Welcome to 2021, the new year begins with Covid-19 continuing to dominate our lives.  I will break with tradition and start this update with Mostons news:

  • We hope you received our Christmas card and enjoyed the light-hearted view of 2020.  Thank you to the clients and friends that let us know their thoughts and the positive feedback.
  • Most of the team are currently working from home as required under the tighter restrictions.  This is working well, but we must ask for patience when dealing with your enquiries by email or phone.  Alison and Paul are working from The Green.  The normal office number is the one to ring if you need to speak to us but remember that lines can get busy.
  • Tax returns are dominating our workloads and some clients still need to send records in to us now.  Working without files is time consuming and we trust you understand that things may take a little longer than usual.
  • Many clients are asking us about new VAT regulations post Brexit.  The trade deal was only agreed a day or so before Christmas.  We are under some pressure to implement the accounting changes that this now requires.  We hope that this will not deeply impact our clients.
  • We are all looking forward to next Wednesday, when Flora will be returning to work, following her maternity leave.


Just a reminder that under the current arrangements, furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.  Businesses will be required only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

The additional complexities of the modified scheme continue to provide challenges as there is only one way to calculate and process these claims.  We do need your help if you are furloughing staff.

Headlines recently suggest that HMRC have received 21,000 calls regarding abuse of the scheme on their hotline and they are currently investigating 5,000 employers.  We expect this to be a key focus for HMRC into 2021 as they look to recover fraudulent or erroneous claims.

Self-employment Income support scheme (extension) – SEISS

The third grant applications are available up to 29 January. To make a claim for the third grant your business must have had a new or continuing impact from coronavirus between 1 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, which you reasonably believe will have a significant reduction in your profits.

HMRC stress that you must keep evidence in support of your claim.


A fourth grant will cover the period 1 February to 30 April 2021.  This will be payable in May and the amount is yet to be determined.

Business Interruption Scheme Loans

Loan applications have been extended further to 31 March 2021.

Time to pay

If you did not make a Self-Assessment payment on account due in July 2020, your payment deadline will have been delayed (deferred) until 31 January 2021. You do not have to contact HMRC and will not have to pay a penalty.

Many taxpayers will find 31 January payments difficult to meet.  HMRC have said that they will allow individuals time to pay.

If you cannot pay your Self-Assessment tax bill, you can set up a payment plan to spread the cost of your latest Self-Assessment bill if:

  • you owe £30,000 or less
  • you do not have any other payment plans or debts with HMRC
  • your tax returns are up to date
  • it’s less than 60 days after the payment deadline

You do not need to contact HMRC if you set up a payment plan online.

Call the Self-Assessment helpline if you’re not eligible for a payment plan or cannot use the online service. Payment Helpline Telephone: 0300 200 3822

For other taxes call 0300 200 3835