DEADLINE UPDATE for Grants and Support
Today HMRC has announced that Self Assessment customers will not receive a penalty for filing their 2019-20 tax return late, as long as they file online by 28 February. HMRC are still encouraging customers who have not yet filed to do so by 31 January, if possible. I am working, literally around the clock, to get these done, but this does give me a bit of breathing space.
Customers still need to pay their Self Assessment tax bill by 31 January. Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities. Customers can pay online, or through their bank, or by post before they file.
If any customer cannot afford to pay by 31 January, they may be able to set up an affordable plan and pay in monthly instalments. But they will need to file their 2019-20 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement.
The deadline for the third SEISS grant application is 29th January - if you haven't already applied, now is the time to do so. You will need to confirm that your self-employed profits have been affected by COVID-19, and need to complete this application via your own Government Gateway.
LRG and ARG
The Local Restrictions Grant and Additional Restrictions Grant from November and December close to applications on 31st January - please visit your local authority website for further details and application process.
National Lockdown Grants
Locally, these are not live yet. North Devon Council have confirmed that they have received funding from Central Government, and are currently creating a joint Tier 3 and national Lockdown application process so that funds can be paid in one go.
Supreme Court Ruling regarding Business Interruption Insurance
The Supreme Court has delivered its judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA)’s business interruption insurance test case, with the court’s ruling in the favour of small firms potentially forcing insurers to pay out £1.2bn in CBI claims.
Following the judgement, thousands of policyholders will now have their claims for coronavirus-related business interruption losses paid out. The court’s decision brings to a close the legal arguments imposed by 14 types of policies issued by six insurers, and a substantial number of similar policies in the wider markets.
The FCA first brought the case against the courts in a bid to “urgently clarify key issues of contractual uncertainty for as many policyholders and insurers as possible”, initially selecting a representative sample of 21 policy types issued by eight insurance groups.
Sheldon Mills, executive director for Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said: “Coronavirus is causing substantial loss and distress to businesses and many are under immense financial strain to stay afloat. This test case involved complex legal issues.
“Our aim throughout this test case has been to get clarity for as wide a range of parties as possible, as quickly as possible, and today’s judgment decisively removes many of the roadblocks to claims by policyholders.”
He added: “We will be working with insurers to ensure that they now move quickly to pay claims that the judgment says should be paid, making interim payments wherever possible.
“Insurers should also communicate directly and quickly with policyholders who have made claims affected by the judgment to explain next steps.”
Huw Evans, ABI director general, told the publication, Accountancy Today: “Insurers have supported this fast-track legal process every step of the way and we welcome the clarity that the judgment will bring to a number of complex issues. Today’s judgment represents the final step in the appeal process.
“The insurance industry expects to pay out over £1.8bn in Covid-19 related claims across a range of products, including business interruption policies. Customers who have made claims that are affected by the test case will be contacted by their insurer to discuss what the judgment means for their claim.”
He added: “All valid claims will be settled as soon as possible and in many cases the process of settling claims has begun. Some payments have already been made where valid business interruption claims have not been impacted by the test case ruling.
“We recognise this has been a particularly difficult time for many small businesses and naturally regret the Covid-19 restrictions have led to disputes with some customers. We will continue to work together as an industry to ensure customers have the clarity they need when it comes to what they can expect from their business insurance policies.”
Thought of the Day
The omission of this from my last email didn't go unnoticed...!!
"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." Hal Borland.
Stay safe and well,