April 2021

Young woman shopping for clothes. Retail shopping, mask, wearing mask, corona, covid.

Employees may have additional household costs if they have to work at home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week. This includes having been told to work from home because of coronavirus.

Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills or business calls, that they can demonstrate have been incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily as a direct result of working from home. Costs that would stay the same whether they are working at home or not, do not qualify for tax relief.

If you don’t already reimburse your employees for these additional costs, employees may be eligible to claim tax relief on them. Employees will receive the quickest response if they apply on the HMRC online service, which is now open for claims that are for periods up to 5 April 2022.

Find out more about eligibility, and how employees can claim on GOV.UK.

The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open for all businesses who deferred paying VAT due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and have been unable to pay in full by 31 March 2021.

You can apply now to spread these payments over a number of months – businesses that join by 21 April 2021 will be able to benefit from up to 10 instalments. The later businesses join, the fewer instalments are available to them. Businesses can join the scheme quickly and simply online without needing to call HMRC.

To find out more information, including the things you need to prepare before joining online, go to GOV.UK. Businesses need to apply by 21 June 2021 if they want to join the scheme online.

If employers have furloughed employees because of the effects of coronavirus on their business, they can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave their employees take while on furlough, including for bank holidays. Employers should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on leave. 

If an employee is furloughed for only some of their hours, employers can count all time taken as holiday as furloughed hours, rather than working hours. This means employers can currently claim for 80% of their employee’s usual wages when they’re on leave.

In line with the Working Time Regulations, if a furloughed employee takes holiday employers should make sure they are calculating the correct holiday pay, and not simply continuing to pay the 80% they receive through the CJRS. They may need to top up their employees’ pay to 100% of their normal hourly rate or salary. You can find more information on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

If you haven’t submitted them yet, you must do so by the deadline of Wednesday‌‌ 14‌‌ April

As a reminder, the UK Government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to the end of June‌‌.

In July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50.

In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

Employers will need to pay the difference from July, so that they continue to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Employers must also continue to pay Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions on furlough pay.

What you need to do now

  1. Check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using the CJRS calculator and examples.
  2. Submit any claims for March no later than Wednesday‌‌‌‌ 14‌‌ April.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants claimed, in case HMRC needs to check them. ‌

To be eligible for the fourth SEISS grant, self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) must:

  • have submitted their 2019-20 tax return on or before 2 March 2021
  • have trading profits that are no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income, based on their 2019-20 tax return or an average of relevant tax years between 2016-17 and 2019-20
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and are either:
    • currently trading but are impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand due to coronavirus, or
    • have traded previously but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus (If they’ve been abroad and have to stay in quarantine or self-isolate, this does not count)
  • declare that they have a reasonable belief that there will be a significant reduction in their trading profits due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus.

You will be able to claim at any time from your personal claim date in late April until 1‌‌ June. In order to claim, you will need to log in to your Government Gateway account with your User ID and password. If you do not have a Government Gateway account (for example, customers who are newly self-employed), you should create one now to avoid delaying your claim.

To confirm your eligibility and make your claim, you will need your: 

  1. National Insurance number
  2. Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  3. Government Gateway user ID and password:

If you don’t have an account, or have forgotten your details, you can follow the instructions on GOV‌‌.UK by searching ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’.

  1. Bank account number and sort code

HMRC will also ask for the address that your bank or building society account is registered to. Please note this is your address – most likely your home or business premises – not the address of your bank or building society.

If you haven’t claimed before

If this is your first time claiming a SEISS grant, you may be asked additional questions to prove your identity.

Questions could relate to any of the following:

  • your UK passport
  • information held on your credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
  • your Self Assessment tax return (within the last three years)
  • your tax credit claim
  • your P60
  • one of your three most recent payslips.

Please ensure you have this information ready when making your claim. Your claim may be delayed if you cannot answer the identity verification questions.

You are required to keep appropriate records as evidence of the impact on your business. 

HMRC have written to some customers where they need to make further checks on their eligibility after processing their 2019-20 Self Assessment returns. HMRC have been contacting these customers using the telephone number provided on their tax return, and have asked them to provide proof of identity (such as a valid UK passport or UK photo-card driving license) and evidence of trade (three months of bank statements from the business accounts for the 2019-20 tax year).

From mid-April, HMRC will also contact you by email, letter or SMS if they believe you may be eligible for the fourth SEISS grant, providing you with your personal claim date.

You can make your claim from your personal claim date in late April, until the claims service closes on 1‌‌ June 2021. Applying before a personal claim date means it will not be processed.

From mid-April, HMRC will also contact customers that have previously claimed SEISS support but are no longer eligible due to either:

  • not filing their 2019-20 Self Assessment return on or before 2 March 2021, or
  • not meeting the eligibility criteria when their filed 2019-20 return is taken into account.

You can order free rapid lateral flow tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace.

If you have 10 or more employees, from early April you’ll be able to order tests for your employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week. You can do this if you cannot provide testing in the workplace.

You must register by 11:59pm on 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you should still register so you can order tests in the future.

You can register to order tests if:

  1. your business is registered in England
  2. your employees cannot work from home
  3. Your employees can also find out if they can get a rapid lateral flow test from a local test site instead.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3sDlMf1

There will be no further automatic extensions for confirmation statement filings, accounts filings after 5 April 2021. Any deadlines that fall after this date will revert to normal.

For accounts filing deadlines that fall after 5 April, companies can still apply for a 3-month extension.

Companies that are eligible and cite issues around COVID-19 in their application will be granted an extension.

Companies that have already had their accounts deadline extended may not be eligible, as the law only allows a maximum filing period of 12 months.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3fvUhQT