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Industry Updates

Brexit imports and exports
Brexit imports and exports

12 November 2020


From 1 January 2021, the UK will operate a full external border with the EU, which will entail major changes for imports and exports to and from the trading bloc. From 1 January 2021, declarations will be needed to import or export specific (limited) goods categorised as ‘controlled’. However, for non-controlled goods brought from the ...

Chancellor approves grants for businesses closed by lockdown
Chancellor approves grants for businesses closed by lockdown

11 November 2020


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced approved additional funding for cash grants to support businesses required to close in England due to the lockdown. Those businesses affected will be eligible for the following: For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks For properties ...

Increased support made available for the self employed
Increased support made available for the self employed

9 November 2020


The government has increased the support available to self-employed workers and extended its emergency business loan schemes as the UK heads for a second national lockdown. On 5 November Rishi Sunak announced an increase in the level of the third instalment of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) from 55% to 80% of average trading profits ...

ATT issues last call for firms seeking to use increased Annual Investment Allowance
ATT issues last call for firms seeking to use increased Annual Investment Allowance

7 November 2020


The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has issued a last call for businesses looking to make use of the increased Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). The AIA will be reduced from £1 million to £200,000 from 1 January 2021. Businesses that incur significant expenditure on plant and machinery before the end of this year are likely ...

Furlough scheme extended
Furlough scheme extended

6 November 2020


On 5 November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that as part of the new national lockdown the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of March 2021. This announcement updates the Prime Minister’s previous announcement on 31 October that the CJRS would be extended for a month until December. The scheme has ...

Self assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans
Self assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans

30 October 2020


Self assessment taxpayers are now able to benefit from enhanced payment plans and can apply online for additional support to help spread their tax bill into monthly payments. The online payment plan service was already able to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000. From 1 October 2020, HMRC increased the ...

Latest guidance for employers
Latest guidance for employers

29 October 2020


HMRC has published the latest issue of the Employer Bulletin. The October issue has information on various topics including: coronavirus support schemes and what employers need to do from November onwards National Insurance Number delays Guidance on off payroll working rules (IR35) grants for businesses that complete customs declarations new Employment Allowance status option on ...

54,800 customers claim tax relief for working from home
54,800 customers claim tax relief for working from home

21 October 2020


HMRC has received more than 54,800 claims from taxpayers using a new online portal which allows workers to claim tax relief for working at home. From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home. Launched ...

Winter Economy Plan support for the self-employed
Winter Economy Plan support for the self-employed

6 October 2020


As part of the Winter Economy Plan the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended under the name SEISS Grant Extension. The grant: will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS, and will be available to individuals who are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due ...

VAT deferral and enhanced Time to Pay for self assessment
VAT deferral and enhanced Time to Pay for self assessment

5 October 2020


Over half a million businesses deferred VAT payments, which were due in March to June 2020, with these payments becoming due at the end of March 2021. As part of the Winter Economy Plan the government has now announced the option for such businesses to spread their payments over the financial year 2021/22. Businesses will ...

Job Support Scheme
Job Support Scheme

3 October 2020


The existing job support scheme, the furlough scheme, comes to an end on 31 October. As part of the Winter Economy Plan the government announced it will be introducing a new Job Support Scheme from 1 November 2020. For employers to participate in the scheme: employees will need to work a minimum of 33% of ...

The VAT reverse charge
The VAT reverse charge

2 October 2020


HMRC has issued detailed guidance on the domestic reverse charge changes scheduled for 1 March 2021. The reverse charge represents part of a government clampdown on VAT fraud. Large amounts of VAT are lost through ‘missing trader’ fraud. As part of this type of fraud, VAT is charged by a supplier, who then disappears, along ...

Changes to the Bounce Back Loan and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes
Changes to the Bounce Back Loan and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes

1 October 2020


The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has provided support to many UK-based small businesses. Loans are between £2,000 and £50,000, capped at 25% of turnover, with a 100% government guarantee to the lender. The borrower does not have to make any repayments for the first 12 months, with the government covering the first 12 months’ ...

