What is the UK tax relieve measures in response to COVID 19?

Published by Peet Pieterse

September 25, 2020
UK Tax relieve

(As on 9 September 2020)

The UK government announced several relieve measures to assist the public and business during COVID 19. These measures are intended to be temporarily.

VAT: Payments due 20 March 2020 – 30 June 2020

Taxpayers can elect to defer VAT payments due during this period until 31 March 2021. No approval is needed from HMRC and no interest or penalties will apply. This option does not apply to VAT payments under the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS), applicable to the sale of digital services in the EU or to Import VAT.

VAT: Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment, that are on the Public Health England list, for use of the protection from infection with COVID-19, will be at a ZERO rate for VAT from 1 May 2020 until 31 October 2020. This also applies to imports of these PPE.

Remember that you are still allowed the usual input van claim against your output vat charge of 0% on goods and services related to the supply and manufacturing of these goods.

VAT: Hospitality and tourism sector

A temporary rate of 5% will apply from 15 July 2020 until 12 January 2021 on the provision of food and drinks. For on premises (sit-down) consumption this will be applicable to all food and non-alcoholic drinks. For takeaway businesses this will only apply to hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks. The reduced rate will also apply to accommodation (excluding the TOMS margin on accommodation) and certain admission fees (excluding sporting events).

Import tax: Vital medical supplies

All import taxes are waived on vital medical supplies and equipment including COVID-19 testing kits, protective clothing, and ventilators. For businesses operating in this business field clarity should be obtained for specific products if unsure.

Income tax: July 2020 payment

All Income tax payments due on 31 July 2020 (second payment on account) are deferred for those taxpayers that are finding it difficult to make their second payment on account by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. This is voluntary and no specific approval is needed. No interest and penalties will apply, and the account must be settled by 31 January 2021.

Business rates

Businesses operating from a business (non-domestic) location may qualify for relief of their business rates. This needs to be checked with your local authority (and not HMRC). In some instances, Hardship Relief may also be available via their local authority.

Contact your accountant to make sure you apply these relieve measures correctly.

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