HMRC Update – 8 December

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Here is HMRC’s update for 8 December, with reminders on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) monthly deadlines and a new cyber security campaign for the Christmas season.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS): what employers can claim and when

The Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.

There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. We’ll continue to send employers reminder emails before the deadline each month.

As we approach the Christmas period, HMRC appreciates employers’ payroll dates may differ this month. Don’t forget employers can claim before, during or after they process their payroll as long as their claim is submitted by the deadline.

What employers in need to do now

  • Check if they are eligible, and work out how much they can claim using our CJRS calculator and example on GOV.UK.
  • Submit any claims for November, no later than 14‌‌‌‌‌ ‌December.
  • Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant they claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.

HMRC has updated guidance on GOV.UK, which explains the eligibility and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (‘furlough’) due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Self Assessment deadline

HMRC is reminding businesses not to miss the 31 January deadline and is encouraging the online filing of returns.

Once Self Assessment customers have completed their 2019-20 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits and this can all be done online. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Customers can also now check on GOV.UK whether they need to declare, or possibly pay tax, on any ‘casual’ income they receive. The new interactive guidance is quick and easy to use and explains what individuals need to do if they receive non-PAYE income from:

  • selling things, for example at car boot sales or auctions, or online
  • doing casual jobs such as gardening, food delivery or babysitting
  • charging other people for using your equipment or tools
  • renting out property or part of their home, including for holidays (for example, through an agency or online).

Note about late filing:

HMRC will accept the coronavirus as a “reasonable excuse” for a customer missing a filing date providing they clearly explain how they were affected in their grounds for appeal and submit the return as soon as they can. There is more information about this online

Tax avoidance: don’t get caught out

On 26 November 2020, HMRC launched the ‘Tax avoidance: don’t get caught out’ campaign.  The campaign is about helping people make informed choices about their tax affairs, so they aren’t tempted by avoidance schemes that promise higher take-home pay, only to be left with unexpected tax bills. 

HMRC wants to highlight the dangers and help you to support your clients, customers or members. The ‘Tax avoidance: don’t get caught out’ page contains useful guidance and personal stories for contractors to educate themselves about the signs and dangers of tax avoidance schemes.

Cyber Aware Campaign

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a Cyber Aware campaign to help individuals and organisations protect themselves online.

During the festive period last year, cyber criminals stole an average £775 from each victim, according to Action Fraud. Cyber security is even more important when so many will do their shopping online this Christmas.

At the heart of the Cyber Aware campaign are six steps for protection against most common cyber attacks. These are:         

  1. Create a separate password for email
  2. Create a strong password using three random words
  3. Save passwords in your browser
  4. Turn on two-factor authentication
  5. Update devices
  6. Turn on backup

Providing rental information for Revaluation 2023

The Valuation Office Agency is contacting businesses to request rental information to support the next revaluation of business rates in England and Wales – Revaluation 2023. Once ratepayers receive a letter they need to go online and submit their up-to-date details.  

The coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak significantly affected many businesses. Updating rental information is vital in reflecting the impact of the pandemic.

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

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