Property tax changes


From 1 July 2021 there are changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and Land Transaction Tax (LTT) bands for residential property.

SDLT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in England and Northern Ireland. The following rates and thresholds apply for SDLT from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021:

Residential property (£) Rate (%)
0 – 250,000 0
250,001 – 925,000 5
925,001 – 1,500,000 10
1,500,001 and above 12

LTT is payable by the purchaser in a land transaction occurring in Wales. From 1 July 2021 the rates for residential property are:

Residential property (£) Rate (%)
0 – 180,000 0
180,001 – 250,000 3.5
250,001 – 400,000 5
400,001 – 750,000 7.5
750,001 – 1,500,000 10
1,500,000 and above 12

There are no changes to the rates and bands for Land and Property Transaction Tax which apply in Scotland.

Internet links: SDLT rates LTT rates

Apprenticeship cash boost


The government has confirmed that employers of all sizes in England can now apply for £3,000 in extra funding to help them take on new apprentices.

The boost to the apprenticeship incentive scheme was confirmed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget in March.

The claims portal opened on 1 June and businesses can apply for £3,000 for each new apprentice hired as a new employee from 1 April until 30 September.

The cash incentive is designed to help more employers invest in the skilled workforce they need for the future as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs.

The government says the scheme builds on action already underway to protect, support and create more jobs while bringing the UK’s skills and education system closer to the employer market.

The Chancellor commented:

‘Young people have been hit especially hard by the crisis – which is why our Plan for Jobs, launched last year, is focused on helping them get the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

By boosting the cash incentives for our apprenticeship scheme we’re improving opportunities for young people to stay in and find work – this could not be more important in our economy’s recovery.’

Find out more and apply at www.gov.uk/guidance/incentive-payments-for-hiring-a-new-apprentice.

Internet link: GOV.UK news

Furlough scheme starts to wind down


The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) begins winding down from 1 July.

The latest data from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that at the end of April 3.4 million jobs were still on furlough so the change to the furlough scheme will affect thousands of employers across the country.

Since last March, the government has paid 80% of the salaries of employees (up to a maximum government contribution of £2,500 per month) – with the employers only having to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

From 1 July the government will only pay 70% of the furloughed employee’s salary, so the employer has to pay 10% of the salary themselves. In August and September, employers will have to pay 20%, with the government picking up 60%. Furloughed employees will continue to receive 80% of their wages including the employer contribution.

However, according to the IFS, the bill for employers keeping a member of staff on the scheme will rise significantly, putting jobs at risk. For a furloughed employee previously earning £20,000 per year, the cost to an employer of keeping them will rise from £155 per month in June to £322 in July, and £489 per month in August and September, after which the scheme is due to end.

Further details of changes to the CJRS can be found at GOV.UK CJRS.

Internet link: IFS publication

NIC reliefs set for Freeports


Freeport operators will be able to take advantage of a zero rate of secondary national insurance contributions (NICs) for employees, the government has announced.

The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2021, which legislates reliefs for those operating in Freeports, has now been published.

The Bill confirms that from April 2022, organisations with employees spending 60% or more of their time in a Freeport site will be eligible for relief on secondary Class 1 NICs for 36 months. The relief will be available to new employees earning up to £25,000 per annum.

In 2020 the government consulted on proposals to create up to ten Freeports across the UK. A UK Freeport will be a geographical area with a diameter up to 45km which is closely linked to a seaport, airport or rail port. East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside and Thames have been successful in the Freeports bidding process for England.

The government is now proposing a range of measures covering customs, tax reliefs, planning, regeneration funding and innovation to create Freeports as national hubs for global trade and investment across the UK.

Internet link: GOV.UK

HMRC’s VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to close this month


Businesses that deferred VAT payments last year have less than a month left to join online and pay in monthly instalments under the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme, HMRC has warned.

The online portal for the new payment scheme will close on 21 June 2021.

Over half a million businesses deferred £34 billion in VAT payments due between March and June 2020 under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme. Businesses had until 31 March 2021 to pay this deferred VAT or, if they could not afford to do so, they could go online from 23 February to set up a new payment scheme and pay by monthly instalments to spread the cost.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said:

‘Businesses that deferred paying their VAT last spring have until 21 June to join the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme online. They should act now to avoid missing out on this opportunity to spread payment of their deferred VAT across monthly, interest-free, instalments.

‘The new payment scheme is part of the Government package of support worth over £350 billion to help protect millions of jobs and businesses during the pandemic and as we emerge on the path to recovery.

‘HMRC will continue to do all we can to help businesses as they reopen and rebuild.’

Internet links: GOV.UK  GOV.UK news

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