What you need to know this week

October 2, 2020

Hello and welcome to our weekly wrap. This week we’ve rounded up the latest news that impacts you, including the self-assessment time to pay portal and recent business insights, schemes, grants and news across the whole of the UK.

Enhanced payment plans kick in for self-assessment taxpayers

The self-employed and other self-assessment taxpayers can apply online to spread the cost of their tax bills into 12 monthly payments.

The online payment plan, announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s winter economic plan, allows self-assessment customers to pay tax bills of up to £30,000 in instalments.

This is designed to help ease any financial difficulties they might be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and builds on the payment on account deferral in July 2020.

HMRC revealed self-assessment customers who are due to make tax payments on January 31, 2021 could qualify for the time-to-pay scheme using the self-serve online platform, without needing to call HMRC.

Customers who wish to set up the arrangement must not have any outstanding tax returns, other tax debts or other HMRC payment plans set up.

They must also have debts between £32 and £30,000, with payment plans needing to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date.

Customers using self-serve time-to-pay will be required to pay any interest on the tax owed, which will be applied to any outstanding balance from February 1, 2021.

Community business leaders can apply for 10k pandemic proof grants

Community business leaders in England have until December 2 to apply for an entrepreneurial learning programme and a grant of up to £10,000 to help pandemic proof their business.

Applications opened on Monday for the fifth and final year of Community Business Trade Up, and those hit hardest by Covid-19 will be prioritised.

Programme participants each receive a Trade Back grant up to £10,000. Trade Back was created in response to the pandemic and is a new type of grant that incentivises social organisations to trade, while supporting them to recover and rebuild.

Programme content will be co-designed with community business leaders to ensure it is relevant to the needs of community businesses through and beyond the new pandemic economy, with a focus on digitisation. Business leaders can apply via the School for Social Entrepreneurs website.

PSA payments due by October 22, 2020

Employers with a PAYE settlement agreement (PSA) in place should make payments by October 22 to avoid interest and late payment penalties.

Tax and Class 1B national insurance contributions due on a PSA for the 2019/20 tax year must clear HMRC’s bank account by that date, with the deadline for paying by post October 19, 2020.

PSAs allow employers to make one annual payment to cover all the tax and national insurance due on minor, irregular or impracticable expenses or benefits provided to employees – including small gifts.

Employers should ensure they quote their PSA reference number, which is shown on their PSA confirmation letter when making their PSA payment; not their PAYE Accounts Office reference.

PM unveils Skills Guarantee Plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week unveiled the ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee plan,’ a Government investment to boost productivity and aid a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It includes boosting the number of apprenticeships, with more funding for small and medium firms, and extending a pilot programme known as ‘Digital Skill Boot Camps.’

Part of the plan outlined is to expand apprenticeships, making it easier to get a high quality apprenticeship, and connect them better to local employers who know where the jobs of the future are going to emerge.

A reforming of the system will mean unspent funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies, but in SMEs, aiding job creation.