HMRC has been at the forefront of the government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the extraordinary challenges being faced by millions of individuals and businesses. According to HMRC: The department successfully developed and implemented schemes at unprecedented speed to deliver financial support to more than 12 million employed and self-employed workers via the Coronavirus ...

Employer obligations to employees working at home

It may surprise many smaller employers with staff working from home that they still have health and safety responsibilities. The following notes published by ACAS should be considered: Employers should: talk to their employees and workers about how they might improve working from home arrangements continue to consider which roles and tasks can be done ...

Are taxes on the increase?

There has been the usual political speculation that taxes will be increased in the forthcoming budget to pay for COVID grants and support. Leaving aside the economic arguments for and against, what planning adjustments can we make now assuming that business taxes will increase? Corporation tax It has been rumoured that corporation tax (CT) will ...

Government support for certain self-isolating cases

Government is to implement a new payment for people on low incomes in areas with high rates of COVID-19, who need to self-isolate and can’t work from home. Payments of up to £182 to be made to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts. The scheme will start in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle, ...

E-commerce eases COVID disruption

Online sales soared by 800% for London-based start-up, OLLY’S, after losing 40% of its monthly revenue overnight due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The following was reported on the GOV>UK website recently: Founded in his parents’ kitchen three years ago, a love of olives inspired Olly Hiscocks to create the world’s first unpasteurised olive snack pouch. ...

Tax Diary September/October 2020

1 September 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 November 2019. 19 September 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 September 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 September 2020) 19 September 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Tenants protection under the Coronavirus Act 2020

From the 26 March 2020, the following rights of landlords and tenants regarding eviction apply. A summary of the provisions is set out below: The Coronavirus Act 2020 protects most tenants and secure licensees in the private and social rented sectors by putting measures in place that say where landlords do need to issue notices ...

Redundancy pay

If you are faced with making employees redundant, the terms that determine the amount payable may be written into your staff contracts of employment. Otherwise, employees will normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay if they have been working with you for two years or more. Entitlement is usually based on: half a week’s pay ...

VAT deregistration strategy

If you are presently registered for VAT but your turnover has dropped below £83,000 you could deregister for VAT. However, you do not have to deregister. Disadvantages and advantages of deregistration If you buy significant amounts of goods and services that include a VAT charge, then if you deregister you will not be able to ...

UK residence and tax

Your UK residence status affects whether you need to pay tax in the UK on your foreign income. For example, non-residents only pay tax on their UK income – they do not pay UK tax on their foreign income. Whereas UK residents normally pay UK tax on all their income, whether it’s from the UK ...

Claiming the Job Retention Bonus

As readers will no doubt be aware the present Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is due to cease at the end of October 2020. However, there is a bonus claim that certain employers can make next year if they retain employees beyond the present 31 October 2020 deadline. The Job Retention Bonus (JRB) is subject to ...

Windfall for thrifty teenagers

Thrifty teenagers, or rather teenagers with thrifty parents, will soon gain access to their Child Trust Fund (CTFs) savings, and some, may not even know it is there…   CTFs were originally set up for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, with a live Child Benefit claim. Parents and guardians received ...

Clearing myths on student loans

Students grappling with the latest A level results will no doubt be faced with decisions regarding student loans to finance their time at university if they chose that option. There are a number of myths surrounding this source of funding and in a recent news story government attempted to dispel some of these myths. They ...

Contractors urged to go green

The government is keen to sell its Green Home Grant policy to the building trade. In a recent press release Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: Tradespeople across England are urged to step forward and sign up to be able to offer services through the government’s new Green Homes Grants scheme – as over 1,000 businesses ...

The authorities are not asleep

It is tempting to assume that government departments are drawing back from exercising their powers to challenge taxpayers due to COVID disruption, but it would be unwise to assume this is the case. For example, in a recent legal action undertaken by the Insolvency Service, a construction boss was banned from running companies for nine ...

Tax Diary August/September 2020

1 August 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 October 2019. 19 August 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 August 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 August 2020) 19 August 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Changes to Capital Gains Tax underway?

In an update to the GOV.UK website recently the following post appeared: The Chancellor has written to the OTS (Office of Tax Simplification), to ask the OTS to undertake a review of Capital Gains Tax and aspects of the taxation of chargeable gains, in relation to individuals and smaller businesses. As well as looking at ...

Keep an eye on the numbers

Recent economic forecasts for 2020 published by H M Treasury will do little to inspire business confidence. In their comparison of independent forecasts published last month, the unemployment rate is estimated to rise to 8% and in the same period, GDP falls by 9%. The only good news is that inflation remains on the low ...