Ministers announce new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns
Ministers announce new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

30 September 2020


Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. To be eligible for the grant, a business must have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions. The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they ...

Self assessment deadlines
Self assessment deadlines

8 September 2020


Two self assessment deadlines are approaching: 5th October 2020 For those individuals who have not previously completed a tax return but need to report a liability for 2019/20. 31st October 2020 For those individuals who have previously submitted ‘paper’ self assessment tax returns the deadline for the 2019/20 return is 31 October 2020. Returns submitted ...

Kickstart Scheme opens for applications
Kickstart Scheme opens for applications

3 September 2020


On 2 September 2020, the government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme opened for employer applications. The scheme is part of the Plan for Jobs announced during Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s July Summer Economic Update. The Kickstart Scheme aims to create work placements for young people who are at risk of becoming unemployed for the long-term. Businesses can ...

Plastic bag tax charge to be doubled and extended to all retailers
Plastic bag tax charge to be doubled and extended to all retailers

1 September 2020


The fee for plastic shopping bags in England will be doubled to 10 pence and extended to all shops from April 2021. Small retailers, those employing 250 people or fewer, will no longer be exempt, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. According to Defra, since the charge was first introduced in ...

HMRC latest guidance for employers
HMRC latest guidance for employers

29 August 2020


HMRC has published the latest edition of the Employer Bulletin. This guidance for employers, and their agents, includes articles on: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and what employers need to do from August onwards making sure you are paying the correct workplace pension contributions new laws to ensure furloughed employees receive full statutory redundancy payments the ...

Advisory fuel rates for company cars
Advisory fuel rates for company cars

27 August 2020


New company car advisory fuel rates have been published which take effect from 1 September 2020. The rates only apply to employees using a company car. The guidance states: ‘You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply.’  The advisory fuel rates for journeys undertaken on ...

Eat Out to Help Out – over 64 million meals
Eat Out to Help Out – over 64 million meals

26 August 2020


The government has announced that more than 64 million meals were enjoyed by diners across the country during the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme. The scheme closed on 31 August 2020. Government figures show that restaurants had claimed for more than 64 million discounted meals as Eat Out to Help Out entered ...

More than £30 million lost to pension scams
More than £30 million lost to pension scams

26 August 2020


Over £30 million has been lost to pension scams since 2017, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR). A total of £30,857,329 in pension savings has been lost to scammers since 2017, data published by the FCA and the TPR revealed. Reported losses ranged from under £1,000 to as much ...

Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grants
Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grants

19 August 2020


HMRC are inviting those individuals that are self employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus to claim a second grant under the Self Employed Income Support Grant. Applications for the first grant under the scheme closed on 13 July 2020. The second and final taxable grant is worth ...

Eat Out To Help Out now up and running
Eat Out To Help Out now up and running

2 August 2020


On 1 August, the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme began operating at eateries across the country. The scheme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Summer Economic Update. It provides a 50% reduction of up to £10, for sit-down meals in participating cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to ...

HMRC outlines Job Retention Bonus criteria
HMRC outlines Job Retention Bonus criteria

1 August 2020


HMRC has outlined the eligibility requirements for the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) that follows the furlough scheme as part of the government’s measures to support the economy through the COVID-19 lockdown. The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020 and the JRB aims to provide additional support to employers who keep on ...

Wales reduces LTT rate
Wales reduces LTT rate

28 July 2020


On 27 July, the Welsh government reduced the rate of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) following the cuts made to SDLT and LTT across the rest of the UK. LTT is payable by the purchaser of residential or non-residential property occurring in Wales. From 27 July 2020, the starting threshold for residential LTT rose from £180,000 ...

Government announces review of business rates scheme
Government announces review of business rates scheme

22 July 2020


The government has published a call for evidence on the overhaul of the business rates system that applies in England. The government announced at the 2020 Budget in March that it would conduct a review of the business rates system in England. It is seeking views from businesses, business representative organisations, local authorities, rating agents, ...

