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54,800 customers claim tax relief for working from home

Posted By HMRC, 15 October 2020

From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has received more than 54,800 claims from customers using a new online portal which allows workers to claim tax relief for working at home.

Launched on 1 October 2020, the online portal is simple to use and has been set up to process tax relief on additional expenses for employed workers who have been told to work from home by their employer to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home. Employees who have not received the working from home expenses payment direct from their employer can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC.

Eligible taxpayers can claim tax relief based on the rate at which they pay tax. For example, if an employed worker pays the 20% basic rate of tax and claims tax relief on £6 a week, they would receive £1.20 a week in tax relief (20% of £6 a week) towards the cost of their household bills.

Higher rate taxpayers would therefore receive £2.40 a week (40% of £6 a week). Over the course of the year, this could mean taxpayers can reduce the tax they pay by £62.40 or £124.80 respectively.

HMRC’s Interim Director General of Customer Services, Karl Khan, said:

"We want everyone to get the money that they are entitled to, so we’ve made the online service as easy to use as we can – it takes just a few minutes to make a claim."

Once the application has been approved, the online portal will adjust an individual’s tax code for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. The employee will receive the tax relief directly through their salary and will continue to receive the adjustment until March 2021.

HMRC is also reminding employed workers, for example healthcare workers and care home staff, that they can also claim tax relief on work-related expenses, including cleaning their work uniforms.

The extra money can help thousands of critical workers whose efforts are helping save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Employees who clean, replace or repair uniform or tools, or pay fees and subscriptions for their work can apply online directly to HMRC and see instantly if they are eligible for tax relief on work expenses.


In 2018 to 2019, more than 500,000 customers (66% of total expense claims) applied for the tax relief using an agent rather than directly from HMRC and will have had to pay fees or commission. But those who are paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) can claim directly to HMRC and keep all of the money which they are entitled to.

Agents will not be able to use the new service to apply for the relief on a customer’s behalf. This means customers will receive 100% of the tax relief that is due.

Further information

54,800 claims were submitted through the new portal between 1 and 11 October 2020.

Find out more about claiming tax relief on work related expenses.

Access the online portal for working from home expenses.


Employees do not need to provide evidence to show their bills have increased unless they are applying for tax relief on costs above the £6 per week flat rate, in which evidence of the increased costs may be required.

Employees will receive the tax relief that corresponds with the Income Tax rate that they pay. For example, it will differ in Scotland.

Employees may be able to claim tax relief on the cost of:
  • expenses for working from home
  • repairing or replacing small tools needed to do their job (for example, scissors or an electric drill)
  • cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a branded uniform or safety boots)
  • business mileage (not commuting)
  • travel and overnight expenses
  • professional fees and subscriptions

Employees can check if they are eligible for tax relief on their expenses and claim online.

The majority of tax relief claims are for repairing or replacing tools and branded uniforms, professional subscriptions and business mileage. Healthcare workers, people working in the food and retail sector and those in the construction industry are most likely to make a claim.

Employees could alternatively receive the tax relief as a lump sum payment if they wait and apply once the 2020 to 2021 tax year has ended.

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Further guidance on business support schemes, including recent government announcements

Posted By HMRC, 13 October 2020

We’re writing to provide you with further information on the support schemes available to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • Job Support Scheme
  • Expansion of Job Support Scheme
  • Job Retention Bonus
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme.

Job Support Scheme

The government recently announced the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to protect jobs where businesses remain open but are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19.

Under JSS the government will contribute towards the wages of your employees if they are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. You will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. Employees must work at least 33% of their usual hours. For the hours not worked, you and the government will pay a third each of their usual wages (the government contribution is capped at £697.92 per month).

 

Expansion of Job Support Scheme

The government today (9 October) announced an expansion of the JSS, to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions.

Under this expansion, affected businesses will receive grants towards the wages of employees who have been instructed to and cease work. This will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK, are legally required to close their premises, or to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises.

The government will pay two thirds of employees’ usual wages, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. You will not be required to contribute towards wages, but do need to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

You can apply for the JSS including the new expansion even if you haven’t previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). JSS is available for six months, from 1 November, with payment of grants in arrears from early December. The scheme will be reviewed in January.

Search 'Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions’ and ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’ on GOV.UK for more details. Further information will be published in the coming weeks.

 

Job Retention Bonus – guidance now live

Further guidance for the Job Retention Bonus is now available. It includes information about how you can check if your employees are eligible and when you can claim the bonus.

You’ll 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) and kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.

To be eligible, employees must earn at least £1,560 between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 and have received earnings in the November, December and January tax months. Employees must also not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021.

You will be able to claim the bonus from 15 February until 31 March, once you have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021. We’ll let you know how you can make a claim when further guidance is published by the end of January.

