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Our office is open to visitors to drop off or collect items and begin to arrange face-to-face appointments. If you have any queries, please email your usual contact or call the office on 01603 666132. As always, we are here to support you and your business, please do contact us with any questions.

Helpful Links 

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The scheme closes for coronavirus related absences after 17 March 2022.

From 25‌‌‌ ‌March, the normal SSP rules will return, which means employers can revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

Test and Trace Support Payment

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in England has now closed. If you were told to self-isolate before 24 February, you can still make a claim within 42 days of the first day of self-isolation and no later than 6 April.

For more information on SSP rules for employers go to: Statutory Sick Pay (SSP): employer guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

See: Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Keeping your Workplace safe during Coronavirus

There are 10 guides covering a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. 

Covid-19 Updates in Detail

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme will ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance unitl 30 June 2022.

From 1 January 2022, the following changes will come into force:

  • The scheme will only be open to small and medium sized enterprises
  • The maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business
  • The guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%

These changes will apply to all offers made from 1 January 2022.

Self-Employment Income Support SchemeGrant (SEISS)

Check how much you were paid for SEISS grants and the status of your payment. Find out what to do if you think the grant is too low or you still need to make a claim.

You must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if, when you made the claim, you were not eligible for the grant. For example:

  • for the first or second grant, your business was not adversely affected
  • for the third, fourth or fifth grant, your business had not been impacted by reduced activity, capacity or demand or inability to trade in the relevant periods
  • you did not intend to continue to trade
  • you have incorporated your business

You can use the online service to check the status of your payment, update your details, see how much you were paid or if you think the grant amount is too low.

You must also tell HMRC if you:

  • received more than HMRC said you were entitled to
  • amended any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 in a way which means you’re no longer eligible or are entitled to a lower fourth or fifth grant than you received
  • made a mistake reporting your turnover in your claim for the fifth grant which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
  • have received a letter or email from HMRC that says you need to pay back some or all of a grant

When you must tell HMRC

In most cases, if you are not eligible and have to pay the grant back, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving the grant.

For the fourth and fifth grants the rules for when to tell HMRC are different if amending your return affects your eligibility or grant amount. 

If your return has been amended
You must tell HMRC if there is an amendment to any of your tax returns on or after 3 March 2021 which either:

  • lowers the amount of fourth or fifth grant you’re eligible for
  • causes you to no longer be eligible for the fourth or fifth grant

If your return has been amended before claiming your grant, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of receiving your grant.

If your return has been amended after receiving your grant, you must tell HMRC within 90 days of making the amendment.

If you do not tell HMRC, they will write to you to recover the grant and you may also have to pay a penalty. Find more information on how HMRC will recover your overpaid grant.

You do not have to tell HMRC if the grant amount:

  • you are eligible for has lowered by £100 or less
  • was £100 or less

If you are not sure, you should still tell HMRC about the amendment using the online form.

If you made a mistake when reporting your turnover
You need to tell HMRC if you:

  • made a mistake reporting your turnover in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received
  • later realise you should have reported a different turnover figure in your claim which means you are entitled to a lower grant than you received

Voluntary repayments
You can also tell HMRC if you want to voluntarily pay back some or all of the grant you received. You can do this at any time.

You will need your:

  • Government Gateway user ID and password that you used when you made your claim
  • grant claim reference - you'll find this in the online service or on your copy of the grant claim
  • Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number.

See: Return to your claim for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021. 

Report CJRS Furlough grants and overpayments on Corporation Tax Return CT600

The latest version of the CT600 Corporation Tax Return updated on 15 November 2021 requires companies to report CJRS furlough payments received and the amounts that the company was entitled to during the period in boxes 471 and 472. Where any overpayments have already been disclosed to HMRC that amount should be reported in box 473. If the company has overclaimed “Eat Out to Help Out” grants that amount should be reported in box 474.

The total amount overclaimed should then be entered in box 526. This amount will be assessed for income tax. HMRC will write to companies with the reference number and payment details. This is not corporation tax so you must not pay this with your main corporation tax liability.  Full details view here.


Other Measures

Additional Restrictions Grant – England

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed).

Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, government expects the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.

Find your local council here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

 


The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant supports businesses that have been most impacted by the Omicron variant.

Eligibility

The aim of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme is to support businesses:

  • that offer in-person services
  • where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises
  • in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors

Subsidy allowance

This scheme is covered by 3 possible subsidy allowances:

  • Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – you’re allowed up to £335,000 (subject to exchange rates) in Small Amounts of Financial Assistance over any rolling period of 3 financial years
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance – under this allowance you’re allowed up to £1,900,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes
  • COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance - if you have reached your limits under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, you may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £10,000,000 across all COVID-19 Business Grant schemes

Grants under these 3 allowances can be combined for a potential total allowance of up to £12,235,000 (subject to exchange rates).

How to apply

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.

The government will also continue to provide eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England with 66% business rates relief from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

If you have any questions, we are here to help.

Changes to VAT rates 1 April 2022

Many in the hospitality sector were hoping that the Chancellor would extend the 12.5% reduced rate that has applied since 1 October 2021 but, as scheduled, the rate has reverted to 20% from 1 April 2022.

