Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a Budget to protect businesses through the pandemic, fix the public finances and begin building the future economy.

The Chancellor once again pledged to do ‘whatever it takes’ during the COVID-19 pandemic and confirmed that the furlough scheme would be extended until September 2021 to support jobs through the crisis.

Mr Sunak also confirmed that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has also been extended, with two further grants this year. Claimable by the self-employed, including the newly self-employed from 6 April 2019, provided they have filed their 2019/20 tax return for by midnight on 2 March 2021,

The stamp duty nil rate band on residential properties in England up to £500,000 will continue until the end of June. It will taper to £250,000 until the end of September, and then return to the usual level of £125,000 from 1 October 2021.

To support businesses as they re-open following lockdown, £5 billion will be made available in restart grants. Non-essential retail businesses re-opening first will be eligible for up to £6,000 but the leisure and hospitality sectors, which have been worse affected and will re-open later, will be eligible for up to £18,000.

However, the rate of corporation tax will increase to 25% in April 2023 for companies with profits over £250,000, whilst retaining a Small Profits Rate of 19% for companies with profits of £50,000 or less.

The Chancellor also introduced a super-deduction for companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery. Under this measure a company will be allowed to claim 130% on most new plant and machinery investments that ordinarily qualify for 18% main rate writing down allowances.


HMRC has announced that Self Assessment taxpayers will not be charged a 5% late payment penalty if they pay their tax or set up a payment plan by 1 April.

The payment deadline for Self Assessment is 31 January and interest is charged from 1 February on any amounts outstanding.

Normally, a 5% late payment penalty is also charged on any unpaid tax that is still outstanding on 3 March. But this year, because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HMRC is giving taxpayers more time to pay or set up a payment plan.

Taxpayers can pay their tax bill or set up a monthly payment plan online and are required to do this by midnight on 1 April to prevent being charged a late payment penalty. The online Time to Pay facility allows taxpayers to spread the cost of their Self Assessment tax bill into monthly instalments until January 2022.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said:

‘Anyone worried about paying their tax can set up a payment plan to spread the cost into monthly instalments. Support is available at GOV.UK to help anyone struggling to meet their obligations.’


Following the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday, the Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.

From 1 July 2021 the scheme will begin to wind down, the different stages of the winding down process of the scheme are as follows:

  1. Until 30 June 2021, the government will continue to pay 80% of the furloughed employees’ wages for the hours not worked.
  2. From 1 July 2021, the government will pay 70% of the furloughed employees’ wages for the hours not worked, with employers required to make up the additional 10% of wages.
  3. From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of the furloughed employees’ wages for the hours not worked, with employers required to make up the additional 20% of wages.

Throughout all the changes to the scheme, the employees whilst furloughed, will continue to be entitled to 80% of their wages.

As under the current JRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries with regards to the Job Retention Scheme.

HMRC launch ‘VAT Deferral new payment scheme’

HMRC have this week launched their  ‘VAT Deferral new payment scheme’ where any businesses who deferred VAT payments for the VAT quarters ending 29 February/31 March/30 April 2020 can join in order to pay any outstanding liability in relation to these deferred periods, in monthly instalments.

Businesses will need to opt-in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme. They can do this via the online service that opens on 23 February 2021 and closes on 21 June 2021.

The new payment scheme will continue to help the economy recover by enabling businesses, impacted by the pandemic, to manage their business cash flow at a critical time.

Please find below a link to the relevant guidance and online registration details.