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COVID-19 Update 28th July 2021

VAT Deferral Penalties

Under the VAT Deferral Scheme that has been operating over the last year, businesses that deferred VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 were able to either:

    • pay in full by 31 March 2021
    • join the online VAT deferral new payment scheme by 21 June 2021 to spread payments of deferred VAT over smaller, interest free instalments
    • contact HMRC to make an arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021

With this deadline now passed, businesses that did not take any action may be faced with a penalty calculated on the amount of unpaid deferred VAT.

The penalty is charged at 5% of the deferred VAT that’s unpaid when the penalty is assessed and must be paid within 30 days of the date of the penalty assessment – although businesses can appeal against a penalty if they have a reasonable excuse.


Impact of Covid And Brexit On Service Trade With The EU

ONS has published a report on the impact that Covid and Brexit have had on the UK’s trade in Services with the EU during Q1 2021. The report compares Q1 2021 with Q1 2019 and, unsurprisingly, shows that businesses that rely on travel were impacted the most. The figures indicates that:

    • Exports of travel services was down 65.8% between the UK and EU countries
    • Exports of travel services was down exactly the same amount between the UK and non-EU countries
    • There are currently an average of 2,100 flights a day compared with 900 flights per day in 2020 and 6,400 in 2019

The report determines that the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020 may have impacted business travel, with workers requiring visas or work permits when travelling to the EU for certain business purposes, for which there are specific rules. The impact of this requirement is, however, likely to be masked by coronavirus-related travel restrictions, meaning the real impact of this rule change may not become evident for some time..


Correction to Public Guidance

The main public guidance has been updated to reflect a correction. It used to say that people should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists, but this has now been amended to say “You should not travel to countries or territories on the red list”.


New PHE Posters

PHE have produced a series of new posters that remind businesses and customers about the new workplace guidance and the behaviours that people should still adopt. The posters cover:

    • App Café
    • App Cinema
    • Face Covering
    • Outdoors
    • Symptomatic Testing
    • Weekly Testing
    • Windows


Tourism Alliance Supports BBRS Campaign To Help Businesses

The Tourism Alliance is supporting the new Business Banking Resolution Service in a campaign to help the estimated 600,000 businesses that may have an unresolved dispute with their bank. The BBRS offers a free and impartial service that aims to resolve these disputes and free-up businesses to concentrate on recovery and rebuilding. Their decisions are binding on banks that have signed up to support the service (almost all the main business banks have done this) so it is worthwhile highlighting this service to your members.

It is also worth noting that they can also seek resolution to disputes where businesses have become insolvent.
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