The government recently announced their winter economy plan, to provide additional government support for businesses and employees that have been impacted by COVID-19. We have summarised the key points below which may affect yourself or your business.

Job Support Scheme

From 1 November a new Job Support Scheme will be introduced which will run for six months, replacing the current Job Retention Scheme. The scheme will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours.

  • The employer will need to continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work.
  • The hours not worked, the employer and the government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual wages (capped ay £697.92 per month).
  • The employer will need to pay the National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions.
  • The employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.

Eligibility –

  • The employee must be on the employers PAYE scheme on or before 23 September 2020 and at least 33% of their usual hours must be worked.

The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers, even if you have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Extension to the reduced rate of VAT for Hospitality and Tourism

The temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector has now been extended until 31 March 2021.

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

Any VAT payments which were deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020, are due to be paid to HMRC by 31 March 2021. If you can not pay the VAT by 31 March 2021, you can use the New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31 March 2022.

Visit HMRC to find out more information on the VAT payments deferral.

New Self-Assessment Self-Serve Time To Pay Scheme

If you’re unable to pay your Self-Assessment bill in full by 31 January 2021, you can set up a Time to Pay payment plan of up to 12 months.

If you have Self-Assessment debts of up to £30,000, you’ll be able to access this Time to Pay facility through GOV.UK and will get automatic and immediate approval. Please use the following link for further guidance and advice, https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc.

If your SA debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to repay your debt in full, you will still be able to use the Time to Pay arrangement by calling HMRC, 0300 200 3822.

You must meet the following requirements to be able to apply for the scheme:

  • no outstanding tax returns
  • no other tax debts
  • no other HMRC payments set up
  • your Self-Assessment tax bill is between £32 and £30,000
  • it is no more than 60 days since the tax was due for payment.

To read more about the Winter Economy Plan, visit the HMRC website for the full news story from the Chancellor.