Our summary of the latest business news and Covid-19 updates

In Accountancy, News by Caroline

Welcome to our round up of the latest business and Covid-19 news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you through these tough times.


This government has introduced a mortgage guarantee scheme. The scheme is open to new 95% mortgages until 31 December 2022, with participating lenders offering 95% mortgages under the government guarantee from 19 April 2021.

The idea is to support a new generation in realising home ownership. The scheme will increase the availability of 95% Loan-to-value mortgage products, enabling more households to access mortgages without the need for large deposits.

For more information see: The mortgage guarantee scheme – GOV.UK (


Below is our roundup of changes to government support information generally and for businesses, employers and the self-employed.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
April claims
Employers can now submit CJRS claims for periods in April. These must be made by Friday 14 May.
You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you are sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you do not have to amend your claim later.
If you haven’t submitted your claim for March, but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the 14 April deadline, check if you can make a late claim by searching ‘claim for wages’ on GOV.UK. Remember to keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.

You must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. If you do not do that, you will need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant to HMRC.
The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of your furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to the end of June.
In July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages, up to a cap of £1,875.
You will need to pay the difference from July, so that you continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

CJRS eligibility from May
If you have employees who have previously been ineligible for the CJRS, as they were not on your payroll on 30 October 2020, they may be eligible for periods from 1 May 2021 onwards.
From May you will be able to claim for eligible employees who were on your PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021. This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying HMRC of earnings for that employee.
You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. For more information on eligibility, search ‘check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV.UK.
Please contact us for help in submitting your claims, we will continue to support our clients in processing claims until the end of the scheme.

Paying back VAT deferred due to coronavirus
Information has been added on penalties or interest that may be charged if you do not pay in full, or make an arrangement to pay, and how you may still be able to avoid these charges.
The webpage below details how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or join the VAT deferral new payment scheme.
If you deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full now
  • join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February 2021 and 21 June 2021
  • contact HMRC on 0800 024 1222 by 30 June 2021 if you need extra help to pay

You may be charged a 5% penalty or interest if you do not pay in full or make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.

Pay your deferred VAT in full
If you were unable to pay in full by 31 March 2021, you may still be able to avoid being charged penalties or interest by either:

  • joining the new payment scheme by 21 June 2021
  • paying your deferred VAT in full by 30 June 2021

Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme
The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open from 23 February 2021 up to and including 21 June 2021.
The new scheme lets you:

  • pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free
  • choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join)

Instalment options available to you
When you decide to join the scheme will determine the maximum number of instalments that are available to you.
The following table sets out the monthly joining deadlines (to allow for Direct Debit processing) and the corresponding number of maximum instalments (including the first payment):

If you join by Number of instalments available to you
19 March 2021 11
21 April 2021 10
19 May 2021 9
21 June 2021 8

How to join
Before joining, you must:

  • have your VAT registration number
  • create your own Government Gateway account (if you do not already have one)
  • submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years – otherwise you’ll not be able to join the scheme
  • correct errors on your VAT returns as soon as possible
  • make sure you know how much you owe, including the amount you originally deferred and how much you may have already paid

To use the online service, you must:

  • join the scheme yourself, your agent cannot do this for you
  • still have deferred VAT to pay
  • be up to date with your VAT returns
  • join by 21 June 2021
  • pay the first instalment when you join
  • pay your instalments by Direct Debit (if you want to use the scheme but cannot pay by Direct Debit, there’s an alternative entry route for you)

Join the scheme now
See: Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (

barnett-ravenscroft-chartered-accountants-private-covid-tests-latest-business-newsWe thought it may be useful to provide the latest information on obtaining Covid-19 tests privately should you be starting to make travel plans.

Private providers of coronavirus testing
The lists of, and information about, approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) has been updated.
See: Private providers of coronavirus testing – GOV.UK (

Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals
Information on the 2 tests you must book, pay for and take, during your mandatory 10-day quarantine period after arriving in England, including how to book.
See: Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals – GOV.UK (

Get in touch with Barnett Ravenscroft

If you would like to discuss any of these latest developments in more detail, our team would be delighted to hear from you.