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Covid-19

800,000 claim tax relief for working from home

HMRC has confirmed that almost 800,000 employees who have been working from home during the pandemic have already claimed tax relief on household related costs. The saving is worth up to £125 per year for each employee, and eligible workers can claim the full year’s entitlement if they have been told to work from home by their employer, even if it has been for just one day during the tax year. Employees who have either returned to working in an…

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HMRC launches 13,000 investigations into COVID-19 support schemes

HMRC has launched nearly 13,000 investigations into alleged abuse of the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) financial support schemes. A freedom of information request revealed that, up to the end of March 2021, HMRC opened 12,828 investigations into alleged cases of fraud. 7,384 of these investigations related to abuse of the COVID-19 support schemes. 5,020 investigations were launched into the alleged misuse of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Commenting on the matter, a spokesperson for HMRC said: ‘It is vital we…

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Clarity needed on taxation of COVID test costs, says ICAEW.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has urged HMRC to confirm whether coronavirus (COVID-19) antigen tests paid for by employers will continue to be exempt from income tax and national insurance after 5 April 2021. Guidance published by HMRC states that employers and employees will not be liable for any income tax or national insurance contributions (NICs) on the costs of the test. However, no end date is given for this exemption. Regulations outlined by HMRC…

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Borrowers of Bounce Back loans given six more months for repayments

Businesses that took out government-backed Bounce Back loans to get through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will now have greater flexibility to repay their loans, the government has announced. The Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities now include the option to delay all repayments for a further six months. This means businesses can choose to make no payments on their loans until 18 months after they originally took them out. Pay as You Grow will also enable borrowers to extend the…

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Chancellor extends furlough scheme until end of April 2021.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until the end of April 2021. Businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) can make use of the CJRS until the end of April, with the government continuing to pay 80% of employees’ salaries for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, national insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions for hours worked, and NICs and pensions for hours not worked. Additionally,…

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Chancellor extends furlough scheme to end of March.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until the end of March 2021. The CJRS was supposed to have ended after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October. However, on 31 October Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England that runs from 5 November until 1 December. In a statement to the House of Commons, the Chancellor confirmed that the CJRS will pay up to 80% of an individual’s…

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Furlough scheme extended and changed for new lockdown.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until December, with furloughed employees set to receive 80% of their salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions. On 31 October Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England that will run from 5 November until 1 December. The Prime Minister also confirmed that the CJRS has been extended for a further month. The CJRS was supposed to…

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Chancellor increases financial support for businesses affected by COVID restrictions

On 22 October Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced increases to the coronavirus (COVID-19) financial support measures first outlined in the Winter Economy Plan. The Chancellor has made amendments to the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which is set to take effect from 1 November. When originally announced, the JSS saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours. The Chancellor’s latest announcement has reduced the employer contribution…

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Job Support Scheme expanded for local lockdowns.

The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors due to local lockdowns as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to rise in some areas. Under the JSS extension the government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months. Cash grants for businesses required to close as a result of local lockdowns are being increased to up to £3,000 per month. Under…

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Lockdown grants welcome but more support needed, say business groups

The government’s announcement of new cash grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns has been welcomed by business groups, including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Businesses in England that are required to shut because of a local lockdown will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. However, both the CBI and the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) have warned that more targeted help…

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Asmat & Co are one of Berkshires’ leading independent firms of Accountants servicing a growing and satisfied clientele. At Asmat & Co expert advice is available from senior qualified Chartered Management Accountants (ACMA) and Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), at very attractive packages tailored to suit varied individual and business requirements. The professional team at Asmat & Co. possesses extensive experience in providing accounting, tax, finance transformation and business advisory services to a diverse customer base.

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