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September 2020 Newsletter from RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Ltd

August 27, 2020

Welcome to the September 2020 Newsletter from RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Ltd

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) recently issued a warning to taxpayers, notifying them to inform HMRC of any overclaimed coronavirus (COVID-19) grants. As a result of Finance Act 2020 gaining Royal Assent, taxpayers have 90 days in which to notify HMRC.    

Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to provide further support to businesses as the wind-down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) begins. The scheme will come to an end in October, and will be followed by the Job Retention Bonus announced in the Summer Economic Update.


ICAEW warns taxpayers to notify HMRC of overclaimed COVID-19 grants

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has warned taxpayers to notify HMRC of overclaimed COVID-19 grants.

Finance Act 2020 recently received Royal Assent, meaning a 90-day period to inform HMRC of any overclaimed amounts is now law. Finance Act 2020 confirms the taxability of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), as well as the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and COVID-19 business support grants.

Finance Act 2020 also gives HMRC the power to recover grant payments if a recipient is not entitled to them, as well as the ability to charge penalties.

The law states that the onus is on the taxpayer to notify HMRC if they have overclaimed COVID-19 grants. A taxpayer who has overclaimed a grant and not repaid it must notify HMRC by the latest of either:

  • 90 days after the date they received the grant they were not entitled to
  • 90 days after the date they received the grant that they were no longer entitled to keep because their circumstances changed
  • 20 October 2020.

HMRC has published guidance on how to repay overclaimed COVID-19 grants – this can be found here.


FSB calls for further help for employers as furlough wind-down begins

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to provide further help to employers as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) begins to be wound down.

From 1 August, employers have to pay national insurance contributions (NICs) and pension contributions for furloughed employees. From this date the level of the grant is being reduced each month. Employers are taking on an increasing proportion of pay for employees who are furloughed.

The CJRS will close at the end of October, and will be followed by the Job Retention Bonus, which will see UK employers receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

Additionally, firms in England that hire an apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 will receive £2,000 if, on the apprenticeship start date, the apprentice is aged between 16 and 24 years old, or £1,500 if, on the apprenticeship start date, the apprentice is aged 25 years or older.

Commenting on the matter, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘One in five small firms have been forced to let staff go over the last three months. Even with critical emergency measures in place, jobs are sadly being lost in the here and now.

‘As we look to the autumn, it’s clear that we cannot afford to pull up the business support drawbridge any time soon. Giving firms £1,000 for every employee they bring back from furlough is welcome, but Job Retention Bonus funds won’t manifest until next year – jobs are being lost today.’

The FSB is urging the government to help employers in regard to NICs, either through an uprating of the Employment Allowance or an NICs holiday for firms who employ those furthest from the workplace.


ESSENTIAL TAX DATES FOR SEPTEMBER

1 September
New Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) for company car users apply from today.

19 September
PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 September 2020.

30 September
End of CT61 quarterly period.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

‘As the government’s emergency measures begin to wind down over the coming weeks, and with the prospect of further local lockdowns still very real, businesses across the UK are going to need further support to weather uncertainty over the coming months.’

Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), commenting on the BCC’s latest Coronavirus Business Tracker, which suggested that businesses are vulnerable as COVID-19 schemes wind down.


WEBSITE OF THE MONTH

www.ftadviser.com/uk

Provides information on topical business and tax matters.


ON OUR WEBSITE

A wealth of resources for businesses
With topics ranging from capital allowances to the Construction Industry Scheme, the Your Business section of our site is a hub of essential information.

Useful information for individuals
For a comprehensive bank of guides covering giving to charity, making a Will and much more, please visit the Your Money area of our website.


IN THE NEWS

Treasury outlines plans for carbon emissions tax
The Treasury has published plans for a carbon emissions tax, which could be introduced if the UK fails to secure a Brexit deal with the EU.
Click here for the full story

29% of SMEs ‘carried on as usual’ during pandemic, survey finds
A survey carried out by Purbeck Insurance Services has revealed that 29% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) carried on business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for the full story

Drop in number of self-employed will lead to ‘brittle workforce’, IPSE warns
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has warned that a ‘disproportionate and disturbing’ decrease in the number of self-employed individuals will lead to a ‘brittle workforce’.
Click here for the full story

Second round of grants for the self-employed opens
On 17 August the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened for applications for the second and final grant.
Click here for the full story

UK economy falls into recession for first time in 11 years
Lockdown measures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the UK economy into recession.
Click here for the full story

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