News

The latest breaking news in the industry!

09-07-2020

Summer Statement

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, details are listed below. He also announced ... read more

08-07-2020

Tax Credits updates required this month

Families and individuals that receive tax credits should ensure that they review their tax credit claims by 31 July 2020. Claimants who do not inform HMRC about relevant changes in their circumstances by the deadline date may have their payments stopped. HMRC has sent tax credits renewal packs to tax credit claimants and is encouraging recipients who need to respond to do so online. All renewal ... read more

08-07-2020

Reminder of businesses opening since 4 July 2020

A reminder that since 4 July 2020, many business sectors have been given permission to reopen in England. The businesses are expected to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines. The categories of businesses that have been allowed to reopen include: hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses places ... read more

08-07-2020

Reminder of businesses not opening 4 July 2020

There are business sectors that have not yet been given permission to reopen in England. There has been no indication given as to when these businesses will be able to reopen. Government guidance lists the following businesses that currently need to remain closed, as government assessment suggest that they cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 Secure: nightclubs casinos bowling alleys and ... read more

08-07-2020

UK VAT claims by non EU businesses

There are special rules for businesses established outside the EU submitting a claim for VAT incurred on goods or services bought in the UK. The exact rules that determine what VAT is refundable can be complex. There are also a number of conditions which must be met in order for a claim to qualify. The deadline for the submission of a refund request for expenses incurred in the UK by non-EU ... read more

08-07-2020

Finance Bill 2020 progress

The government’s Finance Bill 2020 (formally known as Finance Bill 2019-21) has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and the 1st reading at the House of Lords took place on 2 July 2020. This stage is a formality that signals the start of the Bill's journey through the Lords. The date for the 2nd reading of the Bill, where a general debate on all aspects of the Bill will ... read more

08-07-2020

SEISS further update

HM Treasury has published a further Treasury Direction made under the Coronavirus Act 2020, ss. 71 and 76, which modifies and extends the effect of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).The Direction mainly deals with the expansion of the SEISS for a final three-month period to 31 August 2020, officially referred to as the SEISS extension. The eligibility criteria remains largely ... read more

08-07-2020

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill receives Royal Assent

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the Act) received Royal Assent, with most provisions coming into force on 26 June 2020. The Act addresses numerous issues arising for businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic to give distressed businesses the breathing space they need to get advice and seek a rescue Some of the key provisions of the Act are as follows: introduces temporary ... read more

08-07-2020

Reclaiming VAT after deregistration

Businesses can close a VAT registration for two main reasons. For example, the business has stopped making taxable supplies or a voluntary deregistration can be made by businesses that does not expect its taxable turnover to exceed the deregistration limit. The current deregistration limit is £83,000. A business that deregisters will be required to submit a final VAT Return for the period ... read more

07-07-2020

Redundancy process map

Acas has published a process map for employers who are having to consider making redundancies due to coronavirus. The interactive tool has been designed to help employers better understand redundancy processes, required steps and good practice when engaging with employees. It also provides details of options and alternatives to making redundancies and prompts employers to consider further support ... read more

06-07-2020

The new reality

It may be some time before we could state with some certainty that it was back to business as usual; usual being the business environment before the arrival of Coronavirus. What has changed? The major change has been the dampening of demand due to lock-down and other government interventions aimed at job retention and support for businesses hardest hit. For example, the hospitality sector. Food ... read more

06-07-2020

What is working capital?

Accountants would say that working capital is the difference between current assets and current liabilities. It is the capital of a business used in day to day trading operations. Current assets are generally those that can be converted into cash reasonably quickly, money in your bank account. For example, stocks and work in progress, amounts due from customers and funds in bank ... read more

01-07-2020

Updated HM Treasury instructions re: CJRS

On 26 June 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak made a further (third) Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). There are a number of important changes to the way the revised scheme works that started to come into effect from 1 July 2020, the date that employers can bring back furloughed employees to work ... read more

01-07-2020

Government support for pubs, cafes and restaurants

The government has confirmed a further easing of lockdown as pubs, cafes, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and cinemas have been given permission to reopen in England from 4 July. The launch date has been dubbed as Super Saturday. These changes will see a further move towards the reopening of certain businesses that can operate by following the COVID-19 guidelines. The only exception to this ... read more

