With little chance of the UK government lifting the lockdown until the end of April, there are signs that many smaller firms of accountants and advisers have recovered from their initial shock and are keeping busy with work.

We continue to update our guides on COVID-19 financial support on an almost daily basis. Most reader queries have been raised with respect to the mechanics of calculation and reporting of furloughed workers under the Employee Job Retention Scheme. Employers' reactions to the scheme have been mixed. There is a growing debate on the morality of furloughing. Should a big audit firm or a football club furlough staff? 

Several of you have pointed out that there seems to be a very real danger that some employers think that all staff can claim furloughed pay backdated to 1 March. They cannot as you are not able to furlough anyone if they have been working. Reading through the goverment guidance I can see why people might get this wrong. We have made up some examples to help illustrate how we think it works. More clarity is required in HMRC's guidance, could we have more detail? 

HMRC's Jim Harra has been giving evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee about the financial effect of the coronavirus outbreak. The evidence has not been published at the time of writing this editorial, however, we are all pretty certain of one thing. At this stage, it is impossible to estimate the final cost of this crisis.

On a final note, the Draft Finance Bill 2020 includes provisions to rename Entrepreneurs' Relief to 'Business Asset Disposal Relief' from April 2020. Does anyone care? I care about this quite a lot, as it happens, as we have to now change the wording on at least 50 of our tax guides as well as changing all our Virtual Tax Partner tools. I would rather be doing something more constructive as I am sure all other publishers and writers agree. I wonder about the new wording, 'Business Asset Disposal Relief, the relief formerly known as Entrepreneurs' Relief'. Hmm, that's snappy. I think I will write and see if we can have this postponed.

We have lots of new guides for the new tax year. Thank heavens we have sunshine. There was grey mist and a storm on this day last year.

If you have any tax-specific queries, please post them up to our sister site, details are here: www.VtaxP.co.uk

Back soon

Nichola Ross Martin FCA CTA (Fellow) Tax Director


Your Virtual Tax Partner® online PRACTICAL support for accountants, tax advisers BY accountants and tax advisers.

Quick news & guides (freeview)

Football and Furloughing: what's the score?
The ongoing moral debate is whether football clubs should furlough non playing staff under the Job Retention scheme put in place by the government to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. What about accountants?

COVID-19: Tracker
Start here to track key measures and announcements aimed at supporting businesses and individuals.

COVID-19: HMRC reduce late payment interest rate
Following the Bank of England’s decisions to reduce the base rate in response to the pandemic, HMRC have announced that their late payment interest rate will decrease to 2.6% with effect from 7 April 2020.

COVID-19: Arts Council funding
The Arts Council has announced a £160 million emergency response package to support individuals and organisations across the cultural sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

COVID-19: Employee Job Retention Scheme
UPDATE: How does this work? What do you payroll? Do we know more about overtime? Letter to employee template.

COVID-19: Company directors & shareholders
UPDATE: Many small companies are run by just one or two directors and have no other employees. What government financial support is available to directors/shareholders during the coronavirus crisis?

VAT payment deferral measures for VAT registered business

Editor's pick (subscribers)

Tax-efficient extraction of profits: Toolkit 2020/21
This toolkit is designed to help a company and its owner decide how company profits are to be extracted.

Directors: Tax planning toolkit for 2020/21
This planner looks at a range of director tax issues, including company profit extraction.

Tax Returns: To-do list before/after 5 April 2020
What tax returns and claims are due before the end of the tax year?  What are my tax filing requirements?

Subscriber Guides

Starting in business *freeview guide*
This 'At a glance' guide takes you through the key steps in getting started for tax, with links helping you drill down for more detail.

Influencers: What expenses can I claim?
Starting a new business from home? What do you need to think about for tax?

Losses from Uncommercial Trades
What are the restrictions to sideways loss relief? When do they apply? What is an uncommercial trade?

Ceasing trading index: What are your options?
A handy summary of the routes available for company owners. Do not overlook the Targeted Anti-avoidance rule that catches business owners who 'phoenix' their businesses in order to obtain favourable capital gains treatment on winding up.

Virtual Tax Partner Toolkits (freeview)

Virtual Tax Partner © Tax Toolkit© 
NEW: be a winner with our game-changing tax diagnostics tools. Sign up now.

  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: Sole traders: sale of a business, incorporation, sale of assets
  • Entrepreneurs' Relief: Company owners: rules for sales pre 29 October 2018, sales between 29 October 2018 and 5 April 2019 and after.
  • TAAR: closing your Personal service company? Will your final dividends be taxed as income?
  • Salary or dividend, or a mixture of both. Better to claim the Employers' Allowance?
  • Making Tax Digital for VAT: when do you need to join.

Tax Queries?

Virtual Tax Partner© Support
Have a tax query? Need a second option? Open a ticket and ask a question. A team of tax experts with a very wide range of expertise: covering direct and indirect tax, as well as accounting, R&D claims, reorganisations and much more. 

CPD for lunch 

Byte-sized chunks of CPD for subscribers

More at CPD Index

Missed last time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME Tax W-update 2 April 2020

  • COVID-19: Tracker
  • COVID-19: Spotlight 54: Tax avoidance promoters targeting returning NHS workers
  • COVID-19: Employee Job Retention Scheme
  • COVID-19: Insolvency & directors
  • COVID-19: Company directors & shareholders
  • COVID-19: VAT
  • COVID-19: IR35 & Off-payroll working
  • COVID-19: IR35 & Off-payroll working
  • Tax Planning for the 2019/20 year-end
  • Year-end top ten tips for OMB's 2019/20


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