September 2020

Technical and Client Update

In this issue

How Humphrey & Co are continuing to support our clients and our staff

MTD for VAT to be extended to all VAT registered businesses in 2022

Numerous fraudulent CJRS claims identified

Key dates for Coronavirus Business Support Schemes

Company vans were motor cars

Brexit – will the UK and the EU reach a deal?

Guidance on making Wills using video conferencing

Child Trust Funds

Running effective meetings - virtually

New Appointment

Exam Success

How Humphrey & Co are continuing to support our clients and our staff

We are following the government guidelines to ensure our offices are Covid secure and have introduced a limited amount of staff to our offices in Eastbourne and Hove. As part of this process we have adapted the office to comply with these measures.

As a result we can offer client meetings in our boardroom, where a virtual meeting is not appropriate. We continue to limit access to our offices for clients dropping off and collecting records, please liaise with your usual Humphrey & Co contact who will arrange for access at an agreed time should you wish to do this.

MTD for VAT to be extended to all VAT registered businesses in 2022

Since 2019, the vast majority of VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (£85,000) have been mandated to keep digital VAT records and send returns using Making Tax Digital (MTD)-compatible software.

From April 2022 these requirements will apply to all VAT-registered businesses.

It has also been announced that MTD for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA), which was originally intended to start in 2018, will finally be introduced from April 2023 for unincorporated businesses and landlords with total business or property income above £10,000 per year.

Most businesses will have 2 years to prepare and test the service voluntarily prior to its introduction.

Numerous fraudulent CJRS claims identified

HMRC’s CJRS fraud reporting portal had received over 2,000 reports of wrongful claims. 

Examples of such wrongful claims include;

  • Claiming furlough payments for staff who are continuing to work
  • Furloughing staff but asking them to work “voluntarily” on an unpaid basis
  • Claiming furlough payments for “ghost” employees, and those who left employment before 19 March 2020
  • Not passing on the full amount of furlough pay to staff
  • Failing to account for PAYE tax and NIC in relation to furlough payments.

HMRC also have the power to transfer CJRS penalties to the directors of an insolvent company if their company does not pay them.  We therefore suggest that employers should check the accuracy and validity of their CRJS claims as a matter of priority, and ensure that any inaccuracies or errors are disclosed to HMRC as quickly as possible. We can of course assist you in checking claims.

Key dates for Coronavirus Business Support Schemes

As we approach October a number of the Coronavirus Business Support Schemes come to an end.

A summary of the key dates are listed below for the following:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
  • Plus VAT and income tax payments




30 September 2020


The application window for this loan is open until this date, but the government have the option to extend beyond this date. Lenders have two more months to consider the cases. That pushes the final approvals date to November 30.

1 October 2020


  • For the final month of the scheme, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500.
  • This also applies to employees that are furloughed part-time.

19 October 2020


Claims for the second grant must be made on or before this date.

20 October 2020


The application window for this loan is open until this date, but the government have the option to extend beyond this date. Lenders have two more months to consider the cases. That pushes the final approvals date to December 31.

31 October 2020


CJRS ends for all furloughed employees.


If you have not taken a mortgage payment holiday you have until this date to apply.

4 November 2020


The application window for this loan is open until this date, but the government have the option to extend beyond this date.

30 November 2020


All CJRS claims for the period July-October must be submitted to HMRC.

12 January 2021


The 6 month period when the rate of VAT applied on tourism and hospitality related activities was cut from 20% to 5% comes to an end.

31 January 2021

Self Assessment

  • Deadline for filing electronic self assessment personal tax returns for 2019/20.
  • The deferred POA from 31 July (along with the balancing payment for 2019/20) is now due plus the first POA for 2020/21 is due.


Employers will receive a £1,000 bonus for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

1 March 2021


Due to the coronavirus pandemic the domestic reverse charge for VAT relating to certain construction services was postponed, it comes into effect on this date.

31 March 2021


If you deferred March – June 2020 VAT payment, it must be paid by this date.

Stamp Duty

No Stamp Duty on the first £500k ends today.

March/April 2021


You will need to start repayments of the loan and interest 12 months from the date you took out the loan.

May 2021


You will need to start repayments of the loan and interest 12 months from the date you took out the loan.

Company vans were motor cars

The Court of Appeal have now ruled on the tax status of certain vehicles provided to employees of Coca Cola. The court has upheld the HMRC view that vans with windows and a second row of seats behind the driver are not goods vehicles but motor cars for benefit in kind purposes.

Consequently, the income tax and national insurance payable by employee and employer is significantly higher than if the vehicles had been classified as goods vehicles.

The income tax legislation defines a “goods vehicle” as “a vehicle of a construction primarily suited for the conveyance of goods or burden of any description…”

At the Tax Tribunal it was decided that modified VW Kombi vans failed this test whereas modified Vauxhall Vivaro vans did fall within the definition of goods vehicles.