The increase will apply to hospitality, visitor attractions and catering services including restaurants and takeaways.

This has a consequential effect on the VAT Flat Rate Scheme percentages from 1 April 2022 as set out below:

Type of Business

Before 15 July 2020

and from 1 April 2022

15 July 2020 to 30 September 2021 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022
Catering services including restaurants and takeaways 12.5% 4.5% 8.5%
Hotel or accommodation 10.5% 0% 5.5%
Pubs 6.5% 1% 4%

Affected businesses should ensure that their pricing policies and internal systems and processes are updated for the 1 April 2022 change in VAT rate. Please talk to us if you need any assistance with your VAT affairs.


Dividend Issues - Small and Medium Business Directors and Shareholders

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that some companies as a result of Covid-19 may struggle to survive. There are also important knock on effects to be aware of, concerning dividends becoming unlawful payments made by your company and this is an issue that all small company director/ shareholders need to be aware of where their company does not have significant cash reserves.

Dividend Payments

It is normal practice for SME business Director/Shareholders to receive a small salary via PAYE, and the rest of company withdrawals as dividend payments. In normal circumstances where companies are generating regular income and profits this is not an issue. However Covid-19 impacting companies’ capability to continue as going concerns may mean that income and profits dry up and the amount of reserves the company has from which dividends can be legally paid diminishes too.

If there is no company profit or very little left during this pandemic, you should be very cautious regarding making dividends payments unless you know historically from its latest accounts the company has large realised reserves and/or there is a decent amount of funds still in the company’s bank account when the dividend is paid. When considering dividends the legal points are these:-

  • When directors ‘declare’ a dividend they have to consider the business since its last year end and any impacts on the company’s profit available for distribution
  • They must also review if the business remains a “going concern” and preferably have financial forecasts to reinforce that view and the profit available for distribution
  • The business has to be solvent

What you want to avoid is the situation whereby when the next set of accounts are prepared, it turns out there were not sufficient profits after tax or reserves from which dividends could legally be paid. In that situation you will end up with a Director’s loan which has tax consequences for the company and needs to be paid back to the company. The ultimate “worst case scenario” is where a company goes under with an amount owed by the Director to it by way of loan. Any administrator, receiver or liquidator who gets involved at that stage will look to the Director/Shareholders to physically pay the money back to the company before any winding up goes ahead and that can be a painful process.

Please speak to us ahead of paying large dividends in the current environment, or of course if there are cashflow issues in the company at present and long term viability is becoming an issue.


High Earning parents may be entitled to Child Benefit

With incomes likely to be significantly lower for many in the current tax year, the impact of the High Income Child Benefit tax charge will be reduced proportionately as earnings drop below £60,000. (For every £100 earned above £50,000, 1% of the child benefit received is effectively withdrawn through the charge.) If the higher paid parent's earnings drop below £50,000 full entitlement for the 22/23 tax year equates to £21.80 a week for the 1st child and £14.45 a week per child for all subsequent children under 16.  (Increasing from £21.05 & £13.95 in 21/22 year)

If you believe that your income is likely to be affected, then you can contact the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 (8am-4pm) to ask them to reinstate your claim (Have your National Insurance ready). Alternatively visit https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-tax-charge/restart-child-benefit. The claim can be backdated for up to 3 months, and so you should act as soon as possible, to avoid missing out for part of the tax year.

Please get in touch with your usual Argents contact if you would like to discuss your entitlement and the tax charge any further.

As always, please let us know if you wish to discuss any of the above with us. 

Testimonials

From helping me set up a company to managing my VAT/Corporation tax submissions, has enabled me to grow my business and provide reassurance and advice along the way. The epitome of an approachable expert and equally important, has shown enormous patience over the years as I ask the same questions about VAT every 3 months! I consider them as a trusted adviser and would happily recommend.
- One Last Thing
Finding an accounting firm who understood, and had first-hand experience dealing with all the intricacies of worldwide VAT and taxation, was a must for us. The entire Argents’ team have been friendly, helpful and professional every step of the way, and we look forward to working with them as we grow and expand with further projects.
- Prof. Troccoli, WEMC
I’ve known and used Grahame’s services for 20+ years and always found his advice to be pertinent and beneficial on both a personal and commercial level.
- C Brown
Thank you for looking after our tax affairs for the year 2018/19. As always, the care you take with our tax affairs is much appreciated.
- Rosemary S
I have used them ever since they set up in Norwich for my personal affairs. My company Signs Express has been with them likewise. Although i sold on to the management team, they are still there. I have suggested them to several others both private and corporate and they are all still there. Evidence of service of high quality at a fair price.
- Frank Eliel
Stewart supports my business through the preparation and submission of both my corporation and personal tax services. He is highly knowledgeable and efficient, always willing to offer ad-hoc advice and guidance. I would highly recommend Stewart to help with your accounting needs/QuickBooks adviser. He is great at making the complexity of tax and VAT simple to understand which is important to me.
- Louise G.
The advice I have received from each of you over the past several years has always been very helpful.
- Kevin J.