VAT changes

In an attempt to address the financial difficulties of businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries, Rishi Sunak also announced a range of VAT reductions on selected supplies for these sectors. Summary of the changes are set out below: Hospitality When you supply food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on your premises, between 15 July ...

Stamp duty changes- residential property

In his recent Summer Statement, Rishi Sunak announced changes to the nil rate band of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to be applied in England and Northern Ireland. This was followed by announcements from the Scottish and Welsh regional assemblies who set the rates in Scotland and Wales. Here is a brief summary of the ...

FIx your bike voucher scheme

A Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme has been launched by the Department for Transport as an incentive to encourage the numbers of people using their bikes to commute and for leisure purposes. How the scheme works Bike repairers must be located in England. Bike repairers must meet certain eligibility criteria including the possession of valid ...

New law clarifies redundancy rights

New legislation applies from 31 July 2020 to ensure that furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced amount based on their furloughed pay. Business owners who are considering their options – to bring back furloughed staff or consider redundancy – are now obliged to consider new legislation ...

Making Tax Digital – getting prepared

We have been waiting for some time for government to announce an extension to its Making Tax Digital (MTD) program; this they did last week. What is MTD? HMRC are keen to digitise the collection of information to calculate your tax liabilities. At present they are reliant on you submitting a variety of tax returns ...

Brexit – get someone to deal with customs for you

It seems fairly likely that we are heading for a no-deal exit from the EU, 1 January 2021. Many smaller businesses that presently import or export goods from and to the EU will need to deal with a complex raft of customs and VAT issues if they continue trade with the EU after this date. ...

Losses and loans

Many businesses in vulnerable sectors may have slipped into a loss making position following lock-down. Some of those businesses may have availed themselves of government backed “soft” loans to provide them with the cash-flow to survive the process. Even with rigorous planning to reduce costs, furlough employees and benefit from other COVID related grants, businesses ...

Audiences back in theatres from 1 August

Social distancing will be challenging theatre and other performance arts facilities as they grapple with the news announced last week that indoor performance with socially distanced audiences will be able to take place across the country from 1 August 2020. The idea that an audience can be socially distanced is mind boggling, adds a whole ...

Employers face difficult choices

The furlough scheme has enabled employers to defer decisions about their workforce – who to retain, who to let go – but as from the beginning of August 2020, employers will be obliged to meet the furlough costs on an incremental basis. Another change this month, July 2020, is that employees can be invited back ...

Time to dust-off your gym shoes and swimming togs

The government announced further easing of lock-down restrictions last week. Outdoor pools can reopen to the public from 11 July, followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July 2020. In a recent press release they said: The Government has outlined the measures that will allow outdoor pools to reopen from 11 July ...

Its tax payment time again

If you submit a self-assessment tax return you may need to consider your options as any second payments on account for 2019-20, are coming due for payment 31 July 2020. In a nut-shell you have three options:   Defer payment until 31 January 2021 As part of his support for taxpayers during the present disruption, ...

Summer Statement 8 July 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak continued with his campaign to support the business and jobs community today, 8 July 2020, as firms engage with the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to control infection. The main thrust of his announcements during his Summer Economic update concerned his nominated Plan for Jobs 2020, ...

Which businesses can reopen 4th July 2020

As the town of Leicester demonstrates, the recent announcement that many businesses would be able to reopen since 4 July 2020, depends on local conditions. Rates of infection in Leicester are causing concerns and consequently, local businesses were unable to reopen. However, for the rest of England (regional variations may apply for Scotland, Wales and ...

What happens if VAT rates are changed

A number of EU countries have reduced VAT rates in an attempt to stimulate the economy: if VAT rates fall, prices should fall encouraging consumers to spend more. There has been much press commentary recently that Rishi Sunak will announce a similar reduction in the UK. Note, at present this is pure speculation. If announced, ...

Tax Diary July/August 2020

1 July 2020 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 September 2019. 6 July 2020 – Complete and submit forms P11D return of benefits and expenses and P11D(b) return of Class 1A NICs. 19 July 2020 – Pay Class 1A NICs (by the 22 July 2020 if paid electronically). 19 ...

New support for High Street

A package of support to help high streets to get back on their feet was launched 12 June 2020. This announcement was made just days before shops were allowed to reopen on 15 June. The High Streets Task Force will provide access to cutting-edge tools, training, information and advice for high streets across England as ...

