Taking some time to start planning for 2021/22 now can be worthwhile.
While there is often a focus on planning for the end of the tax year, much less attention is paid to the start of the tax year. The lack of an obvious deadline is probably one reason – deadlines tend to concentrate the mind. Nevertheless, some planning at the beginning of the year can be a rewarding exercise.
For more 2021/22 tax planning, get in touch now, well ahead of next year’s deadlines.
From 6 April 2021, any medium or large-sized organisation engaging a worker operating through an intermediary will be responsible for determining the worker’s employment status. This status must then be communicated to the worker and to any party contracted with for the supply of the worker, such as an agency.
Although the client (the medium or large-sized organisation) is responsible for determining employment status, it is the fee-payer who will have to operate PAYE if the determination means the worker falls within the off-payroll working (IR35) rules. The fee-payer, as the name implies, is the organisation paying the intermediary, and will often be different to the client. The intermediary will typically be a personal service company, but could also be a partnership, LLP, a managed service company or even an individual.
Status determination statement
Regardless of the outcome of the status determination, the client must provide a status determination statement (SDS) confirming the conclusion and the reasons behind it.
If there is a labour supply chain involved, the SDS must be passed down each stage of the chain until it reaches the fee-payer. This is extremely important, because if an agency receives the SDS but then doesn’t pass it on down the supply chain, the agency will be treated as the fee-payer, with responsibility for deducting taxes and paying them over to HMRC. The same for the client, who will be treated as the fee-payer until the SDS is carried out and communicated.
There are other situations where the client can end up being treated as the fee-payer:
Status will have to be re-checked if the working practices of the engagement change or a new contract is negotiated with a worker.
HMRC’s guidance to off-payroll working for clients changes in April 2021. Details, along with several useful links, can be found here.
The 3rd March Budget provided an immediate sweetener for businesses in the form of a temporary extension to carry back of trading losses, plus, for companies only, a temporary super-deduction for investment in plant and machinery. However, in two years’ time, the main rate of corporation tax will rise to 25%.
The period over which businesses can carry back trading losses has been extended from one year to three years:
From 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying plant and machinery will benefit from a 130% super-deduction. This means that for every £10,000 spent, there will be a £13,000 deduction against profits, saving corporation tax of £2,470. Currently, the tax saving would be just £1,900 within the annual investment allowance. The super-deduction is for those assets that would normally qualify for the 18% writing down allowance. However, only expenditure on new plant and machinery qualifies; motor cars are also excluded.
There is also a 50% first-year allowance for expenditure falling into the special rate pool, but this is less generous than the 100% annual investment allowance.
From 1 April 2023, there will be two rates:
Where profits are between the lower and upper limits, a marginal taper will apply so that the rate of tax is gradually increased from 19% to 25%. However, this means the rate on this band of profits will be an even more punitive 26.5%.
Some examples of how the temporary loss relief extension will apply for both the self-employed and for companies can be found here.
The latest, and hopefully last, lockdown is not due to be completely lifted until at least 21 June, so it was no surprise to see Covid-19 relief measures extended in the Budget on 3 March. The furlough scheme will now run until 30 September and there will be two more self-employed grants, plus various other measures.
Furloughed employees can continue to receive 80% of their wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, until 30 September. By continuing for a few months after restrictions end, the scheme will help businesses slowly recover from the disruption they have faced.
The current level of support will continue until 30 June. In July, the scheme will then only cover 70% of wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. This will reduce to 60% for August and September, with a cap of £1,875. Employers will need to pay national insurance contributions and pension contributions throughout.
Self-employed grants (SEISS)
There are to be two more grants; a fourth grant in late April, and a fifth grant in late July. However, extra conditions will apply for the fifth grant.
A range of additional loans and grants were also extended to provide ongoing relief ahead of the gradual easing of lockdown measures:
We are delighted to enclose our summary of the key announcements in the Budget 2021 statement, made on Wednesday 3 March.
[Click Here to View Budget 2021 PDF]
The structure of this Budget, like its predecessor, was driven by the pandemic’s impact on the economy. With some form of lockdown continuing over the next few months, Mr Sunak extended the main employment support schemes through to 30 September and added further grants and loans to assist struggling businesses.
The total cost of his pandemic measures in this tax year and the next are now projected to be greater than the amount that will be raised in income tax over the same period. How the government can claw back that expenditure, while rebuilding the economy, formed the focus of the Chancellor’s speech.
Some of the other highlights were: