COVID-19 – this week’s tidbits (UK)

May 05, 2020

HMRC and the UK Government continue to publish updates on COVID-19 at some pace. When using a form or publication going forward or contacting HMRC, check you are using the most recent version or up to date way of contact which may have changed due to the pandemic.  

  • The page on information for NI businesses and employers has been updated  

  • See the recording of last week’s Ulster Society webinar on rebooting the economy in a re-shaped world 

  • HMRC have issued a brief on the temporary VAT zero rating of personal protective equipment (PPE). This details a temporary zero rate on PPE which applies from 1 May until 31 July 2020. A policy paper has also been published and a new section added to VAT Notice 701/57 

  • The Bounce back loan scheme was launched yesterday 

  • The Government has extended the deadlines for responses to a number of open HMRC and HM Treasury consultations. These include the consultations on the revised HMRC Charter and the call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advisers market. See the relevant page for more details of the consultation response deadlines which have been extended 

  • HMRC has announced that the reporting and payment deadline for the PAYE Special Arrangement for Short Term Business Visitors for 2019/20 is extended from 19 April 2020 to 31 May 2020 

  • The First-tier Tribunal has announced a further general stay of all proceedings received before 24 March 2020 up to and including 30 June 2020 

  • The House of Lords report “Off-payroll: treating people fairly” on the reform of the IR35 legislation calls for a fundamental rethink of the Government’s approach. At present, the rules are still intended to be implemented from 6 April 2021, which was delayed from 6 April 2020 due to the pandemic 

  • Currently, the 2019/20 deadline for filing annual share plan returns and benefit in kind returns including P11ds remains 6 July 2020  

  • Finance Bill 2020 had its second reading in the House of Commons on 27 April 2020. The next step would usually be a Committee of the Whole House. However due to the pandemic the whole Bill will be looked at by the Public Bill Committee instead. No date has yet been published for this stage though it has been confirmed that the Committee’s proceedings are due to be concluded by Thursday 25 June 2020 

  • The Budget 2020 announcement of a zero rate of VAT on e-publications which was due to take effect from 1 December 2020 has been brought forward and will now apply to all e-publications from 1 May 2020. HMRC has issued a Brief, policy paper and guidance on the change 

  • HMRC has confirmed that reclaims of employees' coronavirus-related statutory sick pay qualify as state aid under the EU commission’s COVID-19 temporary framework which means support is capped 

  • The Chancellor has written to the Treasury Committee to confirm a relaxation of the statutory residence test for skilled individuals coming to the UK to help the coronavirus response 

  • A new post, “Construction Industry Scheme: top five tips for tax agents” has been published  

  • HMRC has published guidance setting out that subject to the relevant conditions being met, charities will be able to claim gift aid on cancelled event tickets