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What did Tax Day 2021 mean for you?

23 March 2021 has been labelled Tax Day and the focus on its content intensified when the Chancellor failed to mention in his March Budget areas such as the future of inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Both had been the subject of detailed reports from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), one of which had been commissioned by Mr Sunak himself. So how did the announcements on “tax day” impact upon your tax affairs?

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Support for commercial and residential tenants

The ban on commercial evictions extended to 30 June and bailiff enforced eviction ban extended to 31 May to protect residential tenants. The decision will help those worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, get back to business in May when doors fully reopen for hospitality no earlier than 17 May.

Residential tenants will also be supported as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in all but the most serious circumstances – such as incidents of fraud or domestic abuse – and the requirement for landlords to provide 6-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until at least 31 May.

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When will the UK economy recover?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the UK Gross Domestic Product in February 2021 was 9% down on the 2020 figures. This is similar to what has been reported in the press and monthly production in February was down 5% and manufacturing 5.7% lower than the equivalent figures for 2020. However, given we are still in lockdown and have been for much of the last year, these figures are not unexpected!

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Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings Returns (ATED)

Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) returns in respect of the year ending 31 March 2022 (2021/2022) are due to be filed by 30 April 2021.
A company is required to file an ATED return if it held, on 1 April 2021, an interest in a residential property that was worth more than £500,000 on 1 April 2017 or, if later, the date of acquisition.

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Can you claim SEISS 4th and 5th grants during 2021?

If you started your self-employment after 5 April 2019, you were denied support under this scheme from the first three quarterly payouts to 31 January 2021.
The good news is that due to lobbying by tax professionals and self-employed support groups the SEISS is being opened to traders who commenced after 5 April 2019. However, there is an additional hurdle to jump before you can make a claim; your tax return for 2019-20 needs to have been filed by midnight 2 March 2021.
Additionally, your business must be adversely affected by the pandemic and your profits from self-employment must be at least 50% of your income and less than £50,000.

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Budget 2021 – What did the Chancellor announce today?

Below is a brief summary of some of the points announced this lunchtime. Of course, more detail and additional information will become available overnight and our tax experts are busy working on this now to work out how this will impact upon our clients. Often with the Chancellor’s Budget much of the devil is in the detail.

We will have a full budget report available tomorrow morning which can be downloaded in PDF format from our publications page and we have a few virtual places still available at our Budget webinar on Friday morning. If you wish to join us please visit our webinars page.

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What can we expect in the Budget?

At the upcoming Budget, we expect the government will outline further detail on economic support to help protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK. That has been their priority throughout the past year, and they state it will be the priority for the year to come. Yesterday we heard the news that the government was set to launch a £5bn fund in England to help the High Street recover from Covid.

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Emerging from Lockdown

The government have now declared their intention to have all businesses in the UK free of lockdown restrictions from 21st June 2021. However, it is worthy of note that this is conditional on a continuing reduction in COVID infection rates. If the vaccine program and other measures fail to control infection a return to lockdown – at whatever level – would seem to be on the cards.

Being positive, if the government’s strategy to gradually remove disruptive controls is effective, what challenges will business owners face as they emerge from enforced hibernation?

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