Tax UK

HMRC has contacted us just today to advise that this scheme which will enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to claim coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will launch next Monday 26 May. Agents will be able to make claims on behalf of employers.  Employers are eligible to use the scheme if:  they’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus; they had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020; they had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020; and they’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework. The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, and is payable if a current or former employee was unable to work on or after 13 March 2020 and entitled to SSP, because they either:  have coronavirus are self-isolating and unable to work from home are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.  To prepare to make a claim, employers should keep records of all the SSP payments they wish to claim for.  For more information about eligibility and how employers (or you on their behalf) can prepare to use the scheme, please visit GOV.UK.  HMRC advise is to only call them if you cannot find the support you need on GOV.UK advice pages or through the webchat service – this will leave lines open for those who need help most.

May 19, 2020
Audit

ICAS and ICAEW have today jointly published free-to-access guidance for owners and directors of SMEs to assess the prospects of their business in the wake of COVID-19. The guidance has been written by experts at ICAS and ICAEW to aid the many small and medium-sized businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus crisis as they prepare their accounts. Company directors are required each year to assess whether the business is a going concern when drawing up their annual accounts, and this should cover at least the 12 months from the date the accounts are to be approved by the directors. But coronavirus has had a dramatic change on the performance and prospects of many businesses, leaving some under threat, and accounts will have to reflect its impact. The publication explains to business owners and directors the importance of forecasting cash flow and how to reflect the impact of COVID-19. Additionally, it provides suggestions on how to work with auditors and accountants during the pandemic, including the need to provide evidence which shows that conclusions reached regarding going concern are reasonable. The guide is available here.

May 19, 2020
Tax

Revenue Tax and Duty Manual Part 13-02-06, which deals with the close company surcharge for service companies under section 441 Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, has been updated to include guidance for companies that provide the services of a medical practitioner.  Other updates include statements that 1. the guidance of a professional body will be an important factor in establishing if a company is a service company, and 2. preliminary or preparatory work can be considered as being an integral element of a professional service.  

May 18, 2020
Tax

Revenue announced that, given the continuing situation regarding COVID-19, the deduction date for property owners who opted to pay their LPT for 2020 by Annual Debit Instruction (ADI) has been further extended to 21 July 2020. The original deduction date (21 March 2020) was extended to 21 May 2020 and is now further extended to 21 July 2020. Property owners who have opted to make a payment by ADI do not need to advise Revenue or take any action.

May 18, 2020
Tax

The latest statistics on the scheme (to 14 May 2020) tell us that there are over 53,900 employers registered with Revenue for the scheme, this is up 1,300 on the previous week’s numbers.  The cumulative value of payments made under the scheme is €936 million, this includes €86 million in income tax refunds.  Over 464,400 employees have already received at least one payment under the scheme. The statistics published by Revenue tell us that the wholesale and retail trade sector continues to have the highest percentage of employers and employees availing of the scheme, followed by the construction sector (page 15). The overall flow of employees in and out of the scheme (page 4) tell us that 28,800 people have moved to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), while 32,600 moved into the Wage Subsidy Scheme from the PUP.  Statistics on the scheme are available on the Revenue website.  

May 18, 2020
Tax

Revenue has updated their guidance for employees to cover additional information on PAYE Exclusion Orders, subsidy rates and employee leave.  The FAQs, now at version 2, provide guidance to PAYE employees whose employers have been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic and who are availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.  A new webpage containing information on the scheme for employees was also launched by Revenue recently. 

May 18, 2020
Tax

Further guidance on the operational phase of the scheme was published by Revenue.  The updates to the FAQs, now at version 11, include guidance on the treatment of employees re-hired post 1 May (FAQ 2.8); a facility to include such employees in the Employer CSV file is expected to be implemented today, 18 May 2020.  To include employees re-hired post 1 May in the Employer CSV file, employers should ensure that the rehired employees are on the Payroll and an RPN has been received by the Friday evening prior to first payroll payment.   Revenue tell us that the CSV file will be refreshed at least once a week to include new re-hired employees and later more regularly. Revenue also told us that they will re-process all J9 submissions for those re-employed between 2 May and the availability of the facility (today, 18 May 2020) and refunds will be made as appropriate later in the week.  Other key updates to the FAQs cover: eligible employees now on leave from employment (FAQ 4.6.3), refunds to employers from the transitional phase (FAQ 4.13), subsidy refunds (FAQ 5), and information on viewing payroll submissions and refunds on J9 submissions in ROS and on distinguishing subsidy refunds from an employee’s tax refund (Appendix 4). We recommend that members familiarise themselves with the updates to the FAQs.  We continue to request clarifications from Revenue on operational aspects of the scheme and will update members via the appropriate channels of any clarifications received. 

May 18, 2020
Tax

The close company surcharge 18-month distribution period, will on application to Revenue, be extended by a further 9 months.  This extension is available in response to COVID-19 circumstances affecting the company.  It will apply for accounting periods ending from 30 September 2018 onwards, for which distributions to avoid the surcharge would be due by 31 March 2020 onwards. Section 440 Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) 1997 provides for an additional charge of corporation tax (referred to as a “surcharge”) on close companies at the rate of 20 per cent of the excess of the aggregate of the distributable investment income and the distributable estate income over the distributions made for an accounting period. Section 441 TCA provides for a 15 per cent surcharge on certain undistributed income of close service companies. The surcharges apply to income of close companies that is not distributed within 18 months from the end of the accounting period in which the income arose. In recognition of the Covid-19 circumstances which may require many companies to retain cash to support their business Revenue will, on application, extend the 18-month period for distributions by a further 9 months. Details of this temporary measures are set out in the Revenue information note.  Revenue Tax and Duty Manual Part 13-02-05 has been amended to include reference to such extensions and the action to be taken on receipt of an application for an extension. 

May 18, 2020
Tax UK

The Chancellor announced last week that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) is being extended to 31 October and will not now end on 30 June as previously expected. There was speculation last week that payments under the scheme would be cut to 60 per cent. To ensure you receive a payment by the end of May, you need to apply by Wednesday 20‌‌ May.  As part of the announcement, the Chancellor stated that new flexibility will be introduced to the CJRS from August aimed at boosting the economy and getting employees back to work.   Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80 per cent of their current salary, up to £2,500 until 31 July. The new flexibility to be introduced from August means furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.  The extension of the scheme is designed to “avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.” New statistics also published reveal that the scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.  The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.  The government has also committed to exploring new ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported and it has stated that it will also continue to work closely with the various Devolved Administrations.   

May 18, 2020
Tax UK

In an update received last week HMRC has confirmed that a new ‘save and return’ option has been added to the online portal meaning you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go. Read the full update from HMRC below.  “I’m writing to share the latest information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with you, including updates to guidance and the online service based on your feedback, and how to avoid common mistakes that can lead to a wrong or delayed payment.  Save and return option now added  In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a 'save and return' option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.  Avoiding common mistakes  When you make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you will receive the funds within six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme. Making sure that you submit your claim correctly will reduce the chance of any delayed or wrong payments.  These steps should help keep the process as simple as possible:   read the guidance before you apply, to find this go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme', there’s a step-by-step guide to applying and a calculator  check your employees are eligible, by looking at the guidance on GOV‌.UK  check your calculations each time you submit a claim, in case any details have changed  only submit one claim per pay period – you can’t submit another claim for overlapping periods; this means that in each claim you should include all furloughed employees paid during that period  if you have missing National Insurance numbers for employees, do try and find them so it doesn’t delay your claim; if an employee doesn’t have a National Insurance number yet, you should contact HMRC in order to complete your claim; go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' to find out how to contact us  double check all of the information in the claim before you submit it, including your bank details.  We understand that sometimes you might make an error in your claim, and we’re working on a process to enable you to amend a claim. In the meantime, please don’t amend your next claim to reflect any errors that you may have made in a previous one, as this could delay payment. If we spot an error then, where possible, we’ll contact you or your agent to correct the claim.  After you make a claim – reporting employees' wages to HMRC  If you’ve claimed a grant through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you should check if you need to report payments on the PAYE Real Time Information system. This will depend on whether you are using the grant to pay wages or to reimburse wages that you’ve already paid. To find guidance on this, go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'report wages Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.  Find out more in our recorded webinars  Want more information? There are two HMRC webinars about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on our YouTube channel 'HMRCgovuk' – an overview of the scheme and a detailed session about how to make a claim.  A note about scams  Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.” 

