Budget Summary

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Last Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget in the House of Commons, announcing the government’s tax and spending plans for the year ahead. Here, we summarise some relevant points for MI businesses…

Employees

COVID-19 news:

Small and medium-sized businesses (with fewer than 250 employees) will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The refund will cover up to 2 weeks per eligible employee off work because of COVID-19. Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but do not need to provide a GP fit note. This will start once new regulations are in force; work is ongoing on how the repayment will be made.

Other news:

The NIC Employment Allowance is to increase from £3,000 to £4,000 from April 2020. The National Living Wage is to increase from £8.21 per hour to £8.72 per hour from April 2020. The National Insurance threshold for employees is to increase from £8,632 to £9,500 from April 2020, meaning employees taking home more of their pay.

For more information on the budget from a HR perspective, visit: croner.co.uk/resources /budget-breakdown-

Business Rates

COVID-19 news:

A one-off grant of £3,000 is to be available for businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief. Government is providing funding to Local Authorities for this.

There will be a one-year increase in the Business Rates Retail Discount to 100% from April 2020, for those eligible in properties with a rateable value below £51,000 in England. This will be provided through Local Authorities. For pubs, the business rates discount is to be increased from £1,000 to £5,000 from April 2020.

Other news:

There will be a review of business rates reporting in Autumn 2020, looking at reducing the overall burden on businesses and at alternatives to business rates such as land and property taxes.

To discuss your business rates, please contact the MIA on 01403 800500 or alice@mia.org.uk and we can put you in touch with our business rates partner, Altus Group.

Taxes

COVID-19 news:

Businesses with short term cash flow issues (e.g. because of reduced demand) and due to pay taxes may seek support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service from now. More information can be found here: www.gov.uk/ tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

Other news:

Corporation tax stays at 19%.