Monthly Archives: August 2020

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Furlough Explained: Answering SMEs Burning Questions

Over recent months the government has announced a number of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – more commonly referred to as ‘furlough’.

From September the government contribution towards wages is reducing from 80% to 70% up to a maximum of £2,187.50 per month; in October this reduces further to a government contribution of 60% up to a maximum of £1,875. From November the government will not make any financial contribution as the scheme closes on 31st October.

With changes taking place each month it can be confusing to keep on top of what the changes mean to your business and your employees, plus what you need to do. 

This is why we have created this helpful guide to answer all the common questions we are being asked, plus to provide an ‘at a glance’ summary of the key dates and what support is available from the government in an infographic.

Amongst other things, the guide includes key dates, bringing people back from furlough, record keeping and mental well-being, calculating holiday pay, plus eligibility criteria and guidance if you are considering redundancies.

This guide answers the questions SMEs are asking right now and has been produced to provide valuable assistance to SMEs.

You can download the guide here:

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SME Outlook Tracker – Your expectations for the next 12 months

We are now 5 months on from the ‘start’ of the Covid-19 triggered lockdown. The impact of the various measures introduced in this time have affected us all and vary from business to business and across sectors. We would like to better understand the impact on SMEs.

It is in this respect that we would like to invite you to participate in a tracker poll we are conducting to better understand how SMEs are coping and what their expectations are for their businesses over the next months.

The poll will only take up to 2 minutes of your time to participate.

Please click here to participate in the tracker poll.

Your feedback will be used to develop specific support for SMEs whilst also raising key issues and opportunities to the government and other organisations.


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I am sure you will all like to echo our congratulations to our Daniel White for passing his final AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting Level 2 “Using Accounting Software” Exam and achieving the mark of 100%.

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Second Self-Employment Income Support Grant

The second  Self Employment Income Support Grant scheme was opened from 17 August 2020 and those eligible should have received a date from HMRC on when you can make a claim. You can claim any time between your allocated date and 19 October 2020.

The eligibility criteria for the second grant is exactly the same as the first grant – so self-employed people who were eligible for the first SEISS grant will be eligible for the second grant, so long as their business has been adversely affected since 14 July 2020.  This typically means that your business must have experienced lower income and / or higher costs because of coronavirus (COVID-19) since 14 July.

There is no minimum threshold over which a business’s income, costs or activity need to have changed by, but you are being asked to keep appropriate records as evidence of how your business has been adversely affected.

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, a reduction from the 80% available under the first grant. This will be paid out in a single instalment and will be based on three months’ worth of trading profits and capped at a maximum of £6,570.

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Treasury must throw a lifeline to limited company business owners before it’s too late

Not only are they self-employed, many employ staff likely to be made redundant when furlough ceases

The Treasury must throw a lifeline to the tens of thousands of limited company business owners before it is too late.

Many are self employed, but also employ staff who are currently on furlough and will almost certainly be made redundant by business owners who have had or no income since the start of the Covid crisis. Failure to support these businesses will result in thousands of self employed firms going to the wall.

According to the UK200Group, whose members represent 150,000 SMEs, a straightforward HMRC submission can easily demonstrate eligibility for a scheme similar to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

All it needs is for individuals or their accountants, to submit the dividend income from the company, found on their tax return, plus details of any other self employed or employed income.

Says Andrew Jackson, Head of Corporate Tax, Fiander Tovell and Chair of the Tax Panel of the UK200Group;

“This is not just a political decision, it is an economic imperative and it is not too late for the Chancellor to reconsider. To treat some SMEs differently to others is plainly unfair, when they do the same job but choose to run their business as a Limited Company. Similarly many other businesses owners also need urgent help including recently self-employed and newly incorporated businesses and this who have a mixture of employed and self employed work, i.e. the gig economy.

“It is simple for HMRC to set up a system for Limited Company owners to claim the equivalent of SEISS if they can demonstrate a financial need. HMRC can easily check all the information for accuracy as they have access to the individual’s tax return and company report and accounts. This is exactly how normal tax returns work, and indeed how the furlough system works.”

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Congratulations to our Daniel White for his excellent result (97%) on his AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting – Level 2 Synoptic Assessment.

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The Martlet Partnership LLP
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BN13 3QZ

Tel.: +44 (0) 1903 600555
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