Job Vacancy for an Accounts Senior Role

 

We have a vacancy for and experienced Accounts Senior.

The successful and experience candidate we are looking for:

  1. Must be an experienced individual in the production of accounts for sole trader and limited company accounts as well as a broad range of clients covering various trading activities.
  2. Must have worked in a general practice for at least one year and can hit the ground running as far as the production of accounts is concerned.
  3. Be experienced in the preparation of tax computations and returns (this would be a bonus but not a must).
  4. Should be competent and comfortable in the use of accounting software such as IRIS, Sage and Xero as well as Excel.  (We are not looking to train someone up.) Ideally the candidate should have proven experience in the use of Xero and IRIS.
  5. Can demonstrate that they work cooperatively with others and be a positive influence on a team.
  6. Will be self-motivated and not need micro managing.
  7. Will be able to listen carefully and follow instructions.
  8. Would be available say 3, 4 or 5 days per week and living in the local area.
  9. Would ideally a qualified person (AAT Level 4), living within 10 miles of our office, looking to get back into accountancy or on the lookout for a new opportunity and a fresh challenge.
  10. Would ideally be available to start as soon as possible.
  11. Will be paid the market rate and according to experience and success.

As a first step please send your CV to me by email:  tom.bathgate@broadthunder.co.uk

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

24th July 2020

Latest updates on Government Announcements

Chancellor unveils three-point plan for jobs

On 8 July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a three-point plan to support jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic when he delivered a Summer Economic Update to Parliament.

Mr Sunak confirmed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will end as planned this October. The Chancellor said furloughing had been the right measure to protect jobs through the first phase of the crisis. The second phase will see a three-point plan to create jobs, support people to find jobs and to protect jobs.

The CJRS will be followed by a Job Retention Bonus, which will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers in employment. This will see UK employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021. To qualify for the payment, employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021.

The Chancellor also launched a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme that will aim to create subsidised six-month work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit. Funding available for each placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Employers will be able to top this wage up.

In order to support the UK’s tourism and hospitality industry, the Chancellor announced a cut in the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% for the sector. This applies to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, as well as supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions, including theme parks and zoos, across the UK.

Additionally, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will entitle every diner to a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal at any participating, eligible food service establishment from Monday to Wednesday. Participating establishments will be fully reimbursed for the 50% discount.

Mr Sunak said: ‘Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.’

Internet link: GOV.UK publications

Stamp duty temporarily reduced

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a temporary cut in the rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in order to boost confidence in the flagging housing market in his Summer Economic Update.

Property transactions fell by 50% in May this year and house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years. In response, the government will temporarily increase the nil-rate band of residential SDLT in England and Northern Ireland from £125,000 to £500,000. This will apply to purchases from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

Additionally, the Chancellor announced a £2 billion Green Homes Grant, providing at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, up to £5,000 per household. The scheme aims to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England, helping to reduce energy bills and support the green economy.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance at UK Finance, said:

‘The Chancellor’s announcement on stamp duty should give a welcome boost to the housing market and in turn have positive knock-on effects for the wider economy.

‘This measure designed to re-boot the housing market builds on the wide package of support put in place by mortgage lenders, working with the regulator and HM Treasury, to help customers through these tough times.

‘The industry has a clear plan to help homeowners whatever their financial situation and is committed to providing ongoing support to those customers who need it.’

Internet link: GOV.UK publications

Flexible furloughing starts on job retention scheme

On 1 July, changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) saw flexible furloughing introduced, so employees will no longer have to be furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks.

Following the change the CJRS has more flexibility to allow claims on a pro rata basis. Employers will be able to permit employees to work some of the week and be furloughed for the rest.

An employee needs to have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June to be eligible for furlough from 1 July. Additionally, after 1 July, employers may be subject to a cap on the number of employees that can be claimed for in a CJRS claim they are able to make.

The CJRS changes have effect from 1 July until the closure of the scheme on 31 October.

Parents returning from statutory maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and bereavement leave are broadly exempt from the CJRS furlough changes. So parents who are returning to work over the coming months will be eligible for the CJRS despite the scheme closing to new entrants on 30 June.

