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Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. The scheme is open to all UK employers that

Q&A: Job retention scheme COVID-19

My client has heard that the government has introduced a new scheme to help businesses retain staff during the coronavirus outbreak. What is this scheme? As the coronavirus situation continues, your client may have had to consider making staff redundant, or laying them off, as a result. Last week, the government announced its plans for financial assistance to help employers in this situation retain employees for an extended period of time, despite offering no work, and avoid lay-offs. It is called the Job Retention Scheme and, whilst little information has been published as to how it will work, we have set out below what we do know. The Scheme involves employers placing their employees on ‘f

Q&A: Coronavirus and Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is now payable from day one of a sickness absence for qualifying staff due to the coronavirus crisis. Croner Taxwise employment experts explain. I have staff off due to coronavirus (COVID-19), what should I pay and what can I reclaim? We are receiving an extremely high number of calls in regards to paying employees statutory sick pay if they are off work due to coronavirus. We have put together a summary of information based on the most common questions asked over the last few days. The guidance is changing on a daily basis and we will update our guidance published to remain in line with new government guidance. For the most up to date information and guidance from t

Q&A: what does UK lockdown mean for employers?

Now that the UK is in a complete nationwide lockdown, enforceable by law, Paul Holcroft, associate director at HR and employment law consultancy Croner, examines five key questions for employers to consider when employees are forced to home work. 1. Will all employers have to shut their workplaces? The businesses that need to close in this situation have been announced by the government and it is those considered non-essential by the government in tackling the coronavirus outbreak that have been told to shut. 2. Can I expect employees who have roles they can do from home to still work? Provided they can still conduct their role from home, and the business is still able to offer them work, th

IR35 postponed – but firms struggle to reverse changes

The coronavirus crisis has forced the government to postpone the implementation of IR35 changes, but questions remain over whether firms will reverse the changes they have already made The government’s decision to postpone changes to IR35 – with reforms now scheduled for April 6 2021 – may be too late in the day to see firms reverse their approach, according to law firm Stewarts. “The government’s decision to delay the roll-out of IR35 to the private sector will be welcome news to large corporates as this temporary measure is sure to ease the administrative and financial burden given the coronavirus pressures they will inevitably face,” said Sarah Stenton, tax director at Stewarts. “Importan

Saving tax with trivial benefits

Despite the tax and NI exemption for trivial benefits being more than three years old, business owners are sometimes mystified about when and how they can use it, especially for themselves. How can your clients get the most from it? Tax and NI exemption: The legislation describes the exemption introduced in 2016 as applying to "trivial benefits". This description doesn't really do it justice. While it can't be used as a tax and NI-free substitute for salary, bonuses or any other form of earnings for employees - as it only applies to benefits which aren't a reward for work - it's more or less a free giveaway for director shareholders. Director shareholders: The original draft legislation allo

Pension contribution tax efficiency

While your client got their business off the ground they neglected their pension savings. They want to make up for it now, but you think that the annual contribution limits will prevent this. Is there a solution? Contribution limits HMRC's rules and limits on pension contributions are often misunderstood. You'll know about the pension "annual allowance" (AA) which limits tax relief for contributions. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't limit how much you can pay into a pension only the tax relief you'll get. In fact, there can be a tax advantage to paying amounts greater than the AA, but that's a story for another day. There's a more obvious issue if your client wants to make a large pens

Capital gains tax to be accelerated

Major changes to the tax regime for gains made from the sale of residential property will take effect from April 2020. They will affect how and when your clients are required to report and pay capital gains tax. What's the full story? Current CGT deadlines Currently, capital gains made by individuals are reported through self-assessment. This means, for example, if your client sells a property between 6 April 2019 and 5 April 2020 they must declare it on their tax return and pay the tax they owe no later than 31 January 2021. New rules will apply for 2020/21 onwards meaning that the tax payable on certain types of gain will be due up to 21 months sooner. A recent report from HMRC shows that

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