You can still claim the Job Retention Bonus if you make a claim for the same employees through the Job Support Scheme, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for both.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Retention Bonus Guidance’.

 

What you need to do now

If you intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus, you must:

  • keep your PAYE submissions up-to-date and on time, with Real Time Information (RTI) reporting for all employees, including reporting the leaving date for any employees that stop working for you in the month they leave or the next Full Payment Submission
  • use the irregular payment pattern indicator in RTI for any employees not paid regularly
  • provide any employee data for past CJRS claims that HMRC has requested
  • make sure all your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told us about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – changes from 1 October

From 1 October, HMRC will pay 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. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, you are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). You must still pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours you’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion yourself. For help with calculations, search ‘Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.

You’ll also continue to pay your furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. 

The scheme closes on 31 October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30 November. You will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30 November

 

Claimed too much in error?

It’s important that you continue to check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims so you can avoid any penalties for claiming too much.

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

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 October 2020, if on or before 22 July you received CJRS money you were not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed.

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 us know if you have claimed too much

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

 

Further support

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'.

Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.  

 

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

If you deferred VAT payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 31 March 2021. You can use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31 March 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 31 March 2021, or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if you need more tailored support.

More information on the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme will be available on GOV.UK in the coming months.

 

Protect yourself from scams  

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. 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 phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. 

I hope this information helps you and your business. We’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.

 

jharra

Jim Harra

Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary - HMRC

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When Zoom Is The Workplace: Facts About Remote Work & Mental Health

Posted By Ben Aston - People Managing People, 09 October 2020

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (Covid-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020, many employees have been working from home. For the American communication technology company, Zoom Video Communications, this situation led to an explosion from 10 million to over 200 million daily participants within three months (Source). 

Despite Zoom stepping up to create a new conception of the workplace, the fact that workers are now restricted to their homes creates significant problems linked to mental health issues. One of the issues that have come to the fore is the idea of “Zoom Burnout.” 

In the Zoom workplace era, managers will need to start rethinking the idea of mental health issues in the workplace. This article looks at how the new workplace, facilitated by Zoom meetings, may exacerbate the mental health issues that already existed before the pandemic. We offer ten tips for improving mental health in a workplace where Zoom meetings connect employees.


Prevalence of Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Since the workplace can be considered a microcosm of the society where employees come from, it seems prudent to start by looking at the prevalence of mental health issues in the general population.

The WHO reports that “Globally, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression, one of the leading causes of disability, with many of these people also suffering from anxiety symptoms.” This costs the global economy “US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity” (Source).  

If the Zoom workplace is introducing its own unique set of mental health challenges, it adds to challenges that have already been in existence for many years.

For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “nearly 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 or older (18.3% or 44.7 million people), reported any mental illness in 2016.  Besides, 71% of adults reported at least one symptom of stress, such as a headache or feeling overwhelmed or anxious” (Source). 

In 2019, The American Institute of Stress stated that 23% of workers reported high levels of stress in the workplace (Source). The CDC adds that “depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time, and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time” (Source). 

For people managing people, the numbers above are a wake-up call that there is a need to come up with strategies to assist employees faced with mental health challenges. If not attended to, job performance and productivity will suffer.

Also, mental health issues can result in poor communication, a lack of engagement with one’s work, and can negatively impact daily functioning and physical capability (Source).    


Common Health Issues in the Workplace

While there are numerous types of mental health issues in the workplace, here are a few common ones identified by Harvard Health Publishing:  

Depression: Employees suffering from depression may be nervous, short-tempered, and fidgety, withdraw from activities, be passive during meetings, and generally fail to meet the demands of the job at hand. 

Bipolar Disorder: Presents in employees as dramatic mood swings, from extreme excitement to depression. Even though employees who have bipolar disorder may look busy, they may be disruptive and unproductive. 

The judgment of employees who have bipolar disorder can become questionable. For instance, an employee may send an email with confidential information to people who should not access such information.  

Anxiety Disorders: Can be identified among employees who are often tired, struggle to concentrate, are restless, and are excessively worried about their ability to do the job. Such employees may become needy and require constant assurance that their performance is acceptable.  

ADHD: Could result in employees generally failing to accomplish the tasks at hand. This inability may result from a failure to manage tasks, refusing follow instructions, and quarrels with workmates. 


Health Risk Factors Linked to a Zoom Workplace

Writing for The Washington Post, Joel Achenbach reports that a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that “nearly half of the people in the United States feel the Coronavirus is harming their mental health.” The same article notes that, for many people, the realization that several people are dying at the hands of the virus daily is a significant source of anxiety. Those who have lost a loved one to the pandemic also have an increased likelihood of suffering from mental health issues (Source). Because people don’t suddenly switch off and become different individuals when they are at work, these issues that The Washington Post reports are likely to extend to the workplace. Zoom interactions are already happening in an environment where employees are anxious and often without stable and consistent support that they would typically receive when working within a co-located environment. This presents a new set of mental health challenges which we look at below.  

