GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES FURTHER COVID-19 SUPPORT

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In an unprecedented move, the government has cancelled the Autumn Budget which had been tipped to include substantial tax increases for the affluent in favour of announcing a raft of measures to support jobs this winter in the wake of a double blow from COVID-19 and Brexit.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced today his Winter Economy Plan, which seems to have been inspired by similar programs in other European countries.

The current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be replaced with a new Job Support Scheme (JSS)

The JSS is intended to ‘directly support’ wages of staff working at least a third of their regular hours after the CJRS scheme ends as planned at the end of October.  It will start in November 2020 and end in April 2021.

Employers will pay their staff normally for hours they work. Then, they will be paid two-thirds of their pay for the remaining hours (with the employer and the government paying one-third each). So people will still see lower take-home pay – we have prepared the table below.

Normal HoursJSS HoursTake home percentage of contracted hours
33%67%77%
35%65%78%
40%60%80%
45%55%81%
50%50%83%
55%45%85%
60%40%86%
65%35%88%
70%30%90%
75%25%92%
80%20%93%
85%15%95%
90%10%97%
95%5%98%

The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The employer will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution. The relevant employee(s) must not be on a redundancy notice.

The JSS is intended to protect viable jobs over next six months after the furlough scheme ends in October.

All small and medium-sized firms with a UK PAYE scheme and UK bank account are eligible – but large firms are only eligible if their turnover has fallen in the pandemic and can document this..  The JSS is open to firms who have not used CJRS.

It is designed to sit alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus and businesses can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect jobs.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.

SEISS Extension

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS) is extended, with a lump sum to cover November to January next year.  It will be worth 20 per cent of average monthly profits, capped at £1,875.  A second grant will be available for February to April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Business Bounce Back Loans extended

The Chancellor has announced a “Pay as you grow scheme” to help businesses whose trading has been hurt by the pandemic. Small firms can extend their bounce-back loans for a full decade, up from the current 6 year ceiling, which should almost halve their monthly repayments, and they will also have the opportunity to make interest-only payments for a six month period, if needed. There will also be general payment holiday periods available,

Catering and Hospitality VAT rate cut extended

The temporary reduction in the VAT rate to 5% on catering and hospitality services has been extended until 31 March 31 2021.

It had been due to end on 12 January 2021.  This will continue to apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Deferred VAT payments

Businesses which have deferred paying their VAT liability under the New Payment Scheme will be allowed to pay it off in 11 interest-free payments in the 2021-22 financial year instead of one full payment in March 2021.

Self-Assessment tax payment deadline extended

A further time to pay extension will be granted until January 2022.

Up to 11 million taxpayers will be able to benefit from an additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.

SRC-Time are one of the South East’s leading accountancy firms in advising the self-employed and partnerships in all aspects of their tax affairs and we are able to assist in any issue raised above.

Our expert team is available to provide you with advice and can be contacted on 01273 326 556 or you can drop us an email at info@src-time.co.uk  or speak with an account manager to get any process started.


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