Category Archives: Employers

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS UPDATE (29.05.2020)


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS UPDATE (29.05.2020)

On Friday 29th May 2020 the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and we’ve outlined these below for you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor has announced three changes to the job retention scheme:

  1. From 1st July 2020, the scheme will be made more flexible to enable employers to bring previously furloughed employees back part time and still receive a grant for the time when they are not working.
  2. From 1st August 2020, employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff and this employer contribution will gradually increase in September and October.
  3. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June.
  1. Part time furloughing

From 1st July 2020, businesses using the scheme will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, they will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. They can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if preferred. Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

  1. Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

Many smaller employers have some or all of their employer NIC bills covered by the Employment Allowance so will not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

  1. Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30th June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10th June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30th June. Employers will have until 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12th June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV.UK and search ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online on GOV.UK.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor also announced plans to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for those people whose trade continues to be, or is newly, adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final SEISS grant in August; this will be a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits for three months, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £6,570 in total.

The eligibility criteria for the second grant will be the same as for the first grant. People do not need to have claimed the first grant to claim the second grant: for example, their business may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus) more recently.

Claims for the first SEISS grant, which opened on 13th May, must be made no later than 13th July. Eligible self-employed people must make a claim before that date to receive the first SEISS grant (a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total). So far, we’ve seen over 2.3 million claims worth £6.8 billion.

It’s really important to note that as with the first SEISS grant, the eligible individual must make the claim themselves. If you attempt to make a claim on behalf of your client, this will trigger a fraud alert and will result in significant delays to payment. However, you can help to prepare your clients by ensuring they have the relevant information ready. The claims process is simple: we will calculate the amount of self-employment support individuals will receive, they don’t need to do this themselves.

More information about the second SEISS grant will be available on GOV.UK on 12th June.

In the meantime, please help us reach those self-employed people who could benefit from a SEISS grant now, by encouraging anyone you think might be eligible for the first grant but hasn’t yet made a claim to do so before 13th July.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.‌‌UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Return to the KSK recent news pages to keep up to date with the latest developments.


NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020


NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS UPDATE

Following the range of updates over the last several weeks, we have now rounded up the latest information from the government on specific schemes where additional detail was released. This update covers measures discussed on 4 May.  Download here: –

C-19 Business Support Update

BUSINESS UPDATE NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

KSK Latest Business Update publication now available

Download:

Business Update

EMPLOYMENT NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Hiring activity plummets to 22-year low

Data from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found hiring activity fell at the sharpest rate in 22 years last month with the survey also finding a record drop in overall vacancies and a steep rise in the availability of candidates. The REC is calling for the lifting of government support to be tapered to prevent more redundancies. James Stewart, vice-chair at KPMG, said: “The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the UK jobs market with a record drop in vacancies and recruitment plans frozen. We estimate as many as 13m jobs are highly affected by the lockdown, just over a third of all jobs. It’s an unprecedented situation for UK business, and resilience, then recovery, is key to navigating through the crisis. All eyes will be on the forthcoming announcement on easing restrictions so confidence can start to rebuild.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3 Daily Mail, Page: 70 The Times, Page: 46 Yorkshire Post, Page: 6

CORPORATE NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Clarks brings in Big Four firms for potential restructuring

Shoe retailer Clarks has brought in Deloitte to advise the company on a potential restructuring, raising concerns of more store closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fellow Big Four firms KPMG and PwC will be advising the family shareholders and the syndicate of Clarks’ lenders, respectively. Last year, the retailer warned that it was under “significant stress” following a sharp decline in sales, and that it would make a “meaningful” number of store closures. These problems have been further compacted by the lockdown measures. A spokeswoman for Clarks said: “Our leadership team is currently reviewing all options to protect our business, our people and the Clarks brand for future long-term growth. It is our policy not to comment on specific commercial appointments.”

