Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Are you ready for 1 January 2021?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

When we awake to the new year we will no longer be in transition; we will be out of the EU and will have to cope with a wide range of regulatory changes if we buy or sell goods or services to EU suppliers and customers.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy recently sent a “YOU NEED TO ACT NOW” plea to all UK businesses that may be affected by these changes.

Many of these reminders will have found their way to waste bins at a rapid rate of knots or be sitting in post boxes awaiting the return of staff all working from home or required to stay at home as their business is in lock-down.

The circular makes four points:

  1. Check the new rules on importing and exporting goods between the EU and GB from 1 January 2021 – different rules will apply in Northern Ireland.
  2. If you are planning to recruit from overseas from 1 January 2021 you will need to register as a licensed VISA sponsor.
  3. Use GOV.UK to identify changes affecting manufactured goods, such as new marking requirements or approvals needed, to ensure your business is ready to sell them in the EU and UK.
  4. If you are moving goods into out of or through Northern Ireland check the latest guidance.

The circular is peppered with red type to underline the importance and urgency of the DBEIS concerns. Presumably, they felt a reminder was necessary due to the expected number of businesses who are not prepared for this momentous change.

If you want to avoid potential disruption to your supply lines after 1 January 2021 it makes sense to take a look at the GOV.UK website and see what you need to do as a minimum to reduce these disruptive risks.

We are leaving and with complications due to COVID we may well be leaving with no formal trade agreement.

If you need help considering your options to protect your business please call.

Furlough claims from 1 November 2020

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

If you are making claims under the extended furlough scheme from 1 November 2020 you need to be aware of changes in the claims process.

Perhaps the most significant is that claims need to be registered within 14 days of the relevant period end. In their revised guidance on this topic HMRC say:

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the relevant claim deadline. You cannot submit your claim more than 14 days before your claim period end date.

When making your claim:

  • you do not have to wait until the end date of the claim period for a previous claim before making your next claim
  • you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears)

If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within seven days of starting it. All claims for periods from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020 must be submitted no later than 30 November 2020.

Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

Claim for furlough days in

Claim must be submitted by

November 2020

14 December 2020

December 2020

14 January 2021

January 2021

15 February 2021

February 2021

15 March 2021

March 2021

14 April 2021

 

But what happens if you cannot submit a claim by the deadline?

HMRC accept that there may be circumstances when a claim cannot be made within the statutory time limits. They confirm that you may have a reasonable excuse if:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
  • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
  • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
  • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

HMRC will not consider reasonable excuses in advance of a claim deadline.

Are you eligible for further self-employed grants?

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Two quarterly grants have been paid to UK self-employed traders that qualify for the Self- Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). These covered the periods up to 31 October 2020.

The Chancellor has announced that two further quarterly payments will be made. Traders will still need to qualify for the payments and in particular:

  • Have been previously been eligible for the SEISS first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
    • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

If these conditions are confirmed then a claim can be made for the following periods:

Quarter 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021

The maximum that can be claimed for this period is 80% of average, qualifying quarterly earnings capped at £7,500. This is an increase on the previously announced amount of 55%.

The online portal to make a claim will open 30 November 2020 and payments should be received before Christmas.

Quarter 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021

Details of the amount that will be paid for this quarter will be announced January 2021.

Self-employed traders who, for what ever reason, do not qualify for this grant, but are still suffering financial hardship due to COVID disruption, may be able to claim under the Universal Credit.

The SEISS is taxable…

And don’t forget, when you prepare accounts covering any period during which you received an SEISS grant these will need to be added to your taxable earnings in the relevant tax period.

Need help applying?

Please call if you need assistance claiming these additional SEISS grants.

Current businesses subject to lock-down

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

We have reproduced below a list of businesses which must close during the period 5 November to 2 December 2020.

Business based in England and required to close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect
  • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, for funerals or funeral commemorative events, to broadcast an act of worship, to provide essential voluntary services or urgent public support services, for registered childcare, and to host permitted gatherings.

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training (for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision)
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children (in community centres and halls, and places of worship; and supervised activities for children in indoor sports and leisure facilities)
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks (in community centres and halls, places of worship, and libraries)
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming (in retail, entertainment and leisure venues, as well as visitor attractions)

 

Businesses based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are subject to regional variations and current restrictions for business owners in these areas will need to be accessed from regional government websites.

Are you eligible for Universal Credit?

Thursday, November 12th, 2020

What to do if you are placed in a financial position where you do not have sufficient income to meet your monthly outgoings and you are unable to find work to plug the gap.

The main government assistance for those who find themselves in this position is to register for Universal Credits.

The following notes from the GOV.UK website may help you decide if you are eligible to make a claim.

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:

  • You are on a low income or out of work
  • You are 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
  • You are under State Pension age (or your partner is)
  • you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
  • you live in the UK

 

The number of children you have does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, but it may affect how much you get.

You should use the benefits calculator on the GOV.UK website to check what other benefits you could get if you are not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you live with your partner

Your partner’s income and savings will be considered, even if they are not eligible for Universal Credit.

If you are 18 or over and in training or studying full-time

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • you live with your partner and they are eligible for Universal Credit
  • you are responsible for a child, either as a single person or as a couple
  • you are disabled and entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and have limited capability for work
  • you are in further education, are 21 or under and do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you’re not under local authority care

If you are 16 or 17

You can make a new Universal Credit claim if any of the following apply:

  • you have limited capability for work, or you have medical evidence and are waiting for a Work Capability Assessment
  • you are caring for a severely disabled person
  • you are responsible for a child
  • you are in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • you are pregnant and it’s 11 weeks or less before your expected week of childbirth
  • you have had a child in the last 15 weeks
  • you do not have parental support, for example you’re estranged from your parents and you are not under local authority care

 

You can also make a claim if you’re in full-time further education and any of the following apply:

  • you do not have parental support
  • you have limited capacity for work and you’re entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • you are responsible for a child
  • you are in a couple with responsibility for a child and your partner is eligible for Universal Credit

If you’re in a couple and one of you is State Pension age

You and your partner can claim Universal Credit as a couple if one of you is under State Pension age and eligible for Universal Credit.

When you both reach State Pension age your Universal Credit claim will stop.

You may be able to apply for Pension Credit or other benefits as a couple when your Universal Credit stops. Ask your Jobcentre Plus work coach what else you could be eligible for.

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