Tax Update 7/8/2020

Tax Update 7/8/2020

Keep up to date with the key announcements made this past week.

Job Retention Bonus Clarification for Employers

HMRC have produced a policy paper on the eligibility requirements for employers seeking to claim the job retention bonuses.

The updated guidance provides clarifications as to when claims can be submitted, claims after the deadline for military reservists or employees returning from parental leave along with eligibility for transfers that are protected under the transfer of undertakings regulations 2006.

A more detailed breakdown can be found in our recent article here

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Eligibility update

HMRC have published updated guidance on eligibility for the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) for individuals and members of a partnership where having a child affected their eligibility for the grant.

Individuals that have had their income or trading profit for the tax year 2018/19 adversely affected as a result of having a child can now ask HMRC to verify this information to be eligible for SEISS.

If an individual was not already eligible they can ask HMRC to check if they had a new child that either:

  • Affected trading profits or total income they reported for the tax year 2018/19
  • Meant they did not submit a Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19

For the purposes of the scheme having a new child is categorized as any of the following:

  • Being pregnant
  • Giving birth (including a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy) and the 26 weeks after giving birth
  • Caring for a child withing 12 months of birth if you have parental responsibility
  • Caring for a child within 12 months of adoption placement

Individuals must have been self-employed in the tax year 2017/18 and have submitted a self-assessment tax return on or before 23rd April 2020.

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and VAT treatment of common lease variations

HMRC have produced a new policy paper on SDLT an VAT when existing leases between landlords and tenants are varied.

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many tenants are suffering loss of income and want to vary the terms of their lease with their landlord, this can be done either formally or informally. The policy paper provides guidance on the appropriate SDLT and VAT treatment of the most common lease variations, specifically those:

  • Which vary the amount of rent a tenant pays
  • Where a lease extension is being agreed

Whilst there have been no changes to either SDLT or VAT policy, as a result of coronavirus changes to leases have become more frequent.

Updated guidance on reduced rate of VAT

HMRC has published further guidance on the temporary 5% VAT rate on hot food and on-premises consumption.

The latest guidance supplements existing guidance already published and also provides practical example scenarios to assist taxpayers along with examples of the direct calculation method.

Source – Lexis Nexis via Tolley Guidance