The PM announced on Friday a VAT deferral to support UK
businesses in this unprecedented time. The deferral will hopefully help
many businesses to stay afloat during this difficult period, but it is worth
reminding all businesses that this will not abolish any VAT due, it will
simply defer the date it is due for payment and exists to help those in
financial difficulty or hardship. To summarise how this deferral will
work in practice:
The 2020 Budget did have some announcements which will
affect many of our NHS Clients. Firstly, the NHS as a whole will be set
to receive £6 billion of additional funding across the course of this
parliament, and in addition, to support the recent outbreak of coronavirus, an
emergency fund of £5 billion is being set-up. The Chancellor gave
assurances that the NHS would get whatever resource it needs at
this crucial time – a welcome announcement.
Last week HMRC announced their plans for VAT if the UK ends up leaving the EU in March 2019 without a deal. They have emphasised that the government is confident a deal will be reached, but they are introducing contingency plans as a precautionary measure.
The update today has announced very little in the way of VAT changes. They reinforced their attitude towards tax avoidance by confirming that a new penalty regime will be introduced for those involved. They also commented that they were specifically focusing on shutting down inappropriate use of the flat rate scheme.
On 24th March, HMRC released a policy paper confirming that the Prime Minister has secured agreements with other officials at the March European Council to welcome increased flexibility for member states in relation to the zero and reduced rates of VAT. Whilst this was primarily related to the abolition of the ‘tampon tax’ – the increased flexibility could present an opportunity for the UK to reconsider other demands – like the ECJ ruling which suggested that the reduced rate on energy saving materials was in breach of EU laws.