01-07-2020

Financial help for debt advisers

The government has announced that an extra £37.8 million will be made available to support debt advice providers during 2020-21. The distribution of the money will be overseen by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). MaPS will set out the process for allocating funds in the coming weeks to charities for debt advice and to other money guidance services. The funding consists of £20.6 ... read more

01-07-2020

Reporting Capital Gains on residential property

The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reporting and payment date for UK residents that sell a residential property changed from 6 April 2020. This change means that any CGT due on the sale of a residential property needs to be reported and a payment on account of any CGT due made within 30 days of the completion of the transaction. In practice, this change will only apply to the sale of any residential ... read more

01-07-2020

Vehicle MOT dates

The government has announced that mandatory MOT tests for car, motorcycle and van owners in England, Scotland and Wales are to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020. This means that all drivers whose vehicle is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle. The government is reintroducing this requirement to keep roads safe. Testing ... read more

01-07-2020

Trusts and CGT

A trust is an obligation that binds a trustee, an individual or a company to deal with the assets such as land, money and shares which form part of the trust. The person who places assets into a trust is known as a settlor and the trust benefits one or more beneficiaries. The trustees make decisions about how the assets in the trust are to be managed, transferred or held back for the future use ... read more

01-07-2020

IHT exemption for gifts out of income

It is possible for wealthier taxpayers to take advantage of the IHT exemption for gifts and payments that are paid as normal expenditure out of income. This is a very flexible exemption from IHT as there are no specific requirements, for example, making fixed, regular gifts to the same person. With proper planning this can be a particularly useful tool and could include helping grandparents pay ... read more

01-07-2020

Stock valued at net realisable value

One of the acceptable methods to value stock is at the lower of cost and net realisable value (NRV). NRV is broadly defined as the estimated selling price of an asset less any disposal costs. HMRC provides the following guidance in their Business Income Manual. The realisable value is the expected sale price of the relevant stock in the condition in which it is expected to be sold in the ... read more

30-06-2020

Shielding measures to be relaxed in England from 1 August 2020

From 1 August 2020 onwards, it is intended that the shielding programme will be paused in England so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield. From an employment perspective, this means that, if they cannot work from home, shielding employees can then return to their workplaces, provided they are “COVID-19 Secure”, i.e. they comply with the latest ... read more

30-06-2020

What are debits and credits?

You may have come across the terms debit and credit and perhaps wondered exactly what do they mean? Certainly, if you are a bookkeeper or accountant you will or should understand their significance. The first book on the subject was written by Italian mathematicians in 1494. Essentially, double entry means that every transaction that can be measured in monetary terms has two effects. For ... read more

30-06-2020

Depreciation

Literally, the word depreciation means a reduction in the value of an asset over time. It recognises the fact that if you buy assets for your business – cars, plant, computers etc – as time marches on the value of those assets will decrease. In double entry bookkeeping terms, the value of an asset is reduced by the amount depreciated and charged against profits, like an ... read more

25-06-2020

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 July 2020 - PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 July 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due ... read more

24-06-2020

SEISS extended to new parents

The government has announced that the scope of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended to help new parents. The newly announced measures are designed to help new parents whose trading profits dipped in 2018-19 because they took time out to have children. The change in the scheme will allow parents, including mothers, fathers and those who have adopted, who took time out ... read more

24-06-2020

Drawings, profits and tax

If you are self-employed – this article does not apply to the directors and shareholders of limited companies – there is often a mis-match between the amount you draw from your business and your tax bill. When times are good profits may be high, but you may have decided to keep your personal drawing from the business to a modest amount. If drawings are lower than profits this would ... read more

24-06-2020

Option to defer VAT payments ends 30 June 2020

The option to defer your VAT payments ends on 30 June 2020. The Coronavirus VAT payment holiday gave businesses the chance to defer the payment of any VAT liabilities between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. Businesses that took advantage of deferring their VAT payments should consider the following: Re-establish any cancelled direct debits in enough time for HMRC to take VAT payments due from ... read more

24-06-2020

Why footfall is important

All businesses have customers, According to HMRC, even they have customers… Sales are the amount of goods and services that you provide your customers and there are three main features that affect your annual turnover: Number of customers Price Footfall The first is fairly obvious, the more customers you can acquire, the greater the potential to increase sales. Increase prices and ... read more

24-06-2020

New guidance for shop owners

The HM Government guidance titled Working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches has been updated. The updates relate to managing product handling and returns, the test and trace service, safer travel and managing security risks. The guidance is relevant to all retail stores, bank branches, post offices and other open money businesses. This document sets out guidance on how to work safely ... read more

24-06-2020

Time to revisit VAT Flat Rate Scheme?

