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Immigration Act receives Royal Assent

19 Nov, 2020

The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 11 November 2020. This is the legislation which will end the free movement of persons under retained EU law in the UK at 11pm on 31 December 2020. It will also repeal other retained EU law relating to immigration.

Bounce Back loans still available

19 Nov, 2020

The Bounce Back Loans scheme was launched in May 2020 to provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme allows small businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash in most cases within 24 hours of approval.

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.

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:

Claiming the Self-Employed Income Support for first time?

19 Nov, 2020

The Government has confirmed that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant extension will apply for 6 months from 1 November 2020. It will be possible to claim the SEISS grant extension even if no previous claim had been made under the scheme once the eligibility criteria are met.

Do you need a customs agent?

18 Nov, 2020

If your business acquires goods or sells goods to the EU, and you have no import/export trade with non-EU countries you probably have no experience of dealing with the raft of red tape involved in clearing goods through customs and settling any duties or VAT payable.

Affected businesses will need to abide by the new regulatory situation from 1 January 2021. Only a matter of weeks from now. They will need to employ someone or appoint a customs agency to undertake the necessary chores.

Holiday entitlements if furloughed

12 Nov, 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) commonly known as the furlough scheme is open to all UK employers and will now run until 31 March 2021. From 1 November 2020, employees will receive up to 80% of their salary for hours not worked with a review date in January.

One common question concerns holiday pay entitlement if furloughed. Employees will accrue holiday entitlement while they are furloughed and can also take leave while on furlough.

Further support for mortgage borrowers

12 Nov, 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced new proposals to ensure that lenders provide tailored support to mortgage borrowers who continue to face payment difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. This follows the additional government measures announced over recent weeks to control the spread of coronavirus.

Payment holidays to support mortgage borrowers who are experiencing payment difficulties because of coronavirus will be extended. These measures were due to come to an end on 31 October 2020.

This means that:

Coding out debts deadline

12 Nov, 2020

The coding threshold entitles tax payers to have tax underpayments collected via a tax code, provided they are in employment or in receipt of a UK-based pension. The coding applies to certain debts such as Self-Assessment liabilities, tax credit overpayments and outstanding Class 2 NIC contributions.

Instead of paying off debts in a lump sum, money is collected in equal monthly instalments over the tax year.

VAT – transfer of business as going concern

12 Nov, 2020

The transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC) rules concern the VAT liability on the sale of a business. Normally the sale of the assets of a VAT registered or VAT registerable business will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate.

Where the sale of a business includes assets and meets certain conditions the sale will be categorised as a TOGC. A TOGC is defined as 'neither a supply of goods nor a supply of services' and is therefore outside the scope of VAT. Under the TOGC rules no VAT would be chargeable on a qualifying sale.

Protection for landlords and tenants

12 Nov, 2020

The government guidance for landlords and tenants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been updated. The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can start proceedings to evict tenants. 

Business Asset Disposal Relief

12 Nov, 2020

Business Asset Disposal Relief used to be known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief before 6 April 2020. The relief was renamed in Finance Act 2020. The name change does not affect the operation of the relief.

Business Asset Disposal Relief applies to the sale of a business, shares in a trading company or an individual’s interest in a trading partnership. Where this relief is available CGT of 10% is payable in place of the standard rate. There are a number of qualifying conditions that must be met in order to qualify for the relief.

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