Treasury sets out next steps for Making Tax Digital
Treasury sets out next steps for Making Tax Digital

22 July 2020


On 21 July, the Treasury set out the next steps in its plan to extend Making Tax Digital (MTD) to all businesses and those taxpayers that file self assessment returns. Currently, businesses above the VAT threshold of £85,000 are required to comply with Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTD for VAT). From April 2022, the ...

Chancellor asks OTS to review capital gains tax
Chancellor asks OTS to review capital gains tax

19 July 2020


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out a thorough review of capital gains tax (CGT). In a letter to the OTS, the Chancellor requested that the independent office review CGT and aspects of the taxation of chargeable gains in regard to individuals and small businesses. Mr Sunak requested ...

Overclaimed COVID grants
Overclaimed COVID grants

16 July 2020


Taxpayers who have received CJRS or SEISS grants are urged to doublecheck their entitlement as the 90 day period to inform HMRC of any overclaimed amounts is now law. Finance Act 2020 includes legislation that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and coronavirus business ...

Scottish government cuts LBTT to help home buyers
Scottish government cuts LBTT to help home buyers

16 July 2020


On 15 July, the Scottish government reduced the rate of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) following a similar reduction to the rate of residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the recent Summer Economic Update. LBTT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in Scotland. SDLT ...

Chancellor unveils three-point plan for jobs
Chancellor unveils three-point plan for jobs

10 July 2020


On 8 July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a three-point plan to support jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when he delivered a Summer Economic Update to Parliament. Mr Sunak confirmed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will end as planned this October. The Chancellor said furloughing had been the right measure to protect ...

Stamp duty temporarily reduced
Stamp duty temporarily reduced

8 July 2020


Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a temporary cut in the rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in order to boost confidence in the flagging housing market in his Summer Economic Update. Property transactions fell by 50% in May this year and house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years. In response, the ...

Flexible furloughing starts on job retention scheme
Flexible furloughing starts on job retention scheme

2 July 2020


On 1 July, changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) saw flexible furloughing introduced, so employees will no longer have to be furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks. Following the change the CJRS has more flexibility to allow claims on a pro rata basis. Employers will be able to permit employees to ...

Late payment crisis has worsened during Coronavirus lockdown
Late payment crisis has worsened during Coronavirus lockdown

1 July 2020


The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that the UK’s late payment crisis has worsened during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. 62% of small businesses have been subject to late or frozen payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research carried out by the FSB. Just 10% of small firms have agreed changes to payment ...

Government expands aid for start-ups and innovators
Government expands aid for start-ups and innovators

28 June 2020


The government has expanded its COVID-19 support for start-ups and innovative companies with the launch of a new fund. On 27 June the government announced the Sustainable Innovation Fund (SIF), which is aimed at helping businesses to keep ‘cutting edge’ projects and ideas alive during the pandemic. The SIF will make almost £200 million available ...

Bank of England increases stimulus package for UK economy
Bank of England increases stimulus package for UK economy

19 June 2020


On 18 June, the Bank of England increased the stock of purchases of UK government bonds by an additional £100 billion to help boost the UK economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The £100 billion in additional quantitative easing funds takes the total to £745 billion. The MPC also voted to cut the cost of ...

MPs open inquiry into £155 billion of tax reliefs
MPs open inquiry into £155 billion of tax reliefs

17 June 2020


The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has opened an inquiry into the UK’s management of £155 billion of tax relief. The inquiry follows the February publication of a National Audit Office (NAO) report that identified over 300 such tax interventions, totalling £155 billion per year. The NAO raised concerns about the effectiveness of management of tax ...

UK sets out post-Brexit tariff regime
UK sets out post-Brexit tariff regime

17 June 2020


The UK government published its plans for a new import tariff regime following the end of the Brexit transition period. Following its departure from the EU, the UK has the ability to set its own rules and charges. The scheme includes the abolition of tariffs on imports worth over £30 billion, although economists say the ...