Lack of Support

In the traditional work environment, managers interact with employees frequently in the same environment. In a workplace where interaction is mostly through Zoom, managers may not know how to support employees working from home. The managers themselves have only started to adjust to the new reality that is a Zoom workplace. 

Writing for Forbes, Rachel Montañez notes that the Zoom meetings lead to a loss of the “typical gaze and facial expressions like attention, irritability, connection, and disagreement” (Source). What this does is that it leaves managers and other workmates with no clues that could assist them in identifying the signs of mental health issues among subordinates or co-workers.

 

Inadequate Resources 

When employees are in the workplace, they can easily share resources and do not need to worry about having great backgrounds when attending meetings. The Zoom workplace can leave individual employees apprehensive about their living arrangements, which they may believe that others could judge them for. This could present unnecessary pressure, leading to mental health challenges.

When employees don’t have the required resources to accomplish their work, their productivity may be affected. It may be difficult for managers to make sure that all employees have the same resources that they are used to working with. This will inevitably affect the productivity of employees, resulting in mental health issues. Some employees may also not have a conducive environment to work from; they may have issues with devices needed to access the Zoom platform. 


Constant Exposure to Online Meetings

Being regularly exposed to online meetings is something that many employees were not used to before the Covid-19 situation forced them to work from home. As something new, this is a situation that is likely to result in some mental health challenges.

Writing for the Psycreg.org, a website that publishes mental health stories, Nikka Celeste notes that apps like Zoom do not only “drain the life and energy out of us, but they also beat our bodies down” (Source).

Highfive, a conferencing firm, conducted a study that found that “59% of people feel more self-aware when they are on camera than they do in their off-camera life. Nearly half (48%) of people worry more about how they look on a video call than what they will talk about during the call” (Source).      


Challenges with Reading the Situation  

Added to the technological strain that comes with working on a computer for hours, human social interactions also suffer when participating in an online meeting. One of the areas in which online meetings hamper social interactions is the inability to read facial expressions and body language easily.  

Without the usual cues that come with face-to-face meetings, meeting participants could easily worry about things that they would not have been worried about in a traditional co-located environment.

For instance, in a Zoom meeting, it could be difficult to see whether participants are paying attention or not. Someone could be looking at the screen but still reading an email while other employees are talking. 


10 Tips for Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

In the unprecedented era of the Zoom workplace, employers and employees need to take a step back and reconsider mental health in the place of work.

For managers, knowing the proper ways to tackle employees’ mental health issues is as important as making sure they are productive. Here are some ways for managers to properly handle the Zoom workplace-linked mental health issues:

1. Identify work-related mental risk factors linked to Zoom

Mental health issues in the traditional workplace have been known for some years. However, the ones associated with working from home using video conferencing apps are relatively new.

Employees may not be clear about what is expected from them during these interactions. Therefore, the manager has to provide clarity around expectations and goals and give employees adequate support to do their work. 

 

2. Identify symptoms of mental health problems of employees working from home 

Eye redness, lack of focus, saying nothing during an entire meeting, and looking exhausted, are symptoms of employees who have become affected by the constant virtual meetings. Managers should look out for these signs in their employees, and provide solutions as swiftly as possible.  

Managers should also introduce smaller and one-on-one meetings for employees who cannot seem to voice out their own opinions or ideas in Zoom meetings. This could allow employees to voice their challenges and give the manager a better chance to detect other problems.


3. Develop a positive Zoom workplace

Feeling valued is one of the most critical needs of humans. Thus, managers need to indicate that all employees play an essential role in the business’s success. This can be done by ensuring that the employees have all the resources they need to do their work from home and they are fully involved during meetings. No employees should be left out so that they hear about changes from others.


4. Address mental health issues no matter the cause

Since there is a grey line between the workplace and the home in the Zoom workplace, people managing people need to realize the importance of dealing with mental health issues without necessarily focusing on what caused them. Also, an employee with mental health challenges at home will likely bring these issues to the workplace. Ensuring that employees know where they can get assistance is vital. 


5. Identify forms of communication that employees are comfortable with

Zoom is useful, but, managers should not force video interaction, because some employees may not be comfortable. To cater for everyone, consider switching between zoom meetings and other communication channels and avoid over-communicating.  


6. Make turning on the camera optional

The anxiety to look appropriate on camera is an issue that employees have to deal with. If the option to turn on the camera is left to employees, they will feel less pressured to appear correctly dressed up for the meeting.

