Smarter Business Blog – 24/03/2021

After the Chancellor’s budget speech in early March, we have been quietly awaiting further details and guidance on the various schemes. Announcements have been few and far between, but today we will update you on what we know so far:

  • Pandemic Support
    • Furlough – No change from previous status. Scheme to continue at 80% to the end of September. Employers will be asked to contribute 10% of the cost in July and 20% in August and September
    • Self-Employment Income Support Grant
      • Fourth Grant (February to April) still showing that claims will open in late April. A 2019/20 tax return must have been filed. Other criteria due to remain the same as the third grant, except will now be based on 2019/20 facts and figures
      • Fifth Grant (May to September) – No further details released
      • Importantly, the grant should only be claimed if you are suffering reduced demand or have been unable to open due to the Coronavirus restrictions
    • Business Support Grants
      • Existing business support grants come to an end at the end of March. Most District Councils are showing that applications close on the 31 March 2021. If you have not yet applied for a grant, then get your applications in as soon as possible
        • We have previously mentioned the discretionary grant sums. These are to help businesses who do not pay business rates, but that have property costs and have felt the effects of the restrictions. Most District Councils are keen to get this money released to businesses. Therefore, if in doubt, make a claim. Several clients have received unexpected grants as a result
      • Restart Grants are now showing as being available from 1 April. No further details have been released, but the sums available will be:
        • Non-essential retail – grants of up to £6,000
        • Hospitality, leisure & personal care – grants of up to £18,000
      • Will need to wait for the detail for a clearer indication of how much grant funding each business will qualify for, but we suspect it will be based on rateable value
    • Loan Schemes
      • Bounce back loans will end on 31 March. If you have not yet made a loan application then you have limited time to make the claim
    • Capital Allowance Super Deduction (130%)
      • It is an incentive for businesses to invest in new plant and equipment
      • It has now been confirmed that this measure is for Limited Companies only
      • The rules can be complicated, but assets that qualify for Annual Investment Allowance will, from April 1, get 130% capital allowances, rather than the current 100%
      • The rules are in place for 2 years until the end of March 2023
      • Only purchases of brand new assets will qualify and they have to be bought on the 1 April or afterwards

A lot of the details are still not available, but rest assured that we will bring any updated news to you as soon as we get it.

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.

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Best wishes and stay safe