Making Tax Digital for income tax self-assessment may still be 18 months away, but if you are self-employed or a landlord, it is time to get ready for digital record keeping, ahead of the deadline.
MTD ITSA (as it’s known) is set to begin on 6 April 2023, and it looks like businesses will need to enter the new regime from the first accounting period commencing on or after 1 April 2023; the proposed basis period rules deem an accounting period ending on 31 March as ending on 5 April.
More than four million taxpayers are set to start MTD ITSA from 6 April 2023, and the current timetable has met fierce opposition. The limited nature of the pilot scheme has not helped.
How MTD ITSA will work
MTD ITSA will initially apply to the self-employed and landlords with total annual turnover exceeding £10,000. There is no exclusion if you have, say, £6,000 of trading income and £6,000 of rental income.
If you are thinking of moving to a software package, be warned there are currently only seven providers of suitable software. HMRC has issued guidance on MTD ITSA and of course we’re here to help.
After playing a crucial part in managing the impact of Covid-19, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is set to end on 30 September. Although some business sectors, such as hospitality, are currently seeing severe staff shortages, other employers may struggle when furlough is phased out.
For September, the CJRS only covers 60% of an employee’s wages, up to a cap of £1,875, with the employer having to top this up to at least 80%. All claims must be made by 14 October.
If you find you do need to restructure your staffing levels, any furloughed staff who are to be made redundant have the same legal rights as any other employees. So any decisions need to be mindful of unlawful discrimination or unfair dismissal.
A business may select staff for redundancy based purely on the fact that they were the ones to be furloughed. The level of risk to this approach will depend on the reasons why staff were chosen for furlough, the selection process used to do this, and whether these were fair. Large groups of 20 or more redundancies will require collective as well as individual consultation.
There are a few alternatives to redundancies to consider:
Payments and support
If you do have to make employees redundant then they are entitled to statutory redundancy payment (after two years of employment) and untaken holiday pay. There may also be notice pay depending on circumstances.
the main form of support for most employees until they find alternative employment will be universal credit. This is a very different animal to furlough, and for many there will be a big drop in income.
This will certainly be the case for higher earners because universal credit doesn’t take account of previous income levels. Anyone with a high earning partner or significant savings may not be entitled to universal credit at all.
Guidance to making staff redundant can be found here.