Brexit – no extension to transition period

It is now confirmed that the UK will neither accept nor seek any extension to the Transition Period. From 1 January 2020, the UK will have the autonomy to introduce its own approach to goods imported to GB from the EU. Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, and following the announcement ...

Parents returning from paternity or maternal leave

One aspect of the 1 July changes to the CJRS was the closing date to new entrants was set as 30 June 2020. This disadvantaged parents who had been on extended parental or maternal leave in recent months and were intending to return to work after 30 June. The government has now confirmed that parents ...

Unwinding furlough

Last month we commented on the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that commenced at the beginning of this month (1 July 2020). Now that we have the option to bring back employees on a part-time basis and still have a measure of support for their unpaid time, what considerations should we consider ...

Lock-down independence day 4th July 2020

The changes to lock-down announced by the Prime Minister last week are summarised below. Most are effective from 4th July 2020. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines. From the same date, two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing ...

Option to defer VAT payments ends this month

One of the government’s schemes to assist VAT registered businesses with their cashflow during the current COVID disruption was the deferral of VAT payments. The VAT payments that could be deferred cover payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. VAT traders that have taken advantage of this support will have likely deferred ...

Leaving salaries or dividends in your company

Director/shareholders of small companies may be considering reducing their salaries and/or dividends during this uncertain period. Even if firms are managing to maintain profits or breakeven, prudence would suggest that until things improve we should do what ever we can to preserve cash reserves. Many directors have taken the sensible option to minimise their salaries ...

New support for High Street retailers

The High Street Task Force has launched a range of support options for High Street traders in England. In a press release issued 12 June it was announced:   A package of support to help high streets to get back on their feet has been launched ahead of shops reopening from 15 June. The High ...

Problems as we emerge from lock-down

The precautions taken by government to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, commonly known as lock-down, have created varying problem for UK businesses. As we ease our way out of lock-down many of us will have further issues to confront. This post considers some of those issues. According to the Office for National Statistics, economic activity in ...

Ban on evictions extended by two months

Renters across England and Wales will receive greater protection after the government extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August.   The Ministry of Housing published the following press release 5 June 2020: Millions of renters across England and Wales will receive greater protection after the government extended the suspension of new evictions until ...

Furlough scheme changes clarified

HMRC released more information on the up-coming changes to the furlough scheme (CJRS) last week. A summary of two of the issues are set out below. Have you over-claimed? If you have made an error when making a claim under the CJRS and as a result you have received too much money, you must pay ...

Re-opening retail businesses from June 2020

A time-table has been announced for the re-opening of thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres in England once they are COVID secure. The Prime Minister’s announcement published 25 May 2020 says: outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to ...

Tax Diary June/July 2020

1 June 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2019. 19 June 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2020) 19 June 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Trade Credit Insurance update

Trade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of thousands of business to business transactions, particularly in non-service sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. It covers suppliers selling goods against the company they are selling to, defaulting on payment and giving businesses the confidence to trade with one another. Due to Coronavirus and businesses struggling to ...

Calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours

Government guidelines on this topic advise: The amount of pay that a worker receives for the holiday they take depends on the number of hours they work and how they are paid for those hours. The principle is that pay received by a worker while they are on holiday should reflect what they would have ...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

On 12 May 2020, the Chancellor confirmed that this scheme will be extended until 31 October 2020. On the 29th May he confirmed the details of how the scheme would be changed to a flexible arrangement from 1 July 2020. Until 1 September 2020, claims for time not worked will continue to be based on ...

Self-employed grants claim process now open

Since 13 May 2020, it has been possible to use online processes, accessed via the gov.uk website, to: Clarify if you are eligible to apply for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, and Lodge your claim. Payment should usually be in your bank account within 6 days. Are you eligible? By entering your unique tax reference ...

Changes to Self-Employed and furlough schemes

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the following changes to the Self-Employed Income Support (SEISS) and Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes (CJRS) at the close of business last week. SEISS changes In response to lobbying by interested business groups this scheme has been extended for a final three-month period (June – August 2020). The amount being offered ...

Waiving salaries or dividends

HMRC advice for people choosing to give up their income to support their business or donate to charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been published. Business owners who have decided to give-up their rights to receive dividends, salary or bonuses from their companies need to follow HMRC’s guidelines to be effective. To be effective ...

Coronavirus – Business update 27 May 2020

This week, the formal process to claim back certain Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments is launched. From 26 May 2020, employers can register their claim using a new online process. Making a claim To use the online service, you will need the Government Gateway user ID you received when you registered for PAYE Online. If ...

Cash boost for new business start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. It was announced 20 May 2020, that government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million. The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus ...

Social distancing at work

The following guidelines have been released to cover social distancing concerns if working in offices or call centres. The objective being to maintain 2m social distancing whenever possible. The published guidelines are: You must maintain social distancing in the workplace wherever possible. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to ...

Title: Coronavirus – Business support updates 19 May 2020

Trade credit insurance guarantee Last week, the government announced that businesses with supply chains that rely on Trade Credit Insurance, and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to coronavirus disruption, will get support from government. In a news story released 13 May 2020, the Treasury said: Trade Credit Insurance provides cover to hundreds of ...

Six-month extension to MOT dates

A reminder that if you need to renew your vehicle MOT after 30 March 2020, the usual annual renewal date should have been extended by six-months. Conditions that apply are: Eligibility Your MOT certificate will be extended by six-months if it was due to expire on or after 30 March 2020 and your vehicle is ...

Coronavirus – Business support updates 13 May 2020

Easing back from lock-down Boris Johnson made his long-awaited statement on the government’s plans to ease lock-down (7pm, Sunday 10 May 2020). No great surprises and we have included a brief business-related summary in this post. In his address he said: And the first step is a change of emphasis that we hope that people ...

Claiming tax relief for home office expenses

In the past, claims for the costs of home office furniture and other equipment has been difficult to obtain unless your employer dictates that you must work from home. With the advent of lock-down and working from home now mandated for a large proportion of the working population, HMRC are being inundated with claims. Employees ...

Tax Diary May/June 2020

1 May 2020 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 July 2019. 19 May 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2020). 19 May 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Companies House support for ailing businesses

The following announcement was recently made by Companies House: Businesses will be given additional support to help them meet their legal responsibilities under changes announced today (16 April 2020). Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will give businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they ...

Claiming Child Benefits for new-borns

General Register Offices are currently operating with reduced capacity and with government guidance to social distance and stay at home, new parents are advised not to visit them. They can however still claim Child Benefit without having to register their child’s birth first to ensure that they do not miss out. If they already claim ...

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

There has been considerable commentary in the media about this support initiative as business owners – struggling to cope with the reduction in their cash resources due to the COVID-19 outbreak – are finding it difficult to secure support from their bank. Readers will be encouraged by the Chancellor’s recent comments when he confirmed that ...

Self-employment income support scheme

If you are eligible, payments under the above scheme are due to be made by HMRC next month, June 2020. Readers who need financial support at an earlier date can still apply for Universal Credits as an interim measure. Who can claim under SEISS? To qualify for a payment under SEISS you will need to ...

E-publications get VAT boost

From 1 May 2020, VAT on e-publications has been scrapped. Good news for those of us who subscribe to newspapers online or buy books to read on electronic devices. The change will potentially slash the cost of e-books and newspapers making reading more accessible as people stay at home. Newspapers will also benefit from up ...

Coronavirus – Business update 4 May 2020

Low interest rates announced for Bounce-Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) This new scheme announced last week, was the subject of a letter from the Chancellor (1 May 2020) to the accredited lenders who have been instructed to facilitate the scheme since 4 May 2020. In his letter he said: In my statement to the House of ...

Do not forget to file returns for benefits and expenses

Aside from the plethora of schemes to support businesses during the coronavirus disruption, employers should not forget that there is a raft of filing obligations that still need to be met. This post lists the various employer reporting obligations regarding employee benefits and expenses for 2019-20.   The following table is reproduced from the government ...

Aggressive rent collection to be banned

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent press release a government spokesperson said: “The majority of landlords and tenants are working well together to reach agreements on debt obligations, but some landlords have ...

Carry-over of unused annual leave

The rules that would have limited the rights of employees in key industries to carry forward any unused annual leave will be delighted by the announcement made two weeks ago. This will mainly apply to workers in key industries such as food and healthcare. Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave ...

COVID-19 – support grants and loans update

This week has seen a flurry of changes to the various government support schemes. We have summarised a few in this article. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) The HMRC portal – where you formally register your claim – should be live as from 20 April 2020. HMRC have published a “user” guide to the claims ...

Coronavirus – Business update

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Employers will be relieved that the waiting is over, as of 5.30am this morning (20 April 2020), they can login to HMRC’s new portal and claim their CJRS rebate for the first pay periods. HMRC have promised that money will be in employers’ bank accounts within six working days of ...

Safety first options for manufacturing and retail sectors

Both of these sectors require people to work in close proximity to each other. Government has issues broad guidelines to reduce the risks for workers from Coronavirus. Manufacturing and processing businesses Manufacturing plays an important role in the economy. It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible. Where it ...

More Coronavirus tax support options

Apart from the main business and personal tax reliefs that have received publicity in the past few weeks, a number of supplementary support items have been introduced. We have highlighted two in this post.   Claiming Child Benefits for new-borns General Register Offices are currently operating with reduced capacity and with government guidance to social ...

Tax planning options for 2020-21

The 6th April marks the beginning of a new tax, and for the coming year, unprecedented challenges. As with most things in life, problems are a necessary precursor to finding solutions. We have listed below a few reminders of the issues you may want to consider as worthy of including in your 2020-21 tax planning ...

How to apply for a Business Interruption Loan

The British Business Bank has updated its guidance on how to apply for the recently changed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). A summary follows; Who can you apply to? Most of the UK High Street banks can provide a CBILS loan facility. As your present bankers already know you and your business, for most ...

Dividends excluded from job support scheme calculations

When first announced as a news story, published by government 26 March 2020, information regarding the support scheme for the self-employed included a telling paragraph. It said: Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary ...

Tax Diary April/May 2020

1 April 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 30 June 2019. 19 April 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 April 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 April 2020). 19 April 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Changes to Entrepreneurs Relief

Prior to 11 March 2020, business owners could sell multiple, qualifying businesses during their lifetime, and as long as the total chargeable gains did not exceed £10m, a reduced rate of Capital Gains Tax of just 10% would apply. Since budget day, 11 March 2020, this lifetime allowance has been reduced to £1m. Business owners ...

Protecting cash flow – tax payments

It is unlikely that our businesses will be unaffected by the inevitable slow-down in economic activity as the Coronavirus outbreak starts to bite. Maintaining a strict control over your personal and business cash-flow is going to be a key decider in surviving this process. A major expenditure item is taxation whether that be VAT, PAYE/NIC, ...

Business rates changes

In England The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year, expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors and increase the rates discount for qualifying pubs to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief (which provides full relief for businesses using a single property with a rateable ...

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Employers have been rightly worried about the cost of funding SSP for employees that are self-isolating or suffering from the COVID-19 virus. Especially as SSP is now due on day one of absences. The Chancellor has now confirmed that he will create a means for employers to recover any SSP paid for the first 14 ...

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The long-awaited statement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak regarding COVID-19 support for the self-employed has been announced. The Chancellor said that the scheme will benefit some 95% of people whose main income source is derived from self-employment. A list of the scheme features as announced, and published, are as follows: Those that qualify will receive ...

COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE 2

Deferring your VAT liability payment Following the government’s announcement to defer the payment of VAT liabilities from 20 March to 30 June 2020, we have received a number of enquiries as to how this deferral works in practice. VAT payers on Direct Debits (DDs) must stop them in their Gateway login account or cancel their ...

Support with paying your taxes

Further support to businesses and the self-employed, to delay the payment of various taxes was announced last week. They include: VAT Any VAT that falls due for payment in the period from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 can be deferred until the end of the 2020-21 tax year. This is not a cancellation ...

80 percent of your staff wages paid by government?

As one of the additional measures to support businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, Rishi Sunak announced last week that HMRC is to step in and pay up to 80% of furloughed staff wages up to a monthly maximum of £2,500 per employee. Initially, this sounded as if HMRC was going to underwrite 80% of ...

COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE

On Friday, the Chancellor went significantly further than in the history of this great country, with a series of unprecedented announcements in the Government’s support of businesses, employees and individuals. The range of measures for UK businesses is significant and now includes the following: a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme deferring VAT and Income Tax payments ...

The Latest Measures to Support Businesses

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined a raft of further measures to support the UK’s ailing businesses, those affected by the forbidding COVID-19 outbreak. The list that follows summarises his announcements in the order they were announced:   The Treasury are making available £330bn of loan guarantees. These guarantees will underpin government backed bank loans on ...

Government support for small businesses if affected by the COVID-19 outbreak

There were a number of reliefs in the recent budget to support small business owners during the present Coronavirus outbreak. We have listed below some of the issues covered in a recent government news item. Statutory sick pay (SSP) The government will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim ...

Government support for individuals if affected by the COVID-19 outbreak

The government has published a number of measures to support individuals during the current Coronavirus outbreak. We have summarised below some of the issues covered in a recent post-budget press release. Statutory Sick Pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 or those who are unable to work ...

