Business Blog – 15 Oct

by | Oct 15, 2021 | 0 comments

Smarter Blog – Update 15th October 2021

We hope you are all well. We are now definitively in the Autumn period, but the weather has been kind recently, let’s hope it continues!

Generally, we seem to be coping in a post COVID lockdown era. We know that, for various reasons, there will be some difficult times ahead this winter. However, we hope that 2022 will be good and if not completely normal, much closer to normal than we have experienced in the last 18 months.

Many business sectors are busy, which we hope continues. One of the major things that clients are telling us is that attracting new staff is a major issue and it could impact the recovery (news below on Smarter Accounting recruitment). The national picture and news suggests the same, and it seems to be all sectors that are experiencing it.

Government Coronavirus Support – Update

As reported in our last blog, the end of September saw the end of and changes to several schemes:

  • Furlough Scheme & COVID Statutory Sick Pay – These schemes ended in September. (Any outstanding COVID SSP claims need to be made by end of December)
  • Self Employment Income Support Scheme – 30 September was the final date for applications for the last grant, grant 5
  • Hospitality VAT Rate – From 1 October (until 31 March) it increased to 12.5%. From 1 April next year it returns to 20%
  • Stamp Duty – The nil rate band went back to the normal £125,000 from 1 October

Autumn Budget

As we announced in our last blog, the Government has set a date for the budget of the 27 October. With the pandemic’s financial pressures and Government spending review, Mr Sunak has a major juggling act on his hands. Rumours on the content are few are far between at this stage, but there is the possibility for major changes.  At many client meetings we are advising that the outcome of this budget could be significant.

We will be releasing a budget blog after the 27th, but probably not until we have had time to digest and understand the content.

Smarter Accounting Tax Investigation Insurance

Many clients will be aware of, and indeed will be subscribing to, our tax investigation insurance scheme. For those that weren’t aware or perhaps haven’t taken it out before, this insurance covers accountancy fees in event of an HMRC enquiry. HMRC enquiries, even if you haven’t done anything wrong, can take a significant amount of our time to deal with and respond to HMRC to ensure the best outcome. With this policy such fees are covered by the insurance. It also entitles you to some free advice lines (HR, Legal and Health & Safety).

The insurance will cover everything as normal, but also includes enquiries on the various coronavirus support schemes i.e. furlough, SEISS etc. We’ve seen a few enquiries on these items already and our expectation is that we will receive more as time goes on.

Clients will shortly be receiving letters to invite them to renew or join the scheme.

Smarter Accounting – We’re Looking for Staff!

We like other sectors have seen an increase in demand for our services, both from existing and new clients. As a result, we are actively recruiting. If you know anyone with accountancy experience, at any level looking for a new opportunity then please ask them to email their CV to us using the email address

Smarter Accounting COVID Policy

We have continued to review our Office policy in relation to Covid and have chosen to remain largely closed for face-to-face meetings at this point. This is to ensure the continued safety of our staff and clients.

We have been managing to operate for the last 18 months with this policy without issues and therefore we will continue to offer other options such as video conferencing, telephone calls or outside meetings. Where other options are unavailable, we have started to do face to face meetings in the office, but these are by appointment and exception only.

Tax Return Deadlines

The 2020/21 tax return season is well upon us. The deadline for the filing of returns is still 31 January 2022. Due to various Coronavirus support schemes (rates related grants, self-employment income support scheme, etc) we are seeing some cases where unexpected larger than normal tax bills are coming to light. All we can suggest is that clients get their records to us as soon as they can, so that we can at least give early notice of such liabilities.

We provide more regular updates via Facebook. Therefore, if you want the latest news then like our Facebook page >

Best wishes and stay safe

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