The VAT Flat Rate scheme is intended to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT and reduce the administration costs of complying with the VAT legislation. There can also be a decent VAT saving for those using the scheme. The scheme is only open to businesses that expect their annual taxable turnover in the next 12 months to be no more than £150,000, excluding VAT. If you have clients ... read more

24-06-2020

Basis periods if accounting date is changed

The assessment of self-employed or partnerships profits is usually relatively straight-forward if the accounting date, to which annual accounts are prepared, falls between 31 March and 5 April. However, overlap profits can arise where a business year end date is not coterminous with the end of the tax year. Overlap profits can happen in the first 3 years of the business or in any year in which ... read more

24-06-2020

When the cash basis scheme may not be suitable

The cash basis scheme helps many sole traders and other unincorporated businesses who benefit from a simpler way of managing their financial affairs. The scheme is not open to limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The scheme allows qualifying businesses to use the cash basis when recording income and expenditure. However, some small businesses are more suited to using the cash ... read more

17-06-2020

Sick-pay if self-isolating

If you are an employee, you must tell your employer as soon as possible if you are showing signs of Coronavirus or someone you live with has symptoms of the disease. Your employer will be able to inform you if you are covered by their sick leave policy. If you are, you may be asked to furnish them with an isolation note that proves you cannot work due to Coronavirus symptoms. You can obtain an ... read more

17-06-2020

Parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) also known as the furlough scheme has been extended until 31 October 2020. There are a number of important changes to the way the scheme works starting from 1 July 2020, when employers can bring back furloughed employees to work part-time, for any amount of time and any shift pattern. One of the specified changes is that the final date employers could ... read more

17-06-2020

No extension to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

The UK has confirmed that it will neither accept nor seek any extension to the Brexit transition period which expires on 31 December 2020. The EU has formally accepted this position. With just over six months to go before the end of the transition period there remains a lot of work to be done if agreement is to be reached. This move could result in the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. From 1 ... read more

17-06-2020

Corporation Tax – carrying back losses

Corporation Tax relief may be available where a company or organisation makes a trading loss. The loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offsetting the loss against other gains or profits of the business in the same or accounting period. Where the amount of a trading loss exceeds the profits of the same accounting period, the company may claim to carry back the excess against ... read more

17-06-2020

Self-employed – setting off losses

There are a number of tax reliefs available for self-employed taxpayers that make a loss carrying on their trade, profession or vocation (collectively referred to as a ‘trade’) and for their share of trading losses in any partnerships. For the 2019-20 tax year, trade losses can be relieved in a number of ways. This includes the following: By using the loss to reduce income for the year ended 5 ... read more

17-06-2020

Agent update June 2020

HMRC has released the latest bi-monthly issue of the 'Agent Update' publication which includes summaries of recent changes and updates that have been announced. The document which is aimed at taxation and accountancy practitioners includes links to more detailed information on each of the topics covered. The topics covered in the latest edition include the following: COVID-19. A ... read more

16-06-2020

Retain or let go?

Last week, we considered one of the issues that employers will likely need to consider in the coming weeks and months: productivity. This week we have listed other factors that you may need to consider if you presently have staff furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). From 1 July, it is possible for furloughed staff to return to part-time work. From 1 August, employers ... read more

16-06-2020

Saving for taxes

While our businesses have been able to maintain or increase profits there has been an unwritten acceptance that we will pay for current taxes out of future cash resources. For example, if you are self-employed, payments on account for self-assessment taxes on current income are made two months before the end of each tax year and four months after the end of each tax year. And if payments on ... read more

14-06-2020

CJRS changes announced 12 June 2020

We reported late last month on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 31 October 2020 following the announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. At the time, the Chancellor confirmed that further guidance on the workings of the amended scheme, which allows for flexible furloughing from 1 July, would be published on 12 June. This revised guidance has now been published. The ... read more

10-06-2020

Furlough Scheme over-claims

HMRC’s guidance makes it clear that any business that makes an error in making a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim must pay back any amount over-claimed. Any claims based on inaccurate information can be recovered by HMRC. The CJRS application claim form has been updated and now allows businesses to advise HMRC if they have identified previous errors and over-claimed. If you ... read more

