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HMRC - Latest news and updates October 2021

This HMRC updates below provide a round-up of their latest news and updates:

Submit CJRS claims for September

The CJRS closed on 30 September. If an employer hasn’t submitted their claim yet, they must do so by the final deadline of Thursday ‌14‌‌‌ October.

Employers can claim 60% of furloughed employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. They’ll need to contribute 20% from their own funds so that furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).

What employers need to do now 

  • work out how much they can claim, and the contribution they’ll need to make to reach 80% of usual wages on GOV.UK
  • submit any claims for September, no later than Thursday 14 October
  • keep records supporting the grants they claim, in case we need to check them
  • make sure they pay CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact us if they’re struggling to pay
  • include grants in your Self Assessment return, if you usually file one
  • go to Plan for Jobs if they want to see other support that may be available to them.

The end of the CJRS - other UK government support available

Employers can find everything they need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK. Below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:

What support is available for employees if they’re unable to be brought back to work?

There’s UK government support available for employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and finding out who’s recruiting.

Normal redundancy rules and protections apply to furloughed employees. 

What support is available to help an employer’s business grow?  
If an employer is looking to grow their business, the UK government’s Help to Grow scheme offers management and digital programmes, to help them learn new skills and reach more customers. Go to Help to Grow to register their interest.

If employers are considering taking on new employees, there’s a range of UK government support available to help them, including placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities. The Plan for Jobs programmes for employers gives more information on how their business could benefit. 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Claims for the fifth and final SEISS grant have now closed.

Upcoming contact with customers

In the coming weeks we will write to everyone who claimed at least one SEISS grant with information on how to report SEISS grants correctly on their tax returns, and what to do if anything has changed since claiming. This will cover (depending on their circumstances):

Reminder that SEISS grants are taxable:

  • Customers will be reminded that their SEISS grants are subject to income tax and National Insurance.
  • They should include grants received on or before 5 April 2021 in their 2020-21 tax return (filing deadline 31 January 2022). Grants received on or after 6 April 2021 should be included in their 2021-22 tax return (filing deadline 31 January 2023).

How to report SEISS grants on the tax return:

  • Customers will be advised that 2020-21 returns and supplementary pages have a new box on which to report SEISS grants received on or before 5 April 2021.
  • For more information go to the instructions on how to report SEISS (and other coronavirus support payments) on GOV.UK.

How we correct 2020-21 returns, if we believe SEISS grants have not been returned in the way we expected:

  • Customers will be asked to check the statement of account if we have made an amendment to the SEISS grant entry.
  • Help on what to check and next steps will be included. For more information, go to GOV.UK.

Changes to returns after 3 March 2021:

  • Customers will be reminded that they should tell us about amendments made to their 2019-20, 2018-19, 2017-18 or 2016-17 tax returns after 3 March 2021.
  • Instructed to follow the guidance at and complete a form if amendments either:
    • reduce the amount of fourth or fifth grant they are eligible for 
    • cause them to no longer be eligible for the fourth or fifth grant.

Fifth grant turnover test and the 2020-21 tax return:

  • If a customer completed the turnover test and provided a figure for the 12 month period from April 2020 to April 2021 which started on any date from 1 to 6 April 2020, they need to check this against the turnover figure they include in their 2020-21 tax return.
  • If they gave us an incorrect turnover figure when they claimed the fifth SEISS grant or realise now that it was wrong, they need to tell us by completing a form online.

Further support

Whilst the SEISS has now ended, several elements of the government’s wider support package continue to be available. The government’s Plan for Jobs offers a range of support for those who want to get into work, including the Kickstart and Restart schemes, apprenticeships and traineeships.

Self-employed people on low incomes may also qualify for Universal Credit, and work coaches have the power to continue suspending the Minimum Income Floor on an individual basis for up to six months, for claimants whose earnings continue to be affected by coronavirus.

Visit GOV.UK for more information.

