As the third week of UK lockdown comes to a close, and we prepare for a very quiet Easter weekend, James Geary provides a summary of financial announcements from the week.
While this week has not seen any major support packages to the scale of the previous fortnight, there have been some developments as well as some clarifications and further details on measures already announced.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has seen some further announcements:
- It has been clarified that directors, including those of small companies, can be furloughed. Whilst furloughed directors are not permitted to carry out any work which is earning commercial revenue for the business, they are permitted to carry out their legal and fiduciary duties as a director as required by law. This means they can continue to do things like settle invoices and provide accounts information to their bookkeepers and accountants.
- We have now been told that the claims system for the scheme should be up and running by 20 April, which is a very impressive result in terms of speed of development. There may well be teething issues with a system built so quickly but HMRC have asked agents such as ourselves for help with getting businesses onto the system.
- All of our clients have received communications from us to help them start to gather the information they will need to make claims on the system, but we are here to support other businesses too, so please do get in touch with us if you would like more information on getting ready for the launch.
Working Tax Credits have received a boost with the basic element increasing by £1,045 to £3,040 for the tax year from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021. Exact entitlements will obviously depend on household income, but this could mean and increase of up to £20 per week at best.
Child Benefit has also had a couple of welcome announcements:
- The amount has increased by 1.7% from 6 April 2020
- The requirement to register a new birth before you can claim in respect of a newborn child has also been temporarily lifted, on the basis that Register Offices are closed during the lockdown.
Charities who are provided support to those affected by the pandemic are to receive significant support by way of a £750 million package, of which we are told £370 million will go to small local charities who are working hard to help those affected in their local communities.
Further announcements and changes are taking place on an almost daily basis so we will continue to monitor this, so please do keep an eye on our News pages and social media channels to keep up to date. Will Abbott has launched a Business Support Checklist which all businesses would benefit from reviewing to check they are harnessing all the support to which they are entitled, click here for details.
James Geary is head of Corporate Tax and is happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have at this time – you can contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01242 776000 to arrange a call back.