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Register for Northern Ireland Trader Support Service

26 Nov, 2020

The Northern Ireland Trader Support Service was launched on 28 September 2020 to support businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021 after the Brexit transition period comes to an end. There will be changes in moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland whether or not a Free Trade Deal is reached.

Spending Review 2021/22

26 Nov, 2020

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak delivered the government's spending plans for the coming year to Parliament on 25 November 2020. The Spending Review usually covers 3 to 4 years but given the many unknowns as a result of the pandemic the review will only cover the period from April 2021 to April 2022.

The Chancellor said his immediate priority was to protect people’s lives and livelihoods as the country continues to battle the outbreak - allocating £55 billion to tackle the virus next year.

Proposed changes to CIS abuse rules

26 Nov, 2020

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. It was announced at Spring Budget 2020 that a consultation on measures to tackle abuse of the CIS would be launched.

Following the consultation and further meetings with those working in the sector four new changes to prevent CIS abuse are set to come into effect from 6 April 2021. 

Deciding length of CJRS claim period

26 Nov, 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021. Effective from 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked. There will be a review date of the CJRS in January 2021, which may see employers taking on an increased financial contribution if the economic and health outlook of the country show signs of improvement. 

Reasonable excuses for making a late furlough claim

26 Nov, 2020

HMRC’s guidance on making claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was updated on 19 November 2020. The updated guidance now includes various examples of what is meant by a ‘reasonable excuse’ for employers that submit furlough claims after the stated deadline. Claims for the periods from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020 must be submitted no later than 30 November 2020.

Why compound interest is important

25 Nov, 2020

Many of us are building a pension fund, a portfolio of shares or deposits with our bank or building society.

Most of these investment options reward us for our participation by offering income (usually in the form of interest or dividends) or by demonstrating capital growth (share prices increasing).

Accordingly, there are three components to our investments: the capital sum we invest, any growth in the value of the capital sum invested or rewards (interest or dividends) paid by banks or companies in which we hold shares.

Trading with businesses in Northern Ireland?

25 Nov, 2020

More than 7,000 businesses have now signed up to the new Trader Support Service (TSS), which will support traders moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from 1 January 2021.

Recently, registrations to the TSS have increased by around 50%, but with fewer than 50 days to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, more traders are being urged to register now and take advantage of the scheme’s wide-ranging package of customs support and guidance.

HM Treasury instructions re CJRS

19 Nov, 2020

An updated Treasury Direction under sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 concerning the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was published on 12 November 2020. The CJRS was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 but has now been extended until 31 March 2021.

Scottish Budget 2021

19 Nov, 2020

Scotland’s Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published for 2021-22 on 28 January 2021. The date has been selected in order to allow the Scottish Government time to prepare for the new tax year.

This is the second time that Scotland has held a Budget before the rest of the UK. The announcement follows the UK Government’s decision to postpone its Autumn Budget until an unspecified date in the new year.

The Finance Secretary commented that:

Benefit conditions – annual parties and events

19 Nov, 2020

Now is usually the time that businesses are planning Christmas parties for staff as well as possibly for partners/spouses, clients and prospective clients. Of course, with the continued pandemic and various lockdowns Christmas is looking pretty much cancelled this year. However, we have set out the benefit conditions for annual parties and events so that we can take advantage of tax exemptions in this area if circumstances allow.

Email to replace Companies House postal reminders

19 Nov, 2020

Companies House has issued a press release to remind all companies to sign up for email reminders for annual accounts and confirmation statement. Companies House has now stopped sending reminders by post and has sent a final reminder letter to all companies currently receiving paper reminders. The letter explains why Companies House has stopped the paper service. For example, that research has shown email reminders are more successful than paper reminders and users are more likely to file on time.

Benefit conditions – Trivial benefits

19 Nov, 2020

The trivial benefits in kind (BiK) exemption applies to small non-cash benefits like a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers given to employees or any other benefit in kind classed as 'trivial' that falls within the exemption.

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