Latest Business Support & Tax Update

Given the reduced announcements regarding Business Support measures in recent weeks, we haven’t provided an update for a fortnight or so.

Yesterday, the Chancellor made a number of announcements that we wanted to update everyone on, and have also taken the opportunity to include some timely reminders.

The Government’s news story on yesterday’s announcements can be found here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Extension to 30 April 2021

In early November, the Chancellor announced changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including an extension of the CJRS to the end of March 2021.

Yesterday, it was announced that the CJRS would now be extended until 30 April 2021.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loans – Extension

It was also announced yesterday that the Government backed loan schemes would also be extended from the previous end date of 31 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – December 2020 onwards – HMRC publicising claimants

By way of a reminder, from February 2021 HMRC will be publishing the names of employers who have made claims under the scheme for periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, together with an indication of the amount each employer has claimed.

Please see the Government guidance here for more information.

Budget 2021

As we had expected, the Budget 2021 will take place in March on 3 March 2021.

This will inevitably include announcements on coronavirus business support measures, but also we are expecting a raft of tax changes. Please see our updates on the latter.

We will, of course, provide updates following the Budget.

VAT Payment deferrals

On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced that businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period.

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free.

You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022.

The ‘opt in’ process is still unavailable, but HMRC states it will be available in early 2021.Please see the HMRC guidance here.

Importantly, you must opt in yourself, your agent cannot do this for you.

Self-employed Income Support Scheme – 3rd Grant – Applications now open

As advised in our previous post (see here) the Scheme has been extended to including a 3rd and 4th grant.

The 3rd grant covers the 3 month period to 31 January 2021.

Applications for the 3rd grant open today and must be made by 29 January 2021.

See the Government guidance here  for more information on how to claim.

Business interruption insurance – Test case update

The Supreme Court is still considering the FCA’s test case regarding the validity of wording of business interruption insurance policies – a decision has been stated as coming in the New Year.

In order to assist businesses to make their claims, the FCA has produced draft guidance, based on the initial judgment at the High Court. The FCA is currently consulting on the draft guidance which can be found here.

This draft guidance will likely be useful for clients and businesses either making a claim, or considering making a claim.