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Business Finance Update 30 June 2020

Throughout June there were several announcements and changes that are aimed at providing further assistance to both businesses and individuals whose income/profits have been affected by Coronavirus.

These changes include:

CJRS and SEISS

Further details on the changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) including the addition of eligibility for new parents for the SEISS.

Corporation Tax

update on making claims for repayments of corporation tax based on anticipated losses arising from coronavirus.

 

In our ongoing series on COVID-19 finance related updates we set out the key points that you should be aware of:

CJRS new rules from 1 July

As previously highlighted, on 29 May 2020 Rishi Sunak announced key changes to the scheme:

  • No new employees can be furloughed after 30 June 2020, meaning that the final date a new employee could be included in the scheme was 10 June 2020.
  • The amounts employers can claim per employee each month reduces month by month until the scheme closes on 31 October 2020.
  • Existing or previously furloughed employees can be furloughed on a flexible part-time basis.
  • Claims for employees furloughed up to 30 June 2020 must be submitted by 31 July 2020.

 

Note that whilst the scheme allows increased flexibility to accommodate flexible shift patterns, recognises that many organisations will not be able to have their entire workforce in the workplace at the same time, and supports employees needing time for childcare or to look after other relatives, calculating claims for varying periods will now be more complicated, and the level of the grant reduces through August to October.

 

Details of the changes to the amounts that can be claimed can be found in this HMRC factsheet:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888764/Factsheet_for_SEISS_and_CJRS_schemes.pdf 

and HMRC provides examples of how to calculate claim periods, usual hours and furloughed hours here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-examples-to-help-you-work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages/examples-of-how-to-work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-national-insurance-contributions-and-pension-contributions#fixed-hours 

 

Please see our updated FAQs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:
https://rayneressex.com/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-2/

 

The key points of the revised scheme are that:

  • Employees can be flexibly furloughed, allowing part-time working, and enabling employers to bring employees back to work in line with increasing work levels.
  • There is no minimum furlough period.
  • Employers can agree any working arrangements with previously furloughed employees, whilst still observing employment law requirements.
  • Written agreements setting out the worked hours and furloughed hours for the period will be required.
  • Furlough claims will be more specific and must provide details of usual hours and actual hours worked, with the difference being hours furloughed.
  • Claims must be for a period of at least a week (to establish the work pattern) and cannot extend across a calendar month (as the scheme grant calculations will change each month).
  • Claims must be submitted by the end of the following calendar month, meaning that the final submission date for claims will be 30 November 2020.

 

Amendments

Grants overpaid can now be repaid by deducting the over-payment from future grants. A record of the adjustment must be kept for six years. A new process for repaying grants if no further claims are going to be made is being developed.

To amend an under-claim, you should contact HMRC directly. Additional checks may be carried out in these cases.

Full details can be found on the HMRC website at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme  

 

SEISS Claims

The deadline for making a claim for the first grant is 13 July 2020. So, if you are eligible, have been adversely affected by Coronavirus and have not yet made a claim for the period up to and including 13 July 2020 then you will need to do so as soon as possible.

The second and final grant is for the period on or after 14 July 2020 and claims can be made from August 2020.

You do not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant, as you may only be adversely affected in the second phase.

The eligibility criteria are set out in our updated FAQs here:

https://rayneressex.com/self-employment-income-support-scheme-faqs/

 

Parents and Reservists

Further guidance is awaited on the government’s announcement that the SEISS will be available to new parents who have taken time out to have children and that self-employed army, navy and air force reservists, who were previously ineligible as a result of their service, will be able to access a grant.

As a result of the proposed changes, parents who did not submit a 2018/19 tax return, or whose trading profits do not meet the 50% income test, may now be eligible. This is expected to operate in a similar way for reservists, but with income received as a reservist probably being excluded when establishing eligibility.

 

Corporation Tax Losses

Quarterly Instalment Early Repayment

HMRC’s company tax manual has been updated to outline when companies can make claims for repayments of corporation tax based on anticipated losses.

The Quarterly Instalment Payments regime already allowed for repayment of excessive payments on account in the current accounting period. However, the position regarding the payment of excessive instalments paid in respect of the prior period, where the current period had not concluded, was not as certain.

The updated guidance now makes it clearer that, in exceptional circumstances, such as unprecedented losses accumulating as a result of Coronavirus, companies can make claims for repayment of corporation tax for prior periods based on anticipated losses before the current accounting period has completed.

For these claims to be considered, companies must:

  • Substantiate claims and support the quantum of expected losses
  • Demonstrate that the losses are so substantial that they will comfortably shelter any income of the current period and the taxable profits of the prior period relevant to the claim.

Clearly it will be difficult to provide such evidence during the early part of the current accounting period as this would be largely based on forecasts subject to significant volatility, creating a degree of uncertainty leading to HMRC considering the possibility of an improvement in the company’s position and/or an unexpected receipt/gain. HMRC are likely to require more robust forecasts later in the accounting period supported by a reasonable period of actual results.

Corporation Tax Self-Assessment – Repayment before liability established

Small companies not under the Quarterly Instalment Payment regime can also make a claim for a repayment of prior period corporation tax based on anticipated losses in the current accounting period.

As with Quarterly Instalments, such claims can only be made in exceptional circumstances and will require a high level of supporting evidence.

Each claim will be considered on its own facts and circumstances and as such there are no hard and fast rules. The more information provided to substantiate the losses, the better.

Useful information to provide would include:

  • Revised profit and loss forecasts
  • Current management accounts and draft tax computations
  • Detailed reasoning supporting any assumptions made
  • Third party evidence to support the fact that current issues are unlikely to be resolved on the short term.

As ever, your usual points of contact at Rayner Essex are here to discuss the issues with you and assist with exploring the way forward.