Smarter Business Support – 29/1/2021
It’s been a busy week at Smarter, preparing accounts and returns to meet the end of January filing deadline for Self-Assessment Tax Returns. Many of you will have seen the in the news on Monday that HM Revenue & Customs announced it was effectively extending the deadline to the end of February. On balance, with the extraordinary issues being faced, this was probably a good move. It was a little disappointing that the news came so late though. Given the late timing of the announcement, we have tried to meet the original deadline and as of last night had physically filed 90% of all tax returns due across the firm, with many of the remainder either awaiting approval or in progress waiting to be finalised. There are only a handful where we are still awaiting records.
Please be aware that the extension relates to the filing deadline only. Tax payments are still due by 31 January 2021 and any late payments will immediately begin to incur interest. Additional late payment fines kick in later (5% of unpaid tax after 30 days, 6 months and 12 months). If you are having problems paying your self-assessment tax, then call HM Revenue & Customs (0300 200 3822) and agree a payment plan. You will still incur interest, but this will stop the hefty fines. Remember, as part of the Coronavirus measures put in place by the Government anyone with a tax liability of up to £30,000 (without overdue sums) can take advantage of the ‘enhanced time to pay’ scheme and spread these liabilities over 12 months. HM Revenue & Customs will expect this to be paid via a Direct Debit and will charge interest (2.6% currently).
The Chancellor has been quiet again this week and it now appears as if any reviews of the various schemes and details of the fourth Self Employment Income Support Grant will come in the budget on 3 March 2021. Specific points about the fourth grant:
- It could include earnings from the 2019/20 tax returns. This would help many currently excluded from this support. For those that currently qualify this could change the figures. Remember the previous basis included:
- Average of 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 self-employment earnings
- Self employment earnings had to make up at least 50% of total income
- There was a £50,00 ceiling and anyone above this was excluded from the scheme
- It was a previous requirement that tax returns due had to be filed. For those who have yet to file a 2019/20 tax return, make sure you get it done. Failure to do so could exclude you from the next grant.
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