Additionally, from 1 August, the level of the grant will be reduced each month. From August the employer will need to pay employer national insurance and pension contributions for the time the employee is furloughed. For August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 proportional to the hours the employee is furloughed. For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to £2,187.50, and for October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum of £1,875. During these months employers will have to top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to the £2,500 cap.

Internet link: GOV.UK publications

Government expands aid for start-ups and innovators

The government has expanded its COVID-19 support for start-ups and innovative companies with the launch of a new fund.

On 27 June the government announced the Sustainable Innovation Fund (SIF), which is aimed at helping businesses to keep ‘cutting edge’ projects and ideas alive during the pandemic.

The SIF will make almost £200 million available to UK companies that are developing new technologies in certain areas. These include making homes and offices more energy efficient, creating ground-breaking medical technologies, and reducing the carbon footprint of public transport.

The government is asking research and development-intensive businesses to apply for the funding.

 

Bank of England increases stimulus package for UK economy

The Bank of England has increased the stock of purchases of UK government bonds to help boost the UK economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

On 18 June, the Bank of England increased the stock of purchases of UK government bonds by an additional £100 billion to help boost the UK economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The £100 billion in additional quantitative easing funds takes the total to £745 billion.

The MPC also voted to cut the cost of borrowing to a record low of 0.1%. The Committee admitted it is ‘hard to draw conclusions about the UK’s recovery prospects’ and stated that extra stimulus is needed to help boost the UK economy and push inflation.

The MPC said: ‘The unprecedented situation means that the outlook for the UK and global economies is unusually uncertain.

‘It will depend critically on the evolution of the pandemic, measures taken to protect public health, and how governments, households and businesses respond to these factors.

‘Inflation is well below the 2% target and is expected to fall further below it in coming quarters, largely reflecting the weakness of demand.’

FCA confirms further support for consumer credit customers

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed further support for users of certain consumer credit products if they are experiencing temporary payment difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures outline the options firms will provide for credit card, revolving credit and personal loan customers who are coming to the end of a payment freeze. They also outline options for customers who have agreed an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500.

In addition, customers yet to request a payment freeze or an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500 will have until 31 October 2020 to apply for one.

According to UK Finance, its members have offered over 27 million interest-free overdrafts, provided 992,400 payment deferrals on credit cards and 686,500 payment deferrals on personal loans during the pandemic.

Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive at the FCA, said:

‘Since the coronavirus crisis began, we have made support available for those borrowers financially affected by the pandemic.

‘For those who are now in a position to restart payments, it will be in their best interests to do so. But for those who still need it, the package we are confirming today ensures there is help and further support.’

Private sector off-payroll reforms given go ahead for April 2021

The introduction of off-payroll rules to the private sector will go ahead as planned next April after an attempt to delay them failed in the House of Commons.

The reforms of the off-payroll rules to the private sector, which are known as IR35 and have applied to the public sector since 2017, was reviewed earlier this year.

They will shift the responsibility for assessing employment status to the organisations employing individuals.

The rules would have applied to contractors working for medium and large organisations in the private sector and were due to come into effect on 6 April this year. Due to the disruption caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the decision was taken in March to delay the introduction until 6 April 2021.

An amendment to the Finance Bill, brought by a cross-party group of MPs, was designed to delay the IR35 changes until 2023, but was defeated by 317 votes to 254.

The move to introduce new IR35 rules to the private sector has proved highly controversial, amid claims that the regulations are too complex and that HMRC’s online tool Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST), used to determine whether they apply, is flawed.

Late payment crisis has worsened during coronavirus lockdown

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that the UK’s late payment crisis has worsened during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that the UK’s late payment crisis has worsened during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

62% of small businesses have been subject to late or frozen payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research carried out by the FSB. Just 10% of small firms have agreed changes to payment terms with their clients. In addition, 65% of small businesses that supply goods or services to other businesses have experienced being paid late or having payments frozen.

