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Update 12 January 2021

1) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021.

If your business has closed or is struggling due to the pandemic, you can continue to furlough (put on temporary leave) your employees until the end of April 2021.

The UK Government will provide a grant to cover 80% of the wages of these employees up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, as well as the National Insurance and pension contributions that go with this subsidised furlough salary.

Government will provide a grant to cover 80% of the wages of these employees up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, as well as the National Insurance and pension contributions that go with this subsidised furlough salary.

2) Self Employed Income Support Scheme

You can now apply for the third instalment of this grant. You must make your claim between 30 November 2020 and 29 January 2021.

This will provide a taxable grant covering 80% of average monthly trading profits. It will be paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

The next instalment will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review and set the level of this grant in due course.

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

In addition to this, they must be either:

You must keep any evidence that your business has had reduced activity, demand or capacity due to Coronavirus. 

3) Grant Support for Hospitality, Retail and Leisure

It was clarified yesterday (11th January) what the position will be with grant funding.

In addition to the grants businesses can receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:

In most cases, eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund will get an automatic top-up.

For the majority, this top-up will be combined with the next tranche of payment for the Strategic Framework Business Fund due to go to businesses on 25 January.

Businesses that haven’t yet applied for either of these funds should submit an application as soon as possible through their local authority website. Applications are now open.

For information this is the guidance as to what determines a small or larger business premises.

https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/info/20014/social_care_and_health/1018/coronavirus_covid-19_business_information 

4) VAT Deferrals

If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:

Pay your deferred VAT

You can pay your deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021.

You do not need to contact HMRC.

If you want to opt in to the new payment scheme

You cannot opt in yet. The online opt in process will be available in early 2021. You must opt in yourself, we can not do this for you.

Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022.

The scheme will allow you to:

To use this scheme you must:

If you opt in to the scheme, you can still have a time to pay arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.

5) Bounce Back Loans

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.

The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.

If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 March 2021.

The length of the loan is 6 years, but you can repay early without paying a fee. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

Before your first repayment is due, your lender will contact you about further options to:


We would like to wish all our clients and contacts a Merry Christmas and all the very best for a happy and healthy prosperous New Year.

The offices of Gall Robertson CA will be closed from Thursday 24th at 2.30pm until Tuesday 5th January.


Changes in Government Support Update November 2020

Extension to Furlough Scheme for November 2020

The furlough scheme has been extended to cover until end of March 2021.

There are some slight differences from the previous furlough scheme:

Eligibility:

To be eligible for the extended furlough scheme, the employee must have been included on your submitted payroll. This therefore means a real time information (RTI) has been filed, which includes that employee.

The deadline date has been updated to include all employees on the RTI filings up to and including the 30th October 2020.

No previous claims required

The extended furlough scheme is independent of the previous job retention schemes. As a result neither the employer nor employee are required to have made previous claims

Government contribution


The Government will cover 80% of the employee’s wages up to a cap of £2,500. This only includes hours not worked by the employee. The grant received must be paid to the employee in full.

How much are employers required to pay?

Employers are required to pay the hours actually worked by the employee in the normal way. The employer’s national insurance and pension contributions are also payable by the employer.

Employers can choose to top up the employees wage if they wish. This is optional.

Flexible furlough is encouraged where possible. When flexible furlough is used, the Government will only cover the cost for hours not worked.

The Government have confirmed that there is no gap between the previous job retention scheme ending and this new scheme commencing.

When can claims be made?

No date has yet to be announced. However, the intention is for Government to pay businesses in advance to cover the employer’s payroll costs.

The Job Retention Bonus which was due to be paid in 2021 will no longer be happening as the furlough scheme is continuing.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) increases


To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November.

The government has increased support under the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November

Grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December.

And to ensure those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

As SEISS grants are calculated over three months, the uplift for November to 80 per cent, along with the 40 per cent level of trading profits for December and January, increases the total level of the third grant to 55 per cent of trading profits. The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.

Government Backed Loan Schemes


In addition, more businesses will be able to access additional support as deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.


Update 30 October 2020

Here is an update on employment support funding and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Extension

Employment Support funding

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1‌‌‌ ‌November and run for six months, until 30‌‌‌ ‌April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021. There are two variations to JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed.

JSS Open  will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. Employers will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. Employers will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if they choose. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.

The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked. Further guidance on this will be available on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK shortly.

Employers need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

JSS Closed  will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.

For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute, but they can top up the government’s contribution if they choose to. Employers will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

Claims will be able to be made in arrears for the first JSS claim from 8‌‌‌ ‌December, for pay periods ending and paid in November. HMRC will have information available about how to make a claim by the end of this month.

Employees will be able to check if their employer has made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK, by searching 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)

You will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. Employers do not have to pay this money to their employee.

You will be able to claim the bonus between 15‌‌‌ ‌February and 31‌‌‌ ‌March. To do this you must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5‌‌‌ ‌February 2021 on time.

Further information on eligibility and when you can claim can be found on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK by searching 'Job Retention Bonus Guidance' and further guidance on the claim process will be published by the end of January 2021.

*Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – closes on 31‌‌‌ ‌October*

*Please note that this scheme closes on 31‌‌‌ ‌October and employers will need to make any final claims on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌November. Employers will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30‌‌‌ ‌November* .

*From 1‌‌‌ ‌October* , the UK government has paid employers 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

You will continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.

Employers will also continue to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions from their own funds.

Employers must keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant they have claimed in case HMRC needs to check it. Employers can now view, print or download copies of their previously submitted claims by logging onto their CJRS service on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.

Claimed too much in error?

It’s important that employers check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims and repaying any amount over-claimed so you will not have to pay interest and penalties if we subsequently discover you have claimed too much.

If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

If you do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌UK.

How to let HMRC know if you have claimed too much

You can let HMRC know as part of your next online claim without needing to call them. If you claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let HMRC know and make a repayment online through their card payment service or by bank transfer – go to 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌‌‌‌UK.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Extension

The Government has made revisions to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and extended it.

As part of support for businesses through the coronavirus pandemic, the UK government has increased the support available under the SEISS Grant Extension  doubling the value of the first grant.

This brings support for the self-employed in line with that for employers under the Job Support Scheme Open.

The value of the first SEISS Grant Extension, covering the period November 2020 to the end of January 2021, will double. This means that the UK government will provide an initial SEISS grant based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, and capped at £3,750 in total.

To ensure that support will be targeted to those who most need it, SEISS Grant Extension will be available to self-employed individuals who temporarily can not trade as well as those continuing to trade and facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.

HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK in mid-November.


Update 28 October 2020

Business Funding during Covid restrictions

There are 2 funds available:

Applications for this scheme should be made via the relevant Council for that area.  

The support funds will be administered by local authorities, providing one-off grants to hospitality and other businesses required to close by the brake restrictions regulations.

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/coronavirus-restrictions-fund

The discretionary business hardship fund will support some companies that can remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, including those that supply businesses that must close. It will also operate as a two-tiered scheme depending on Rateable Value:

Scottish Borders Funding, Hardship Fund - where to apply

To apply for the Scottish Government Business Hardship Fund to support businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions please click on the following link for the Scottish Borders Council form.  https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/xfp/form/613

The deadline for the Hardship Fund is 5pm on Tuesday 3rd November.

https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/info/20014/social_care_and_health/1018/covid-19_business_information 

The business closure fund will operate as a two-tiered scheme:


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extension and Bonus

During August, the government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees wages, but employers have to pay employers National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.

In September government support reduces to 70% and in October to 60% before the furlough scheme finishes.

HMRC have provided further details for employers on eligibility requirements and how they can claim the bonus. Under the terms:


Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEICC) - 23 July 2020

If you were eligible for the first grant for self employment income support, and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you will be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.

The scheme allows you to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

As with the first grant HMRC will contact you if you’re eligible.