Changes to insolvency and company law going through Parliament
Changes to insolvency and company law going through Parliament

17 June 2020


The government is making changes to insolvency and company law as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill outlines that struggling companies will be given extra time to consider rescue plans presented to them. As part of the changes, companies will have 20 business days to consider a rescue plan, ...

COVID-19: delay to VAT reverse charge on construction services
COVID-19: delay to VAT reverse charge on construction services

10 June 2020


On 5 June 2020, HMRC announced a five-month delay to the introduction of the domestic VAT reverse charge for construction services, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. The change will now apply from 1 March 2021 and will overhaul the way VAT is payable on building and construction invoices as ...

Chancellor announces changes to Job Retention Scheme
Chancellor announces changes to Job Retention Scheme

5 June 2020


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced changes to the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which will be slowly wound down between July and October. The changes mean businesses will be able to bring furloughed employees back on a part-time basis from 1 July. Furloughed staff will continue to get 80% of their salary until the ...

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme goes live
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme goes live

1 June 2020


On 26 May 2020, HMRC opened up its Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate claim service. Eligible employers are able to recoup up to two weeks’ worth of SSP payments made to employees off work for COVID-19-related reasons since 13 March 2020 (16 March 2020 if the employee was shielding). This is an ongoing scheme for ...

FCA confirms further support for consumer credit customers
FCA confirms further support for consumer credit customers

30 May 2020


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed further support for users of certain consumer credit products if they are experiencing temporary payment difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. The measures outline the options firms will provide for credit card, revolving credit and personal loan customers who are coming to the end of a payment freeze. ...

Loan size increased to £200 million under large business interruption scheme
Loan size increased to £200 million under large business interruption scheme

28 May 2020


Several changes to the CLBILS scheme have taken effect from 26 May. The government has extended the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) from £50 million to £200 million. However, companies borrowing more than £50 million through the CLBILS will be subject to restrictions on dividend payments, senior pay and ...

Future Fund launches to give start-ups coronavirus support
Future Fund launches to give start-ups coronavirus support

25 May 2020


On 20 May 2020, the government launched its Future Fund package, which aims to support start-up businesses not eligible for other COVID-19 rescue measures. The Future Fund offers government loans of between £125,000 and £5 million to UK-incorporated companies, provided private investors at least match the funding supplied by the state. The package is aimed ...

Private sector off-payroll reforms given go ahead for April 2021
Private sector off-payroll reforms given go ahead for April 2021

22 May 2020


The introduction of off-payroll rules to the private sector will go ahead as planned next April after an attempt to delay them failed in the House of Commons. The reforms of the off-payroll rules to the private sector, which are known as IR35 and have applied to the public sector since 2017, was reviewed earlier ...

HMRC extends late reporting deadline for CGT
HMRC extends late reporting deadline for CGT

20 May 2020


HMRC has confirmed it will not charge penalties for the late reporting of capital gains tax (CGT) on disposals of UK residential property by UK residents made by 31 July 2020. On 6 April changes were made so that if a UK resident sells a residential property in the UK, they now have 30 days ...

Government borrowing could rise to £300 billion
Government borrowing could rise to £300 billion

20 May 2020


The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) has suggested that government borrowing may rise to £300 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The think tank has been working to estimate the cost of the COVID-19 crisis to the government’s finances, and has incorporated official data from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). ...

Government launches support finding tool for business
Government launches support finding tool for business

18 May 2020


The UK government launched an online platform to help businesses access financial support during the COVID-19 crisis. The Coronavirus Business Support Finder Tool will guide businesses through the range of loans, tax reliefs and cash grants to combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. The tool asks business owners to fill out a ...

HMRC releases guidance for self-employed scheme
HMRC releases guidance for self-employed scheme

14 May 2020


HMRC has released guidance on the COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Under the scheme, self-employed individuals will be able to claim a taxable grant based on an average of their earnings over the past three years. To be eligible, workers must have filed all relevant income tax self assessment returns; have traded in the 2018/19 ...

