Bookkeeping Bites – The Chancellor’s Cogs are a Whirring!

Welcome to an extra, bonus blog edition!

There is no doubt about it, our Government means BUSINESS with the further measures they announced yesterday, to tackle the financial impacts of the Corona Virus.

Business community response to the most recent support, overall, seems favourable. Unless you are self-employed working from home, but more about that later on.

So, what do the most recent NEW support measures look like?

An excellent blog to read on these comes from our trusted accounting partners at ‘On The Spot Accountants’, which you can find at the following link:

https://www.onthespottax.co.uk/blog/entry/2020/03/20/coronavirus-without-the-gym?fbclid=IwAR2CBQrlU35g3KNtOf-wwbf025mHHptp2z4OXUifHvJobn69_QiZ7hQs6jk

Here are the summary points:

AUTOMATIC DEFERMENT OF SOME TAX PAYMENTS

  • Income tax payments on account scheduled for July 2020 (for the 2019.20 tax year), will automatically be deferred until January 2021
  • VAT payments due between 20th March and 30 June 2020 won’t be collected.

A cause for a breath of relief……. Well, a temporary one. Don’t forget, this is a DEFERMENT, not a CANCELLATION, and HMRC will be expecting receipt of these deferred payments by stated deadlines………

EMPLOYEE WAGES

If you are employer, there is a pledge to pay 80% of your staff wages in a bid to stop you laying off staff completely.  A positive, wise move to help businesses keep staff in a paid job whilst the business cannot operate……

Think also, the same staff will be on hand when the business starts up again – continuation of skills and personnel can only be a good thing for any business.

The slight catch is that the employee must not be working during the time the government is paying the 80% wages…. Easily done for many businesses in the current climate.

And also, the devil will be in the detail of how to claim this, which are yet to be released.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT AND OTHER GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is not fresh news. However, the accessibility of Universal Credit (and other Government payments) for the self-employed is.

With an increased overall, yearly allowance and the ‘feel’ of more flexibility around receiving these, it will give some peace of mind. Again, the devil is in the detail and we will only really know the true accessibility of these, once people start trying to access the dosh.

Response to this measure seems to have been luke warm from the self-employed business community…. News items are already featuring self-employed workers who are stating this is leaving them ‘high and dry’.

There are also more than a few online forums with comments from such workers feeling very worried, concerned and well, left out.

All we can advise is that this is a CONSTANTLY changing situation, with updates being announced daily, sometimes twice / three times a day. Stick with it and lets see what this Government does in reaction to feedback from the self-employed.

IS WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD CORRECT?

There are already bits of information flying about on social media showing incorrect freephone numbers for certain HMRC services, exaggeration of the support measures announced or even downright fake news.

BE CAREFUL out there, try and source your information from trusted professionals…. And don’t ASSUME something will apply to you and your business… These are early days of announcements, anything could change….

If you are not sure, ASK.

Ask HMRC, below are the links to their Covid-19 help pages:

Support for businesses:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for employees:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

If you are not sure, ASK.

Ask your Accountant.

Ask on trusted forums where you know experienced and qualified contributors will be able to help.

And we are here for you too.

In It Together.

Stay safe and well people, until next time. Over and Out.

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