Squirrel and nuts - tax and BREXIT update October 2020

Tax & BREXIT Update October 2020

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Tax and BREXIT Update October 2020

JOB SUPPORT SCHEME (THE NEW FURLOUGH)

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.  Under the scheme, which will run for six months and help keep employees attached to the workforce, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.

Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work - but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.  This means employees who can only go back to work on shorter time will still be paid two thirds of the hours for those hours they can’t work.  In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month.  The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme, with further guidance being published in due course.  It is designed to sit alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus and could be worth over 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021. Businesses can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect jobs.

SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)

In addition, the Government is continuing its support for millions of self-employed individuals by extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS and are continuing to actively trade but face reduced demand due to coronavirus. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.

An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April - ensuring our support continues right through to next year. This is in addition to the more than £13 billion of support already provided for over 2.6 million self-employed individuals through the first two stages of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme – one of the most generous in the world.

TAX CUTS AND DEFERRALS

As part of the package, the government also announced it will extend the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March next year. This will give businesses in the sector - which has been severely impacted by the pandemic - the confidence to maintain staff as they adapt to a new trading environment.

In addition, up to half a million business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.

On top of this, around 11 million self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

GIVING BUSINESSES FLEXIBILITY TO PAY BACK LOANS

The burden will be lifted on more than a million businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. This will provide flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan.  This includes extending the length of the loan from six years to ten, which will cut monthly repayments by nearly half. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses. These measures will further protect jobs by helping businesses recover from the pandemic.  We also intend to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.

In addition, the Chancellor also announced he would be extending applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes that are helping over a million businesses until the end of November. As a result, more businesses will now be able to benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund. This change aligns all the end dates of these schemes, ensuring that there is further support in place for those firms who need it.

GET READY FOR LEAVING THE EU ON
1 JANUARY 2021

 

The United Kingdom leaves the European Union at 11pm on 31 December 2020 when the transitional period ends. It is still unclear whether a trade deal will have been agreed with the EU by that date, and such an agreement is looking increasingly unlikely. HMRC have started writing to businesses alerting them to important changes from 1 January 2021 and suggesting that they have new procedures in place if they wish to trade with the EU from that date.

In particular, businesses will need to submit declarations when importing and exporting goods that are categorised as ‘controlled’. Import processes for non-controlled goods will be phased in over a 6 month period. ‘Controlled’ goods include alcohol, explosives and certain drugs.

 

OBTAIN AN EORI NUMBER

If you have been trading internationally you should already have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You will need this to complete customs declarations. If you do not yet have one, you can register for free by going to www.gov.uk/eori

Businesses need to decide how they are going to make customs declarations. Customs agents, freight forwarders and express operators can help with declarations and ensure the business is providing the necessary information.

 

IMPORTS OF GOODS SUBJECT TO STAGED CONTROLS

Most traders with a good compliance record will be able to defer import declarations on most goods for up to 6 months after 1 January 2021 depending on the nature of the goods.

KEY VAT ISSUES AT THE BORDER

Businesses will need to decide how they will account for import VAT when they make a customs declaration. From 1 January 2021, businesses will be able to use postponed VAT accounting to account for import VAT on their VAT Return for goods imported from anywhere in the world.

They will also need to check if Import VAT is due at the border.  Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment do not exceed £135 in value. The only exceptions will be excise goods and gifts.

WHAT TARIFFS APPLY FROM 1 JANUARY?

From 1 January 2021, there will be new rates of Customs Duty for imports - called the UK Global Tariff.

The Tariff rates for transactions with the EU will depend upon whether or not a deal is reached. For example, if there is no deal with the EU the Tariff on motor cars will be 10% so many car dealers are suggesting that business should consider acquiring a new vehicle before 1 January. To check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021

STILL CONSIDERING AN ELECTRIC COMPANY CAR?

There is currently a zero P11d benefit for the drivers of electric cars in 2020/21. The legislation for this change is included in Finance Act 2020 which also states that the benefit will be 1% of list price in 2021/22 and then 2% in 2022/23.

The zero taxable benefit also applies to hybrid cars emitting no more than 50 grams of CO2 per kilometre with a range using its electric motor of at least 130 miles, but only for cars first registered on or after 6 April 2020. Unfortunately, the range of most plug in hybrids is considerably less than 130 miles. For example, the Mercedes A 250e costing £32,980 emits 26g CO2 but has a PEV range of only 45 miles.

An additional benefit for the business is that motor cars that emit no more than 50g CO2 per kilometre currently also qualify for a 100% first year allowance which means that the full cost can potentially be set off against business profits.

The Mercedes A 250e would currently qualify for a 100% first year allowance but the P11d benefit would be 6% for the employee in 2020/21.

Note however that the 50g CO2 threshold reduces to zero from April 2021 which means that hybrids will cease being eligible for the 100% write off. If the business can afford to do so it’s a good time to buy a plug in hybrid.

ADVISORY FUEL RATE FOR COMPANY CARS

These are the suggested reimbursement rates for employees' private mileage using their company car from 1 September 2020. Where there has been a change the previous rate is shown in brackets.

Engine Size

Petrol

Diesel

LPG

1400cc or less

10p

7p (6p)

1600cc or less

8p

1401cc to 2000cc

12p

8p

(9p)

1601 to 2000cc

10p (9p)

Over 2000cc

17p

12p

12p

(11p)

You can continue to use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.  For wholly electric cars there is a 4p advisory rate. However, for hybrid cars use the equivalent petrol or diesel rate.

Thus, where an employee is considering reimbursing their employer for private use to avoid a taxable benefit, it may be beneficial to compute the actual cost of private fuel rather than use the scale rate.

DIARY OF MAIN TAX EVENTS

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020

 

Date

What’s Due

1/10

Corporation tax for year to 31/12/19, unless quarterly instalments apply

5/10

Deadline for notifying HMRC of chargeability for 2019/20 if not within Self-Assessment and receive income or gains on which tax is due

19/10

PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 5/10/20 (due 22/10 if you pay electronically)

1/11

Corporation tax for year to 31/01/2020, unless quarterly instalments apply

19/11

PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 5/11/20 (due 22/11 if you pay electronically)


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