Government launches small business micro loan scheme
Government launches small business micro loan scheme

11 May 2020


On 4 May 2020 the government launched a micro loan scheme for small businesses as it continues to try and mitigate the economic damage caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme allows small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 to apply for up to £50,000, with the government guaranteeing 100% of the ...

New tests and new car benefit percentages
New tests and new car benefit percentages

6 May 2020


As part of its drive to encourage green motoring, the government has introduced a new emissions test, as well as new car benefit percentages. The scale of charges for working out the taxable benefit for an employee who has use of an employer provided car is computed by reference to bands of CO2 emissions multiplied ...

Get ready for 30-day returns and payments for residential property gains
Get ready for 30-day returns and payments for residential property gains

6 May 2020


Legislation has been enacted to change reporting obligations for residential property gains chargeable on UK resident individuals, trustees and personal representatives. Also introduced is a requirement to make a payment on account of the associated capital gains tax (CGT) liability. For disposals made on or after 6 April 2020: a standalone tax return is required ...

OBR predicts UK economy will shrink by over a third
OBR predicts UK economy will shrink by over a third

5 May 2020


The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned that the UK economy could shrink by 35% this quarter due to the COVID-19 crisis. The OBR said that the outcome was modelled on an assumption that the current lockdown would last for three months. It stated that a three-month lockdown followed by three months of partial ...

HMRC urges businesses using VAT deferral to cancel direct debits
HMRC urges businesses using VAT deferral to cancel direct debits

5 May 2020


Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking to make use of the VAT deferral have been urged to cancel their direct debits ‘as soon as they can’. Businesses are advised to contact their bank to cancel their direct debits as soon as possible. UK VAT-registered businesses with a VAT payment ...

Lenders relax evidence requirements for business interruption loan scheme applications
Lenders relax evidence requirements for business interruption loan scheme applications

30 April 2020


On 27 April 2020 the UK’s seven largest small business lenders announced they had relaxed their evidence requirements for applications to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The lenders will use their own information when processing and approving applications, rather than relying on businesses providing forecasts and business plans. In a joint statement, the ...

HMRC delays introduction of off-payroll rules to private sector
HMRC delays introduction of off-payroll rules to private sector

24 April 2020


HMRC has delayed the introduction of off-payroll rules to the private sector as part of its measures to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The reforms will shift the responsibility for assessing employment status to the organisations employing individuals. The rules would have applied to contractors working for medium and large organisations in the private ...

Job Retention Scheme goes live
Job Retention Scheme goes live

22 April 2020


On 20 April 2020 the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live for applications. The scheme allows businesses to furlough their employees, with the government paying 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open for four months and was backdated from 1 March 2020 to the ...

Regulators request delay in corporate reporting
Regulators request delay in corporate reporting

22 April 2020


Financial regulators have requested a moratorium on corporate financial reports for at least two weeks. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been communicating with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) about a package of measures to ‘reinforce trust in the reporting system’. These will be aimed at ensuring companies and ...

Chancellor unveils help for self-employed workers
Chancellor unveils help for self-employed workers

15 April 2020


On 26 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a scheme to help self-employed workers who have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Under the scheme, the government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant based on an average of their earnings over the past three years. The grant will cover up to 80% of earnings, up ...

Chancellor’s business support packages for coronavirus pandemic
Chancellor’s business support packages for coronavirus pandemic

10 April 2020


On 17 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £330 billion package of support for the UK economy as it combats the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures dwarf the £12 billion made available in the 2020 Budget. The package includes an increase in government-backed loans, higher cash grants, widened business rates relief for some sectors and mortgage ...

Rise in contactless card payment limit
Rise in contactless card payment limit

6 April 2020


From 1 April the spending limit for contactless card payments rose from £30 to £45. The decision to increase the payment limit was reached following consultation between the retail sector and the finance and payments industry, and echoes similar increases in other European countries. UK Finance stated that the change had been under consideration before ...

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