Employees can also be assisted through training on how to use the screen for meetings.  For instance, Gianpiero Petriglieri, an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, advises, “Having your screen off to the side, instead of straight ahead, could also help your concentration, particularly in group meetings” (Source).


7. Collect feedback to improve the process

One way of ensuring that everyone is comfortable is by knowing how people feel about the Zoom meetings. Ask your team what’s working and what’s not, then use the feedback to build a better video meeting experience. 


8. Reduce stress by communicating clearly

Some mental health issues in the workplace can be caused by unclear and inefficient communication. Thus, managers need to be clear about goals, deadlines, and where stuck employees should find help. A lack of clarity could leave employees anxious, in isolation, and relying mostly on assumptions. 

 

9. Trust your employees

One of the issues that can lead to mental health challenges comes when managers micromanage and over-communicate because they do not trust their employees. If you are failing to trust your employees, you could be failing to develop a workplace that is positive and celebrates the strengths of employees. 


10. Set boundaries on the work schedule

Working from home can tempt employees to overwork, which can strain their health and well-being. Thus, it is vital to encourage employees to keep a regular work schedule (Source). However, employees should be involved in making decisions about breaks, and when they are expected to be available for meetings. 

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HMRC urges universities to warn new students of tax scams danger

Posted By HMRC, 06 October 2020

Students starting university this year are being warned by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that they could be targeted by a fresh wave of tax scams.

As new students start the academic year, they can be particularly vulnerable to cybercrime. With universities taking a blended approach to online and face-to-face tuition this year, and an increase in remote working due to the pandemic, students could be left particularly exposed to the work of fraudsters.

Freshers might also be more vulnerable to these types of scams due to their limited experience of the tax system.

HMRC has written to universities, through Universities UK, asking them to help ensure their students know how to spot a scam.

In August this year HMRC received reports from the public of more than 74,800 scam emails, text messages and phone calls. Nearly 41,300 of these specifically offered bogus tax rebates. Thousands of these scams were targeted at students and the criminals involved appear to have obtained their personal university email addresses by unlawful means. These scams often offer fake tax refunds or help with claiming Covid-related financial support.

Phishing email messages can also provide a gateway for criminals. Students who provide personal details in response can end up inadvertently giving access to important accounts, like email or online banking, leaving scammers free to commit fraud and steal their money.

Criminals also use phone scams to threaten taxpayers into handing over cash. Some 651,600 scams have been referred to HMRC since August last year. Of those, more than 215,660 were voice or telephone scams, known as vishing.

If someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax, and asks for bank details, it might be a scam. Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact.

Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Cyber criminals use every method they can to steal money and personal data from students.

“We are concerned that remote working because of Covid-19 could lead to more tax scams targeting a new and potentially vulnerable university intake.

“HM Revenue and Customs are doing everything they can to clamp down on cyber fraud, but students also need to be vigilant. We would urge university principals to take a lead in helping to protect their students from these cyber criminals by raising awareness of what to look out for.”

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:

“The security and welfare of students is always a priority for universities. The message to students, at what is a particularly stressful time, is to remain vigilant and question anything that seems unusual. Any student who fears their account may have been misused is encouraged to speak to either university support services, their bank, or to the police via Action Fraud.”

Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said:

“I want every student to be as safe as possible this term, both online and offline, and it is absolutely vital they are aware of the risks posed by tax scams.

“I encourage institutions to warn students about this issue and arm them with the information they need to identify and respond to tax scams if they should be targeted.”

HMRC works with the telecoms industry to automatically block spoofed numbers used by scammers and since August last year, has worked with internet service providers to take down nearly 10,870 malicious web pages.

Notes to Editors:

  • HMRC has asked Universities UK to share the letter with Vice Chancellors so they can make their students aware of the risk of being scammed. The letter can be viewed here
HMRC’s advice:
Stop:

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.

Challenge: 

  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.
Protect: 
  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.
Examples of current scamming frauds can be found on Gov.UK at this link.

HMRC prevents scams by:

  • automatically identifying most cyber scams before customer have even reported them to us
  • asking Internet Service Providers to remove the malicious web pages or phishing websites
  • deploying innovative technologies to prevent misleading and malicious communications ever reaching our citizens
  • warning the public through sharing details and examples of genuine and scam communications on GOV.UK and through the media
  • maintaining channels through which people can report suspicious contact, at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and 60599 for texts
  • working with the telecoms industry to automatically block spoofed numbers
  • tackling misleading websites designed to make customers pay for services that should be free or low cost, often charging customers for connection to HMRC phone helplines
  • working closely with national and international law enforcement organisations.
Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

HMRC’s Flickr channelwww.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

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Self Assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans

Posted By HMRC, 06 October 2020

Self Assessment customers can apply online for additional support to help spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments from today (1 October), without the need to call HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The online payment plan service can already be used to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000. From 1 October 2020, HMRC has increased the threshold to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The increased self-serve Time to Pay limit of £30,000 follows the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 24 September to increase support for businesses and individuals through the uncertain months ahead.