HMRC will work out your eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.

You can make a claim for the second grant if you’re eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

How the grant works

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as a military reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.
HMRC will work out if you are eligible.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at Gall Robertson CA however we are unable to make the claim on your behalf.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

From the beginning of August the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) changes.
CJRS claims for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June 2020 need to be submitted by *31‌‌‌ ‌July 2020*. This is the last date to make those claims. Employers need to have made a claim at any point on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July to be able to make a claim for future months.

From *1‌‌‌ ‌August 2020* the scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions for furloughed employees. Employers will have to make these payments from their own resources.

From *1‌‌‌ ‌September 2020* employers will have to start contributing to the wages of furloughed employees. Grants will be for 70% of usual wages in September and 60% in October, but furloughed employees will continue to be entitled to receive at least 80% of their usual wages. Employers will have to make up the difference from their own resources.

Job Retention Bonus Scheme

Employers will received a one-off £1,000 bonus for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021. The payment will be a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.


VAT Deferral

As part of the government’s support for businesses during COVID-19, HMRC gave businesses the option of deferring their VAT payments if they were unable to pay on time, without incurring late payment interest or penalties. Payment of VAT falling due between 20‌‌ March and 30‌‌ June 2020 can be deferred until 31‌‌ March 2021.

You must continue to file your VAT return on time, even if you defer payment.

As a reminder the option to defer paying VAT ends on 30‌‌ June 2020. This means that VAT returns with a payment due date after 30‌‌ June must be paid in full, on time.

If you haven't deferred any VAT payments, you don't need to take any further action. If you have deferred paying your VAT and normally pay by Direct Debit you should now reinstate it.


Domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed – 5 June 2020

To help businesses overcome the effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had on them and give them more time to prepare, the introduction of the reverse charge has been delayed for a period of 5 months until 1 March 2021.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-7-2020-domestic-reverse-charge-vat-for-construction-services-delay-in-implementation/revenue-and-customs-brief-7-2020-domestic-reverse-charge-vat-for-construction-services-delay-in-implementation


Update 2nd June 2020

There have been a few changes announced in the last few days which we would like to update you on. The Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have been updated.

Job Retention Scheme

The main changes are flexibility in terms of enabling employers to bring staff back in part-time and contribution from August to wages costs.

  1. From 1‌‌st July 2020, the scheme will be made more flexible to enable employers to bring previously furloughed employees back part time and still receive a grant for the time when they are not working.
  2. From 1st‌‌ August 2020, employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff and this employer contribution will gradually increase in September and October.
  3. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30th‌‌ June.

1. Part time furloughing

From 1st‌‌ July 2020, businesses using the scheme will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. Employers can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if preferred. Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

2. Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

Many smaller employers have some or all of their employer NIC bills covered by the Employment Allowance so will not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

3. Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from *30th‌‌ June*. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30‌‌ June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be *10‌‌th June* for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30th‌‌ June. Employers will have until *31st‌‌ July* to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th‌‌ June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12th‌‌ June, including detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to www.gov.uk and search 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension

As mentioned previously we are unable to make the claim on your behalf. It must be made by the individual directly to HMRC.

The Chancellor also announced plans to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for those people whose trade continues to be, or is newly, adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final SEISS grant in August; this will be a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits for three months, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £6,570 in total.

The eligibility criteria for the second grant will be the same as for the first grant. People do not need to have claimed the first grant to claim the second grant: for example, their business may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus) more recently.

Claims for the first SEISS grant, which opened on 13th‌‌ May, must be made no later than 13th‌‌ July. Eligible self-employed people must make a claim before that date to receive the first SEISS grant (a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months' worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

It's really important to note that as with the first SEISS grant, the eligible individual must make the claim themselves. We are unable to make the claim for you. We can of course help you with preparation of the claim. The claims process is simple: HMRC will calculate the amount of self-employment support individuals will receive, they don’t need to do this themselves.