Spring Budget 11 March 2020

In the face of Brexit uncertainties and the recent Coronavirus outbreak the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was faced with falling economic indicators, the need to boost NHS services and was consequently limited in his options to spend on plans to improve business confidence and fund infrastructure projects. Interestingly, there were a number of measures that ...

Self-employed v Employed

Many employed persons are drawn to the idea of running their own business. This short article sets out a few of the pros and cons of this change in status. The advantages: One of the major advantages of being self-employed is the opportunity to secure more than one income stream. When employed, we normally work ...

How will the Chancellor address Coronavirus issues?

Most pundits agree that the growing disruption posed by the Coronavirus outbreak combined with continuing Brexit uncertainty – exactly what will our trading relationship with the EU be from January 2021 – are likely to have a dampening effect on demand and supply; a combination that will lead to a slow-down in global economic activity. ...

Tax Diary March/April 2020

1 March 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 May 2019. 2 March 2020 – Self assessment tax for 2019/19 paid after this date will incur a 5% surcharge. 19 March 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 March 2020. (If you pay your tax ...

Additional rates reduction for pubs

Pubs will benefit from £1,000 business rates discount from April 2020. The cut is on top of previously announced plans to slash the bills of small shops by 50%. In a fresh demonstration of the government’s support for communities up and down the country, a new Pubs Relief will be introduced in April, with £1,000 ...

Changes to minimum wage rates

From April 2020, the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) pay rates will increase as set out below. NLW rates for workers aged 25 and over – from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour. NMW rates: workers aged 21–24 — from £7.70 to £8.20 per hour workers aged 18–20 — from £6.15 to ...

Budget predictions 11 March 2020

What can we expect from the budget next week? On the expenditure side, infrastructure and the NHS seem to be the two major areas for investment. HS2 and other rail improvements in the North are likely to be beneficiaries as will carbon capture and other climate related projects, for example, improving the energy efficiency of ...

Last chance to consider tax planning options

In a month’s time, 5 April 2020, the 2019-20 tax year expires. After this date many of the options to utilise allowances and claim reliefs to reduce tax for 2019-20 will disappear. A number of the reliefs to consider are listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Any numbers quoted refer to ...

Mis-selling of leasehold interests

The Competition and Marketing Authority has published information recently that points to evidence of potential mis-selling and unfair contract terms in the leasehold housing market. Their press release is reproduced below: As part of a probe into the industry, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that leasehold homeowners have been unfairly treated and ...

30 days or else

We have reported earlier this year that from 6 April 2020, residential property sales that are subject to capital gains tax will need to be reported to HMRC within 30 days of the sale. Any CGT due will also need to be paid in this 30 day period. Property sales affected will include: a property ...

Tax Diary February/March 2020

1 February 2020 – Due date for Corporation Tax payable for the year ended 30 April 2019. 19 February 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 February 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 February 2020) 19 February 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly ...

Current Advisory Fuel Rates

To assist with your calculations, see previous article, we have reproduced below the current, HMRC Advisory Fuel Rates. They are: These rates apply from 1 December 2019. Engine size Petrol – amount per mile LPG – amount per mile 1400cc or less 12 pence 8 pence 1401cc to 2000cc 14 pence 9 pence Over 2000cc ...

Pay-back to save tax

At first sight, company car drivers whose private fuel costs are met by their employers may seem to be onto a good thing, but there is a nasty tax hit… Enter, the Car Fuel Benefit charge. Let’s say the following circumstances apply: list price of your car when new was £30,000 your employer pays for ...

Don\’t fall for this scam

The Insolvency Service has issued a warning that fraudsters have been contacting investors in insolvent schemes claiming to be from the Official Receiver’s office or to have been appointed by the Official Receiver to help recover funds for a fee. These approaches are always fraudulent. Official Receivers or any agent legitimately instructed to act on ...

Loans to directors and staff

If a company makes loans to its employees (including directors) there may be tax consequences. The same may also apply to loans extended to their family members. For example, the employer will have an obligation to report a beneficial loan to HMRC (and pay Class 1A NIC) and the deemed benefit would be a taxable ...

We are on your side

As we approach the end of yet another tax year it is worth reflecting on the role of HMRC in our tax affairs. Without a doubt, HMRC, tax legislation and its application, will continue to ensure that you pay your taxes. You can rely on HMRC to pounce if they feel that you have underpaid ...