June 2020

Almost three million people claiming work-related benefits

The number of people out of work and claiming work-related benefits in the UK jumped 23% to 2.8 million in May. In March, at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, the figure was 1.24 million, representing a 126% increase. The Office for National Statistics said its May claimant figures were included in the unemployment data to give a more up-to-date

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Get ready for the end of the VAT deferral scheme

HMRC has written to agents to remind them that the VAT deferral scheme ends in its current form on 30 June. This means businesses need to set up cancelled direct debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment; submit VAT returns as normal and on time; and pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June. In

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Employers ‘prefer arts grads’

Contrary to popular belief arts, humanities and social science graduates are more in demand than science graduates in eight of the UK’s 10 fastest-growing sectors of the economy. A study by the British Academy and London Economics consultancy said businesses including information and communications, finance, transport and property all prefer humanities graduates. In finance almost 70% of graduate employees have

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Visa publishes survival guide as small businesses fear for futures

More than half (56%) of small business owners are concerned they will not be able to bounce back from the impact of Covid-19, according to a new survey by Visa. Consumers are also having similar worries. Seven in 10 (73%) surveyed worried about small businesses reopening. One in two shoppers (54%) will only return to ‘bricks and mortar’ stores if

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Treasury ponders temporary VAT cut to boost high street

The government is considering a temporary VAT cut to help boost consumer demand and confidence. The Times has reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is concerned the combination of low consumer confidence and social distancing rules will mean the reopening of retail shops will have a limited effect on boosting consumer spending. A decision on the VAT cut will be made

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Pressure group warns of SEISS tax bills to come

Recipients of the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant might not realise that it is taxable, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is warning. It says  that a third of the grant might have to be ‘paid back’ in some cases, in tax and Class 4 National Insurance (NIC). Grants made to the self-employed and partners in trading

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HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The following updated webinars have information, guidance and tips to help you to support your clients. From 1‌‌ July 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing. Employers will be able to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time and

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Twitter hit by data breach

Twitter has emailed its business clients to inform them that their personal information “may have been compromised”. Billing information of some clients was stored in the browser’s cache. Twitter explained it was possible hackers could have accessed this personal information. This includes addresses, phone numbers, and even the last four digits of credit card numbers. Twitter is still investigating how

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SMEs expecting spike in redundancies as lockdown eases

Small businesses in the UK are predicting redundancies will spike in August as lockdown starts to ease, according to a survey by software giant Sage. Its poll of over 5,000 SMEs found that 60% of firms are considering redundancies; while the government’s job retention scheme has been heralded as crucial to supporting small firms through the pandemic, employers will soon

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