Self-Employed and Job Retention Scheme changes
On Friday afternoon, in the Government's daily news briefing, the Chancellor outlined how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will operate moving forward to allow for employees to return to work part time. Following that announcement, self-employed workers got a boost when it was revealed that they will be able to get Government assistance for a further three months. The new details are outlined below.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
No doubt due to recent lobbying by the ... read more
Additional funding for charities and social enterprise
The government's dormant assets scheme allows money in accounts that have been dormant for at least 15 years to be made available for certain qualifying charitable and community causes.
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden has announced that £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts is to be unlocked to help charities, social enterprises and vulnerable individuals during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The £150 million charity injection is made up of the ... read more
Further support for charities from VAT receipts
It has been revealed by HM Treasury that the VAT collected on donated personal protective equipment (PPE) will be given to charities supporting the NHS and care workers. This measure will apply to all the VAT collected on donations made from 1 March until 30 April - the period between PPE donations starting and when the temporary zero VAT rate on PPE became effective on 1 May 2020.
The government donation will be made to support frontline workers affected by Covid-19 equally through the Care ... read more
Apply for NIC Childcare Credits
National Insurance credits can help qualifying applicants to fill gaps in their National Insurance record. This can assist taxpayers to build up the amount of qualifying years of National Insurance contributions which can increase the amount of benefits a person is entitled to such as the State Pension.
National Insurance credits are available in certain situations where people are not working and, therefore, not paying National Insurance credit. For example, credits may be available to those ... read more
Reimbursing expenses for home office equipment
HMRC has updated its guide for employers who have employees working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This could be a result of the workplace being closed or because employees are following government advice to self-isolate.
The updated guidance reflects temporary changes to the rules for reimbursing employees for the purchase of office equipment whilst working from home. The guidance originally published on 26 March 2020 stated that if employers reimburse expenses for office equipment ... read more
Employee car ownership schemes
An Employee Car Ownership Scheme (ECOS) is a set of arrangements whereby employees acquire cars from a specified, often single source and within a specified financing framework. The use of an ECOS can effectively be seen as a halfway measure between providing a company car and leaving an employee to make all their car arrangements privately.
An ECOS gives employees similar benefits to having a company car, for example a new car on a regular basis, and/or central organisation of insurance and ... read more
New HM Treasury instructions re CJRS
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has made a further Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
The CJRS currently helps employers furlough their employees with significant government support. Employers can currently claim cash grants of up to 80% for eligible furloughed wages to a maximum of £2,500 per month, plus the employer National Insurance contributions and minimum auto-enrolment employer pension ... read more
Estate Agents who may be exempt from Money Laundering registration
HMRC is responsible for the money laundering supervision of a number of businesses including estate and lettings agents. Estate agency businesses that HMRC is responsible for supervising should be aware of the requirement to register with HMRC and the penalties for not doing so. It is a criminal offence to trade as an estate agency or letting agency business (as defined within the Regulations) without being registered for money laundering supervision.
The following business types are not ... read more
Rules on waiving income or donating to charities
HMRC has published a new press release that provides some advice for people choosing to give up their income to support their business or donate to charity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Employers, directors and employees have several options to support a business or employer, including:
Waiving their salary or bonuses before they are paid. A ‘waiver of remuneration’ happens when an employee gives up rights to remuneration and gets nothing in return. If an employee ... read more
New advisory fuel rates published
Advisory fuel rates are intended to reflect actual average fuel costs and are updated quarterly. The rates can be used by employers who reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars or where employees are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. HMRC accepts there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance on reimbursed travel expenses where employers pay a rate per mile for business travel no higher than the published advisory fuel ... read more
Tackling redundant stock
Many retailers and manufacturing businesses have stock on their shelves gathering dust.
There are compelling reasons for tackling this issue as we cautiously emerge from lock-down.
For example, freeing up storage space will enable you increase the volume of goods that are selling.
Stock that is not selling is rather like withdrawing money from your bank dropping it into a box and parking it in your stores or stock-room. It has no real value to your business apart from the vague possibility ... read more
Winding-down the furlough scheme
Without a doubt, the furlough scheme has provided small businesses with the means to retain staff that would otherwise have been laid-off.
The government is paying 80% of furloughed employees’ wages (subject to a £2,500 maximum). From 1 August 2020, this level of support is expected to drop to say 60%.
From the same date, 1 August, the rules that effectively ban employees from working while they are furloughed is also expected to be eased and affected employees encouraged to return ... read more
Tax Diary June/July 2020
1 June 2020 - Due date for Corporation Tax due for the year ended 31 August 2019.
10 June 2020 - The final date that employers can furlough staff for the first time
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 return for the month ended 5 June 2020.
19 June 2020 - CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2020 is payable by today.
1 July 2020 ... read more
Coronavirus Future Fund launched
Last month, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a number of measures to help innovative firms survive the Coronavirus pandemic. One of these measures was the launch of a special investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from government and the private sector, called the Future Fund. The government has committed to an initial £250 million in funding towards the scheme. This amount will be kept under review.
Funding applications for the Future ... read more
Maximum loan under CLBILS increased to £200m
The scope of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is to be extended from 26 May 2020. The maximum loan size will be increased from £50 million to £200 million. Larger businesses will be able to benefit from loans up to the lower of 25% of turnover or £200m. The changes are expected to go live on 26 May and full details are expected to be made available on that date.
This increase will help ensure those large firms which do not qualify for the Bank ... read more
Working safely during coronavirus
The government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed in England understand how to work safely on their return to work during the coronavirus pandemic. The so-called “COVID-19 Secure” guidance currently comprises eight separate guides covering the following workplace settings:
construction and other outdoor work
factories, plants and warehouses
labs and research facilities
offices and contact centres
other people’s homes
restaurants ... read more
Guidance for employers on workplace testing
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidance for employers on workplace testing during the coronavirus pandemic. It covers the extent to which employers can carry out tests on staff on their return to work to see if they have either coronavirus or symptoms of it.
The guidance makes clear that any testing needs to comply with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and that any personal data relating to health is special category data. The topics covered in the ... read more
Trade credit insurance guarantee
Trade credit insurance is a contract acquired by suppliers to make sure they get paid even if their customers default. This gives businesses the confidence to trade with one another and is especially important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decimate many businesses. The risk of COVID-19 meant that insurers could withdraw insurance or increase premiums to unaffordable levels.
HM Treasury has now confirmed that to prevent this from happening, the government will provide guarantees for all ... read more