Reporting coronavirus grants on tax returns

Don’t forget that grants to support businesses and self-employed people during the pandemic are taxable. If a customer claimed CJRS or SEISS grants, they need to include these as income on their tax return as well as some other COVID grants they may have received. Depending on their business type, they’ll need to report this as income on the corporation tax return, the partnership return or the self-employment pages of the individual tax return.

Guidance on how to include a grant or payment on the tax return is available on GOV.UK.

Closure of extended appeal window due to coronavirus

In February 2020, HMRC introduced a three month extended window to appeal against tax decisions and penalties if the delay in appealing was due to coronavirus. This ended on 30 September 2021. For tax decisions and penalties dated up to and including 30 September 2021, the extended window to appeal is still available. Customers should follow the normal process and times for appealing decisions dated from 1 October onwards. 

We know that some customers are still feeling the impacts of coronavirus, and this may still be a reasonable excuse for not meeting their tax obligations on time in some cases. We will consider appeals and ask for evidence if needed.

Closure of bulk appeals against Income Tax Self Assessment late filing penalties due to coronavirus

Since 24 March 2021 tax agents have been able to appeal in bulk against late filing penalties, on behalf of their clients, for 2019-20 tax returns filed after 28 February 2021. This allowed them to submit appeals for up to 25 clients at a time, where the reasonable excuse was due to coronavirus. 

From 1 October the bulk appeal process is no longer available, so tax agents will need to follow the usual process, using the SA370 or appealing online. They can still claim reasonable excuse on behalf of their clients and, for decisions dated up to 30 September 2021, have the three-month extended window to appeal.

Time is running out for tax credits and Child Benefit customers

Any tax credits, Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance customers who receive their benefits or payments via a Post Office card account have until 30 November 2021 to set up a new account and notify HMRC of their new account details or their payments will stop. 

From 1 December, HMRC will be unable to make payments to ex-Post Office card account holders. Any suspended payments will be paid to the customer once they notify HMRC of where to send the tax credits or Child Benefit payments. 

If customers already have an alternative bank account, they can contact HMRC with their new details. If customers do not have an alternative, they can set up a new bank, building society or credit union account to receive their money.  

Customers can use their Personal Tax Account to provide alternative account details. Alternatively, Child Benefit customers can change their bank account details via GOV.UK or by contacting the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100, whereas tax credits customers can change their bank account details by contacting the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900. 

You can read the press release on GOV.UK.

Employment status guidance for Associate Dentists

From 6 April 2023, HMRC will be updating the Employment Status Manual (ESM) to remove specific occupational guidance for Associate Dentists (ESM4030). This is part of HMRC’s ongoing review and updating of employment status guidance and does not signal a change in the rules or a change in HMRC’s view of the employment status of Associate Dentists.

From 6 April 2023, Associate Dentists (or those who engage Associate Dentists) will be asked to make an assessment of employment status using the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool on GOV.UK – bringing them in line with other customers in the dental sector and elsewhere.

Customers can continue to use ESM4030 until it is withdrawn, but where a contract either runs from or over 6 April 2023, Associate Dentists and their engagers won’t be able to rely on ESM4030 to determine the employment status for tax of that contract. HMRC will not be using the withdrawal of the guidance as a reason to open retrospective enquiries into periods prior to 6 April 2023.

If after consulting our guidance you still have questions about determining employment status, you can contact the HMRC employer’s helpline on 0300 200 3200.

Plastic Packaging Tax: further guidance and statements on invoices

To tackle the pressing global issue of plastic pollution, the government is committed to introducing a world leading tax on plastic packaging from April 2022. To support businesses in preparing for the tax, HMRC published initial ‘Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax’ guidance on GOV.UK.

HMRC has also produced two step by step guides on LinkedIn, to help businesses determine whether the packaging they manufacture, or import, is within scope of the tax and work out when and who is liable to account for the tax.

In light of helpful feedback from industry, the requirement to include a Plastic Packaging Tax statement with invoices, will not be commenced when the rest of the tax takes effect on 1 April 2022. Guidance on GOV.UK has been updated to reflect the above change. Further guidance and support to businesses will be provided in the near future.