UPDATES FOR ALL THINGS COVID AND BREXIT
Good morning all,
At last, an indication of how things will look in the coming months, but, plenty of questions un-answered at the moment, the answers will be forthcoming shortly, though I am sure.
Just a recap:
Stage 1a - March 8th
Schools and Colleges open
Recreation in public spaces with one other
Stage 1b - March 29th
Rule of 6 or two households outdoors
Outdoor sport and leisure facilities to open
Organised outdoor sport to resume for adults and children
Stage 2 - No earlier than 12th April
Indoor leisure including gyms can reopen
All shops to reopen
Libraries, community centres, zoos and theme parks can reopen
The beauty industry can reopen
Pubs and restaurants can open for outdoor service
Hotels and self-contained holiday accommodation can reopen
Step 3 - no earlier than 17th May
Indoor entertainment and attractions can reopen
Organised indoor adult sport can recommence
30 person outdoor limit, or rule of 6 indoors
International travel to commence (subject to review)
Step 4 - no earlier than 21st June
No legal limits on social contact
Nightclubs can reopen
No legal limit on weddings and funerals
All larger events can recommence
In Other News
The Fourth SEISS Grant
Information about the fourth SEISS grant will be provided on 3rd March.
National Minimum Wage Rates 2021/22 As we edge closer to the end of the current financial year – there are certain regulatory changes coming into effect for next year that could have a detrimental effect on businesses without the right level of preparation in place.
One of the main factors to consider is the new National Minimum Wage criteria which has been introduced and will be implemented as of 1st April 2021 when the new financial year begins. The National Minimum Wage will now be implemented for all individuals over the age of 23, dropping from the previous 25 year-old threshold.
For workers over the age of 23, there will be a 2.2% increase – rising from £8.72 to £8.91 per hour (£0.19).
The increased rate of pay for 21 to 22 year-olds has also risen, this time by 2.0% as the hourly amount will go from £8.20 to £8.36 per hour (£0.16).
18 to 20-year-olds will see their hourly rate increase from £6.45 to £6.56 per hour (£0.16).
16-17 year-olds (non-apprentice) will change from £4.55 to £4.62 per hour (£0.07).
The apprentice wage – for those who apply under the criteria of being under the age of 19, or being aged 19 and over, but who are still in the first year of their apprenticeship will rise from £4.15 to £4.30 per hour.
Employment Allowance 2021/22
Another update that is being implemented for the upcoming tax year is an increase to the employment allowance. The previous year’s allowance of £4,000 will continue to be the rate for all eligible employers.
The reform of how employment allowance is assessed that came into place last year will remain for the upcoming year. That means employers will once again have no obligation to submit information about other state aid they currently receive. The other key change that came into effect meant that in the future should a company wish to claim their employment allowance, it will have to be done on a year-by-year basis instead of the previous setup which allowed businesses to carry it forward from one tax year to the following.
In order to assess the claim of the employer allowance for those businesses connected to others, they will be required to cumulate all of their secondary Class 1 NIC liabilities incurred from the previous tax year, which means if the total sum meets or exceeds the £100,000 line – neither business will be eligible to claim.
If you have more than one employer PAYE reference on the payroll, the total employers’ class 1 NI liabilities for the payrolls must be less than £100,000 combined from the previous tax year, similar to the connected companies rule.
Employees who are classed as “off-payroll workers” should not be included in the calculations as these are known as “deemed payments”. These do not count towards the £100,000 threshold.
Employment allowance will once again count towards the state aid each company is eligible to receive within the tax year.
I have been asked a few questions regarding the continuation of trade with the EU, and have summarised and linked answers below.
Question: I send sample products by courier to my EU customers from my shop in Great Britain. Can I pick up the VAT and customs duty costs for my customers?
Answer: Normally your courier or parcel operator will collect any customs duty and VAT from your customers before delivering the goods. Most couriers or parcel operators will give you the option to move the goods on a Delivered Duty Paid basis. This will allow you to pay these costs upfront and the courier or parcel operator will deliver the goods without collecting any duty or tax from your customers. To find out more about moving goods on a Delivered Duty Paid Basis, you will need to visit your courier’s or parcel operator’s website for more information.
Question: I run a small non-VAT registered business, do I need an EORI number to move goods for my business between Great Britain and the EU, even if the goods are in my car?
Answer: Yes, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and other countries (including the EU) must have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
That’s because if you wish to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and other countries, you will need it to complete your customs declarations. But don’t forget, you may also need a separate EORI number if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland.
If you don’t have an EORI number, you can find out more and register for free by going to GOV.UK.
If you’re moving your goods between Great Britain and another country in your car, you may be able to use the online declaration service. You’ll find more information about that on GOV.UK.
Question: I think I may want to delay my customs declarations. What do I need to do, and who should I keep informed?
Answer: Up until 1 July 2021, if you import goods from the EU into Great Britain that are not on the controlled goods list, you can choose to delay making your declarations to HMRC for up to 175 days after you import your goods, to allow yourself more time.
You will need to make a simplified declaration in your records to do this. This is called an entry in declarant’s records. This record keeping is really important so that when it’s time to do customs declarations, you have the information to hand.
Before your goods are imported, it’s also important that you tell the person moving your goods whether you are using delayed declarations or not. This is so that your goods are imported following the correct procedures.
You can find out more at 'Delaying declarations for EU goods brought into Great Britain'.
Question: When do I need to use the Trader Support Service?
Answer: If you move goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, you should register for the free Trader Support Service (TSS) at 'Sign up for the Trader Support Service' if you have not done so already. There are now more than 33,000 businesses registered for this service, which has handled over 150,000 goods consignments since 1 January 2021. The service was updated on 15 February 2021 to enhance its alignment with HMRC systems, this means that you can now make supplementary declarations. Help and guidance on how and when to make supplementary declarations is available through the Trader Support Service.
Self Assessment Returns and Payments
HMRC has announced that Self Assessment customers will not be charged the initial 5% late payment penalty if they pay their tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement by 1 April.
The payment deadline for Self Assessment is 31 January and interest will be charged from 1 February on any amounts outstanding. The deadline has not changed, but this year, because of the impact of COVID 19, HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan.
Payment plans or payments in full must be in place by midnight on 1 April to avoid a late payment penalty.
HMRC recognises the pressure affecting customers due to the pandemic, and anyone worried about paying their tax should contact HMRC for help and support on 0300 200 3822.
The self-serve Time to Pay facility allows customers to spread the cost of their tax liabilities into monthly instalments until January 2022. Customers can set up a payment plan online, on GOV.UK.
Self Assessment customers who have yet to file their tax return should do so by 28th February to avoid a late filing penalty.
Thought of the Day
Following yesterdays announcement, and very much looking forward to 21st June, I have added a quote from Mattie Stepanek:
"Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now."
Stay safe everyone - I pray that we are rounding the final bend, and can soon stare the home straight in the face.