May 18, 2020
Tax UK

Last week the self-employed income support scheme (“SEISS”) opened for claims. HMRC’s advice is that who cannot set up a Government Gateway ID because they have a Northern Ireland driving licence or Irish passport is to claim by phone (0800 024 1222) instead of using the online portal. Check our dedicated SEISS page and download our factsheet on the scheme now.  The guidance has also been updated as a result of changes in the State Aid section. In the updated guidance there is no longer a requirement that those eligible need to confirm they are below the €800,000 aid cap.  After amendments, the State Aid Temporary Framework now allows for “Aid in the form of wage subsidies” (section 3.10). This is distinct from the previous “Aid in form of direct grants, repayable advances or tax advantages” category (section 3.1), on which a €800,000 cap applies. As the SEISS was recently approved under section 3.10, the €800,000 cap does not apply to this scheme.   HMRC have also sent the below message about the scheme.  “The claims system for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) went live yesterday, 13 May, for eligible customers to begin to make their claims and we are pleased to say the first day of claims has proceeded smoothly. We appreciate the invaluable support you provide to your clients in helping them prepare to claim a grant under this scheme.  However, we have noticed some agents are using their client’s Government Gateway credentials to make claims on their behalf. Please don’t do this. It will trigger a fraud alert and will result in delays to receiving payment.  If you have claimed on a client’s behalf already, their payment may be delayed. If your clients are affected, they will have to contact us separately to resolve this.  As you know, our priority was ensuing we could get money to those who needed it most, as quickly as possible and directly to the individual's bank account.  The claims system has been designed so it is as simple as possible for customers to use and we will calculate the amount a customer is entitled to, based on the information we already hold. We’re already seeing very positive feedback from customers who’ve made their claim and have found it easy and straightforward.  How you can help your clients  Please continue to help your clients by:   talking them through why they may, or may not be eligible, drawing on our online guidance or through our daily webinars  encouraging them to use the online checker (or using it on their behalf to check eligibility) – reminding them that they will need their Unique Taxpayer Reference number and their National Insurance number to do so  encouraging clients who do not have their Government Gateway credentials to set them up online now  reminding them that the date between 13 and 18‌‌ May, which they have been given, is assigned randomly in order to help HMRC manage demand on the service so that everyone who needs to make a claim can do so  helping them understand that while they won’t be able to apply before their allocated claim date, they will be able to make a claim after that day  supporting them to find other help available on GOV.UK, if they are not eligible for a grant under this scheme, and  Not applying for a claim on their behalf.    Seeking a review of eligibility  We welcome your support in helping clients to understand if they meet the criteria for SEISS. If you, or your client, wish to seek a review of HMRC’s decision around your client’s eligibility, you can do this using the form available when the checker confirms this result. We will look at their case and we will explain their eligibility by the end of May.  It’s important to note that the checker has an extremely high accuracy rate as we use the data you or your client has previously provided us with in their tax returns.  The application process  When your clients begin the application process, they will be shown how HMRC has calculated the grant they are due to receive. Your clients will be able to share this calculation with you.  If you, or your client, wish to seek a review of HMRC’s calculation, you can do so on their behalf by logging on to your agent gateway account and submitting the online form available there using your client’s details.  Watch our animation on how to claim  We have created a short film to show step-by-step, what the claims process looks like. Please feel free to share this with your clients.  Further information  Our phone lines will be very busy over the next few days, so we would really value your help in explaining the scheme to your clients and ensuring they understand the scheme. You can do this by visiting our guidance on GOV.UK which will provide you with most of the answers you may need.  Join our webinar to find out more  You can also join one of our live webinars for further information about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. In these webinars we cover an overview of the scheme, who can claim, how much customers may be entitled to, how to claim, what happens after customers have claimed and other support available. Choose a date and time.  A word about scams  We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. Eligible customers will be invited to claim through GOV‌.UK – it is the only service they can use. If someone gets in touch with your clients claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks them to click on a link or to give information such as their name, credit card or bank details, they should not respond. It is a scam.  Suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC should reported to us by sending them to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. Texts should be sent to 60599.” 

May 18, 2020
Tax UK

Members can visit our dedicated UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) page, which provides guidance on the scheme. Download our factsheet on the who, what, where, when and why of the scheme.   Readers are also advised to ensure they are using the latest CJRS. You are advised to bookmark the relevant links and print a copy of the guidance which applied at the time you submit a claim for the CJRS grant. The guidance is available at the following links and has been updated as follows since last week:-       Page title Changes made 1 Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update headline text to give high level intro to CJRS and also reflect CX announcement on extension of the scheme 2 Check if you can claim for your employee's wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update headline text to reflect CX announcement on extension of the scheme We’ve pulled out the ‘Employees you can claim for’ section of the ‘Check’ guide into its own piece of guidance called ‘Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. 3 Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme New separate page for this content Clarification on volunteering to emphasise that it cannot be for the same or a different role. Section on consolidated payroll moved to be next to TUPE section. Content unchanged. 4 Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Non-discretionary payments clarification to better explain what meets this criteria. Wording tweaked. Non-discretionary overtime payment clarification to better explain the distinction here. New wording setting out what periods a claim should cover and how far in advance claims can be made Examples from this page separated out into supplementary HTML document, no change to content. Moved the ‘After you’ve claimed’ section from this page to the service start page where it sits better and makes more sense for the user. Link to BEIS Holiday Entitlement guidance added to Holiday Pay Section. 5 Examples for ‘Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ New separate page for this content, no changes to content. 6 Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Added in that records must be kept for at least 6 years Clarification around where employers can search for employee's National Insurance Numbers Added wording to the 'After you've claimed' section which was removed from the 'Work out 80% if your wages page'. 7 Reporting employees' wages to HMRC when you've claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme No changes to content   'Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  'Reporting employees' wages to HMRC when you've claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reporting-payments-in-paye-real-time-information-from-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  ‘Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at:   https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  'Find examples to help you work out 80% of your employees' wages' is available at:   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-examples-to-help-you-work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages  'Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  'Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' is available at:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers  This guide explains the information that employers need to provide to claim for their employees’ wages and has also recently been updated. 

May 18, 2020

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