The Times, Page: 45

Debenhams to close five stores after lockdown ends

Debenhams has confirmed that another five stores will not be re-opening after lockdown restrictions are lifted. In a statement the retailer said: “We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.” Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in a year last month, with FRP Advisory brought in to help get the business in the best possible position for when restrictions are lifted.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 29

Uber to axe 3,700 staff

Uber has announced plans to cut 3,700 full-time staff with the company saying the reductions will come from its customer support and recruiting teams. The firm saw demand for its taxi services fall by more than 60% in coronavirus hotspots during March.

The Times, Page: 49

Nuffield Southampton Theatres enters administration

Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) has entered administration as a result of the financial impact caused by coronavirus. Buyers are being sought by joint administrators Greg Palfrey and Steve Adshead, from the south coast office of Smith & Williamson.

The Guardian

Top investor calls for dismissal of Wirecard chief Markus Braun

Shareholders are calling for the dismissal of Wirecard CEO Markus Braun following KPMG’s special audit into its accounting and business practices. The probe found no evidence of fraud but raised questions about accounting methods and the existence of certain sales and clients.

Financial Times Financial Times

Companies are dangerously drunk on debt

The FT features a column urging changes in debt taxation, bonus rules and pensions to address “the iniquities of the current system,” which remains vulnerable to future crises.

Financial Times

SMEs NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Small firms secure £2bn in bounce-back loans in first 24 hours

Small businesses have secured more than 69,000 government-backed loans worth in excess of £2bn in the first 24 hours of the scheme’s launch. The number represents 53% of the 130,000 applications lodged by businesses trying to access cheap funding through the Bounce-Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which launched on Monday morning as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 lockdown. The government-backed loans are worth up to £50,000, capped at 25% of a firm’s turnover, at an interest rate of 2.5%. Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said despite a “promising start” for the bounce-back scheme, some firms were still reporting difficulties. He said: “Many of the most vulnerable business owners – particularly sole traders – only have personal banks accounts and, as a result, are being told they cannot access a bounce-back loan. It’s vital that they are helped to secure the finance on which many will depend to make it through this incredibly challenging time”. It is also reported that if a business does not have an account with one of the accredited lenders they face a long wait. Mr Cherry added that alternative lenders should be signed up rapidly to improve the reach of the scheme.

The Guardian, Page: 27 Daily Mail, Page: 70 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3 Financial Times, Page: 2

We need less than a week to restart, small businesses say

A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) reveals that Britain’s smallest businesses would need less than a week’s notice to restart operations. Only 3% of businesses said they would need more than three weeks’ notice to get back up and running once lockdown restrictions are eased, the BCC’s coronavirus business impact tracker found. Elsewhere, a poll of members by the Institute of Directors found just 49% of firms believed that they could “operate viably at pre-lockdown levels” while maintaining social distancing rules. “Social distancing presents an unprecedented challenge for firms and some may be simply unable to make it work,” said the IoD’s Jonathan Geldart.

The Independent, Page: 55 The Times, Page: 47 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

PROPERTY NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Business rates revaluation postponed in light of pandemic

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that a business rates revaluation has been postponed, as the government seeks to provide more clarity to businesses affected by coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, remarked: “Delaying is a pragmatic move at such a demanding time for businesses. It is vital that the revaluation occurs afresh after the crisis to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on commercial property costs,” while Gerry Biddle, business rates lead at Deloitte, added: “Property values as at 1st April 2019 will no longer be used and businesses will likely benefit from a recalculation at a later date.”

Financial Times, Page: 3 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 7 The I, Page: 43 Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 3

PENSIONS NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

House moves behind £19.4bn in lost pensions

Research by the Association of British insurers (ABI) suggests there are about 1.6m pension pots worth £19.4bn which are going unclaimed due to savers failing to contact their pension provider when they move house.

FT Adviser

ECONOMY NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Eurozone contraction threatens single market

The European Commission has predicted a 7.7% slump in GDP across the eurozone this year with recovery not expected until the end of 2021. Economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni warned that the divergence in the depth of the recession across different countries would pose “a threat to the single market and the euro area.” The forecasts came as a purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey of businesses revealed that activity in the eurozone collapsed to the lowest level on record in April. The composite PMI fell to an unprecedented 13.6, down from March’s previous record low of 29.7. Britain, which remains in the single market and customs union until the end of the year, is forecast to contract by 8.3%. France will be hit almost as hard, with a forecast contraction of 8.2%, while Germany is set to suffer a predicted fall of 6.5%. Southern states are expected to see contractions closer to 10%.