As part of his speech, the Chancellor announced that Self Assessment customers could pay their deferred payment on account bill from July 2020, any outstanding tax owed for 2019 to 2020 and their first payment on account bill for this current tax year in monthly instalments, up to 12 months, via this self-serve tool. Customers who need longer than 12 months to settle their tax liabilities are invited to contact HMRC in the usual way.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said:

“We are supporting jobs by giving more breathing space to up to 11 million Self Assessment taxpayers when managing their tax affairs.

“Enhancing Time to Pay should ease the financial burdens and protect the livelihoods of these taxpayers, as they navigate the months ahead.”

More than 11 million customers complete a Self Assessment tax return each year. Once they have completed their tax return for the 2019 to 2020 tax year, those who have payments to make may have the option of using the online self-serve Time to Pay facility through GOV.UK to set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.

HMRC estimates around 95% of Self Assessment customers who are due to make payments on 31 January 2021 could qualify to implement a Time to Pay arrangement using the self-serve Time to Pay facility online, without needing to speak to an HMRC adviser.

Customers who wish to set up their own self-serve Time to Pay arrangements must meet the following requirements:

  • they need to have no:
    • outstanding tax returns
    • other tax debts
    • other HMRC payment plans set up
  • the debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000 
  • the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt 
Customers using self-serve Time to Pay will be required to pay any interest on the tax owed. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

Be aware of scams claiming to be from HMRC, offering to help you set up payment plans to pay any tax owed. These scams are trying to harvest your details to steal your money. Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. Self Assessment customers can set up their own online payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax bill by visiting https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill/pay-in-instalments.

Notes to Editors

  1. Find out more about Time to Pay arrangements here: https://www.gov.uk/pay-self-assessment-tax-bill/pay-in-instalments
  2. The deadline to complete Self Assessment tax returns for 2019 to 2020 is 31 January 2021.
  3. If you are completing a tax return for the first time, you will need to register for Self Assessment: https://www.gov.uk/log-in-file-self-assessment-tax-return 
  4. If your Self Assessment debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to pay your debt in full, you may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.
  5. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
  6. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.

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New COVID-19 support schemes announced

Posted By HMRC, 28 September 2020

Additional government support has been announced this week for businesses and employees impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) across the UK.

This includes a new Job Support Scheme to protect the jobs of millions of people returning to work, extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, extending the VAT cut (from 20% to 5%) for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.

Further information on these new schemes is available in this email and on GOV.UK, by searching 'Winter Economy Plan 2020'.

Our phone lines and webchat are very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.  

 

Job Support Scheme

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. 

Employers will continue to pay the wages for the hours staff work. For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). Employers will need to meet their share of the pay for unworked hours, and all employer National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from their own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.  

To be eligible, employees must:  

  • be registered on PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
  • work at least 33% of their usual hours. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme.

Further eligibility criteria is available on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’.

The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which ends on 31 October.

The Job Support Scheme will start from 1 November and employers will be able to claim in December. Grants will be paid on a monthly basis.  

The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus. Businesses can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect viable jobs. 

For information on what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible, and how to claim, search 'Job Support Scheme factsheet' on GOV.UK.

 

 SEISS Grant Extension

The government is continuing its support for millions of self-employed individuals by extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. Self-employed individuals and members of partnerships who are eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing trading but are experiencing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19), will be eligible for a further SEISS grant to provide support over the winter months.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. It will be a taxable grant to cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February to the end of April – ensuring our support continues right through to next year.

More information will be published in due course but in the meantime, you may find our factsheet helpful, search ‘SEISS Grant Extension factsheet’ on GOV.UK.

 

Extension to the reduced rate of VAT for Hospitality and Tourism

The government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. This relief came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will now end on 31 March 2021 across the UK.

 

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

If you or your client deferred payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 31 March 2021. Employers can use the New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31 March 2022. Alternatively, they can make payments as normal by 31 March 2021 or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if they need more tailored support.

 

New Self Assessment Self-Serve Time To Pay Scheme

If you or your clients deferred paying your July 2020 Payment on Account, you will need to pay the deferred amount, in addition to any balancing payment and first 2020/21 Payment on Account, by 31 January 2021. This may be a larger payment than you or your clients usually pay in January.

If you or your clients are unable to pay your Self-Assessment (SA) bill in full by 31 January 2021, you can set up a Time to Pay payment plan of up to 12 months online without speaking to us. If employers have SA tax debts of up to £30,000, they will be able to access this Time to Pay facility through GOV.UK and will get automatic and immediate approval. If their SA debts are over £30,000, or they need longer than 12 months to repay their debt in full, they will still be able to use our Time to Pay arrangement by calling HMRC. 

