Extended payment deadlines for income tax

Taxpayers with payments on account due 31 July 2020 have already been allowed to delay payment until January.

The Chancellor has announced that there will now be a concession for payments due in January 2021, allowing later payment.

HMRC anyway runs a helpline to agree ‘time to pay’ arrangements. It may be that the new concession will mean payment can be delayed without the need for any formal agreement, possibly without interest being charged. I shall update on this as further details are announced.

 

Further grants under Self Employed Income Support Scheme

The SEISS is being extended to two further payments.

The most recent (second) payment can be claimed until 19 October.

Following that, two further payments will be available to taxpayers who qualified for the previous payments, and based on the same past profits as before. The third grant will be 20% of those profits, to a maximum of £1,875, and will be available late autumn. The fourth grant planned for 2021 has not been outlined yet, but as support is generally being tapered off, I would expect this to be not more than the third amount.

Claims will be made via the same Gateway portal, and as before there will be questions to answer and a declaration to make, which must be true at the date the grant is claimed. All SEISS amounts received must be declared in that year’s tax return, and are subject to income tax and national insurance.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Second Self-Employed Income Scheme

This opens today and runs until 19 October.

Details of who is eligible to claim are similar to before, but this time taxpayers are asked to consider whether their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus on or after 14 July 2020 (up to the date of claiming). The amount of the taxable grant is lower than before, 70% of relevant income, to a maximum of £6,570. Taxpayers who claimed a first amount and qualify to claim again can expect to receive 87.6% of the first amount they received.

Unfortunately there has been no move to extend eligibility to self-employed taxpayers who fall outside the original criteria, for example because they are newly trading, do agency work, or had profits averaging more than £50,000 per year.

Claims can be made by logging in here:

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

and taxpayers will need their

  • 10-digit tax reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Gateway login details
  • Bank details

Claims are staggered, so the first login may bring up a message showing the earliest claim date as a day within the next week.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Self-Employed Income Support 2 coming August

The Chancellor has announced a second and final taxable grant for some self-employed individuals.

This will be lower than the first by about 12.5%, and the maximum will be £6,570.

I assume that the qualifying conditions will be the same as before. This would mean that only those entitled to claim first time around will qualify again, and then only if their business is still adversely impacted during the period June to August 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-self-employment-support-scheme-and-confirms-furlough-next-steps

SEISS payments

For self-employed taxpayers who qualify and who have applied, payments are coming through.

There are a few issues still to resolve: in particular a very small number of clients incorrectly shown as ineligible. These are gradually being corrected, but although these are minor glitches in what is overall an efficient new system, this is a stressful time for anyone whose claim has been held up.

Creative and performing arts are among the hardest hit industries at present, but the self employed are resourceful folk. I am impressed at how quickly many clients have adapted to give performances or deliver lessons online, or to continue with writing or coaching during these different circumstances. (Here, the kitchen is now doubling as a venue for guitar lessons via zoom.) Also, where some are looking at other job routes, it is fascinating to learn what other talents and interests they have. I may end up with a client portfolio including bakers, gardeners and electricians.

A question mark hangs over whether the welcome but limited support offered to the self employed will be extended. The new taskforce for Cultural Recovery and Renewal is a promising step, but this will not be a swift process.

SEISS is underway

Self-employed taxpayers who qualify have been given times from which they can claim their taxable grant.

The earliest was 8am today and I was delighted when my first claiming client got in touch to let me know that this worked and was straightforward.

Anyone self employed who has not yet checked eligibility, this can be done here

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

Then claims are made by logging into Gateway. The option to claim will only appear in each person’s Gateway account at the ‘not before’ time assigned to them. The eligibility checker gives the earliest time to apply – these are staggered to spread claims and help the system hold up. Or if you run (or rerun) the checker when your time for claiming has already arrived, the checker will send you on to claim straight away.

https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services

A successful claim will be confirmed with a claim submitted grant awarded message on screen.

Anyone claiming should take screenshots or pictures as they go, especially of the calculation shown. There is an option at the end to save a copy of the claim reference as well.