More information about the second SEISS grant will be available on www.gov.uk on 12th‌‌ June.

If you have any questions or wish advice please do not hesitate to contact Gall Robertson CA.


Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund is reopening mid-morning Thursday 14th May 2020.

Due to previous levels of demand the expectation is that both the Pivotal and Hardship Funds to reach their full capacity early next week and therefore anticipate both will close at 5pm on Monday 18 May 2020. Therefore if you wish to apply time is of the essence. Further details can be found on

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/sources-of-funding


From Monday 4 May, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.


Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund will close at 5pm on the 5th May for a week due to the large number of applications since it opened on Monday 4th May. This will allow partners time to review applications.

https://www.insider.co.uk/…/scottish-enterprise-suspends-fund-after

The Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Funds remain open for applications and eligible businesses are encouraged to apply online through our Find Business Support site.

The £45m fund is expected to be closed for a week


The Scottish Government have made the following funds available:

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-funds-guidance-for-applicants

Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund

The £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund for small creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of other COVID-19 business rates relief and related grant support.

Eligible businesses can apply online through the FindBusinessSupport website and successful applicants can anticipate receiving funds within 10 working days from the receipt of completed applications.

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

The £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund for viable but vulnerable SME firms who are vital to Scotland’s economy. It is providing grants to businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery, but need some immediate support. The aim for the grants is to support businesses that have the potential to continue trading and supporting employment, but are currently suffering from immediate cash flow challenges, get back up and running or maintain current operations.

Businesses can access the application here: https://customerexperience.weareumi.net/supportbiz/Application.aspx

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

In addition, the Scottish Government has made available a new £34 million Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund for newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants.

Information and links to Local Authority online applications forms is available through the FindBusinessSupport website and applicants can anticipate receiving funds within 10 working days from the receipt of completed applications.

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-funds-guidance-for-applicants


Bounce Back Loan Announced on 27 April 2020

The government has announced a new bounce-back loan which is available for small businesses to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now available to be accessed on the HMRC website. If you have your payroll done by an agent they can apply for payment for furloughed staff on your behalf.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

The above website details all the information you will need to apply for furlough payments for staff.

1a. There are some key points:

We have only been advised that claims can be made for payments made and imminent payrolls but we do not have a definition of imminent, and will not be sure until we get access to the portal

1b. Furlough criteria

There has been an update with regard to eligibility:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Gall Robertson.


Here are the key websites to access for further information about the measures in place for Covid-19. Please do not hesitate to contact Gall Robertson for advice and support.

Measures to support Covid-19


Self Employment Income Support Scheme - Covid-19 27 March 2020

The Chancellor has announced on Thursday 26th March a new Self-employment Income Support Scheme to support self-employed people who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

GOV‌.UK has further details about *who is eligible for the scheme* and how it will work.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals

Self-employed people do not need to get in touch with HMRC as the scheme is not yet open for applications. HMRC will contact eligible customers by the beginning of June, inviting them to apply.

Scams

Unfortunately, HMRC are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond.

HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for these details.

What is the Scheme?

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment.

This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

How much you will get?

You will get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

HMRC will pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

After you have applied

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Gall Robertson CA Assistance

The initial guidance is welcome and we will update you with further information as it becomes available.

The key point is at this time you cannot apply for this scheme yet and HMRC will contact you directly about it.


24 March 2020 - Scottish Government Business Support Fund - Scottish Borders Region

The Scottish Government Business Support Fund is now open for applications.

https://www.scotborders.gov.uk/downloads/file/7148/scottish_governments_coronavirus_business_support_fund _application_form_for_scottish_borders_editable_pdf

Please click on this link above to find more information on how you could make an application for £10,000 or £25,000 (depending on your business type).

There is a writeable PDF form online, which is very easy to complete. Funds will be paid into your bank account within 10 days of your application approval.

Closing date for applications is the 31st March 2020.


24th March 2020 - Job Retention Scheme

Please find more new information in regard to the Job Retention Scheme and other issues dated 24th March 2020.