10-06-2020

Furlough Scheme maximum claims

As our readers will be aware, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), has been extended until 31 October 2020. There are a number of important changes to the way the scheme works that will start to come into effect from 1 July 2020, when employers can bring back furloughed employees to work part-time, for any amount of time and any shift pattern. For any periods starting on or after the 1 ... read more

10-06-2020

Deregistering for VAT

A voluntary VAT deregistration can be made if you do not expect your taxable turnover to exceed the VAT deregistration limit. The current deregistration limit is £83,000. If you are running a small business that has been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, this could be an opportune time to consider whether or not to voluntarily deregister. The deregistration cannot be backdated ... read more

10-06-2020

Property and Trading Income Allowance

Two separate £1,000 tax allowances for property and trading income were introduced in April 2017. If you have both types of income highlighted below then you can claim a £1,000 allowance for each. The £1,000 exemptions from tax apply to: If you make up to £1,000 from self-employment, casual services or hiring personal equipment. This is known as the trading ... read more

10-06-2020

Head count or productivity?

In the not too distant past business managers were prone to “empire building”. Increasing head count was more important than increasing productivity. This bygone-age tendency has long slipped away but productivity is likely to remain as a leading consideration when businesses organise their use of human assets to run their businesses in the post-COVID economy. Productivity should be ... read more

10-06-2020

VAT changes for the construction sector delayed again

The VAT rule changes for building contractors and sub-contractors that were expected to come into effect on 1 October 2020 have been delayed for a further 5 months until 1 March 2021. The delay is due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The new rules will make the supply of construction services between construction or building businesses subject to the domestic reverse charge. The reverse ... read more

10-06-2020

Expenses and benefits filing deadlines

The deadline for submitting the 2019-20 forms P11D, P11D(b) and P9D is 6 July 2020. Employees must also be provided with a copy of their P11D by the same date. Employers pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions on most benefits. If you provided taxable benefits to staff or directors your business is likely to have a Class 1A employers’ NIC liability. The deadline for paying class 1A ... read more

10-06-2020

COVID-19 business loan support statistics

HM Treasury has published its weekly update (to close of business on 7 June 2020) on COVID-19 lending schemes designed to support businesses impacted by the pandemic. Under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), 47,650 businesses have received funding so far, with lenders approving £9.56 billion. This was an increase of £640 million of funding to 1,807 businesses ... read more

10-06-2020

Conditions for claiming Bad Debt Relief

The VAT bad debt relief rules allow businesses to claim bad debt relief and reclaim the VAT they have paid to HMRC. This can happen when an invoice has been issued to a customer and no payment has been received after an extended period of time (usually 6 months after the due date) has elapsed. Under the normal VAT accounting rules, a business supplying goods or services usually accounts for VAT ... read more

10-06-2020

Why are profits important?

Dictionary definitions of the word profit tend to include such synonyms as “advantage”, “financial gain” and “financial advantage”. Longer explanations might say: the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. All true to some degree. A wider definition might include that profits facilitate ... read more

03-06-2020

Changes to CJRS – Employer costs

HMRC’s guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated a number of times as the workings of the scheme evolve. The most recent update, on 29 May 2020, followed an announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. The Chancellor outlined further details on the extension of the scheme to 31 October 2020 and the introduction of flexible furloughing. As things stand the extension ... read more

03-06-2020

Eligible for extended self-employed scheme?

The Chancellor has confirmed that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is to be extended for a final three-month period to 31 August 2020. The maximum grant for the final 3 months of the scheme will be based on 70% of eligible earnings (previous quarter 80%). This means that the SEISS will in total provide qualifying self-employed workers up to 6 months financial support from the ... read more

03-06-2020

Certain retail outlets given green-light to re-open

The government has started the slow process of reopening selected businesses as we continue to face restrictions in almost all aspects of daily life. The reopening of retail outlets reflects the acceptance that life for the foreseeable future will operate under what is being referred to as the ‘new normal’ complete with social distancing and other measures. The timetable for the ... read more

03-06-2020

New code of practice for High Street businesses and their landlords

The government has announced that a new code of practice is to be published for High Street businesses and their landlords to help provide clarity and reassurance over rent payments. A new working group has been setup with leading businesses and trade associations to develop the new code of practice. The government has said that the new code will encourage fair and transparent discussions between ... read more

03-06-2020

National Insurance numbers

If you have lost or forgotten your National Insurance number you should try and locate the number on paperwork such as your tax return, payslip or P60. You can also login to your personal tax account to view, download, print, save or share a letter with your National Insurance number. If you do not already have a National Insurance number then you will normally need to apply for one if you are ... read more

03-06-2020

CJRS closure to new entrants

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is open to all UK employers to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The CJRS will close to new entrants on 30 June 2020. From that date onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that had previously been furloughed for a ... read more

03-06-2020

Intellectual Property Office service changes

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. The IPO buildings are currently closed but the majority of services remain unaffected. A number of service changes were put in place on 27 March 2020. The service changes in relation to interrupted days was reviewed on 29 ... read more

03-06-2020

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The online service to reclaim SSP launched on 26 May 2020. The scheme covers up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Employers are eligible for the scheme if their ... read more

03-06-2020

One step forward

The recent news that the lockdown is being eased for certain businesses is good news. Unfortunately, there are many other businesses that are still closed and unable to trade. And there is always a background risk that any relaxation of the lockdown will increase the number of COVID-19 infections. The Government seem intent on easing the economic down-side of the pandemic and its likely that any ... read more

03-06-2020

Bounce-back economy

Recent statistics published by HM Treasury confirm that £22bn of Bounce-Back Loans have been taken up by 700,000 small businesses across the UK. That is an average loan of approximately £31,000 per business. As these loans are limited to 25% of business turnover, the average turnover of each business is £124,000. The terms of these loans are generous. 2.5% fixed interest rate ... read more

31-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

27-05-2020

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, ... read more

27-05-2020

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) ... read more

27-05-2020

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’ ... read more

27-05-2020

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 ... read more

26-05-2020

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 ... read more

26-05-2020

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 ... read more

25-05-2020

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. ... read more

21-05-2020

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 ... read more

21-05-2020

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 ... read more

20-05-2020

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 ... read more

20-05-2020

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, ... read more

20-05-2020

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 ... read more

20-05-2020

Upcoming bank holiday dates

We thought it would be useful to remind our readers of the upcoming bank holiday dates across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Whilst many people are still under lockdown, there are still some extra days off to look forward to for the rest of the year. 2020 bank holidays in England and Wales Monday 25 May - Spring bank holiday Monday 31 August - Summer bank holiday Friday 25 ... read more

20-05-2020

Extension of vehicle MOT dates

A reminder that MOT expiry dates are being extended by 6 months for all MOTs due on or after 30 March 2020. This includes vehicles that are due their first ever MOT test and applies to cars, motorcycles, light vans and other light vehicles. The MOT expiry date will be automatically extended approximately 7 days before it’s due to expire. Your vehicle tax remains due as normal. You cannot ... read more

20-05-2020

Launch of SSP Rebate Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme small-and medium-sized businesses and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. It has now been confirmed that the online service to reclaim SSP will launch on 26 May 2020. In order to claim, you will need the Government Gateway user ID you acquired when you registered for PAYE ... read more

20-05-2020

Coronavirus insolvency and AGM measures

The insolvency measures to help prevent businesses unable to meet debts due to the impact of Coronavirus to continue trading and not be forced to file for bankruptcy have been extended. It was confirmed that the temporary suspension of wrongful trading liability during the pandemic will now continue until 30 June. The measure was initially set to expire on 1 June 2020. This means that company ... read more

20-05-2020

Claiming tax relief on work-related expenses

Employees who need to buy substantial equipment to use as part of their employment may be able to claim tax relief based on the initial cost. In most cases you can claim tax relief on the full cost of this type of equipment as it usually qualifies for a type of capital allowance called annual investment allowance. Any tax relief would be reduced if the employer provides a contribution towards ... read more

20-05-2020

Definition of trading profits for SEISS

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications on 13 May 2020. HMRC has confirmed that by midnight on 17 May there had been a total of 2 million claims with over £6.1 billion claimed. The scheme will provide grants of up to £2,500 per month based on 80% of average profits to qualifying applicants. The initial grant is for the three months, from 1 March ... read more

20-05-2020

Changing a company’s year end date

There are special rules in place which limit the ability to change a company’s year-end date. A company’s year-end date is also known as its ‘accounting reference date’ and is historically set by reference to the date the company was incorporated. Under certain circumstances it is possible to make a change to the year-end. As a general rule, you can only change the ... read more

20-05-2020

Removing a home address from the public register

Company directors and other eligible people such as company secretaries, people with significant control (PSC) and LLP members can apply to remove their personal addresses from the UK’s official company register on Companies House. Company directors and others are still required to provide an alternative correspondence address if they are appointed to a live company. If they are no longer ... read more

19-05-2020

Ring-fencing COVID losses

Most companies will have fairly healthy accounts up to the middle of March 2020 when the lock-down of activity to control coronavirus started. Since that date, many firms will have struggled to maintain profitability even with the support of the various government programmes. If we do manage to extract ourselves from lock-down without re-awakening COVID-19, it will probably be the end of this ... read more

19-05-2020

Why use cloud accounting software?

