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News and Information from HMRC

See below a round-up of recent updates from HMRC

The government has set up a dedicated support page where businesses can find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

SME Brexit Support Fund
HMRC are reminding smaller businesses that they can now apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Small and medium sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.

To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Sophie Dean and Katherine Green, Director Generals for Borders and Trade at HMRC, recently wrote a blog for the Federation of Small Businesses which provides more details on how we are helping the UK’s smaller businesses continue to trade with Europe.

More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund, including details of how to apply, can also be found on GOV.UK.

Changes to SDLT for non-resident property purchasers revealed
The Government has announced a change to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) that affects purchasers of residential property from 1 April 2021.

The new measure will mean an additional 2% surcharge on existing SDLT rates for those who purchase residential property in the UK but are not UK residents. It will also apply to some UK resident companies controlled directly or indirectly by non-resident persons. The surcharge will apply to both freehold and leasehold properties in England and Northern Ireland.

A person’s residence status is determined by a simple and SDLT specific test which requires the individual to be present in the UK for a set number of days by reference to the effective date of the transaction.

The SDLT online calculator on GOV.UK will allow purchasers to work out their likely SDLT liability ahead of a potential purchase.

Full guidance on the change, including how residency is determined for these purposes, can be found on GOV.UK.

Changes to the off-payroll working rules from 6 April 2021
The off-payroll working rules (‘IR35’) are changing from Tuesday 6 April 2021. Medium and large-sized non-public sector organisations engaging contractors who work through a personal service company (‘PSC’) or other intermediary will become responsible for determining if they are employed or self-employed for tax purposes. For contractors this may mean that the way they pay tax will change. Public sector authorities have been and continue to be responsible for this since April 2017.

HMRC has been providing a comprehensive package of education and support ahead of the changes, which will continue after 6 April. This includes:

Those affected may be interested in our briefing which explains more about how we will support customers to meet their responsibilities after 6 April. It also explains how we will intervene if customers deliberately don’t follow the rules.

Checkyourpay Stakeholder Toolkit
The National Living and Minimum Wage will increase from today, 1 April 2021, for the two million eligible workers, including apprentices, in the UK. These increases are a key part of the government’s commitment to level up the UK and provide equal opportunities for all as part of the plan to Build Back Fairer.

New one-off £500 payment for eligible working households receiving tax credits
As part of the Spring 2021 Budget, the Chancellor announced a new automatic one-off £500 payment for eligible working tax credits customers.

Customers do not need to apply or call HMRC to receive their payment and they expect that all customers will receive their payments by 23 April. The payment will be made automatically into the same bank account that customers’ tax credits are usually paid to.

Customers will not need to pay Income Tax or National Insurance on the amount of this one-off payment and it does not need to be declared in a Self-Assessment return. Customers also do not need to declare the payment for tax credit claims or renewals. It will not affect any other benefits, such as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, that they may receive.