Following the UK Government’s 3-week lockdown across the UK and the earlier measures introduced to try and address the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of individuals are now faced with the requirement to work from home. The stricter measures imposed and spending your “9 to 5” at home may lead to employees finding themselves out of pocket from electricity and gas bill increases, to expenditure on stationary. However, there are tax reliefs available on the increased expenditure for employees and ways in which employers can assist their employees who are required to work from home.
Many businesses will have been working hard to try and meet the 1 April 2020 deadline for the end of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT soft-landing. This was the date from which taxpayers had to have a complete digital audit trail under MTD.
Over the weekend, the Government announced further measures designed to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. These included the welcome news that the wrongful trading rules will be relaxed from 1 March 2020, relieving the pressure on directors of potential personal liability for trading on whilst insolvent.
Even before the forthcoming Construction Reverse charge changes impact on the Property and Construction industry, businesses in these sectors have to navigate on of the most complex areas of VAT.
*Updated 1 June*
The Government has put in place the Self Employed Income Support Scheme to provide support to self employed individuals in the same way it has to employees via the Job Retention Scheme.
As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, it has been confirmed by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that there is a suspension to the gender pay gap reporting for 2019/20. On this basis, there will be no requirement for employers to report their information this year.
The Government has announced a substantial emergency package to support the long-term survival of UK businesses. It is essential that businesses are aware of the support packages made available by the Government and that they obtain support quickly in order to minimise business disruption and to steer them through the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have outlined the support measures for businesses announced by the Government below – full details can be found on the Government’s Covid-19 website.
As we adjust to the changes faced as a result of the COVID-19 situation and the ‘new normal’ we have outlined some key considerations you should take as you and your business adapt.
We are continually responding to advice from both the UK and Scottish governments and our priority is to protect our staff and their families, while continuing to deliver our high standard of service to clients.
Following government announcements on Friday and over the weekend, it is essential that we all must act to “protect yourself, others and the NHS” and therefore we took the decision to close our offices from Monday 23 March 2020.
Although the offices will be closed, we will continue to operate as normal for our clients, as detailed below:
HMRC have recently provided further information on how businesses can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme.
Businesses which still have outstanding deferred VAT payments can either pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021, join the VAT deferral new payment scheme or contact HMRC if extra help to pay is required. Find out more in our updated blog.
Amidst growing concern for the nation’s health, we take a look at what measures the government has taken to alleviate the pressure on businesses and to support employees during these testing times.
Further to our recent article connected to many individuals being asked to stay longer in the UK, HMRC have now updated their guidance acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic may well impact individuals ability to move freely to and from the UK, or require them to remain unexpectedly in the UK.
The double whammy of COVID-19 and a global oil price war is presenting what might be one of the upstream oil & gas sectors’ biggest challenges to date.
As a generation, we think we are very technologically advanced and able to cope with anything. However, in light of recent events, many companies are optimising flexible working and working from other locations such as from home. This sudden shift in working environments has caught some companies off guard and has resulted in companies facing new challenges in a situation which they have never faced before.
HM Revenue & Customs (‘HMRC’) has set up an additional phone line to help financially support individuals and businesses who are feeling the financial effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus, unsurprisingly, has had an unprecedented impact around the globe, and its financial implications are going to be felt for months and possibly years to come.
The recent budget saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce some welcome changes to the rules for tapering of the Pension Annual Allowance (AA), particularly for those in certain income brackets, where they previously faced severe restrictions on what they could save into their pensions without facing a tax charge.
The Budget made it clear that the UK’s success in the global economy will be rooted in innovation and cutting-edge technology. Plans to significantly increase public R&D investment to £22 billion per year by 2024-25 were confirmed, increasing direct support for R&D to 0.8% of GDP which places the UK among the top quarter of OECD nations.
For his first budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has delivered some interesting indirect tax changes.
At AAB, we have a dedicated team of Food & Drink specialists who hold a wealth of experience and knowledge of the sector - a nod to the significance of the industry in the context of the Scottish economy and to our business. Considering our involvement within the sector, we were thrilled to learn that Aberdeen will be home to Scotland’s forthcoming food and drink development hub ‘SeedPod’.
In light of the current situation with regards to COVID-19 we would like to provide the assurance that we are closely monitoring the situation. We are taking measures to protect the health and safety of our team and if required, are in a position to implement our Business Continuity Plan if or when the time comes.
The UK Government first introduced the Employment Allowance (EA) in 2014, which entitled employers to a reduction of up to £2000 from their secondary national insurance liability for the year. In April 2016, the allowance was raised to £3000 with a slight change in rulings which restricted single-director companies from claiming.
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus, some employees are finding that they are unable to travel to their place of work overseas, mainly due to company imposed travel restrictions to various affected countries. These companies are clearly acting in their employees’ best interests, and should rightly be applauded for this, but this could result in far reaching tax implications for those same employees.
Historically it was very difficult for HMRC to find out about offshore assets, income, gains and transfers which should have been declared in the UK, but for whatever reason, be it innocent or deliberate, were not reported.
At last – we’ve reached the end of February, the days have started to draw out, we might even get some respite from the weather. Spring is in the air and a new financial year is on the horizon. Why not take the time to start planning for the year ahead? Maybe revisit some of the software solutions you are currently using in your business, and have a spring clean of some old practices. Here are just a few suggestions for areas you might like to consider: