Archive for May, 2020

Six-month extension to MOT dates

Monday, May 18th, 2020

A reminder that if you need to renew your vehicle MOT after 30 March 2020, the usual annual renewal date should have been extended by six-months. Conditions that apply are:

Eligibility

Your MOT certificate will be extended by six-months if it was due to expire on or after 30 March 2020 and your vehicle is a:

  • car
  • motorcycle
  • light van
  • other light vehicle

First MOT due

The extension also applies to these types of vehicles that are due their first MOT test on or after 30 March 2020. There are different rules if your MOT expiry date was on or before 29 March 2020.

How the 6-month extension works

Your vehicle’s MOT expiry date will be automatically extended by 6 months if it is eligible. This will be done about 7 days before it is due to expire. This means that:

  • your vehicle will still have a valid MOT certificate for an extra 6 months
  • you can still tax your vehicle – you might need to wait to do this until later in the month if both your MOT and vehicle tax run out this month
  • your insurance will still be valid
  • your vehicle’s record will be updated so the police can see you have a valid MOT

You will not get a new paper MOT certificate with the new expiry date on it. You must still keep your vehicle safe to drive.

What you need to do

Your vehicle’s MOT expiry date will be updated about 7 days before it was originally due to expire.

  1. Three days before your MOT was originally due to expire, check the expiry date has been extended.
  2. If the expiry date has not been extended 3 days before it was due to expire, email covid19mot@dvsa.gov.uk.

You need to include these details in the email:

  • the date your MOT expired
  • your vehicle registration number (number plate)

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will then:

  • update your vehicle’s record
  • email you to tell you this has been done

If your vehicle tax and MOT run out in May

You cannot renew your vehicle tax until your MOT expiry date has been extended. It will be extended a few days before it was originally due to expire. This means you might need to wait until later in May to tax your vehicle.

Check that the MOT expiry date has been extended before you tax your vehicle.

Keep your vehicle safe to drive

You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended.

Coronavirus – Business support updates 13 May 2020

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

Easing back from lock-down

Boris Johnson made his long-awaited statement on the government’s plans to ease lock-down (7pm, Sunday 10 May 2020). No great surprises and we have included a brief business-related summary in this post.

In his address he said:

And the first step is a change of emphasis that we hope that people will act on this week.

We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must.

We now need to stress that anyone who cannot work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.

And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So, you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.

So, work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you cannot work from home.

And to ensure you are safe at work we have been working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure.

And when you do go to work, if possible do so by car or even better by walking or bicycle. But just as with workplaces, public transport operators will also be following COVID-secure standards.

There are copious instructions for employers, on safeguarding the workplace, and these can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

On your bike…

Last week the government announced a £2bn package to create a new era for cycling and walking.

As walking and cycling are two of the most effective ways to get from A to B whilst respecting social distancing measures, this announcement is good news.

In the news story published at the time of the announcement, changes to be undertaken are summarised as follows:

Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the pandemic, the plans will help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.

The government will fund and work with local authorities across the country to help make it easier for people to use bikes to get around – including Greater Manchester, which wants to create 150 miles of protected cycle track, and Transport for London, which plans a “bike Tube” network above Underground lines.

Fast-tracked statutory guidance, published today and effective immediately, will tell councils to reallocate road-space for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. In towns and cities, some streets could become bike and bus-only while others remain available for motorists. More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce rat-running while maintaining access for vehicles.

 

Vouchers will be issued for cycle repairs, to encourage people to get their old bikes out of the shed, and plans are being developed for greater provision of bike fixing facilities. Many more will take up the Cycle to Work scheme, which gives employees a discount on a new bike.

The final statement, regarding the Cycle to Work Scheme, could be a relevant option for employers to consider as there are tax benefits for employees.

 

Chancellor extends Furlough scheme

The Chancellor announced further support for employers (12 May 2020) by extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until the end of October 2020.

This will be a welcome change for those business owners endeavouring to find a constructive way to manage the present lock-down and other disruptions and emerge from the process with a viable business.