The Daily Telegraph The Times, Page: 47 The Guardian, Page: 27

Business demands clarity on easing lockdown

Business leaders are calling for comprehensive forward guidance from the government on what restrictions could be lifted and when as bosses grow increasingly impatient for a clear route out of the lockdown. Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said businesses “know government may have to pause or change the process based on new scientific advice, but need some guidance in order to plan effectively for restart.” Meanwhile, MakeUK, the manufacturers’ trade body, has published a plan for the sector’s recovery which includes extending support while demand is gradually lifted back to pre-crisis levels. Elsewhere, Jonathan Athow, Office for National Statistics deputy national statistician for economic statistics, has said the UK economy will face a “significant decline” in the first half of the year.

The Daily Telegraph The Daily Telegraph Financial Times

REGULATION NEWS – THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

Brussels plans new anti-money laundering authority

The EU is to consult on plans to create a new anti-money laundering enforcement body as Brussels seeks to ramp up Europe’s response to a wave of money-laundering scandals.

Financial Times

Contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward


GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS


GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

29th April 2020

Here are links to the government support links giving the latest guidance:

FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

This links to the main finance support, covering:

  • Paying your employees
  • Paying sick pay
  • Paying tax
  • Business rates relief
  • Business support grants
  • Support for the self-employed
  • Support for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Support for large businesses

Here: financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

SELF-EMPLOYED PEOPLE AND SOLE TRADERS

  • Claim a grant:

claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

  • Universal credit:

self-employment-and-universal-credit

  • If you cannot pay your tax bill on time:

difficulties-paying-hmrc

  • Continuing working -safe social distancing:

social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance

  • Relaxation for Drivers’ hours:

covid-19-guidance-on-drivers-hours-relaxations

  • Negotiating a mortgage payment holiday:

mortgages-coronavirus-consumers

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • General guidance and safeguarding employees:

guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Claiming wages through the Job Retention Scheme

claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • Social distancing in the workplace:

social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Guidance:

employers-sick-pay

  • Claim back SSP:

claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Guidance if employee needs time off:

what-to-do-if-an-employee-needs-time-off-work-to-look-after-someone

  • Working from home – employee expenses:

check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak:

coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

  • Advice for Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors:

coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS DURING CORONAVIRUS

  • Cleaning your workplace safely:

covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

  • Hand hygiene posters:

hand-hygiene/resources/

  • Temporary relaxation of rules to help businesses:

rules-that-have-been-relaxed-to-help-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

  • Construction sites and safe working:

remediation-and-covid-19-building-safety-update-27-march-2020

  • Farmers, landowners and rural businesses:

information-for-farmers-landowners-and-rural-businesses

  • Food businesses:

guidance-for-food-businesses

  • Freight transport industry:

covid-19-guidance-on-freight-transport

  • Medical and Healthcare industry:

mhra-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Shipping and seaports businesses:

shipping-and-sea-ports-guidance

  • Supported accommodation, residential care and home care:

residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance

  • Transport businesses:

guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

  • Avoiding and supporting scammers:

report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing

BUSINESS CLOSURES

  • Businesses that must close:

further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

  • Staying safe and continuing in business:

guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Holiday accommodation:

covid-19-advice-for-accommodation-providers

  • Closed businesses and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

CAN YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE HELP?

  • Offer the help of your business:

coronavirus-support-from-business

All the links are correct at the time of publication, please reporting missing / broken links to Paul Southward.

