Following the Government’s latest announcements on the 24 September 2020, we have set out below a summary of key information to assist you if you are seeking tax and/or self-employment support during the ongoing pandemic.
A WORD OF WARNING FROM HMRC: If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.
COVID-19 Helpline: 0800 0159 559
This is HMRC’s dedicated COVID-19 helpline for advice and support. This is likely to be your most up to date source of tax related information regarding the situation and it ties in with the HMRC Business Payment Support Service helpline mentioned below. It would be advisable to make use of this helpline if you have any concerns.
Initially announced on 26 March 2020, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme should provide self-employed workers with a single taxable grant paid directly into their bank account as a lump sum.
Eligible workers will receive a grant based on the average of their self-employed earnings for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 tax years taken on a monthly basis or a capped amount; whichever is lower. The grant should cover three months.
Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and National Insurance Number required, both of which can be found on the front of your tax return.
AFTER CHECKING YOUR ELIGIBILITY YOU CAN PROCEED TO MAKING A CLAIM USING YOUR GOVERNMENT GATEWAY ACCOUNT WHICH CAN BE SET UP AT THE SAME TIME IF YOU HAVEN’T SET ONE UP ALREADY.
IF YOU HAVE LOST YOUR LOG IN DETAILS PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING ADVICE:
The scheme was initially intended to fund one grant. However, the evolving situation has caused the
Government to extend the scheme to cover a second grant based on applications made in August 2020.
The announcement made on 24 September 2020 confirmed that the scheme would be extended for a further two grants.The criteria for eligibility is expected to be the same as for the previous two grants so, if you were eligible for the first two grants then you might be eligible for the third and fourth grants. The portal for making an application is not open yet and we do not know when it will reopen.
For the third grant, eligible workers will receive 20% of the average of their self-employed earnings for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 tax years taken on a monthly basis or £625; whichever is lower. The grant should cover three months. This means that the maximum grant receivable will be£1,875.
Information regarding the amounts receivable for the fourth grant are not available yet.
WE DO NOT YET KNOW WHEN APPLICATIONS WILL OPEN OR WHEN THE GRANTS ARE LIKELY TO BE PAID.
The announcement on 24 September 2020 also included a provision for Self-Assessment taxpayers to spread their tax payments that would otherwise be due by 31 January 2021 over the following twelve months.Details of how this will work are still emerging.However, it is expected that the scheme will be run through HMRC’s existing ‘Time to Pay’ service covered below under the heading ‘Flexible Tax Payments’. Please refer to that paragraph for more information.
If you believe that you could have difficulty making your tax payments as they fall due, then you might be able to arrange a‘Time to Pay’ agreement with HMRC where you pay a set amount off each month. To setup an agreement you should call the HMRC Business Payment Support Service on 0300 200 3835. You should have your Unique Taxpayer Reference ready when you call.
The announcement on 24 September 2020 included a provision to spread VAT payments deferred under the previous scheme over the financial year ending 5 April 2022.This means that VAT payments that were due between 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, which were deferred and had to be settled by 5 April 2021 can now be spread over the period up to 5 April 2022 without incurring interest or penalties.
We hope this summary is useful to you and please do get in touch if we can assist you at all.
Most importantly, please stay safe and well.
Duncan & Jo
News, updates and tips – what do the latest accountancy and tax changes mean for you?