Welcome to the August 2021 Newsletter from Certax Accounting

HMRC recently published guidance on how the fifth Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant can be claimed. Individuals must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the grant.

Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) urged the government to make amendments in order to improve the UK tax system and make it easier to navigate. The government is currently carrying out a review of the administration of the tax system.


HMRC publishes guidance on the fifth SEISS grant

Full details of the fifth Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, including a new turnover test which determines the level of the grant, were recently published by HMRC.

The key change from the previous SEISS grant is that the level of the grant depends on whether turnover has dropped by more or less than 30%.

The fifth grant is 80% of three months' average trading profits, capped at £7,500 for those whose turnover has reduced by 30% or more. Those with a turnover reduction of less than 30% will receive a grant based on 30% of three months' average trading profits, capped at £2,850.

To be eligible for the grant, an individual must be self-employed or a member of a partnership. They must have traded in the tax year 2019/2020 and submitted their tax return on or before 2 March 2021, and also have traded in the tax year 2020/21.

They must be currently trading but be impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19), or have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to COVID-19.

Claimants will need to provide two turnover figures during the claims process: one from the pandemic period and an earlier reference period.


CIOT urges government to make tax system easier to navigate

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has urged the government to use its tax administration review to make the UK tax system easier to navigate for taxpayers.

The CIOT has suggested a handful of 'practical improvements', including developing a single system for taxpayers to use to register and deregister for different taxes; creating a single customer account where taxpayers can view their details in one place; and simplifying how tax liabilities are assessed and calculated.

It also argues that obligations and processes across different taxes should be as consistent and simple as possible, and should serve to simplify the tax system as a whole.

Commenting on the issue, John Barnett, Chair of the CIOT's Technical Policy and Oversight Committee, said: 'The UK's tax system is creaking at the seams and this thorough review of the administration framework is long overdue.

'Many of the problems with tax administration are to do with HMRC's processes, systems, communications and guidance. These are just as important as the statutory rules and structures. We believe significant progress is achievable by making improvements in these areas, including to HMRC's service standards, to help reduce burdens on taxpayers and build trust in the tax system.'


ESSENTIAL TAX DATES FOR AUGUST

2 August Deadline for submitting P46(Car) for employees whose car/fuel benefits changed during the quarter to 5 July 2021.

19 August PAYE, Student loan and CIS deductions are due for the month to 5 August 2021. Deadline for employers to report share incentives for 2020/21.


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

'With many people taking staycations, or cheaper UK-based holidays, many have found they have a little extra to spend at the shops, with strong growth in-store in June.'

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), commenting on data which showed that retail sales bounced back during the spring, with the quarter from April to June showing record growth.



IN THE NEWS

Government announces simplified tax reporting for self-employed and small firms

Changes to the tax system that will make it easier for small businesses to fill out their returns have been announced by the government.

Average losses from pensions scams now over £50,000

The average loss from pension scams has reached £50,949 this year, according to the latest figures from Action Fraud.

Click here for the full story

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