Our roundup of everything you need to know from the July Emergency Budget.
On Wednesday 8th July the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus.
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.
To be eligible, employees will need to:
• earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
• have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• have been continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January 2021 has been submitted as part of the normal payroll procedures.
More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July 2020 and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.
Other new measures announced
The Chancellor also announced other measures, including:
• the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered. While not compulsory, please ensure that if you want customers to be able to access this scheme you will need to register at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-establishment-for-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme
• VAT reduction – from 15 July 2020 until 12 January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.
• an increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31 March 2021. On first reading this does not appear to include any Buy-to-let schemes or transferring properties into Limited Companies.
As yet detailed guidance is not available as to how the reduction in the VAT scheme will be administered but we are aware that business owners may need to consider their pricing, updating menus, updating till systems and being mindful that customers may be looking to see price reductions given this announcement and how it has been reported in the Press.
Updates on CJRS scheme (Furlough)
We would also like to make you aware of some key dates on the CJRS scheme that might affect you.
Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30 June
You need to claim by 31 July 2020 for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30 June.
Get ready for changes from 1 August
Employers will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1 August 2020. You can submit August claims in advance, from 20 July 2020.
Working out your claims
You can use the online examples and calculator to help work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31 July 2020. From 10 July 2020 you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31 August2020. Search for ‘calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to email@example.com and texts to 60599.
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