A personal message from Elinor, James and Taz

Firstly, we hope you and yours are keeping well. These are difficult times, both personally and in business.

We’re still working, remotely of course these days, and we’re putting in the hours to understand each new business scheme and how they are interpreted by HMRC.

To help you find the best way ahead in these unsettling times we’ve put together a webpage of resources explaining every COVID-19 measure. There’s also information about how to join our frequent interactive video Q&A sessions. To find it, please go to: COVID-19 Support

Stay safe everyone, together we will get through this, take care and lets look after each other.

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Resources

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Self-employed – setting off losses

17 Jun, 2020

There are a number of tax reliefs available for self-employed taxpayers that make a loss carrying on their trade, profession or vocation (collectively referred to as a ‘trade’) and for their share of trading losses in any partnerships.

For the 2019-20 tax year, trade losses can be relieved in a number of ways. This includes the following:

  • By using the loss to reduce income for the year ended 5 April 2019 and / or 5 April 2018.

Corporation Tax – carrying back losses

17 Jun, 2020

Corporation Tax relief may be available where a company or organisation makes a trading loss. The loss may be used to claim relief from Corporation Tax by offsetting the loss against other gains or profits of the business in the same or accounting period.

Where the amount of a trading loss exceeds the profits of the same accounting period, the company may claim to carry back the excess against the profits of preceding accounting periods. The preceding accounting periods are those falling wholly or partly within the preceding period.

No extension to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

17 Jun, 2020

The UK has confirmed that it will neither accept nor seek any extension to the Brexit transition period which expires on 31 December 2020. The EU has formally accepted this position. With just over six months to go before the end of the transition period there remains a lot of work to be done if agreement is to be reached. This move could result in the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Parents returning to work after maternity/paternity leave

17 Jun, 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) also known as the furlough scheme has been extended until 31 October 2020. There are a number of important changes to the way the scheme works starting from 1 July 2020, when employers can bring back furloughed employees to work part-time, for any amount of time and any shift pattern. One of the specified changes is that the final date employers could furlough staff for the first time was 10 June 2020.

Sick-pay if self-isolating

17 Jun, 2020

If you are an employee, you must tell your employer as soon as possible if you are showing signs of Coronavirus or someone you live with has symptoms of the disease.

Your employer will be able to inform you if you are covered by their sick leave policy. If you are, you may be asked to furnish them with an isolation note that proves you cannot work due to Coronavirus symptoms. You can obtain an isolation note from NHS 111 online in England, NHS inform in Scotland, NHS Direct in Wales and from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

Retain or let go?

16 Jun, 2020

Last week, we considered one of the issues that employers will likely need to consider in the coming weeks and months: productivity.

This week we have listed other factors that you may need to consider if you presently have staff furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

From 1 July, it is possible for furloughed staff to return to part-time work. From 1 August, employers will need to finance an increasing proportion of the CJRS costs for time not worked.

Saving for taxes

16 Jun, 2020

While our businesses have been able to maintain or increase profits there has been an unwritten acceptance that we will pay for current taxes out of future cash resources.

For example, if you are self-employed, payments on account for self-assessment taxes on current income are made two months before the end of each tax year and four months after the end of each tax year. And if payments on account are not enough to cover what is due, any balance owing to HMRC is payable some months after the end of the tax year.

CJRS changes announced 12 June 2020

14 Jun, 2020

We reported late last month on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 31 October 2020 following the announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. At the time, the Chancellor confirmed that further guidance on the workings of the amended scheme, which allows for flexible furloughing from 1 July, would be published on 12 June. This revised guidance has now been published.

The following updated guidance should be noted:

Furlough Scheme over-claims

10 Jun, 2020

HMRC’s guidance makes it clear that any business that makes an error in making a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim must pay back any amount over-claimed. Any claims based on inaccurate information can be recovered by HMRC.

The CJRS application claim form has been updated and now allows businesses to advise HMRC if they have identified previous errors and over-claimed. If you confirm that your business has been overpaid, the new claim amount will be reduced to reflect this overpayment.

Why are profits important?

10 Jun, 2020

Dictionary definitions of the word profit tend to include such synonyms as “advantage”, “financial gain” and “financial advantage”.

Longer explanations might say: the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. 

All true to some degree.

A wider definition might include that profits facilitate economic growth if they are used to invest in the businesses that create them.

VAT changes for the construction sector delayed again

10 Jun, 2020

The VAT rule changes for building contractors and sub-contractors that were expected to come into effect on 1 October 2020 have been delayed for a further 5 months until 1 March 2021. The delay is due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Head count or productivity?

10 Jun, 2020

In the not to distant past business managers were prone to “empire building”. Increasing head count was more important than increasing productivity.

This bygone-age tendency has long slipped away but productivity is likely to remain as a leading consideration when businesses organise their use of human assets to run their businesses in the post-COVID economy.

Productivity should be one of the key considerations as we emerge from lock-down. Employers may need to make difficult choices if their ability to trade has been affected by COVID restrictions.

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