The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being wound down on 30 September 2021 and data published by HMRC has revealed that 1.9 million workers remain on furlough.
The data showed that the number of employees furloughed on the CJRS fell by 590,000 during June. The total number of furloughed workers is 1.9 million.
The data also revealed that younger workers have been leaving furlough most quickly, whilst one in ten workers aged 65 or over were on furlough.
For guidance on claiming CJRS visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Internet link: GOV.UK CJRS statistics
In response to HMRC’s consultation on simplifying the rules relating to land and property, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has urged HMRC to abolish all VAT exemptions and remove all VAT options.
The ICAEW stated that the VAT rules regarding land and property are ‘unnecessarily complex’ and stand to benefit from ‘significant simplification’. The Institute also highlighted the need for a more fundamental review of VAT exemptions.
In its response, the ICAEW also argued that abolishing exemptions would remove the difficulties for businesses posed by partial exemption. It suggested that all land and property transactions should be subject to VAT at the standard rate or reduced rate, other than those relating to domestic property, which should remain zero-rated. This would help to remove many of the complexities associated with the current rules, the ICAEW said.
In regard to the removal of all VAT options, the ICAEW commented: ‘Any option, whether it be to tax or exempt a transaction, creates complexity and uncertainty, as there are then two possibilities for the VAT liability of what is essentially the same type of supply.’
Internet link: ICAEW VAT representation
HMRC has issued guidance on claiming the fifth and final self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.
Unlike previous SEISS grants the amount of the fifth grant available is determined by how much a self-employed individual’s turnover is reduced.
The fifth grant is 80% of three months’ average trading profits capped at £7,500 for those self-employed individuals whose turnover has reduced by 30% or more. Those with a turnover reduction of less than 30% will receive a grant based on 30% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850.
Claims must be made by 30 September 2021. It is the taxpayer who must make the claim, an accountant or agent cannot submit the claim on their behalf.
Before making a claim taxpayers must:
- work out their turnover for a 12-month period starting from 1 April 2020 to 6 April 2020
- find their turnover from either 2019/20 or 2018/19 to use as a reference year.
HMRC advises taxpayers will need to have both figures ready when they make their claim.
A taxpayer can calculate their turnover for 2020/21 in a number of ways:
- by referring to their 2020/21 self assessment tax return if this has already been completed
- checking the figures on their accounting software
- reviewing their bookkeeping or spreadsheet records that detail their self-employment invoices and payments received
- checking the bank account they use for their business to account for money coming in from customers
- by asking their accountant or tax adviser for help in calculating the figures. However accountants and agents are unable to make the claim on the taxpayer’s behalf.
Claiming the fifth SEISS grant is not straightforward so please contact us for advice on determining your turnover figures or eligibility.
Internet link: GOV.UK SEISS5
The Government has published draft clauses for the next Finance Bill, which broadly cover pre-announced policy changes.
The government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the relevant Finance Bill is laid before Parliament.
The consultation will close on 14 September 2021.
Internet link: GOV.UK Draft Finance Bill 2021-22
HMRC has recently launched a consultation on how basis periods can be reformed for income tax for the self-employed.
The consultation seeks to gather views on how best to implement a proposal to simplify the rules under which profits of an unincorporated trading business are allocated to tax years using basis periods. The consultation also includes suggestions regarding transitional rules for moving to the new system.
HMRC aims to simplify the system before Making Tax Digital (MTD) for income tax is implemented.
The proposals affect the self-employed and partnerships with trading income. It mainly affects unincorporated businesses that do not draw up annual accounts to 31 March or 5 April and those that are in the early years of trade.
HMRC stated that it would like to gather views on the matter from businesses, advisers, tax software providers and representative bodies.
Internet link: GOV.UK Basis period reform – consultation