This edition leads on the changes to the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support. In addition there is an article on the "super deduction" for capital allowances being introduced.
The first issue of 2021 provides details of the deferred VAT payments and Corporation tax to go digital
This edition of the newsletter provides a round up of the current Covid-19 financial support.
This edition of the newsletter provides an update on some tax changes as a result of Covid-19
This edition includes articles on the new rules for capital gains tax on property and the shake-up to IR35 rules.
The Summer edition leads on changes to VAT for the construction sector and an article on the potential advantages of deferring your state pension.
Businesses that deferred VAT payments last year have less than a month left to join online and pay in monthly instalments under the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme, HMRC has warned.
The online portal for the new payment scheme will close on 21 June 2021.
Over half a million businesses deferred £34 billion in VAT payments due between March and June 2020 under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme. Businesses had until 31 March 2021 to pay this deferred VAT or, if they could not afford to do so, they could go online from 23 February to set up a new payment scheme and pay by monthly instalments to spread the cost.
Jim Harra, HMRC's Chief Executive, said:
'Businesses that deferred paying their VAT last spring have until 21 June to join the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme online. They should act now to avoid missing out on this opportunity to spread payment of their deferred VAT across monthly, interest-free, instalments.
'The new payment scheme is part of the Government package of support worth over £350 billion to help protect millions of jobs and businesses during the pandemic and as we emerge on the path to recovery.
'HMRC will continue to do all we can to help businesses as they reopen and rebuild.'
Freeport operators will be able to take advantage of a zero rate of secondary national insurance contributions (NICs) for employees, the government has announced.
The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2021, which legislates reliefs for those operating in Freeports, has now been published.
The Bill confirms that from April 2022, organisations with employees spending 60% or more of their time in a Freeport site will be eligible for relief on secondary Class 1 NICs for 36 months. The relief will be available to new employees earning up to £25,000 per annum.
In 2020 the government consulted on proposals to create up to ten Freeports across the UK. A UK Freeport will be a geographical area with a diameter up to 45km which is closely linked to a seaport, airport or rail port. East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside and Thames have been successful in the Freeports bidding process for England.
The government is now proposing a range of measures covering customs, tax reliefs, planning, regeneration funding and innovation to create Freeports as national hubs for global trade and investment across the UK.
Internet link: GOV.UK
The UK government has confirmed that its plastic packaging tax (PPT) will come into force on 1 April 2022.
The PPT will be charged at a rate of £200 per metric ton of chargeable plastic packaging components of a single specification.
It will apply to plastic packaging components manufactured in or imported into the UK.
Plastics covered by the tax include bioplastics, including biodegradable, compostable and oxo-degradable plastics.
The tax will not be chargeable on plastic packaging which has 30% or more recycled plastic content, or where the packaging is made of multiple materials of which plastic is not proportionately the heaviest when measured by weight.
This includes importers of packaging which already contain goods, such as plastic bottles filled with drinks and where the imported packaging already contains other goods as the tax only applies to the plastic packaging itself.
The introduction of the plastic packaging tax is designed to encourage the use of recycled rather than new plastic within plastic packaging and will in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.
Internet link: GOV.UK
The Treasury has launched a review into the effectiveness of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), the independent body responsible for helping to make the UK tax system simpler and easier to interact with for taxpayers.
In a new call for evidence, the Treasury said that whilst the review is internal, it is keen to gather the views that stakeholders, businesses, tax professionals and academics have on the OTS.
The Treasury is seeking views on the resourcing, funding and governance of the OTS; the OTS's relationship with HMRC; the OTS's work to date; the impact of the OTS's work on the government's approach to tax simplification; and steps that could be taken to enhance the effectiveness of the OTS.
The call for evidence also asks stakeholders whether they believe the OTS is sufficiently independent from the government, and whether it has the correct breadth of expertise on its board.
The Treasury stated that the outcomes arising from the review will be published in the autumn of 2021.
Internet link: GOV.UK
The temporary Trade Credit Reinsurance (TCR) scheme that helped struggling supply chain firms secure insurance protection during the pandemic will close at the end of June, it has been confirmed.
In a statement, the government and the Association of British Insurers said the scheme will close on 30 June as planned.
The TCR scheme was designed as a temporary solution to companies struggling to get insurance cover for transactions because of the pandemic.
The government says the TCR has directly benefitted over half a million businesses but is now ending in the context of a positive outlook for economic recovery in 2021.
Participating insurers have indicated to the government that the scheme is no longer required and they are keen to take back full underwriting control.
The government says it will work with participating insurers to ensure there is a smooth transition to the private sector resuming its normal role of providing cover.
Chris Wilford, Head of Financial Services Policy at the Confederation of British Industry, said:
'There is growing concern amongst businesses about the future of the Trade Credit insurance market following the end of the government's guarantee at the end of June.
'It is vital that there is clear guidance on what businesses need to do to ensure coverage beyond the end of the TCI guarantee to smooth the transition towards a normalised market. The CBI welcomes the joint statement by the government and insurance industry and will continue to actively engage to find a solution.'
New company car advisory fuel rates have been published and took effect from 1 June 2021.
The guidance states: 'You can use the previous rates for up to one month from the date the new rates apply'. The rates only apply to employees using a company car.
The advisory fuel rates for journeys undertaken on or after 1 June 2021 are:
|1400cc or less||11p|
|1401cc - 2000cc||13p|
|1400cc or less||8p|
|1401cc - 2000cc||9p|
|1600cc or less||9p|
|1601cc - 2000cc||11p|
HMRC guidance states that the rates only apply when you either:
You must not use these rates in any other circumstances.
The Advisory Electricity Rate for fully electric cars is 4 pence per mile. Electricity is not a fuel for car fuel benefit purposes.
If you would like to discuss your car policy, please contact us.
Internet link: GOV.UK AFR
The forms P11D which report details of benefits and some expenses provided to employees and directors for the year ended 5 April 2021, are due for submission to HMRC by 6 July 2021. The process of gathering the necessary information and completing the forms can take some time, so it is important that this process is not left to the last minute.
Employees pay tax on benefits provided as shown on the P11D, generally via a PAYE coding notice adjustment or through the self assessment system. Some employers 'payroll' benefits and in this case the benefits do not need to be reported on forms P11D but employers should advise employees of the amount of benefits payrolled.
In addition, regardless of whether the benefits are being reported via P11D or payrolled the employer has to pay Class 1A National Insurance Contributions at 13.8% on the provision of most benefits. The calculation of this liability is detailed on the P11D(b) form. The deadline for payment of the Class 1A NIC is 19th July 2021 (or 22nd for cleared electronic payment).
If you would like any help with the completion of the forms or the calculation of the associated Class 1A NIC please get in touch.
Internet link: HMRC guidance
On 21 April, the online service for applications for the fourth Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant was opened for claims, HMRC confirmed.
All applications must be submitted by the individual self-employed worker and cannot be handled by accountants or tax advisers.
The fourth grant will be 80% of three months' average trading profits, to be claimed from late April 2021.
Payment will be in a single instalment capped at £7,500 in total and will cover the period 1 February to 30 April 2021. The scheme has been extended to those who filed a 2019/20 self-assessment tax return prior to 3 March 2021.
Claimants must have been impacted by reduced activity, capacity and demand, or have been trading previously and are temporarily unable to do so. All claims must be made on or before 1 June 2021.
There is no requirement for an earlier SEISS grant to have been claimed to be able to claim the fourth grant.
The fifth SEISS grant will cover the period from 1 May to 30 September 2021 and will be available from July.
It will be set at 80% of three months' average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500, for those with a turnover reduction of 30% or more.
Alternately, it will be worth 30% of three months' average trading profits, capped at £2,850 for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30%.
Further details of the fifth grant will be provided in due course.
Internet link: GOV.UK
On 6 April, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) was introduced to replace the government's coronavirus lending schemes.
The RLS provides financial support to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme gives lenders a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million to give them confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses.
The RLS is open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the previous COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme although the amount they have borrowed under an existing scheme may in certain circumstances limit the amount they may borrow under RLS.
The RLS is initially available through a number of lenders accredited by the British Business Bank.
Internet links: British Business Bank website
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has stated that the recent changes to the rules relating to off-payroll workers, commonly known as IR35, 'undermine the self-employed at the worst possible time'.
The changes to IR35 took effect on 6 April 2021 and shifted responsibility for making the decision on employment status on each contract away from contractors and personal service companies (PSCs) and on to the client receiving their services. This has already been done in the public sector.
Research carried out by IPSE found that 50% of contractors planned to stop contracting in the UK once the changes took effect unless they could secure contracts unaffected by them. 24% are planning to seek contracts abroad; 12% plan to stop working altogether; 17% will seek an employed role; and 11% are looking to retire within the next year.
Additionally, 24% of contractors said their clients are planning to blanket-assess all their contractors as 'inside IR35'.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said:
'The changes to IR35 would do serious harm to the self-employed sector at the best of times, but now they are adding drastic, unnecessary damage to the financial carnage of the pandemic – undermining the UK's contractors at the worst possible time.
'The crucial problem with IR35 is still its complexity: in fact, it is so complex that HMRC has lost the majority of tribunals on its own legislation. And there remains serious doubts about the CEST tool HMRC designed to supposedly cut through this complexity.'
Internet link: IPSE website