February 2021

HMRC updates – revised self-assessment time lines and support available

The government have announced England’s route out of the pandemic, as long as the role out of the vaccination program continues. However, the pandemic continues to impact our way of life, it’s never been so important to manage your client’s finances and plan ahead. Understanding the latest tax changes and how they will affect your client can be hard to

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Scotland extends business rates holiday

Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes has announced the extension of the country’s business rates holiday for another year. She said that the tax relief will apply to businesses in retail, leisure, hospitality and aviation, all of which have been badly hit with forced closures during the pandemic. The holiday will last until April 2022. The pressure is now on Chancellor

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Pension age set to rise

The minimum pension age is set to increase to 57 in 2028, following the publication of a government consultation. Currently, retirement funds can be accessed when people reach 55, but the government feels the time is now right for a two-year increase. It is being argued that increases in longevity and changes in the expectations of how long we will

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HMRC admits error with furlough calculator

A glitch in HMRC’s CJRS calculator means employers may need to recalculate furlough claims made for January 2021. HMRC discovered a mistake in its CJRS calculator just days before the 15 February deadline for CJRS claims for January. It says the error could lead to claims being overstated or understated. HMRC said: “We’re afraid our CJRS calculator on GOV.UK contained

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£20m SME Brexit Support Fund launched

SMEs who trade only with the EU and so are new to the importing and exporting regime will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support. The grants, available through the SME Brexit Support Fund, will help fund training and professional advice, to ensure these companies can continue trading effectively with the EU.

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Apprenticeships on hold

Some two-thirds of UK companies have not invested in new apprentices over the past 12 months, according to the latest survey from In-Comm, a training and apprenticeship provider. It discovered the pandemic is (not surprisingly) having a dramatic impact on vocational training. Apprenticeship starts dropped by nearly a fifth in 2020, and there is a growing fear that there is

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Taxpayers urged to appeal late-payment fines

Taxpayers who received penalties after the 31 January self-assessment tax deadline are being urged to appeal if they believe the fines were wrongly imposed, as HMRC cancelled over 60% of late payment penalties last year, according to new research. Data provided by HMRC to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young shows that of the £275m in penalties imposed by HMRC for

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Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus

The government has updated its advice for those businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make. They can: pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021. join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June

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Government sets up ‘Pay as You Grow’ flexible loan repayment

Businesses that took out government-backed Bounce Back Loans to get through Covid-19 will now have greater flexibility to repay their loans. The Treasury’s Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities enable borrowers to tailor their repayment schedule, with the option to extend the length of their loans from six to ten years (reducing monthly repayments by almost half), make interest-only payments

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