The FSB has called on policymakers to give the Small Business Commissioner additional powers to investigate and fine repeat late payment offenders.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said:

‘Before the COVID-19 outbreak struck, many small firms were already under immense financial pressure because of late payments.

‘Cash is still very much king for small firms, and withholding it has pushed many to the brink at a time when they’re at their most vulnerable. Our endemic culture of treating small businesses as free credit lines against their will must be brought to an end.’

 

 

 

 

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – 1st July

Updated 1 July 2020

You can now submit claims that include days in July.

31 July is the last that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.To be eligible for the grant employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below. Wage caps are proportional to the hours an employee is furloughed. For example, an employee is entitled to 60% of the £2,500 cap if they are placed on furlough for 60% of their usual hours:

– there are no changes to grant levels in June

– for June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work

– for August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough

– for September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

– for October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

Employers will continue to able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish. Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours worked.

The table shows Government contribution, required employer contribution and amount employee receives where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time.

Wage caps are proportional to the hours not worked.

  July August September October
Government contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions Yes No No No
Government contribution: wages 80% up to £2,500 80% up to £2,500 70% up to £2,187.50 60% up to £1,875
Employer contribution: employer NICs and pension contributions No Yes Yes Yes
Employer contribution: wages 10% up to £312.50 20% up to £625
Employee receives 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month 80% up to £2,500 per month

 

If your next VAT return is for period 05/20, you need to get the direct debit re-instated as soon as possible.

If your next VAT return is for period 05/20, you need to get the direct debit re-instated as soon as possible.  If you don’t do this you must remember to pay electronically by 7 July 2020.

 

All good things must come to an end

Back in March, as part of the Covid-19 measures, HMRC automatically deferred all VAT payments due for the period 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. This meaning, there was no requirement to pay your VAT bill until 31 March 2021.

This deferral period covered the following:

(a) Quarterly and monthly VAT returns’ payments for the periods ending in February, March and April

(b) Payments on account due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020

(c) Annual accounting advance payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020

‘All good things must come to an end’ said ‘no-one ever’ when talking about getting an automatic extension to paying your VAT payment to HMRC.  HMRC are now encouraging all businesses to re-instate their direct debits in plenty of time then HMRC can collect the next payment when it is due. HMRC has assured that their payment collection software will not attempt to collect the VAT due from the deferral period.

If your next VAT return is for period 05/20, you need to get the direct debit re-instated as soon as possible. If you don’t do this you must remember to pay electronically by 7 July 2020.

If you find that you’re unable to pay the VAT due at the end of your next VAT period and need additional time to pay, please contact HMRC before the payment is due to arrange a time to pay. HMRC have a dedicated helpline for this – 0300 200 3835. If you do call, please quote ‘V1’.

Business as usual

As businesses begin to trade again, the effects of being closed could lead to possible cash flow issues. There are a some things that you could do to help with this from a VAT perspective:

(a) If you have had a drop in turnover, it may be that you are eligible to use the flat rate scheme to account for VAT. For more information on this please read – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-733-flat-rate-scheme-for-small-businesses

(b) If you are a repayment trader, you should consider changing to monthly VAT returns. In addition to this, if your VAT return requires HMRC authorisation, managing the process efficiently will avoid unnecessary delays. HMRC aim to complete such checks as quickly as possible

(c) If the business is obliged to make payments on account, can these be reduced or even removed entirely if the revised forecast trading position is significantly different to the prior year?

(d) If you have customer debts older than 6 months, make a bad debt relief claim

For businesses whose customers take 30/60/90 to make payment, you can –

*   Switch to cash accounting if your turnover is below £1.35million. This will enable you to account for VAT on a cash basis rather than an accruals business.

*   Issue requests for payment initially instead of issuing VAT invoices. Follow this up by issuing VAT invoices when the customer pays in full. This would prevent paying over output tax to HMRC before your invoices are paid by your customers.