If you need any further help or guidance on any of the matters above contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward's News Roundup

Download PDF Copy:

Here


Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool


Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

22nd April 2020

A new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

To support business, workers and the self-employed during the coronavirus outbreak, government has:

  • made up to £330 billion of loans and guarantees for businesses
  • offered to pay 80 per cent of the wages of furloughed workers, up to £2,500
  • deferred the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June – representing a £30 billion injection into the economy
  • introduced £20 billion in tax relief and cash grants to help businesses with cash flow
  • introduced the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes for both SMEs and larger businesses to make it easier to access vital financial support
  • offered to cover the cost of statutory sick pay
  • entirely removed all eligible properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector from business rates temporarily;
  • introduced the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, offering a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month
  • deferred Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021
  • allowed companies required to hold AGMs to do so flexibly, which may include postponing them or holding them online;
  • suspended wrongful trading provisions for company directors to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic; and
  • offered a 3-month extension for filing accounts to businesses hit by coronavirus.

 

The new business support finder tool can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

 

More details on support for businesses can be found on the

coronavirus business support hub.

 


CORONAVIRUS (COVID–19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS


CORONAVIRUS (COVID -19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Fourth Version (updated 15.04.2020)

On 15th April the government published an update to the CJRS and the significant change to note is the qualification date is now 19th March 2020 (previously 28th February 2020).  This means you can furlough employees who were on the payroll on or before 19th March 2020 (please read on for more information).

The official launch of the online service for making claims is not yet available and the official line is that it will be available by the end of April.  Unofficially, we have seen reports that the service will be launched on Monday 20th April.

To make a claim, you must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

You can claim for:

  • furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19th March 2020
  • you must have made an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of those employees to HMRC on or before 19th March 2020
  • employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough – please seek advice if you wish to consider this

Don’t forget you must keep the employees consent to be Furloughed for 5 years.

Full details of the latest update from the government can be found here:

Here:

If you have any queries please remember that we are here to offer detailed and specific guidance on all the latest aspects of Coronavirus (Covid-19) support for business.  We are still working, mostly from home, and can be reached on our usual office numbers.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID – 19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS


NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020


NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

CORONA VIRUS GOVERNMENT SUPPORT – LATEST

EMPLOYERS – JOB RETENTION SCHEME

It is reported that HMRC will have the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) portal ready by the 20th April. This is earlier than the end of April date that they had originally advised. To remind you, this is the portal that you will use to access the reimbursed funds that you are paying to furloughed staff.

Note: you must have a PAYE online account in order to make a claim.  Therefore: –

  • If you complete your own payroll, make sure that you have an online PAYE registration with HMRC
  • If you use a third party for your payroll, you should contact them to ensure that they are dealing with your PAYE through an online account with HMRC.

It can take up to 10 days to set up an online account if you do not have one.

Contact us if you have any queries.

TAX NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

MPs call for loan charge deferral

The Loan Charge All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is calling on the government to defer the loan charge for a year because people facing it may be unable to access support for self-employed people during the coronavirus pandemic. The MPs point out that the financial assistance offered is only available to those who have already submitted (or who can now quickly finalise and submit) their 2018/19 tax return by April 23, but people facing the loan charge have been told that their tax return does not need to be finalised until September 30, 2020.

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 1

EMPLOYMENT NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Employers warned by HMRC on furloughing staff

HMRC is urging workers to report their employers if they are still being asked to work after being furloughed. Chief executive Jim Harra stated: “Employees must be completely furloughed by their employer, that means they should not engage in any work for that employer whilst they are on furlough.” He explained that firms who break the rules “will not be entitled to furlough payments, so if we know that in advance obviously we wouldn’t pay them,” continuing: “Otherwise, afterwards we would seek to recover the money from them and depending on the nature of the behaviour, if it amounted to knowingly trying to defraud us then we would take criminal action against employers.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 Financial Times, Page: 3 The Times, Page: 8 Daily Express, Page: 4

Hospitality workers hit by service charge exclusion in support scheme

Hospitality workers could receive only half their pay under the government’s coronavirus job support scheme, with HMRC advising that service charges would not be included in the initiative.

