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VAT and the Chancellors Summer Economic Update

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the “Summer Economic Update”: where he unveiled further Government support as the “Second phase in the Government’s economic response to the crisis.”

We’re also summarising the updates to the Job Retention Scheme, The Stamp Duty Tax Holiday and VAT updates.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Job Retention Bonus

The CJRS ends in October, and the Chancellor looked to cushion expected redundancies with the announcement of a Job Retention Bonus (JRB). 

The new scheme will give employers £1,000 for each previously furloughed employee they retain and keep in employment until January 2021, as long as they are paid at least £520 a month. Further details of the scheme are expected later in July.

Kickstart Scheme and Measures to Help People Find Work

In order to support people finding jobs, the Chancellor announced the Kickstart Scheme, which will provide £2 billion to support the creation of “high quality” six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Government will provide employers that offer the placements funding equivalent to 100 percent of the relevant level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week. It will also cover the associated Employer NICs and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.

Rishi Sunak also outlined additional measures, including funding for traineeships and employers that hire new apprentices, as well as funding for several careers and job-finding programmes.

The apprenticeships funding will provide £2,000 to employers in England for every apprentice hired under the age of 25 and £1,500 for each newly hired apprentice aged 25 or older. This funding is in addition to schemes already in place to support employers in taking on apprentices.

Value Added Tax Reduces Rate for Hospitality and Tourism Sectors

The Chancellor outlined a VAT rate cut for the Hospitality and Tourism sectors from 20 per cent to five per cent. The measures relate specifically to food and non-alcoholic drinks and to accommodation and admission to attractions, with further details expected to be published later.

The VAT rate change comes into effect on Wednesday 15 July 2020 and will be in place temporarily until 12 January 2021.

Eat Out to Help Out

The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will provide a discount of 50 per cent of up to £10 a person on eat-in meals, including non-alcoholic drinks, at participating establishments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the month of August. 

Restaurants, cafes and pubs can sign-up for the scheme on a new website on Monday 13 July 2020.

Stamp Duty Land Tax Holiday and Job Creation Measures

There is a temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) from 8 July by raising the nil-rate band from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. The Treasury estimates that, as a consequence, around nine in 10 people buying a main residence will pay no SDLT.
Further details can be found on SDLT changes here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates

VAT – Reduced Rate of 5%

The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • hospitality
  • hotel and holiday accommodation
  • admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

Reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

Hospitality:

If you supply food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on your premises, for example, a restaurant, café or pub, you’re currently required to charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%. However, when you make these supplies between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 you will only need to charge 5%.

You will also be able to charge the reduced rate of VAT on your supplies of hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks.

More information about how these changes apply to your business can be found in Catering, takeaway food (VAT Notice 709/1). See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/catering-takeaway-food-and-vat-notice-7091

Hotel and holiday accommodation:

You will also benefit from the temporary reduced rate if you:

  • supply sleeping accommodation in a hotel or similar establishment
  • make certain supplies of holiday accommodation
  • charge fees for caravan pitches and associated facilities
  • charge fees for tent pitches or camping facilities

More information about how these changes apply to your business can be found in Hotels and holiday accommodation (VAT Notice 709/3). See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hotels-holiday-accommodation-and-vat-notice-7093

VAT on admission charges to attractions:

If you charge a fee for admission to certain attractions where the supplies are currently standard rated, you will only need to charge the reduced rate of VAT between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

However, if the fee you charge for admission is currently exempt that will take precedence and your supplies will not qualify for the reduced rate.

This applies to:

  • shows
  • theatres
  • circuses
  • fairs
  • amusement parks
  • concerts
  • museums
  • zoos
  • cinemas
  • exhibitions
  • similar cultural events and facilities

Examples of where the reduced rate may apply could be attractions such as:

  • a planetarium
  • botanical gardens
  • studio tours
  • factory tours

More information about how these changes apply can be found in VAT: Admission charges to attractions. 

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-admission-charges-to-attractions?utm_source=b70c8e4c-efcb-4e66-a3aa-6dbc482ad5f6&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Individuals you can Claim for who are Not Employees

From 1st July “Flexible Furlough” was introduced and the calculations and time recording of full-time, part-time and fully furloughed employees has become more complicated. 

Changes are occurring regularly as the Government and HMRC make clarifications to the scheme. If you have any queries regarding your claim talk to us first.

The latest changes are outlined below:

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Wording has been added to make it clear that HMRC will not decline or seek repayment of any grant based solely on the particular choice between fixed or variable approach to calculating usual hours, as long as a reasonable choice is made

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=e431e0b9-f22e-4543-b2b9-01c631e87961&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

HMRC has issued further guidance on the CJRS Individuals you can claim for who are not employees:

You can claim a grant for individuals who are not employees – as long as they’re paid via PAYE. The groups you can claim for include:

  • office holders (including company directors)
  • salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
  • agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies)
  • limb (b) workers
  • Contingent workers in the public sector
  • Contractors with public sector engagements in scope of IR35 off-payroll working rules (IR35)

Individuals who are paid through PAYE but not necessarily employees in employment law, can continue to be furloughed from 1 July as long as you have previously submitted a claim for them for a furlough period of at least 3 weeks between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/individuals-you-can-claim-for-who-are-not-employees?utm_source=1cc1078c-073c-45c9-a179-daa90bd46bb3&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Paying employee taxes and pension contributions

There is also an update on ‘Paying employee taxes and pension contributions’ section and added wording to section on employee rights to make it clear that you can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=0d23eb32-d558-4713-ba3e-58ea7cf51edb&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

The process HMRC is developing to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system

Information has been added about the process HMRC is developing to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system.

If you have made an error in a claim and do not plan to submit further claims, you should contact HMRC to let them know about the error and find out how to pay back any over claimed amounts. Once you have contacted HMRC you will be given a payment reference number and directed to make a payment.

The Government is introducing legislation to recover over claimed grant amounts through the tax system. If you repay any over claimed grant amounts back through the above methods then this will reduce or, if the full amount is repaid, prevent any potential tax liability under that legislation. Further guidance on this will be issued in due course.

If you have made an error that has resulted in an underclaimed amount, you should contact HMRC to amend your claim. As you are increasing the amount of your claim, they need to conduct additional checks.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=5334b049-902e-4fdd-bfc2-9a7c1c222c4c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Please talk to us about CJRS claims – we have an information collection spreadsheet to help you and we can estimate your claim ahead of making it.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme

New flat rate percentages from 15 July until 12 January have been announced, which include: 

  • Catering 4.5%
  • Pubs 1%
  • Hotels and accommodation 0%

See: https://www.gov.uk/vat-flat-rate-scheme/how-much-you-pay

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