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Assessing the Office risks for returning staff

From desk partitions, journeys to and from work and physical meetings, we highlight the risks that accountancy firms need to focus on once their employees return to the office. It has recently been reported that Canary Wharf has drawn up plans to reopen, encouraging a return to ‘business as usual’ for those working in the Docklands complex, including those in financial services, as well as lawyers and accountants. JP Morgan had already announced in late April, that it was reopening its doors, and HSBC, Barclays and Goldman Sachs have also indicated their intention to do so. What does this mean for employers and staff of accountancy firms in the area, and how practical will it be for their em

Covid-19: government spend tops £124bn

The government has spent £124.3bn on programmes, initiatives and spending commitments in response to the pandemic, according to initial analysis from the National Audit Office (NAO) On 11 occasions there were ministerial directions related to the government’s responses to Covid-19 where there were concerns that a spending proposal breached specified criteria. These are regularity, propriety, value for money or feasibility. The NAO said that in some instances these directions were sought and granted to support urgent spend, and because it had not been possible for departments to carry out as full an appraisal of the value for money of some schemes as would usually be undertaken. The watchdog

Coronavirus - Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May. The scheme will enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to claim coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of employers. You’re eligible to use the scheme if: • you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus • you had a PAYE payroll scheme in operation before 28 February 2020 • you had fewer than 250 employees across all PAYE schemes on 28 February 2020 • you’re eligible to receive State Aid under the EU Commission Temporary Framework. The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of S

More news on grants for self-employed

There’s new guidance and other help for self-employed traders who want to claim the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. What’s the latest? Scheme outline The Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) went live on 13 May 2020 and is available to sole traders and members of business partnerships. It will pay a quarterly grant equal to the lesser of 80% of your average monthly trading profits and £7,500. The good news is that you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work even if you apply for and receive a grant. Note. Any grant you receive will count as taxable income when you come to work out your profits or losses for the bu

Self-furloughing as a Director

HMRC confirmed in early April that company directors would be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Furthermore, sole directors of their own companies would be able to furlough themselves. However, while the principle is welcome, there are a number of reasons why, in practice, the scheme may not suit all shareholder-directors The biggest hurdle reported to us in respect of many shareholder-directors is whether or not any salary was paid to them on or before March 19. The Treasury Direction published on April 15, which outlines the rules for CJRS, requires an individual to have been on the employer’s payroll on or before March 19 before they can be eligible for furlough. T

Covid-19: help for self employed launches

HMRC has begun contacting around 3.5m taxpayers who may be eligible for the government’s self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) to explain the application process and help them get ready to make a claim when the service opens next week The claims service is due to be operational on Wednesday 13 May, with payments reaching bank accounts by 25 May, or six working days after the claim is made. An online checker is now available which will let taxpayers check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply. Individuals will need their unique taxpayer reference (UTR) and National Insurance number and should ensure their details are up-to-date in thei

Coronavirus Q&A - Part two

My limited company client’s normal business activity is the design, build and installation of seasonal in-store displays for retailers. They are unable to work in this field because of the Covid-19 restrictions. They are considering using their staff and resources, with support from crowd funding, to manufacture visors which would be gifted to the NHS. The visors will show the company logo. Will VAT need to be accounted for on the crowd-funded income? Will there be any input tax restriction in relation to the costs of producing the gifted items? The company has also applied for a Covid-19 business support grant; how should they treat this income if they get it? VAT Act 1994. Section 4, is th

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