Other important points

During the whole Covid-19 hysteria, there has been some other changes in relation to VAT, some are temporary, and some are here for good. Either way, they need to be considered –

– The implementation of the domestic reverse charge for the construction industry has been postponed until 1 March 2021

– Until 31 July 2020, PPE can be imported free of duty and VAT. Applications must be made to HMRC for a relief certificate prior to the goods being imported. Depending on how the pandemic progresses, there is the possibility of this deadline being extended

– With immediate effect, HMRC reduced import VAT and duty to nil on the importation of items used to help find a treatment/cure for Covid-19 such as animals for scientific research and substances for biological and chemical research

– For any option to tax made during the period 15 February 2020 to 30 June 2020, you have 90 days to notify the option

– With effect from 1 May 2020, e-publications are now subject to VAT at 0%

– There has been issues with the C79’s for March. Some businesses were not issued with a C79 for March, or the C79 was issued containing the February 2020 data. HMRC advises businesses to use the most recent C79 that they have received

– For solicitors and conveyancers, HMRC have announced that with effect from 1 December 2020, you will no longer be able to treat postal property search fees charged to your clients as ‘disbursements’. VAT will be chargeable at 20% on the recharge of such costs

It’s been a hectic couple of months for all businesses. Over the next couple of weeks almost all businesses will be open again with trade hopefully returning to normal over the coming weeks.

 

If you are affected by any of the above or you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your usual Huddart contact or email us via hello@jeffreyahuddart.co.uk

 

Understanding more about Time to Pay (TTP) and HMRC

Understanding more about TTP

In the recent spring Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Britain will rise to the challenge of COVID-19, adding that: “HMRC will scale up the Time To Pay service to allow businesses and self-employed to defer tax payments.”

Known as a Time to Pay (TTP) arrangement, it is designed to help businesses that are fundamentally viable but experiencing temporary cash flow problems.

If HMRC believes that your company is nearing insolvency, they may act quickly to recover their money, so we must stress that a Time to Pay arrangement is only for those businesses that are fundamentally profitable.

Our advice is to always be proactive with HMRC – don’t wait to be contacted by them because your tax payment was late.  The existence of Time to Pay arrangements indicates an understanding by HMRC that problems will arise, and a willingness to help under certain circumstances, but the responsibility remains with you to initiate contact.

A TTP arrangement is a method of spreading your tax payments over a longer period of time than would otherwise be available.  It is used for arrears of corporation tax, VAT and PAYE, but can also be used if you are anticipating problems with an upcoming payment or payments, and it may help you to avoid a late payment penalty.

HMRC will want to satisfy themselves that you are not trying to deliberately avoid meeting your tax liabilities.  When weighing up the risk of allowing extra time to pay, they also consider the industry in which you operate, and its previous history of repayment as a whole.

If a TTP arrangement is agreed, it is imperative that you meet these payments in full and on time, otherwise your problems could significantly increase.  HMRC could immediately cancel the arrangement if you default, calling in the total debt and applying a range of penalties.

 

If a TTP is agreed, interest will probably be charged on the amount to be paid, but penalties may be lifted if you have made contact with HMRC quickly, and acted responsibly to redress your situation.

Applying for a Time to Pay arrangement

Once you have put together a strong case in favour of being granted extra time to pay, you need to phone HMRC, or seek the help of a professional accountant who will negotiate on your behalf.

But what constitutes a ‘strong’ case?  This means presenting a realistic proposal in terms of what you can afford to pay, backed up by evidence in the form of:

(a) Sales and cash flow forecasts for the following six months or more

(b) A plan of how you will cut costs to free up extra cash

(c) Generally conveying your determination to ensure repayments are met.

It is worth remembering that HMRC will want the TTP arrangement to be over the shortest time, with the highest repayments possible, in order to recoup their money quickly.  You must be careful, however, to offer only what you can afford, and be certain that your company can meet its obligations as set out in the plan before it is agreed.

Dealing with HMRC can be problematic unless you understand how they operate, which is why many of our clients ask us to discuss and negotiate on their behalf.

Get in touch via email:  hello@jeffreyahuddart.co.uk

By Phone:  0161 703 8353

Our offices are open Monday to Friday 9am – 3pm.