Welcome to the April 2021 Newsletter from Certax Accounting

The government recently unveiled a £20 million Brexit support package designed to assist small businesses in adapting to changes to trade rules with the EU. From April and July, new import controls will come into effect which could affect the way UK businesses trade with the EU.

Meanwhile, HMRC has warned that thousands of families across the UK are missing out on a government top-up worth up to £500 every three months under the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme.


£20 million SME Brexit Support Fund opens for applications

The UK government has unveiled a £20 million Brexit support package to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with changes to trade rules with the EU.

The SME Brexit Support Fund aims to help businesses prepare for the implementation of import controls which come into force from April and July.

Businesses who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively.

The announcement follows extensive engagement with individual businesses, leading business organisations and trade associations from across all parts of the UK, including through the Brexit Business Taskforce.

Businesses must meet certain criteria, including having been established in the UK for at least 12 months, having fewer than 500 employees and no more than £100 million in turnover.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: 'We have been asking for proper financial assistance of this scale so that a cash-strapped small business can afford to buy-in expertise, training and practical support. The new fund will make a significant difference.'


Thousands missing out on Tax-Free Childcare bonus

Thousands of families across the UK are missing out on the chance to save money on the costs of childcare, HMRC has revealed.

Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) permits parents and carers who have children aged up to 11 (17 for children with disabilities) to pay their childcare provider via the scheme and receive a 20% government top-up on any money deposited.

Under TFC the tax relief available is 20% of the costs of childcare up to total childcare costs of £10,000 per child per year. The scheme is therefore worth a maximum of £2,000 per child (£4,000 for a disabled child).

To qualify for TFC all parents in the household must generally meet a minimum income level, based on working 16 hours a week (on average £131 a week), each earn less than £100,000 a year and not already be receiving support through Tax Credits or Universal Credit.

Families can use the money to pay their childcare provider, including paying childminder fees, after-school clubs and sports clubs where the provider has signed up to the TFC initiative.

'As children return to their schools, after-school clubs and nurseries, help is available towards the cost of childcare,' said Myrtle Lloyd, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC.

'Families using TFC to pay their childcare provider are already benefiting from the 20% government top-up on deposits, and you could too.'


ESSENTIAL TAX DATES FOR APRIL

1 April Digital links required in Making Tax Digital for VAT returns. 5% late payment penalty on any 2019/20 outstanding tax which was due on 31 January 2021 and still remains unpaid. 5 April Last day of the 2020/21 tax year. Deadline for 2020/21 ISA investments and pension contributions. Last day to make disposals using the 2020/21 CGT exemption.

14 April Due date for income tax for the CT61 period to 31 March 2021.

19 April Automatic interest is charged where PAYE tax, Student loan deductions, Class 1 NICs or CIS deductions for 2020/21 are not paid by today. Penalties may also apply if any payments have been made late throughout the tax year. PAYE quarterly payments are due for small employers for the pay periods 6 January 2021 to 5 April 2021. PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 April 2021. Deadline for employers' final PAYE return to be submitted online for 2020/21.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

'As we look towards recovery, the government must now have a laser-like focus on the UK's longer-term competitiveness by prioritising measures which stimulate jobs and skills growth, fulfil levelling-up ambitions and accelerate moves towards net-zero.'

Alpesh Paleja, Lead Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), commenting on data published by the CBI which shows that the UK economy shrank in January.

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