Updated: Aug 5
It's about time to spread some positive thoughts, goodness knows that we could all do with it. That was a really grim number reported on the media today, let's hope that the vaccine does all that is being promised of it.
So, with that in mind what are the Positives ?
1. The 31st January is abolished
I'm sure it doesn't apply to anyone reading this, but believe it or not, some people who have to complete tax returns don't think about doing it until after Christmas. Or after New Year. Or do I mean Burns' Night ? Which puts a tiny bit of pressure on those people whose job it is to do them...
Until the weekend HMRC had been holding out, the official line was that 31st January deadline would continue to be there but where a delay had been caused by Coronavirus related reasons, no penalties would be charged.
(Does anyone at HMRC realise that having said that, would there possibly be any other reason ?)
Anyway, with apparently 3m returns not yet filed (the rumour that these are all on my desk is completely unfounded) commonsense has prevailed and the deadline moved to 28th February.
All I'd say is that it would have been great to know beforehand, you wouldn't have missed so many Positive Accountants this month that way.
Importantly though - tax due is still due by 31st January and interest will be charged for late payment.
2. (a) Albert has paid his tax, (b) Albert has paid his tax (again), (c) Albert has paid his tax for a second time again
The HMRC statements are never the easiest document to read. And this year, given that they are reconciling what is due in January (which may still be being worked on), recording what is due in July 2021as well as trying to collect the deferred July 2020 instalment of tax they are impenetrable.
Albert (name changed, he knows who he is) received a statement and misread it. He thought he had to pay the whole amount it showed (which included the July 2021 instalment). So being an upright citizen he paid the full amount
He looked at it again - and saw an 'amount overdue' notice - which was for the July 2020 instalment. So he paid that amount, not realising it was included in the total he had already paid.
He then noticed on page two a reference to the July 2021 payment, he was feeling a bit flush and wanted to get it out of the way. So he paid that too. Except, of course, it was already included in the first payment.
Confused he called me, I'm getting some refunds issued. Sadly I don't think he'll repeat the same trick when paying his accountant...
Anyone else confused, please check before paying.
3. There's been a really interesting Supreme Court decision
You might recall that early in the crisis many businesses forced to close who looked to their Business Interruption insurance policies were told that due to weaselly words in the policy they were not covered.
The FCA took the case on policyholders' behalf and in the summer it was reported that the FCA (for which read policyholders) had won, subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Judgement has been upheld in the Supreme Court for the policyholders. It is stressed that this is a narrow judgement, the FCA are promising further detailed guidance in the 'near future'.
For more information, see
Stay safe, stay positive