At Gall Robertson CA we have produced two documents for businesses in relation to Covid-19. This is a constantly evolving situation and the key websites for use for businesses are:

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

These documents will be updated and we will endeavour to ensure the blog section on the website has up to date information however it is constantly changing as new reforms are put into place.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Gall Robertson CA by phone or email and we will be able to help.

PDF links below:

Coronavirus: advice for employers

COVID 19 – What support is available to businesses and individuals


We are open for business at Gall Robertson CA, however, we are taking measures, based on government advice, to protect our staff and clients.

In doing so we are restricting face to face client meetings and will be doing these by conference call.

We are putting in place provision for staff to work remotely in line with the social distancing guidelines.

If clients wish to discuss any current business issues please do not hesitate to contact us on the normal phone line or by email.


Managing The Rural Business Performance; Budgeting Course

Our Budgeting course is appropriate for those working (or interested in working) in the agricultural sector as an administrator or bookkeeper, returning to the sector or looking for a new career in a rural business.

This is the second in a series of financial administration courses for the rural business. An understanding of farm accounts and record keeping is required.

Budgeting - Preparing a cashflow budget and producing budget reports

Aims:

1) Understand where to collect the information from to create a budget

2) Understand the steps required to produce a report

3) Understand the difference between cashflow and profit

4) Creating cashflow and budget reports

5) Creating budget versus actual reports

6) Analysing results

Attendees will leave the course understanding how to manage and analyse the performance of the rural business by understanding cashflow and profit and preparing a cashflow budget versus actual and how to use budgets to help you manage and analyse the performance of your rural business.

Dates: 20th & 27th February 2020. The course runs over two mornings; 9:30-12:30.

Venue: Borders Machinery Ring, Leader House, Mill Road, Earlston TD4 6DG Tea & coffee provided

Contact BMR for more details

Call 01896 758091
Email bmr@ringleader.co.uk

Cost for course: £130 plus vat (discount applies for BMR members)


We are delighted to welcome our new team member Kayleigh Purves to our Client Services team at Gall Robertson CA. Kayleigh joins us with extensive experience in administration and bookkeeping.


All the staff at Gall Robertson CA wish our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our offices will be closed from 3pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on Friday the 3rd January.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2020 and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020.

For those who have tax return information to bring in we eagerly await your visit so we can submit your returns on time!


Promotion

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Richard Barwick to Client Services Manager within Gall Robertson CA. Richard is now managing the client services team who provide virtual office, book-keeping, management accounts and payroll services to our clients as well as administration and compliance internally.

Sheila Robertson commented “This is a natural promotion for Richard to be in charge of this team within the office and we are all delighted for him. Richard will continue dealing with his clients and work with the team in the office ensuring consistency of service to our clients”.


Rural Financial Courses - Budgeting

Are you a farm administrator or bookkeeper working in the UK rural economy?

Following on from our successful series of Rural Financial Recording Courses in February this year, Gall Robertson is hosting a 'budgeting' course over 2 mornings, 20th and 27th February 2020, at BMR.

Please get in touch with the Borders Machinery Ring (BMR) for more details and to record your interest.

bmr

Venue: Borders Machinery Ring, Leader House, Mill Road, Earlston, TD4 6DG

Date: 20th and 27th February 2020

Contact BMR for more details

Call: 01896 758091
Email: bmr@ringleader.co.uk


Gall Robertson CA are delighted to welcome two new staff members - Euan Pflug and Evan Alexander to our team!




Where are you up to with Making Tax Digital (MTD)

This is an interesting article from ICAS about the Fact and Fiction on Making Tax Digital with some key dates and timing information:

https://www.icas.com/technical-resources/mtd-for-vat-fact-or-fiction?utm_campaign=213000_CAT-2019-03-11%20%28Student%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ICAS&dm_i=4X9D,4KCO,1QY34B,FKNI,1



Gall Robertson are delighted to be supporting the Lavender Touch, Wear Lavender to Work day

https://www.lavendertouch.co.uk/event/wear-lavender-to-work-day/

Held on 26th April 2019 the charity encourages local businesses to do what it says, wear lavender to work and collect donations which go towards their invaluable work supporting those with cancer in the Scottish Borders. At The Lavender Touch, they help to fund a completely confidential service to help people and carers who are struggling with the side effects associated with cancer and its treatment, in the Scottish Borders.

