How are you holding up? I won't deny I miss seeing friends (yes, even accountants have friends!), going to town for a bit of window shopping or a spot of weekend camping with the dogs.
Hopefully, for all of us, normal activity isn't too far away. We'll keep you updated for as long as CV19 support measures are available from the gov't, and once things are back to normal this mailing list will self destruct in 60 seconds... we aren't the sort to take the p*ss with your data.
If you want to keep in touch after that, it's cool, just send me an email.
If you are bored, do head over to my LinkedIn page where you can watch some of the video appearances I've been making. None are about accountancy or coronavirus. Most involve dancing. It's been tough during the lockdown, that's all I'll say...
A few bits to update you on today, plus I'd like to ask you for a MASSIVE, HUMUNGOUS favour. It's optional, of course. In the same way "discretionary service charges" are. 😜
Last Stop for the Furlough Train 🚂
If you've got staff and you haven't yet furloughed them, the most important thing you need to know is that if you haven't furloughed them by tomorrow (10th June) you won't be able to claim anything on the Phase 2 furlough scheme, which starts on 1st July.
This is because every furlough period must last at least 21 days, and that takes us to the end of June, when Phase 1 stops.
If they've already been on furlough and are back at work now, that's OK. If you're not going to need to furlough staff, that's great too.
Basically what's happening is the Phase 2 portal will open late July (ish!!) and will only be open to staff who have had at least one furlough claim on Phase 1.
Call me if you need a hand with this; it's unnecessarily messy and reflects HMRC's systems rather than any commercial common sense.
SEISS - some accountants didn't listen 🙉
You'll remember from our update of 14th May, we invested in some bold fonts to remind everyone that accountants were not allowed to makes SEISS claims on behalf of their clients.
The logic? Don't even go there! But HMRC was very clear about it, and wrote to accountants to reinforce the point. So it's heartbreaking to hear yesterday that 29,000 SEISS claims have been put on hold as they were claimed by accountants rather than the taxpayer themselves. This isn't the client's fault. Our profession should (and did!) know better.
Brag Alert: We played by the rules and all clients who have applied for their grant, and were eligible, have now received it.
If you haven't been able to claim your SEISS for any reason we can help you although of course you still need to make the actual claim. Don't forget the portal closes in just over four weeks. ⏰
NHS Test and Trace 💙
Some good news - if you get a call from NHS telling you you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, and therefore you must stay at home, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, from day 1 of your isolation.
There has been a recent tweak to the SSP rules because of course, you aren't (fingers crossed) actually sick. But it's been confirmed your employer will be able to claim SSP for your absence.
Although, don't forget, if you are fit and well and able to do your work from home - or you have been furloughed anyway - then no changes there.
Don't Forget Your Tax Return!
If you're at home with some time on your hands, perhaps NOW is the perfect opportunity to start work on your tax return. Remember, if you've got tax to pay then the deadline remains 31 January 2021, and getting your return in early just means you have more time to plan.
But, if you're due a refund, this will be processed right away. You literally cannot lose!
Remember you may well be within your rights to make an election for reduced payments on account for 20/21 which could release more cash for you in the short term too.
If you're thinking it all sounds like a lot of faff then there are people out there who can do all of this for you (🙋♂️), although please note we close our books to new clients on 31st August each tax year, so don't hang about.
31 August also happens to be my birthday, so stick that in your diary. Just sayin'.... 😉