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Coronavirus: Business News and Updates from this Week

With further lock-down measures announced in Scotland and more expected in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Government has published its latest experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society.

The main points are that nearly a fifth (19%) of businesses intend to use increased home working as a permanent business model in the future and between 25 September and 2 October 2020, total online job adverts increased from 59% to 61% of their 2019 average, their highest recorded level since 3 April 2020. 

What is clear to us is that our clients are moving towards a “Digital” business environment. This trend has been accelerated by Covid-19. We have considerable experience with helping clients to move their bookkeeping and accounts functions online and many, if not all, are seeing dramatic changes in how they run their businesses because of real time accounting and banking functions. Talk to us about how we can move your business into the digital age. We will be delighted to help! 

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Employer Updates for Coronavirus Job Retention, Job Support and Bonus Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – The 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit CJRS claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims.

See:  Claim For Wage Costs

The job support scheme (JSS) will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months.

The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.

The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

See: Job Support Scheme

If your business is eligible for the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) You will be able to claim it between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021.

See: Check if you can claim

A step by step guide is available for employers here:  Job Retention Scheme Guide

We will keep you informed of how the JSS will work as soon as we get details. If we make the claims for you then we will also be able to estimate the amounts of the claims in advance using our calculators. Please talk to us about how we can help.

Update for Self-Employed and Sole Traders

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allowed you to claim a first taxable grant. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second grant are now open. Make your claim from the date HMRC give you. If you are eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

The scheme is being extended from 1 November. The grant extension is for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 percent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

HMRC are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. HMRC will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

See: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

Self-Assessment Customers Can Now Apply Online to Spread the Cost of their Tax Bill into Monthly Payments

Self-Assessment customers can now apply online to HMRC to spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments without the need to call them.

The online self-serve ‘Time to Pay’ service has been increased to £30,000 for Self-Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Once you have completed your tax return for the 2019-20 tax year, you can use the online self-serve ‘Time to Pay’ service through GOV.UK to set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.

If you wish to set up your own self-serve ‘Time to Pay’, you must meet the following requirements:

• No outstanding tax returns

• No other tax debts

• No other HMRC payments set up

• your Self-Assessment tax bill is between £32 and £30,000

• It is no more than 60 days since the tax was due for payment. 

If you do not meet these requirements, you might still qualify for Time to Pay, but you will need to call HMRC to set this up.

If you set up a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement, you will have to pay interest on the tax paid late. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

See: Self Assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans

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