Details announced to CJRS today are:

  • Support will continue until the end of October 2020.
  • Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their current salary up to the existing £2,500 maximum.
  • New flexibility will be introduced from August 2020 with the intention of getting employees back to work. Initially, part-time.
  • From the same date, 1 August 2020, employers may be asked to contribute.

 

Regarding the August changes the Chancellor said:

As we reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

Detailed information regarding the new flexible approach – part-time working – will be published towards the end of May 2020.

Employers will need to factor these changes into their business plans as we emerge, all-be-it slowly, from lock-down.

Claim now for the Self-Employed grant

HMRC have now updated their instructions regarding the claims process for the Self-Employed Income Support Grant (SEISS).

Originally, the grants were promised – for eligible individuals – for early June 2020.

The good news? You can now make claims from today for payment this month IF you qualify for the SEISS.

This involves checking to see if you are eligible. You will need your Unique Tax Reference number and NIC number to do this. You will then be advised if you are eligible to claim and when you should apply.

 

Updated Guide to Business Support (Coronavirus)

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

We have updated our “glossy” summary of business support available for the UK businesses – please click the link:

6th May- Business Support

In addition to these measures, there were some Scottish grants we mentioned earlier this week which may interest a number of clients (details below)

We continue to work hard to help our clients at this time and we have been very busy with

  1. Furloughed workers – payroll and grant applications for funding.
  2. Loans – the “CBILS” scheme requires projections and accounts.
  3. Ad hoc advice on the other grants and bounce back loans.

We are very much “open for business” through home working.  We are grateful to clients who are able to continue to bring their accounting and tax records to us for their annual compliance work.

As ever, our thoughts are with those most directly affected by the Pandemic, especially those who have suffered loss and those working in the “front line” whether hospital, care home or other settings.  Our primary concern is for the well being of staff, their families, our clients and friends (health and wealth).

Best wishes,

The Directors of Milne Craig

More Support for Scottish Business- News

Claiming tax relief for home office expenses

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

In the past, claims for the costs of home office furniture and other equipment has been difficult to obtain unless your employer dictates that you must work from home.

With the advent of lock-down and working from home now mandated for a large proportion of the working population, HMRC are being inundated with claims.

Employees that are covering their own home working costs

  1. Consumable items, printer cartridges for example, can be claimed as an expense.
  2. If you buy equipment to enable homeworking, desk, chair, shelving, computers etc., as long as the purchase was required to facilitate home-working, you should be able to write off the full cost by claiming a capital allowance.
  3. You can also claim £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (£4 per week 2019-20) to offset additional electricity costs or other costs you have had to pay as a direct result of working from home.

All of the above claims will be reduced if your employer makes a full or partial contribution towards these costs.

Employers that are covering employees’ home working costs

Employers that provide equipment, services and supplies to an employee who works from home, do not have to report or pay any tax or NIC if the items provided are only used for business purposes or any private use is insignificant.

Historically, employers that cover the cost of additional household expenses for an employee who works from home, did not have to report these or pay anything if both the following apply:

  • employees need to work from home, either because equipment they need is not available at your workplace, or their work means they have to live too far away from your workplace to travel there every day or
  • the amount you give them is not more than their additional household expenses.

It is assumed that the first of these two conditions is now fulfilled by the needs of the COVID-19 lock-down.

Tax Diary May/June 2020

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

1 May 2020 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 30 July 2019.

19 May 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 May 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 May 2020).

19 May 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 May 2020.

19 May 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 May 2020 is payable by today.

31 May 2020 – Ensure all employees have been given their P60s for the 2019-20 tax year.

1 June 2020 – Due date for corporation tax due for the year ended 31 August 2019.

19 June 2020 – PAYE and NIC deductions due for month ended 5 June 2020. (If you pay your tax electronically the due date is 22 June 2020)

19 June 2020 – Filing deadline for the CIS300 monthly return for the month ended 5 June 2020.

19 June 2020 – CIS tax deducted for the month ended 5 June 2020 is payable by today.

Switch to our mobile site