Smarter Business Blog – Lockdown Easing & Branches Reopening

We’ve seen a slightly quieter week for business news announcements this week.  The Government seems to have already made the big announcements and so, with the current Coronavirus circumstances, we do not see a great deal of change from here.  Lockdown restrictions have been relaxed and a lot of our clients now seem to be back working.  We await further news regards the hospitality sector, hairdressers, etc, but the suggestion is that July will see a relaxation in that area, albeit with some tight rules.

We would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarification and update you on other items of business news:

  • Furlough Scheme – As per our blog last week, the Chancellor has set out the details of how employers will be asked to help pay the wages of furloughed staff in the coming months and announced the details of the flexible, part furloughing of staff scheme. Further clarification has been received about the cut off on 1 July.  The news was that the scheme would be closed to new employees being furloughed from 1 July.  This means that any staff you intend furloughing from July onwards have to be furloughed prior to 1 July for at least 3 weeks i.e. if you haven’t furloughed yet you would need to furlough any new staff from 10 June.  What we didn’t realise is that any staff furloughed for at least 3 weeks prior to 1 July can be furloughed (for the minimum term of 3 weeks) at any point to the end of October i.e. if you furloughed staff in April and brought them back to work in May and June, there is nothing to stop you furloughing (or part furloughing) from July onwards.
  • Self Employed Income Support Grant – The Government have announced that the first round of this grant will close on the 13 July. If you have not yet made your application then make sure you do it by 13 July. If you are unsure if you qualify then click on the link below to check >
  • Coronavirus Discretionary Business Rates Grant Funding – We have now heard that Teignbridge’s application process is expected to open on Monday 8 June.
  • Reverse Charge VAT for Construction Services – Some may be aware that this change was due to come in from 1 October, HMRC have announced today that this has been put back, due to Coronavirus, until 1 March 2021. We will give details and guidance on this to relevant clients nearer the time.
  • Smarter Accounting Offices – Our offices have been closed throughout the period of lockdown. With non-essential retail reopening on 15 June, we have decided that our offices will be staffed from 15 June.  We are still working on the details of this, along with health and safety issues, which we will update on next week.  We don’t foresee the offices being open as normal, they will be staffed minimally and safely, and any appointments will need to be booked in advance with very few face to face meetings.  You will, however, be able to drop off records and collect subject to restrictions.

We bring some sad news. Some Crediton clients may remember a Stapleton’s colleague of Neil Bishop’s, Jack Fey, who sadly passed away last week.  Jack was well regarded by all.  We would like to take this opportunity to pass on our condolences to Jack’s family.

At Smarter Accounting, although the Offices are closed, we remain open for business and are fully operational. If you want to discuss any issues, or have queries, please don’t hesitate to call, or email us.

Just a reminder that we provide more regular updates via Facebook, therefore, if you want the latest news then like and follow our Facebook page.

Best wishes and stay safe!