As always, last month was a busy one for the industry. From gearing up to the IR35 reforms which were delayed and adjusting to life in lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak, there was lots to talk about.
With March behind us, we’ve recapped some of the key news highlights for the self-employed.
Rishi Sunak announced his first Budget to the House of Commons on March 11th, which outlined the government’s spending plans for the year ahead.
The focus this year was largely on keeping the UK economy stable in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. He also announced that tax rates were to be frozen, the National Insurance threshold is to increase to £12,500 and the National Living Wage is to rise to £8.72. Entrepreneurs Relief is also to be reduced from £10 million to £1 million.
On March 17th, the Chief Treasury Secretary announced the government’s decision to delay the private sector IR35 reforms until 2021. This decision came in response to the coronavirus outbreak, as more time was needed to help both businesses and individuals.
Despite the relief from across the industry, there are concerns that this delay may be too late, as businesses have already issued Status Determination Statements to their contractors.
The government has unveiled a £330 billion support package to support the UK economy. Available are measures to defer VAT and self-assessment payments, income support for employees and loans for SMEs. The hope is that these measures will mitigate the impact of the crisis and help businesses to stay afloat.
Following a host of protections offered to workers and businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor announced on March 26th that they would be offering financial aid to the self-employed. Though some details are still to be ironed out, the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme looks set to mirror the Job Retention Scheme, as those eligible can claim 80% of their monthly income up to £2,500.
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