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Following the Chancellor’s statement on 24 September, the UK Government has extended support to both the self-employed and the employed for the winter.

The following support measures were announced and/ or extended:

Job Support Scheme

With the job retention scheme coming to an end on 31 October 2020, the replacement scheme will be the job support scheme and it will launch on the 1 November 2020.

The scheme is only available when staff are working a minimum of 33% of their usual hours. For every hour not worked the employer and the government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual pay, and the government contribution will be capped at £697.92 per month.

Employees on the scheme should receive a minimum of 77% of their normal salary capped at £2,097.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension

The extension of the SEISS will be in the form of two taxable grants. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. This initial grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total. The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Extending the temporary VAT reduced rate for hospitality and tourism

The government is extending the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) from 12 January to 31 March 2021. This will continue to apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Extension of access to finance schemes

The government will give all businesses that borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years. This will reduce their average monthly repayments on the loan by almost half. UK businesses will also have the option to move temporarily to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times), or to pause their repayments entirely for up to six months (an option they can use once and only after having made six payments).

VAT deferral ‘New Payment Scheme’

The government will give businesses which deferred VAT due in March to June 2020 the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022.

Enhanced Time to Pay for Self-Assessment taxpayers

The government will give the self-employed and other taxpayers more time to pay taxes due in January 2021, building on the Self-Assessment deferral provided in July 2020. Taxpayers with up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities due will be able to use HMRC’s self-service Time to Pay facility to secure a plan to pay over an additional 12 months.

Any Self-Assessment taxpayer not able to pay their tax bill on time, including those who cannot use the online service, can continue to use HMRC’s Time to Pay SelfAssessment helpline to agree a payment plan.

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