£20 million SME Brexit Support fund open for applications
It is a support package to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with changes to customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.
The SME Brexit Support Fund aims to help businesses prepare for the implementation of further import controls which come into force later this year.
Businesses who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively.
Businesses must meet certain criteria, including having been established in the UK for at least 12 months, having fewer than 500 employees and no more than £100 million in turnover.
The closing date for applications is 30 June. HMRC states that the fund may close for applications earlier if the full £20 million is allocated.
National minimum and living wages increases
UK workers are set to benefit from rises in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) rates that took effect from 1 April 2021.
The rates for NMW and NLW for all employees are as follows:
National Living Wage
21-22 year-old rate
18-20 year-old rate
16-17 year-old rate
The changes to the off-payroll (IR35) rules took affect on 6 April.
Individuals who provide their services through an intermediary, e.g. a company or partnership, in which they own an interest are no longer responsible for deciding if IR35 applies where their client is a medium-sized or large organisation. Guidance on the new rules is available here.
The new VAT reverse charge for building and construction services
This has applied since 1 March 2021, and businesses whose VAT quarter ended on 31 March and are due to submit their returns at the end of April will need to take account of these.
HMRC’s technical guide on the scheme, available here, explains how to report and account for the charge.