April 2020

Small firms demand changes to grant scheme

Some 12,000 small businesses have signed a petition asking the government to look again at its grant scheme, as anger mounts that many SMEs and micro businesses are missing out on £1bn worth of Covid-19 Small Business Grants. Office expert Jonathan Ratcliffe explains: “Put simply, if you don’t have a business rates account for your business with your local authority

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New tools for bookkeepers from Xero

Xero has unveiled two major new tools to help accountancy and bookkeeping firms save time, and run their clients’ businesses in smarter ways. It has launched Xero Tax, which gives users an innovative cloud-based solution for accounts and tax filing. It includes corporation tax and accounts production capability, and its features include fixed asset integration, Xero hotlinks, multi-user review, and

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Covid-19: HMRC advice on self-employment support scheme

HMRC has issued guidance on how it works out total income and trading profits for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. It will assess eligibility for the grant based on total income and trading profits, and the guide details how this is calculated. To be eligible for the scheme applicants must have trading profits of no more than £50,000 which make

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Lords call for ‘indefinite delay’ to IR35 plan

A House of Lords committee is urging the government to delay plans to roll out the IR35 tax legislation, which is scheduled to come into effect on 6 April 2021. Sent on 22 April 2020, the letter welcomed the government’s decision to push the reforms into next year, but argued that they should be delayed indefinitely until concerns can be

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HMTC webinars focus on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC is hosting a series of webinars explaining how companies can claim online for a grant for 80% of furloughed employees’ salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The live webinar provides a step-by-step guide on how to make a claim through the scheme. Those wanting to participate can book a time slot via the HMRC website, at https://tinyurl.com/yddoqrac. The

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Last two months sees 61,000 UK businesses fold

New data shows a spike in the number of UK limited companies going out of business, and a near collapse in the number of new start-ups. The study, from the Enterprise Research Centre, suggests the economy is now facing a worrying ‘pincer movement’ due the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 61,472 limited companies folded between the start of March and mid-April, with

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Bounce Back finance scheme announced

Small business can now benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the chancellor Rishi Sunak has said. This new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, aims to help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the current pandemic. Loans

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HMRC hits the pause button on tax investigations

HMRC have suspended all compliance activities indefinitely apart from cases where the customer is actively engaged and communicating. HMRC at this time will not contact the agent or customer unless the customer/agent contacts them. HMRC are informing customers in various way via email, phone calls and letters. Jesmin Rahman, a tax specialist and director at Tax Resolute, said: “Taxpayers who

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Universal credit claimant verification

People applying for Universal Credit will now be able to use their existing Government Gateway account to confirm their identity, helping to speed up their claim. The move is expected to help thousands of claimants applying for the benefit and will be available to those who have used the Government Gateway in the last 12 months to access their Personal

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