 

Other business support schemes:

Changes to CJRS – what you or your clients need to do from 1 October

From 1 October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

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

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, employers are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). Employers must still pay their employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours they’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion themselves. For help with calculations, you can search 'Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV.UK.

You or your clients will also continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. 

 

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 phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.   

I hope this information helps you and your business. We’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks. 

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Making PAYE Settlement Agreement payments

Posted By HMRC, 24 September 2020

Helping your clients make their payments under their PAYE Settlement Agreement

Customers who have a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) in place may not have received a payslip from HMRC confirming the amount owed under their PSA arrangement for the 2019-20 tax year.

If your client has not received their payslip confirmation letter, they should pay the tax and National Insurance amount they calculated and submitted for their PSA to HMRC. Customers should not wait until they receive their payslip confirmation from HMRC. Any electronic payments relating to the PSA must clear into the HMRC bank account by no later than 22 October 2020.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

When making payment, your clients should ensure they quote their PSA reference number, which is shown on their PSA confirmation letter. They should not use their PAYE Accounts Office reference to make their PSA payment. This is because payments received with the PAYE Accounts Office reference are allocated to their normal PAYE account and they will continue to receive reminders for the PSA payment even though they have paid.

If your client does not have their PSA reference number or is unsure about the action to take, they should contact the PSA team on 0300 322 7077.

Customers may be fined or charged interest or a late payment penalty if they do not pay or their payment is late.

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News and updates from HMRC

Posted By HMRC, 21 September 2020
Updated: 24 September 2020

This Stakeholder Digest provides a round-up of both the steps HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is taking to help support the UK economy during the Coronavirus outbreak and an update on other HMRC business. We want to ensure everyone knows about the support available and any updates to our programmes so we’d be grateful if you could share these messages with your clients, customers or members.

The government has set up a dedicated support page where businesses can find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus.
  • Important updated information for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – claim by 30 September
  • Self Employed Income Support Scheme – new parents may now be eligible
  • Helping businesses get ready for changes to trade with the EU from 1 January 2021
  • Landmark Kickstart Scheme Opens to All Employers
  • Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs
  • Test and Trace Update from the Department of Health and Social Care

Important updated information for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Changes to CJRS from 1 October

From 1 October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

Employers will need to continue to pay 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 will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves. The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, employers are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £937.50 (50% of the £1,875 cap). Employers will also continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from their own funds. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Claimed too much? Report it online

Employers can let us know if they’ve claimed too much Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant as part of their next online claim without needing to call us, and avoid a penalty for not repaying.

If an employer has claimed too much and does not plan to submit further claims, they can now let us know - and find out how to make a repayment - through our new online voluntary disclosure service. The system will prompt them to add details if they have received too much. More information is available on GOV.UK.

 

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – claim by 30 September

Businesses who registered for Eat Out to Help Out have until the end of September to claim for the days they operated the scheme. Claiming is quick and easy, and money will be paid out within five working days. 

 

Self Employed Income Support Scheme – new parents may now be eligible

A reminder that, if someone’s responsibilities as a new parent meant they did not submit a tax return for 2018/2019, or their trading profits in 2018/19 were less than their other income (and they were therefore ineligible for SEISS), they may now be able to claim.

Eligibility includes:

  • caring for a child within 12 months of birth, or adoption placement  
  • pregnancy or childbirth, within 26 weeks of the date of giving birth  
  • a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy

For new parents, their 2017-18 or both 2016-17 and 2017-18 self-assessment returns can now be used to asses eligibility and grant calculation. If these changes mean someone could now be eligible, they need to confirm to HMRC that being a new parent affected their trading profits or total income in the tax year 2018 to 2019. These changes mean new parents may now be able to claim for the first SEISS grant, the second SEISS grant, or both (depending on when their businesses may have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic) when applications open for the second grant.

More information is available on GOV.UK.  

 

Helping businesses get ready for changes to trade with the EU from 1 January 2021

We’re contacting businesses in Great Britain who move goods between Great Britain and the EU, to explain what they need to do to be able to trade with the EU from 1 January 2021.

Businesses who import and export between Great Britain and the EU need to prepare now for new processes for moving goods to and from the EU from January, including:

  • making sure they have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • deciding how they will make customs declarations and contacting a customs intermediary to help move their goods
  • checking if their imported goods are eligible for staged import controls

These actions are vital for businesses to be able to keep trading with the EU – they will not change regardless of the outcome of the government's negotiations with the EU.

The letter we’ve sent to over 200,000 VAT registered businesses is published on GOV.UK.

We have also launched a short video explaining how a customs intermediary can help businesses manage customs processes. Businesses that move goods in and out of the UK and are new to the customs processes may find this video helpful.

