As we come to the end of the eighth week there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel it seems, as many workplaces are reopening this week and starting to adapt to what a lot of people are calling the “new normal”.
At Randall & Payne we are continuing to work from home for the time being as we have the technology to be able to do so, and have found we are still able to effectively offer our clients the services they need.
There have not been a huge number of new financial developments this week, although there are a few things worth mentioning.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has gone live this week and so far all seems to be going well. HMRC’s approach of giving potential claimants specific days to apply seems to be working well to avoid their system being overloaded, and most reports we have received from our clients are positive in that it seems to be very easy to apply.
Through our involvement with the tax professional bodies we were able to be one of a small number of agents to take part in a limited pilot of the scheme a few days before it went fully live, and put five or six of our clients through. All seemed to go well although there were some limited ID issues in one specific case.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now going to be with us until the end of October, albeit at a reduced level from August onwards. At this stage we do not know exactly what the level of support from August will be, but the government have promised detail by the end of May to enable businesses to plan ahead.
We continue to get more and more questions from our clients about the implications of the differing forms of aid and how they interact with other forms of State Aid. My article about State Aid earlier this week provides some more information about this and the kind of things to look out for and keep track of.
Finally, there was an announcement on Wednesday about reimbursed home office equipment, with a temporary extension that will apply from 16 March 2020 through to the end of the 2020-21 tax year. Under this exemption, where an employee has to spend money on office equipment necessary for them to work from home because of the Covid-19 crisis, the reimbursement by the employer for these costs will not be taxable.
Full details and legislation will be released on this new measure shortly, but this is a very welcome relaxation of the general rules.
It looks like we are set for another dry weekend, it will be nice to get outside a bit more now (sensibly of course) – have a good one.
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 email@example.com or 01242 776000 to arrange a call back.