What you need to know this week

Our round-up of the key business updates and insights

February 5, 2021

Welcome to our weekly wrap. We’ve rounded up recent headlines and business insights, including a cash boost for employers, news of a Covid recovery plan, upcoming key events in the tax calendar, a review of the Scottish Budget, plus UK-wide funding.

Government announces employer cash boost

The Government has announced employers can now apply for a £1,000 cash boost to encourage them to take on new trainees.

The scheme, which is available until July 31, 2021, will help firms manage the costs of providing training, which includes facilities such as travel costs and uniforms.

Firms offering new traineeship opportunities will receive £1,000 for every trainee taken on, up to a maximum of 10 trainees.

The cash incentive can be claimed for all work placements that have been completed since September 1, 2020.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, said:

‘This cash boost will help employers of all sizes provide more traineeship opportunities, to invest in their workforce so they can rebuild and grow, giving young people a vital route to start their apprenticeship journey, get their first job or go on to further study.

I strongly encourage as many employers as possible to apply now and take advantage of this fantastic offer so more young people can gain the skills they need to progress in their careers as we build back better from the pandemic

This new scheme is in addition to the apprentice scheme announced last year, which offers employers £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25 and over.

Covid recovery plan to be unveiled this month

Rishi Sunak will release a plan for the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery this month alongside Boris Johnson’s roadmap of how the country will ease the current lockdown.

It comes as the CBI this week called on the government to collaborate with the UK’s private sector on how to reopen the economy.

Sunak’s furlough scheme is due to finish at the end of April and the Chancellor has faced calls to use the Budget to extend government relief, including the furlough scheme, business support loans, cuts in VAT – and perhaps even stamp duty – until the virus is under control.

Main tax events: February/March 2021

Main tax events

Main tax events

19/02 – PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 5/02/21 (due 22/02 if you pay electronically)

01/03 – Corporation tax payment for year to 31/5/20 (unless quarterly instalments apply)

02/03 – 5% penalty imposed on 2019/20 income tax, CGT, class 2 and 4 NIC still unpaid at this date unless a payment plan has been agreed with HMRC

03/03 – Spring Budget 2021 to be delivered

Expected announcements:

  • Fourth SEISS grant details, amount and eligibility
  • Possible Furlough extension
  • Tax increases including corporation tax
  • Capital Gains Tax reform
  • The future of stamp duty and council tax – with reports they could be replaced with a property tax

19/03 – PAYE & NIC deductions, and CIS return and tax, for month to 5/03/21 (due 22/03 if you pay electronically)