Wednesday, October 14, 2020

SEISS - Last chance

Please remember that the last date for any claims under the SEISS for the second tranche of grants is 19 October 2020. Time is running out.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Sunak's "Winter Economy Plan"

We were expecting a Budget in the coming weeks but that has been abandoned for the moment and instead the Chancellor stood up in Parliament last week to announce his "Winter Economy Plan". Many commentators expected him to announce some kind of replacement for the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) but he went quite a bit further.

The Job Support Scheme will provide grants to employers for those employees they can keep on reduced hours as long as these represent at least 33% of their normal hours. From 1 November, eligible employees will be paid as normal for actual hours then paid 2/3 of normal pay for the rest of their normal hours with half of that paid by the employer and half by the government. For an employee working the minimum 33% of normal hours, they will receive around 77% of normal pay with the employer paying 55% and the government 22%. The grant is capped at £697.92 per month for each employee on the scheme and will last 6 months.

There will also be an extension to the scheme supporting the self-employed. Self-employed individuals who are facing reduced demand over the winter months will be able to apply for a grant of 20% of their average monthly trading profits for three months from November to January. The scheme will continue for a further 3 months but the amount of grant has not been confirmed.

The Chancellor also announced schemes to allow instalment payments for VAT held over from earlier this year and for personal tax payments due in July 2020 and January 2021. He also extended the period of reduced VAT for the hospitality and tourism sectors until the end of March 2021 and improved the terms and guarantees for the business loan schemes.

Full details of all these changes will be provided in the coming weeks and we will include further information on these pages when they become available.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Statutory Sick Pay & Covid-19

There has been a minor change to the rules for recovering SSP where someone is having to self-isolate. It is now possible to reclaim SSP where an employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.

The current position is therefore that an employer can reclaim SSP for up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness if an employee is unable to work because they:-

  • have coronavirus symptoms
  • are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
  • are self-isolating because they've been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they've come into contact with someone with coronavirus
  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
  • have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days.
More than one claim can be made for an employee but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

An initial grant was made available to support self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Like the JRS, the scheme was open initially for a period of 3 months. A further grant will now be open for claims in mid-August although it will be worth 70% of profits rather than 80% up to a maximum of £6,570 for the 3 months. Profits will be calculated by reference to your profits in the last 3 years of trading as declared on your tax returns. If you have been trading for less than 3 years then the shorter period will be used as long as you have at least submitted a tax return for 2018/19 showing your self-employed income.

 You will only be eligible if you have lost trading profits due to Covid-19 but you do not have to have stopped work completely. You will not be eligible if your average income exceeds £50,000 per annum or if self-employment is not your main source of income (ie >50%). Claims can be made from 17 August.

Click on the link below or paste the address into your browser, it will take you straight to the relevant page on the website.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Capital Gains on Residential Property

Sales of residential property must now be reported to HMRC, and any tax paid, within 30 days of completion of the contract. No return is required where CGT is not chargeable, for example where the property is exempt as a main residence or where the gain is less than the annual exemption. The return is made online through a special portal and penalties for late reporting started in August. Please get in touch if you have made, or are about to make, any disposals which could fall foul of these new regulations.

Job Retention Scheme (JRS)

The new version of the JRS came into effect on 1 July. The revised scheme allows employers to furlough staff on a part-time basis as long as they had been furloughed for a full 3 week period under the original scheme by 30 June. Thereafter any pattern of work can be agreed with the employee. The employer pays for the working time as usual and the remainder of their normal hours are covered under the furlough scheme. As before, the employee must be paid at least 80% of normal pay for furlough periods.

From August the employer will have to pay national insurance and pension costs related to periods of furlough and from September only 70% of salary will be refunded dropping to 60% in October. The scheme will end on 31 October. Do remember that employees retain all their usual employment rights during furlough including accruing holiday entitlement. They can be required to take holidays while on furlough although they would need to be paid at their usual holiday rate not just 80%.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


 We have decided to venture into the world of blogging to try to deliver a faster and more comprehensive source of useful information for our clients. Our website will still be there to provide a stable platform for technical information which doesn't change too quickly, contact details, and legal notices. However, if we have learned nothing else from the pandemic, circumstances can change very quickly and we all need to be ready to adapt at very short notice. 

So, a blog where we can add technical information, useful tips, and anything else that comes to mind just as easily as writing a letter (or so they tell me). We'll have to wait and see.