They offer therapeutic treatments, including massages, reflexology, and aromatherapy, through a number of qualified therapists, as well as soothing, moisturising and calming products that are freely available to buy through their shop.

Their services are fully tailored to suit patients’ needs, and have been designed to work alongside cancer treatment from healthcare professionals. This helps to encompass a more holistic approach to dealing with your illness and recovery.

These treatments can be carried out via their therapy room at the Borders General Hospital, your local health centre, or even in your own home whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

As well as dressing in lavender you could have a bake sale, decorate the office or just bring the tin to the attention of your work colleagues. It can be fun and it will make such a difference to people living with cancer right across the Scottish Borders. Just the act of dressing up gets people talking about it, and raising awareness of the charity is a big part of our plans for growth.

It does not matter how large or small your workplace is. You could even link up with other organisations in your building. Everyone can join in. The idea is to wear lavender and donate to the cause.

Phishing emails

We are being contacted by clients about the number of phishing emails from HMRC that are being sent out at the moment.

The advice from HMRC is that you’ll never get an email, text message or phone call from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which:

Check HMRC’s guidance on recognising scams if you’re not sure.

Reporting suspicious emails, texts or phone calls

You can report something suspicious to HMRC’s phishing team, for example:

If you receive a suspicious phone call, you can help HMRC’s investigations by providing:

HMRC phishing team
phishing@hmrc.gov.uk

Your email address and phone number will be shared with other organisations if that’s necessary to close down the scam.

Reporting a disclosure of personal details

Contact the HMRC security team if you think you’ve given any personal information in reply to a suspicious email or text.

Include brief details of what you disclosed (for example name, address, HMRC User ID, password) but do not give your personal details in the email.

HMRC security team
security.custcon@hmrc.gov.uk

Rural Financial Recording Course

Are you a farm administrator or bookkeeper working in the UK rural economy?

Our Rural Financial Recording course is appropriate for those working (or interested in working) in the agricultural sector as an administrator or bookkeeper, returning to the sector or looking for a new career in a rural business.

Basic Excel skills are useful for this course but not compulsory.

Dates: The course runs over 3 mornings, 9am-12.30pm on

Thursday 21st February

Thursday 28th February

Thursday 7th March

Venue

BMR, Leader House, Mill Road, Earlston, TD4 6DG

Tea & coffee provided.

Cost for course; £180+vat, Discount for BMR members

Call Jill at BMR to book your place or for further information on 01896 758091

Further courses: There will be a further course on Budgeting; dates will be announced at the Financial Recording course.

New Sponsorship

Sheila Robertson
Sheila Robertson


Sheila Robertson of Gall Robertson was delighted to present sponsored coats to the Gala town Band on Saturday 29th September.

This means they now have them in advance of the concerts for Remembrance Sunday and the Angel’s Wings.

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs running Rural Businesses

We are delighted to be holding two more Rural Workshops for Young Entrepreneurs in November 2018.

There will be two informative and topical workshops for those involved in farming and farm diversification activities.

For clients of Gall Robertson there is no fee for attending. For non-clients the two workshops will cost £30 in total for both workshops.

If you are interested in attending please email info@gallrobertsonca.co.uk and reserve your place.

General Date Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Gall Robertson do not give advice on the topic of GDPR however we suggest anyone with questions about how it works goes to https://ico.org.uk/ where there are specific 'GDPR' and 'Getting ready for GDPR' sections that should help determine what you will need to do.

Make use of the marriage allowance

The marriage allowance could reduce the total tax a married couple pays by up to £220 each tax year. In the 2017-18 tax year, the allowance lets a non-taxpayer, that is, a person whose income Read more...