For less than you would spend on tea milk and coffee each month, you can acquire the use of cloud-based accounting software. Why bother? Computerising your accounting routines in this way has a number of benefits for your business; of crucial concern if we are to survive the current COVID disruptions. Benefits for individual businesses will vary but may include: Improved credit ... read more

14-05-2020

Self-employment Income Support Scheme launched

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications at 8am on 13 May 2020. The scheme will provide grants of up to £2,500 per month based on 80% of average profits to qualifying applicants. HMRC has reiterated that the claim is designed to be made by the claimant directly and that advisers cannot make a claim on behalf of their clients. Instead, qualifying applicants ... read more

13-05-2020

Furlough Scheme Extended to 31 October 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has today (12 May 2020) announced significant changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, now commonly referred to as the furlough scheme. The scheme had been due to run until at least 30 June 2020. The Chancellor has now confirmed to the House of Commons that the furlough scheme will be extended for a further 4 months until the end of October and kept open for all ... read more

13-05-2020

Working Tax Credits are now increased

We would like to remind our readers that as part of the package of measures to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak, the basic element Working Tax Credit payments was increased to £3,040 for the 2020-21 tax year. This increase of £1,045 is equivalent to an extra £20 each week for the current tax year. The actual amount that Working Tax Credits recipients will receive depends on their ... read more

13-05-2020

Financial support if you have Coronavirus symptoms

Guidance is published by the Department for Work and Pensions about support measures in place if you are employed and have Coronavirus symptoms. You must tell your employer as soon as possible if you are showing signs of Coronavirus. Your employer will be able to inform you if you are covered by their sick leave policy. If you are, you may be asked to furnish them with an isolation note that ... read more

13-05-2020

Self-employed and getting no work?

If you are self-employed and qualify for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme you could receive a cash grant from HMRC based on 80% of your profits, up to £2,500 per month. The initial grant is for the three months, from 1 March through to the end of May 2020, but this measure could be extended. You can only make a claim if your business has been adversely affected by Coronavirus. For ... read more

13-05-2020

Lost your job? What to do…

If you lost your job after 28 February 2020, your previous employer could have agreed to re-hire you and then place you on furlough. However, there is no compulsion on the part of your ex-employer to do this and many firms have been reluctant to make such a move. You may also have been disadvantaged if you lost your job before the 28 February 2020 deadline or started a new job or were not on the ... read more

13-05-2020

Working from home tax breaks

HMRC has a useful 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. This guidance is not relevant for furloughed workers as they should not be doing any work whilst on furlough. Employers may reimburse employees for certain household ... read more

13-05-2020

Businesses that must presently stay closed

Government guidance on businesses in England that must presently stay closed has been updated. The government is clear that failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individual responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution. The current pandemic has seen most non-essential businesses closed in an unprecedented high ... read more

13-05-2020

No VAT on supply of PPE

The government has introduced a zero-rate of VAT on the sale of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19. The temporary measure will apply from 1 May 2020 until 31 July 2020 unless any further extensions are announced. This move will save care homes and businesses dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak more than £100 million. The government is acting under an exceptional basis ... read more

12-05-2020

Laid off? Brush up your skills online

The present lock-down has created a raft of employed persons described as furloughed. One of the criteria that employers and employees are required to abide by to benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – that funds furloughed employees – is that employees cannot work whilst furloughed. Which begs the question, what do you do when the garden is pristine, all the other ... read more

12-05-2020

Why pay your bills early?

If your suppliers offer you goods or services on credit, this will have a beneficial impact on your cashflow. You will have had the benefit of using the goods or services supplied, and the funds to pay for them, initially, stay in your bank account. This benefit can be multiplied if you are able to convert the supplies into cash sales as you could possibly have the funds to pay created by this ... read more

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