Business Support Scheme Updates, Useful Links & More News 20/11/2020

Today’s blog features updates on the various business support schemes introduced by the Government and other news that may be of interest or could affect you:

  • Furlough Scheme
    • No update on this, other than to say next week is when we complete most payrolls and, therefore, if you think you have furlough requirements, make sure you have communicated those to us – contact us >
  • Self Employment Income Support Grant
    • We now understand that HMRC sent emails to around 24,000 self employed people in October, who they believe have ceased trading. The email required a response and HMRC are now saying that for those that have not replied by the end of today (20 November), they will be stopped from claiming the next tranche of this grant. Do not worry, this will not affect too many people and the number contacted is less than 1% of those registered for self-employment. Our understanding is that their information is based on VAT deregistration’s and those that are marked as “ceased” trading on submitted tax returns. Just in case, check your emails in October for anything from HMRC, including your junk and spam folders!
    • Claims for the next grant tranche can be made from 30 November onwards
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant
    • We published the details and sums available under the 2 different schemes – Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) and Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) – last week on 13 Nov see blog here > and have been monitoring the status of various District Councils as follows:
      • Teignbridge
        • Now accepting LRSG applications. Follow this link for Teignbridge >
        • For ARG, are still showing that they are putting measures in place i.e. not yet accepting applications
      • Mid Devon – website is excellent, shows a helpful guide, and applications for both grants opened on 11 November. Click this link for Mid Devon >
      • Exeter City Council
        • Now accepting LRSG applications. Follow this link for Exeter >
        • For ARG, they are still showing that they are putting measures in place and are not yet accepting applications
      • Torbay – Still showing that they are working with software partners to develop the software to allow businesses to register for grants and receive payments
      • East Devon – Accepting grant applications for both the LRSG and ARG. Follow this link for East Devon >
      • West Devon
        • Now accepting LRSG applications. Follow this link for West Devon > Please note that site says they have been experiencing problems with the application form due to high demand
        • For ARG there is no mention on their site of this grant. We will keep monitoring and update accordingly
      • Torridge
        • Now accepting LRSG applications. Follow this link for Torridge >
        • Like West Devon for ARG. There is no mention on their site of this grant. We will keep monitoring and update accordingly
      • If you want us to monitor any other Councils on this, please let us know and we will include in our future updates!
      • If you have made an application, please let us know your experience (and the outcome!) so that we can update others. We know some have made applications, but we are yet to hear if they have been successful and if money has been received. Let us know your experience, contact us >
    • Other News:
      • Companies House Reminders – Companies House are writing to Companies to advise them that they are stopping sending reminder letters by post. Instead Companies can set up email reminders. Most of these letters are about Confirmation Statements, which we look after for most of our Company clients. Rest assured we know the filing dates and will continue to file within deadlines
      • Changing Payment Details Scams – These scams are active, and we have a client who was affected! The scam sends your clients an email to say that the bank details for future payments have changed. Be vigilant and if you get some bank details changes for a supplier, always check with the supplier that the information is correct. Some of these scams are very clever and will refer to recent invoices received, so look incredibly genuine!
      • Reminder Residential Sales Capital Gains Tax – From April of this year, if you sell a residential property and it is subject to Capital Gains Tax i.e. not your main home, tax returns need to be filed and tax paid within 30 days of the sale. With the seemingly likely change to Capital Gains Tax rates there may be clients who are considering selling residential property. If you are, make sure you involve us early in the process as some of the admin work setting up HMRC accounts etc. with this can take a little time
      • Annual Pension Savings Allowance – You may be aware the annual tax-free pension allowance is £40,000. Most pension schemes are defined contribution schemes and contributions are easy to measure against this allowance. Some employees, generally public sector employees, enjoy defined benefits schemes, often referred to as final salary schemes. Under such schemes the employees pension pot will increase each year by a sum that is not related to the employee’s contribution. The pension provider will complete the calculation and this figure is set against the annual allowances. If this figure is more than the £40,000 allowance the pension provider will write to you. Please do not ignore these letters as they require action. There could be tax to pay or your pension could pay any sums due, there are choices, but only if action is taken with certain timescales. We can also look at carrying forward any unused allowances from the past 3 years. A self-assessment tax return will be required, but we can provide the advice and assistance required. Please also be aware that those earning more than £110,000 per annum will see their annual pension allowance reduced.

We have been sending these blogs out since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the feedback that we have received has been excellent so we thank you for your kind comments. We are providing them to keep you informed and even when we get through this pandemic we will continue, less frequently, to provide updates. What we have noticed is that some clients have been forwarding our emails to friends, contacts, relatives, etc. Just to say that we welcome this, as any help we can give is good news. If anyone wants to sign up for these regular blogs and receive them direct from us, sign up here > or they can like and follow Smarter Accounting on Facebook here >.

The deadline for the filing of 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns is still 31 January 2021. Currently 2019/20 figures are not being used in any of the grant calculation methods, however, it is possible this could change. Therefore, we recommend that if you have not yet brought in your records that you do so as a matter of urgency.

The Smarter Accounting Offices will continue to be staffed but will not be open for face to face meetings. We can always make other arrangements for video conferencing, telephone calls and at times garden meetings if required. If you are dropping off or collecting records via the office, please notify us in advance and wear a facemask.  Please be aware that we are reviewing our policy regards COVID 19 on, at least, a weekly basis.

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

Best wishes and stay safe!