Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Grants for taxis

The Scottish Government announced this week that funding had been made available through local authorities to provide grants of £1,500 to those who have registered taxis or private hire vehicles. The plan is that local authorities will contact those eligible to invite them to apply for the grant. I think, if it was me, I'd be getting in touch with my council to make sure I'm on the list.

Business Interruption Insurance

The ruling by the Supreme Court broadly in favour of the appeal brought by the FCA on behalf of a group of SME's may provide some small businesses with an unexpected financial lifeline. If you have tried to claim on your business interruption insurance as a result of the impact of Covid-19, but been rejected, now may be the time to try again.

It appears that a number of insurers were taking the view that many of these policies did not cover this unprecedented situation and it does seem that some did not. However, the court ruling does give hope that many policies will be valid and the insurers will have to pay out. If you have already made a claim the insurer should be getting back in touch with you but you may wish to make contact now and make sure you are in the queue.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Tax return records

As you know, from Boxing Day we will all be moving into Tier 4 of the Covid restrictions regime. This means that we will have to completely close our office once again and operate entirely from our various homes. This is not a massive change for most of our staff although we have relied on occasional office access to stock up on stationery, swap around client files, and collect/return client paper records. Any such access will be severely curtailed in at least the early part of January and this will make the completion of tax returns especially challenging.

Gathering the information from clients for the returns will be the biggest problem. If you can provide details in an electronic form that would be ideal. If you have records on paper then you may be able to scan or photograph the important stuff and send it attached to an email. If you can only provide the information on paper then it will have to be posted or delivered directly to one of us (hopefully someone will live in the same council area). Should you be in any doubt please give us a call and we'll try to find a practical solution.

We will be stopping work as usual over the festive period from Wednesday 23rd at lunchtime until Monday 4th January.

Monday, December 14, 2020

HMRC scam calls

It appears that we have once again reached the season of scam tax calls to all men (and women). We have received reports from clients of some very aggressive phone calls purporting to come from the Inland Revenue demanding overdue tax. These calls are bogus! HMRC do not phone and ask for money, even when they are as cash strapped as they are at the moment.

If you receive one of these calls do not provide any bank or other personal details at all and don't try to pay them any money. If you are in any doubt contact our office and we will check whether you are due anything and when and how to make any the appropriate payment.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2020

SEISS

The portal for applications for the latest round of support under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme is now open. If you were eligible for the first and second grants you may be eligible for this one, even if you did not previously submit a claim. To claim you must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021. You must believe that this impact will result in a significant reduction in your profits. The grant will be worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits for 3 months up to a maximum payment of £7,500 (£2,500 per month).

Remember that to be eligible your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income. You must make your claim on or before 29 January 2021. Please contact a member of our staff if you need assistance.

Job Retention Bonus

As expected, the Job Retention Bonus has been dropped for the time being. There is a vague implication on the government website that it may return in some slightly different guise in the future but that is probably because they just don't know. The Job Retention Scheme will now continue until the end of March so we are unlikely to see a resurrection of the Bonus until after that.

Friday, November 6, 2020

JRS & SEISS

I think the Chancellor thinks I am short of work! Just when I get to grips with the new rules for furloughing or the self-employment support he decides to change everything again. At least these changes are good news.

The furlough scheme has been extended to the end of March 2020. In the first 3 months of the scheme - November to January - the government will pay 80% of the furloughed employees' wages with the employer only paying the national insurance and pension contributions. For the self-employed the SEISS will pay 80% of average profits for the next 3 months up to a maximum of £7,500. Eligibility rules are as I set out in my most recent posts - at least those haven't changed. Yet!