Financial Times

REGULATION NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

FCA eases rules to speed up company capital raising

The Financial Conduct Authority has announced a number of temporary measures to help listed companies raise cash quickly during the coronavirus crisis. Since lockdown measures prevent more than two people meeting, it’s harder to obtain shareholder approval for a transaction under current rules. Now, companies with a premium listing can ask for permission not to hold a general meeting to approve a capital raising. Companies will need written undertakings from shareholders that they would support the transaction if a meeting were to be held. Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA, said: “Our aim is to help companies to raise money quickly and effectively, while ensuring they respect the needs of investors, both current and future. We think this package strikes that balance”.

City AM Evening Standard

CORPORATE NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Tesco defends £900m dividend

Tesco has defended its decision to hand investors a £900m dividend while accepting a business rates holiday worth £585m from the government’s emergency coronavirus support package. CEO Dave Lewis said the cash payout was “reflective of last year’s performance and the strength of the business” and that 220,000 small investors stand to benefit. “We looked at whether the business needs more liquidity even in the most stressed scenario and it was decided we do not,” he said. Mr Lewis also argued that the coronavirus outbreak will add £925m to costs as the grocery giant hires more staff, pays sick workers and fits stores with protective equipment and screens.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 34 Financial Times, Page: 12 The Guardian, Page: 29 Daily Mirror, Page: 8 The Independent, Page: 53 Daily Mail, Page: 72

NMC Health succumbs to administration

NMC Health could enter administration as early as today after the private hospitals company failed to halt an application brought by a major creditor, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, to place it into the insolvency process.

The Times, Page: 43

SMEs NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Emergency bank lending increases, but criticisms remain

The Treasury yesterday announced that 2,500 loans for business had been approved via the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), up from the 2,022 figure revealed on Monday. UK Finance will soon start to publish regular updates on the scheme, the government added. UK banks have now lent £453m through the CBILS, but many businesses are complaining of a slow response from banks. Mike Cherry, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We’re hearing reports that – despite these being ’emergency’ loans – the application process for securing them is still very demanding. Of course lending can only be made to viable businesses, but banks need to understand that time is of the essence.”

City AM Financial Times, Page: 3

UK start-ups call for changes to virus stimulus package

Some of the UK’s biggest tech start-ups, including Deliveroo and Citymapper, have written to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, telling him that the government’s coronavirus stimulus package remains inaccessible. They say they cannot qualify for the corporate finance loans on offer but are too big for small business relief. They call on Mr Sunak to set up a meeting between Treasury officials and the firms to thrash out a way to support them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg The Times, Page: 8

Morgan: Bring fintechs in to help administer CBILS

Writing in the Times, Nicky Morgan suggests the UK’s fintech finance providers should be brought in to help get the government’s coronavirus business interruption loans scheme (CBILS) distributed more quickly to small businesses. Baroness Morgan says fintechs will “operate at speed”, require less paperwork and could well value companies differently. “When the virus crisis is over, fintech will be one of the ways in which the UK is able to retain a leading role in the global financial system. Now would be a good time to demonstrate the sector’s reach and abilities.”

The Times, Page: 40

PROPERTY NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Rics urges stamp duty holiday

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) is urging the government to introduce an emergency stamp duty holiday to help revitalise the housing market after it came to a standstill as the COVID-19 crisis gripped the nation. Hew Edgar, of Rics, said: “The Government will need to start considering medium and long-term measures that could assist a post-pandemic housing market. As we start to emerge from this crisis, however, it is likely that the finances of potential homebuyers will be under strain, and the burden of stamp duty could put buyers off.” Edgar continues: “For those who can afford to move they may lack confidence in the market, adding to the slowdown. A stamp duty holiday could be one of the ways to reactivate the housing market quickly as a short-term measure.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1

WEALTH MANAGEMENT NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Few guarantees for financial services

Alex Newman in Investors Chronicle says that active fund managers whose profit margins were already struggling have been hit hard by the recent market turmoil. He singles out Jupiter Fund Management and Standard Life Aberdeen as being among the worst hit. He adds: “While it’s hard to know what Brewin Dolphin and St. James’s Place might say in a trading update, wealth managers’ silence to date highlights the sector’s limited capacity for self-help or remedial action in a crisis.”