All our recent videos about importing and exporting can be viewed here.

 

Landmark Kickstart Scheme Opens to All Employers

The Kickstart Scheme, a ground-breaking initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work is now available for employers to apply.

Any size and type of organisation that employs people can offer young people, claiming Universal Credit, a six-month work placement that will be paid for by government. The Kickstart Scheme will be delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions and will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.

Kickstart Scheme jobs must be new and of good quality. Government will pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart Scheme placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs. 

 

Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs

Hospitality venues in England are from today (18 September) legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.

Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace and from Thursday 24 September they will be required to display official NHS QR code posters under law ahead of the NHS COVID-19 app being rolled out nationally next week.

A majority of businesses and organisations have been playing their part in tackling the virus by putting in place COVID-secure measures in their venues, but new legal requirements will make it compulsory for them to do so or risk facing a fine:

  • from today, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England will now need to take bookings of no more than 6 people, ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than 6 people on their premises, and make sure there is sufficient space between tables
  • it will be also mandatory for a wider range of businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues to collect customer, visitor and staff contact detail logs from today, Friday 18 September. This is vital for the NHS Test and Trace service in England to contact the necessary people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venue.
  • from Thursday 24 September, these businesses will also need to display the official NHS QR code posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises once the app is rolled out nationally. If individuals choose to check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log in via any other route

The regulations will be enforced by Local Authorities, who will have the power to issue fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply, or the police as a last resort. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders

The government will be supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.

 

Test and Trace Update from the Department of Health and Social Care

There is now very high demand for coronavirus tests and it is vital we test people with symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus.

If you have covid symptoms, you must get a test.

If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test.

We all need to play our part to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it.

A recent survey at testing sites found a quarter of people turning up did not have symptoms. If you don’t have coronavirus symptoms, and have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, you should not be booking a test. Healthcare professionals will be checking those for symptoms at testing sites.

If you have any coronavirus symptoms you must isolate immediately for 10 days (don’t wait for a test or a test result before doing so)

If you are identified as a contact of a positive case you must isolate for the full 14 days (even if for some reason you got a negative test during that period)

You should NOT get tested:

If you have returned from abroad or are about to travel, you are returning to the workplace, you have been in contact with a confirmed case or if another member of your household has symptoms. You may be advised to isolate if you have been in contact with a confirmed but you should only get a test if you have symptoms.

By following these simple rules, we can ensure people who need a test can get one.

When to get a test or not:

  • Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
  • Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. We do not provide certificates for travel purposes. You can pay for a private test.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, we are unable to provide this service. You should only get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then they must get tested and the rest of your household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. Most people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on GOV.UK.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate.
  • If you have been abroad and are quarantining, you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to quarantine.
  • Do not stockpile tests. If you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.
  • If you have symptoms and need to book a test, you can do this online or by ringing 119. Do not call 111 which is an urgent care service and cannot help with tests. 

For organisations and employers:

  • Schools: please follow the official guidance on testing. It is very important that this guidance is followed. Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms. If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test. Schools must not require students without symptoms to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.
  • Employers: you should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff. 

Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel.

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How Mindfulness can help support Accountants to find calm in a frantic, uncertain world

Posted By Hazel Todd, 11 September 2020

Mindfulness and Accountancy may not be two words that you naturally think of together, but as part of professional and personal development in a world where work life balance is typically out of whack, especially at year end, perhaps they should be.

As an accountant, does any of this sound familiar, especially as the year end pressure pot starts to heat up?
  • There’s never enough time in the day?
  • Everyone wants something from you right now.
  • Your mind is wandering to thoughts, to do’s and worries when in meetings?
  • You rarely have time for lunch, if you do, it’s at your desk and you have no idea how it actually tasted?
  • You feel like you have to be attached to your phone/email for fear of missing something and/or just to keep up?

A Harvard study showed that 47% of the time, the average person is not paying full attention to what we are doing: we are on autopilot, multi-tasking, distracted with a wandering /frantic mind, impacting our overall wellbeing and productivity and contributing to stress.

In Finance environments, this is amplified even more at month end and year end. Living and working in environments where we are constantly busy, responding reactively to the urgent rather than the important, with no space for our own wellbeing, creativity or innovative problem solving is counterproductive.

If that’s not enough, add to this the current pandemic environment. While we may be out of full lockdown, we are by no means ‘normal’ and who knows what the ‘new normal’ will look like. The constant need to ‘stay safe’ and need for social distancing has us all on edge and the effect of all of this has an additional impact on our mental wellbeing.

 

So, what is Mindfulness and how can it help?

Mindfulness is a form of brain training and is all about learning to pay attention to our experience right here, right now, rather than dwelling on the past or catastrophising about the future.

