A summary of HMRC Bulletin for December 2020

28 January 2021

At the end of December HMRC released the latest Employers Bulletin, with more guidance released to support employers during this continued period of uncertainty due to the coronavirus.

We have summarised a number of the key points below. For the full guidance please visit the bulletin.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - The CJRS scheme has been extended to the 31 March 2020. On 1 November the government agreed to pay 80 per cent of usual wages for hours not worked, with a cap of £2,500 per month. These terms are up for review this month and it is therefore critical for employers to regularly check on rates to ensure accurate use of the scheme.

It has been announced that from February 2021 HMRC will publish the names of employers who use the scheme from December 2020 onwards, alongside an indication of claim values.

For more information on how to spot errors in pay and correct mistakes in your claim watch our webinar here.

VAT Deferral - Any businesses that deferred the VAT due from March 2020 to June 2020 will also now have the option to pay in multiple instalments up to March 2022 using direct debit payments. Businesses who are able to make the full payment by the original deadline, March 2021, are encouraged to continue to do so.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) eligibility -  employees having to self-isolate or shield due to the Coronavirus and are therefore unable to work should, where eligible, be paid a minimum of SSP. If an employee is clinically vulnerable or shielding, they can be furloughed, however they should receive SSP as a minimum.

SSP must be paid from day one of the absence if they have to self-isolate due to:

  • symptoms;
  • a positive test;
  • a notification from track and trace; and
  • a member of their household having symptoms or a positive test.

Small or medium sized employers are able to claim up to two weeks of SSP per employee for Coronavirus related absences.

IR35 - As of 6 April 2021 the changes to off-payroll working will be in effect. All medium to large sized organisations (non-public sector) should review their engagement with any contractors. Support in conducting these reviews can be sought to ensure identification of any contractors that fall into the IR35 ruling.

In our IR35 hub you can find out more about how these changes might affect your business and how RSM can support you.

Childcare voucher scheme – Employers are encouraged to remind employees whose childcare arrangements have had to change due to the pandemic that they are able to amend the contributions made to the scheme in order to ensure they do not receive a voucher which is of too high a value.

It may be that some employees would be better suited to using Tax Free Childcare and employees are encouraged to consider this and support employees to find the best solution for them.

We can help

If you have any questions or concerns about the above, please contact Simon Balaam..