Smarter Business Blog – 24/02/2021

At Smarter Accounting we have been a little quieter over the last few weeks, recovering from the January rush, playing catch up on other items and taking a little bit of holiday. News items have been a little quieter as well until now, but this week and next week look like busy times for updates and rest assured we will ensure we bring you the news as soon as we get it.

This week Boris outlined his ‘roadmap’ for lifting lockdown. We are sure you have all seen the news and are aware of various outlined dates on reopening over the coming months. The vaccine roll out is going extremely well and although this period is difficult for many, the summer looks very positive and let us all hope that this is the last lockdown we must endure. Meanwhile, the Chancellor has continued to be very quiet, but that will change next week when he delivers the budget on Wednesday 3 March. Boris’s plan clearly extends the effects of lockdown, so we can expect updates on things like Furlough and the Self Employment Income Support Grant. With the extended plans, it looks very much as if something will have to be done to extend support past the end of April. In terms of the Self Employment Grant, the self-employed will also be eager to hear news of the fourth grant, which will cover the February to April period.

Rumours around the budget have been few and far between. But over the coming days we can expect to hear the inevitable leaked items. Only today rumours abound that the Chancellor will extend the Stamp Duty holiday for 3 months to the end of June. This sounds likely to support the property market. We expect other news but be aware that this is probably one of the most eagerly anticipated budgets in recent times. We await his statement and will be looking out for indications of what the tax regime will look like over the coming years. With the amount spent on the pandemic, there may be some major changes ahead. Watch this space!  Onto the news this week:

  • Payment Arrangements for VAT Deferred due to Coronavirus
    • Many VAT registered businesses may have taken advantage of the ability to defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. The original intention was that any such payments would need to be made by 31 March 2021, but the Chancellor announced that an 11-month instalment option would be made available. The detail on this was finally announced yesterday. Businesses have 3 options:
      • Repay the sum owed in full by 31 March 2021
      • Join the VAT Deferred New Payment Scheme by 21 June 2021
      • Contact HMRC if you need extra help on 0800 024 1222 by 30 June 2021
    • As long as one of the above are chosen there will be no interest charged and therefore if the instalment option is chosen the sum can be repaid between March 2021 and January 2022 without any interest being paid
    • If you want to join the instalment scheme, then the early it is done the better. Those joining by the 19 March will be able to settle over 11 instalments, 21 April 10 instalments and so on. To join the scheme you must
      • Have your own Government Gateway ID for VAT. Many may already have this for VAT, but this is a pain. This means that we cannot arrange the instalment plan on your behalf. You will need to sign into that Account and apply online
      • Submit any outstanding VAT returns
      • Correct any VAT errors
      • Make sure you know how much you owe
    • Instalments will be made via Direct Debit and from the guidance it suggests that the first instalment will be taken straight away
  • Business Support Grants
    • We have once again updated the District Council statuses on the various business support schemes. Click on the links below for your local Council:
    • Construction Industry Reverse Charge VAT
      • Hopefully, anyone involved in the Construction Industry will have seen our blog on this subject earlier in the month. If you have not yet read it, then if you are VAT registered make sure you have read and understand the rules that come into effect from next Monday, 1 March 2021. You can find our blog here >
    • 2019/20 Self-Assessment Tax Returns
      • Most will have completed their 2019/20 tax returns, but for any that have not yet done so, these have to be filed by 28 February 2021 to avoid any penalties

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 or telephone calls 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.

We’re delighted to be expanding our successful Teignmouth team with an Assistant Accountant. Our next Smarter Star will be welcomed to our independent, growing company with excellent prospects and opportunities to shine. The position is full-time and paid a competitive salary with benefits. Please contact David Cook >

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

Best wishes and stay safe