It helps us to get off autopilot and trains our brain to focus. We often think that multi-tasking is a skill and essential when juggling clients and deadlines, but studies show that multitasking is not helpful, and it actually takes longer to recognise and do new things when we back and forth. We may believe we are juggling and getting things done but this is using more of our time rather than less.

Mindfulness, however, is not a magic wand. It can’t make life’s issues go away, but with practice, Mindfulness helps us to be able stand back , practicing acceptance of what is, and so respond from a calmer standpoint, making choices about how to move forward rather than reacting, always busy and stressed.

If this still sounds a little woo woo from the logical mind of the accountant, be reassured that Mindfulness has a strong evidence base including over 100 studies in the workplace, demonstrating that Mindfulness can reshape the neural pathways of our brain and have numerous benefits for our wellbeing, creativity and effectiveness at work and at home. It helps give us a sense of perspective, enabling choices and helps to make sure we appreciate what’s important.

Mindfulness is an experiential activity and so unfortunately you can’t just read about it to get the many benefits… you have to practice. So, to kick off, here’s a simple practice using your numerical skills to simply count the breath. Focusing the attention on our breath will help support bringing us to the present moment and slow down the frantic mind, reducing adrenaline levels.

 

The Practice

So, simply stop what you are doing and focus on your breath coming in and going out of the body.

Slowly count 1 on the inhale and 2 on the exhale up to a count of 10 and returning to 1.

When you notice your mind has wandered (as it will), just notice this and come back to 1.

You can do this practice anywhere and no-one need know and just press pause and find a moment of calm.

Evidence suggests that over a course of 6-8 weeks, changes in the neural pathways can start to form and benefits be felt so if you’d like to find out more contact me on hazel@hazeltodd.co.uk or visit my website https://hazeltodd.co.uk/ or take a look at my on-line courses , a standalone introduction and a 6 week course designed to work through at your own pace with practical exercises and meditations, building your mindfulness muscles week by week.

https://www.aspire4businessacademy.com/courses/Introduction-to-mindfulness-for-busy-active-minds

https://www.aspire4businessacademy.com/courses/Mindfulness-for-Busy-Active-Minds

 

Mindfulness Webinar

Smart Vault will be holding a webinar with Hazel Todd on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 10:00am

To register your place on this webinar, you can follow this link below.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8146418399122732555

About Hazel Todd

Hazel works with organisations to enhance long term employee wellbeing, effectiveness and performance. Teams and individuals learn to develop awareness, insight and practice tools and techniques. The results are improved focus, creativity, wellbeing and personal growth.

As a Chartered Accountant, Hazel has over 25 years of experience successfully leading large teams of people through change. She worked at a senior level with Lloyds Pharmacy, Experian and PwC. Hazel now has her own practice as a qualified as a Mindfulness Coach and Consultant, specialising in supporting Professionals to develop self- awareness, new perspectives, gaining clarity, improving focus, confidence and creating personal growth and development resulting in improved overall wellbeing and effectiveness.

Hazel has a Diploma in Transformative Coaching, a Certificate in Mindful Coaching and is a certified Mindfulness at Work trainer. She was nominated for a Successful Women in Business Award in 2018.

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What’s going on with the big boys?

Posted By Tony Margaritelli, 04 September 2020

Last week I published an article in our portal by Graham Hambly the editor of PQ magazine wherein he reported that the FRC had reviewed the work of the seven largest audit firms and the result was 33% of their audits didn’t meet expected standards.

Take a moment ant let that sink in.

One third of the work of these firms was not up to standard, I’ll repeat that in case it hasn’t sunk in, one third. What do you expect would happen if following your annual review your employer said one third of your work wasn’t up to standard? You know full well what would happen.

But what impact if anything at all does it have on us small practices? Well it’s fair to say that as we beaver away suffering at the hands of unreceptive clients, maybe against fee pressure and most definitely at the hands of an indifferent revenue service that is targeting our clients on the vague assumption that we acquiesce to whatever they want or that our systems aren’t robust enough to spot money laundering irregularities let alone tax code breeches we rile against such accusations.

We stand out ground and wonder why are they questioning me? Well when the FRC are saying as Graham points out “Auditors are still not challenging, or standing up to management” is it no wonder the HMRC feel we are definitely doing the same? 

What about our clients? What do they make of all this well many think nothing at all yet the public outpourings and reports get picked up by the public and of course by our clients. They may not understand the complexities of an Audit but they understand 33% failing and not standing up to management so when they put forward transactions that we are not al all happy about it’s in the back of their mind isn’t it.

To be an Auditor is basically to reach the pinnacle of our profession and that brings a huge weight of expectation and a 33% fail rate is not what we expect nor what we should tolerate for our colleagues no matter how hard their job because they are making our job that bit harder.


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