HMRC updates – SEISS and CJRS changes

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Here are the latest updates from HMRC for agents and their clients.

Second Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) now open

HMRC has recently contacted self-employed people who may be eligible for the second taxable grant under SEISS if their trading profits have been adversely affected by Coronavirus. The scheme is now open for claims, and customers have been given a date to make a claim. They can claim any time between their allocated date and 19 October 2020. 

The eligibility criteria are unchanged. Those who were eligible for the first SEISS grant will be eligible for the second grant, so long as their business has been adversely affected since 14 July 2020. This typically means that their business has experienced lower income and/or higher costs because of coronavirus since 14 July. There is no minimum threshold over which a business’s income, costs or activity need to have changed by, but they will be asked to keep appropriate records as evidence of how their business has been adversely affected.

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, a reduction from the 80% available under the first grant. This will be paid out in a single instalment and will be based on three months’ worth of trading profits and capped at a maximum of £6,570.

Eligible parents

Self-employed parents whose income in 2018-19 (and their tax records) may have been affected if they took time out to have children will also now be able to claim if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Getting help

Agents and accountants cannot claim on behalf of their clients. This is because it will trigger an alert which leads to delays in payment reaching people.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: what you need to do from 1 September

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is changing from 1 September:

  • CJRS will pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.
  • Employers will still need to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.
  • The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if the employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, the employer is entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).

AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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