Investors Chronicle

REPORTING NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

EU considers stronger reporting rules for climate and pandemic risks

The European Commission is mulling the idea of introducing stronger reporting regulations that would require listed companies, investors, banks and insurers to disclose risks associated with climate, biodiversity loss and pandemics. A draft consultation document says the COVID-19 epidemic is showing more clearly the risks associated with human activity and biodiversity loss.

Business Green Reuters

SEC urges thorough coronavirus disclosures by US companies

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has urged corporates to disclose as much as possible about potential future performance to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus.

Financial Times

ECONOMY NEWS – THURSDAY 9TH APRIL 2020

Eurozone’s two biggest economies sink into historic recessions

Both Germany and France are seeing steep declines in their economies, with the former expected to have shrunk by 10% by June, while French GDP is expected to have fallen by 6% since the beginning of the year. In the UK, KPMG said output fell 4% in the first quarter and will shrink by another 11% between April and June. Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization has said that global trade is expected to plummet by up to 32% due to the COVID-19 crisis, far faster than the 12% decline seen in 2009.

Financial Times The Guardian The Times Daily Mail, Page: 73 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup


Trivial Benefits in Kind


Here is an overview of the new Trivial Benefits in Kind rules.

From 6 April 2016 a new exemption removes liability to income tax for low value Benefits in Kind (‘trivial BiKs’). This new exemption is being legislated as part of Finance Bill 2016 (FB16) and is subject to Parliamentary approval. The previous administrative practice where employers could agree with HMRC that certain BiKs could be treated as trivial and did not need to be returned to HMRC at the end of the tax year no longer applies.

Draft guidance on the new exemption has been published on GOV.UK. This guidance will be incorporated in HMRC’s Employment Income Manual later in the year after FB16 receives Royal Assent.

General conditions

To qualify as a ‘trivial BiK’ conditions A-D must be met:

 

Condition A – the BiK must not be cash or a cash-voucher;

 

Condition B – the BiK must cost £50 or less;

 

Condition C – the BiK must not be provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other contractual arrangement; and

 

Condition D – the BiK must not be provided in recognition of services performed by the employee as part of their employment, or in anticipation of such services.

 

There is no limit to the number of trivial BiKs that can be provided to an employee in a tax year where all conditions are met, unless Condition E applies (see below).

 
Close companies

 
Condition E applies an annual £300 cap where a trivial BiK (that meets conditions A to D) is provided by an employer that is a close company to an employee who is a:

 

  • director or other office-holder of the close company, or

 

  • member of the family or household of a director or other office-holder of the close company.

 

If you have any queries regarding the new Trivial Benefits in Kind Rules or any other employment matter, do not hesitate to contact us.


Employers – avoid these common errors when completing forms P11D


If employer’s can avoid these common errors when completing forms P11D they can avoid delays, additional work and the increased chance of a tax compliance visit.

  • Submitting a duplicate P11D in addition to an electronic version;
  • Using a paper form for the wrong tax year;
  • Not ticking the ‘director’ box when applicable;
  • Not including a description or abbreviation for sections A (assets transferred), B (payments made on behalf of employee), L (assets placed at the employee’s disposal), M (other items) or N (expenses payments made to, or on behalf of, the employee);
  • Leaving the ‘cash equivalent’ box empty where you’ve entered a figure in the corresponding ‘cost to you’ box of a section;
  • Not advising HMRC that a “Nil” P11D is due;
  • Where a benefit has been provided for business and private use, report the full gross value rather than only the private-use amount
  • Not completing the fuel benefit box/field where applicable;
  • •Incorrectly completing the ‘from’ and ‘to’ dates in the ‘Dates car was available’ boxes. E.g. If a car was available in the previous tax year, then the “from” box should not be completed. Where the car is available after the end of the tax year then the “to” box should not be completed

If you need help or guidance with your PAYE benefits and expenses reporting, contact us.