Use your Isa allowance

The 2017-18 tax year Isa allowance is £20,000 with returns made within an Isa being tax-efficient, and free of UK income tax and capital gains tax. Read more...

Charity Gift Aid

There are tax incentives for higher and additional rate taxpayers to make charitable donations through Gift Aid. Gift Aid is a government scheme that allows charities and certain community sports clubs to claim an additional 25% of any donation you make. Read more...

Gifts for occasions - Wedding, Christmas or Birthdays

Each tax year, you can also give away:

Read more...

Gifts

The annual exemption enables a person to give away up to £3,000 per annum free of IHT. In addition, any unused exemptions from the previous year, may be carried forward, Read more...

After the success of our Supporting Young Entrepreneurs running Rural Businesses workshops held in February, we are running another set of workshops in November.

Running from 7th November every Tuesday in November at the Borders Machinery Ring Offices in Earlston we will have a number of different speakers to update and inform you of topical issues to consider and help you with your rural business.




If you are interested in attending please email info@gallrobertsonca.co.uk or call 01896-751050.



Making Tax Digital delayed to 2020 at the earliest for taxes other than VAT

The government has amended the timetable and implementation intakes of Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Under the reformed timetable, only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (£85,000) will have to keep digital records, and only for VAT purposes, starting from 2019. Businesses will not be asked to make the switch to MTD and update HMRC quarterly for other taxes until at least 2020.

While still wholly supporting the MTD initiative as a necessary move to modernise and streamline the tax system, the Treasury accepted the need to slacken the timetable and mandation around MTD in order to ensure businesses are able to comfortably transition. This means that 3 million of the smallest businesses and landlords will have the option to voluntarily make the switch to digital record keeping at their own pace before it becomes mandatory in no sooner than two years.

In this initial phase of MTD, businesses will not need to provide HMRC with information more regularly than usual, as VAT already requires quarterly returns.

The government came to this decision which has been welcomed by ICAS in Scotland having listened to concerns raised by ICAS, other professional bodies and parliamentary committees about the pace of change and the mandatory approach.

Under the new timetable:

HMRC will continue with their Making Tax Digital pilot and will start to pilot MTD for VAT by the end of this year, initially on a small, private scale and then widening the scope into a public pilot starting Spring 2018.

The government also addressed the hotly anticipated Summer Finance Bill, confirming it will be introduced following the summer recess, which concludes on 5 September. The bill will legislate all policies outlined in the pre-election Finance Bill, and all policies originally due to come into force in April 2017 will be effective from that date.

Making Tax Digital will be available on a voluntary basis for the smallest businesses, and for other taxes. Therefore, if the software works and genuinely delivers the promised benefits for businesses it will be possible for smaller businesses to choose to use it.

Another advantage of the new timetable is that it should allow time for agent services and software to 'catch up'. To date software for agents and agent access to client information has lagged behind, raising the possibility that if MTD had gone ahead as previously planned, businesses which wanted to use agents would have had difficulty complying.

ICAS continues to support the overall objectives of MTD for businesses; the new timetable should help to ensure that they are deliverable. However, there remain concerns about Making Tax Digital for VAT, for which the implementation date remains April 2019.



VAT concerns remain

Whilst most VAT returns are already submitted online, currently only 12% of returns are submitted direct from software. Many large companies cannot submit returns direct from software because of the complex nature of their VAT calculations, particularly for partial exemption. They therefore use spreadsheets.

It is understood that HMRC believe that it will be possible to integrate digital record keeping so that VAT quarterly updates can be generated and sent direct from the software the business (or agent) uses to keep their records. However, this will be difficult to achieve by April 2019.



It's not far away!

The deadline for 2016/17 benefit in kind P11d forms is fast approaching, along with the ( P11d(b) (Class 1A NIC contributions payable on benefits in kind). They need to be submitted to HMRC by 6th July 2017 where expenses or benefits were provided to any company director or employee in the tax year 2016/17 (covering the period from 6th April 2016 to 5th April 2017) which were not covered by an exemption or otherwise exempt from tax.

There is a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month or part month a P11d(b) is late.

If your adviser hasn't kept you informed about your submission then please come and talk to us at Gall Robertson.



We have recently welcomed two new starts at Gall Robertson.

We are delighted to welcome new team member Max Hastings to Gall Robertson as Accounts & Tax Trainee. Max is from Galashiels and has recently completed a degree in Business Management at Heriot Watt University achieving First Class Honours.

We have also been joined by Pamela Baillie at Gall Robertson. Pamela has just started working at the firm and is a CA who lives in St Boswells. Following positions in practice in Edinburgh, industry and at Royal Bank of Scotland she is delighted to be able to be based locally (and avoid the commute to Edinburgh!).

Sheila Robertson, Director said "This is great news for the firm and we are thrilled to have both Max and Pamela with us. It gives us a further opportunity to focus on client care and develop relationships with clients."



Here is some great coverage from CA Magazine about Karen Currie's promotion.

CA career news

Director Promotion at Gall Robertson Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers

Sheila Robertson and Karen Currie
Sheila Robertson and Karen Currie

Sheila Robertson, Director of Gall Robertson, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers based in Tweedbank is delighted to announce that Karen Currie has been promoted to the position of Director at the Practice. Karen has worked in the firm since 2012 and works with a wide portfolio of clients.

Karen qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001 and previously owned her own Practice before joining Gall Robertson. She manages clients including small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) and helps businesses ranging from Start-ups to well established businesses. Construction, hospitality and charities are Karen's particular specialities.

Gall Robertson was founded in 2001 and has gained an outstanding reputation with access to a quality and practical service designed to make running your business and your personal affairs simple and efficient.

Sheila Robertson said "This is fantastic news for the Practice and all the team are delighted. Karen has been a committed team member and has developed the client base whilst ensuring existing clients are well advised and supported. As a team we enjoy working with our local clients and providing proactive business support.

We now have a team of 15 people and Karen's promotion is another positive step forward for the firm. We have also been approved as a Training Office again for 2 CA students which is great news for the firm and enables staff to work in the firm whilst studying for their professional qualifications."

Training Office

We are delighted to be formally approved as a Training Office for 2 Chartered Accountant(CA) students at Gall Robertson. This is fantastic news as we like to nurture staff members throughout their career. Undertaking the CA exams whilst working at Gall Robertson allows staff to understand fully what is involved in working in practice whilst working towards what we obviously think is a great qualification to achieve.

The CA qualification is exceptional. It's a prestigious and internationally respected qualification that provides people with the knowledge, skills and values to be a highly regarded and sought-after business professional.

The CA qualification is comprised of professional study and relevant practical experience.

Successful women in business event - "Turning your passion into a business"

Ruth Hinks - Cocoa Black Ltd
Lauren Jamieson - The Colourful Edit


On the 10th November 2016 we held out first women in business event. Over 70 women from all over the Scottish Borders came together at the Ochiltrees Restaurant at Abbotsford House, Melrose for an evening of networking, inspiration and motivation.

We heard presentations from two of the Borders leading businesswomen who have turned their passion into a business. Ruth Hinks - UK World Chocolate Master and founder of Cocoa Black Limited and Lauren Kate Jamieson founder of The Colourful Edit, accessories, branding and styling.

We also gave a short presentation on Xero "Beautiful Accounting Software" the cloud based system which is revolutionising how business owners run their business.


"Very interesting evening, and enjoyed meeting
different people in totally different businesses and lifestyles
- Alexa


"Lauren and Ruth's presentations certainly
gave attendees things to think about in their own businesses"
- Jenny


"It was an excellent event.
Well done to Sheila and her team"
- Primrose


"I found it very informative; your speakers were interesting and inspiring.  It was a lovely evening and so well attended; a great success"
- Tina