Below I have summarised all the main tax related updates we have seen this week.
· Chancellors Winter Economy Plan
· Business Evictions - New Guidance
· Statutory Sick Pay SSP Paid to Employees Due to Coronavirus
· Businesses Urged to Prepare for NHS COVID-19 App
· Hillmans Business News Update
If you have any queries about this week’s content, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I hope you have a great weekend!
Steven Hillman BSc (Hons) ACA
Tel: 01934 444100
Chancellors Winter Economy Plan
Here is our summary of the headlines from the Chancellors statement in Parliament yesterday where a series of measures to help jobs and businesses were announced.
NEW JOB SUPPORT SCHEME ANNOUNCED
Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new job scheme starting 1 November 2020 to replace the current Job retention (“furlough”) scheme which ends 31 October 2020.
All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, larger businesses must show their turnover has fallen during the pandemic. Employers can use the new scheme even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.
The new Government scheme will last for six months to 30 April 2021 and to be eligible employees will need to be working a minimum of 33% of their hours. For the remaining hours not worked the Government and employer will pay one third. of wages each. This means:
Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work - but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.
Employees who can only go back to work on shorter time will still be paid two thirds of the hours for those hours they can’t work.
The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month.
By way of an example an employee working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their pay, 22% paid by the Government and 55% paid by their employer (the “worked” 33% plus 22%).
SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME
The existing self-employed grant (SEISS) will also be extended on the same basis as the job support scheme.
An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.
An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.
VAT CUT FOR HOSPITALITY SECTOR CONTINUES
The reduction in VAT to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sector will be extended until 31 March 2021.
DEFERRAL OF VAT BILLS
Up to half a million businesses who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.
SELF-ASSESSMENT TAXPAYERS – TIME TO PAY EXTENSION
Approximately 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.
BOUNCE BACK LOANS - FLEXIBILITY GIVEN TO PAY BACK AMOUNTS BORROWED
More than a million businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will get more repayment time through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system.
This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.
The Government also intends to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.
The chancellor also announced an extension in applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes until the end of November.
Further guidance will be issued in due course.
Business Evictions - New Guidance
Commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020.
This move will help those businesses most in need of additional support to remain in their premises without the threat of eviction for the rest of this year, giving them the chance to focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period.
Statutory Sick Pay SSP Paid to Employees Due to Coronavirus
From the 26th August 2020 employers can claim for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.
This scheme is for employers. You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP if:
• you have already paid your employee’s sick pay
• you are claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
• you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28th February 2020
• you had fewer than 250 employees on 28th February 2020 across all your PAYE payroll schemes
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:
• an isolation note from NHS 111 – if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
• the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:
• full-time employees
• part-time employees
• employees on agency contracts
• employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
• fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends)
Businesses Urged to Prepare 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 important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues.
Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.
Hillmans Business News Update
The main economic news at the start of this week is that the UK inflation rate fell to 0.2% as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme reduced restaurant prices. There is also speculation that the Government is looking at a new jobs scheme to replace the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS). If there are any announcements we will keep you informed.
With Brexit looming the Government has stated that the new freight management system will be ready the 1st January 2021. The “Smart Freight system” ensures that trucks are carrying the correct documentation before they travel to ports. The new system is designed to reduce delays and to better manage traffic into Dover and prevent queues of lorries building up along the M2 and M20 motorways.
There are a number of changes to the CJRS including a new calculation from 14 September.
From 26 August 2020 you can claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery. Further HMRC guidance on paying back CJRS grants made in error are given. 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.
It looks like we are in for a lot of changes to how we do things between now and the end of the year and our role is to support you through these and ensure your business takes actions to manage the changes.
Please talk to us about how we can help you plan forward. We are with you all the way!