It has now been determined that the Vauxhalls should also be taxed as motor cars for P11d benefit in kind purposes. This means that where the vehicle is available for private use the taxable benefit will be based on the original list price multiplied by a percentage based on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions.

The decision means that employers may need to reconsider providing such vehicles. They may also need to rectify the P11d reporting in respect of earlier years and we await further guidance from HMRC. 

What is also particularly confusing, and thus difficult for businesses to deal with, is that the benefit in kind rules are not the same as the rules for recovery of input VAT and it would be useful if there was a common definition for tax purposes.


For VAT purposes the definition of a motor car has been amended several times over the years.

The current definition states: “Motor car” means any motor vehicle of a kind normally used on public roads which has three or more wheels and either:

  1. is constructed or adapted solely or mainly for the carriage of passengers; or
  2. has to the rear of the driver’s seat roofed accommodation which is fitted with side windows or which is constructed or adapted for the fitting of side windows;

There are a number of exceptions to this rule: notably vehicles constructed to carry a payload of one tonne or more, i.e. double cab pick-ups such as a Toyota Hilux.

Brexit – will the UK and the EU reach a deal?

Brexit is in the news daily and as we watch the negotiations unfold and the political “twists and turns” happening it is important to note the transitional UK EU arrangement ends regardless of a “deal or no deal” on the 31 December.

We are not here to comment on the politics or the negotiations but remind businesses that the key date to note for any new deal is the 15 October by when the UK wants a summit with the EU to agree terms. This timeline may move!

What we can say is that over the next few months we will keep all our clients up to date with the latest news and provide practical guidance on what steps to take before and after the 31 December 2020.

The Government has produced a personalised list of actions for you, your family and your business to help prepare for Brexit. See:

Guidance on making Wills using video conferencing

The Government is introducing legislation on 28 September 2020, which will have retrospective effect from 31 January 2020, to allow people to use video-conferencing technology for the witnessing of wills being made.

The legislation recognises that:

  • An increasing number of people have sought to make wills during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for people shielding or self-isolating it is extremely challenging to follow the normal legalities of making a will - namely it being witnessed by two people.
  • In response to this the law (the Wills Act 1837) will be amended to state that whilst this legislation is in force, the ‘presence’ of those making and witnessing wills includes a virtual presence, via video-link, as an alternative to physical presence.

The legislation will apply to wills made since 31 January 2020, the date of the first registered Covid-19 case in England and Wales, except:

  • cases where a Grant of Probate has already been issued in respect of the deceased person
  • the application is already in the process of being administered

The legislation will apply to wills made up to two years from when the legislation comes into force (so until 31 January 2022), however this can be shortened or extended if deemed necessary, in line with the approach adopted for other Coronavirus legislative measures.

The Ministry of Justice’s advice is that remote witnessing should be used only in an emergency when conventional witnessing is impossible, and extreme caution is required when using it.

The type of video-conferencing or device used is not important, as long as the person making the will and their two witnesses each have a clear line of sight of the writing of the signature.

Witnessing pre-recorded videos will not be permissible - the witnesses must see the will being signed in real-time. The person making the will must be acting with capacity and in the absence of undue influence. If possible, the whole video-signing and witnessing process should be recorded and the recording retained. This may assist a court in the event of a will being challenged - both in terms of whether the will was made in a legally valid way, but also to try and detect any indications of undue influence, fraud or lack of capacity.

Our Trust and Estate Support Services team can provide support and guidance both to private individuals and professional people in relation to Wills, LPAs, Probate and Estate Administration. Our trust and estate partner, Sue Pocklington and the TESS team are all members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Further guidance can be found here:

Child Trust Funds

The first Child Trust Funds will mature in September 2020, when the oldest account holders turn 18. Children born between September 2002 and January 2011 were given vouchers by the Government.

The government initially put £250 into the tax-free account during a child's first year, then added another £250 when he or she reached the age of seven. For lower-income families, the payment was £500. Parents, family and friends could also contribute to the account, up to set limits. The scheme was ended in January 2011.

Further information on how to find and manage a Child Trust Fund can be found here:

Running effective meetings - virtually

Over the course of the past few months, we have all had to adapt to working remotely.

Despite lockdown restrictions, many businesses have found ways to move their operations online, with all staff working remotely. This has given rise to an increased volume of virtual meetings on services such as Skype, Zoom, Teams, WebEx or other popular online meeting services. This has resulted in a new challenge - how to have an effective virtual meeting.


Just like any meeting, take the time to set an agenda and circulate it in advance of the call along with any supporting documents.

Setting an agenda and sticking to it helps to keep the virtual meeting on track. If there are lots of documents, make sure that you circulate them in time to allow people to read them well in advance.

Choose the right technology

There is nothing more frustrating than dialling into a video or conference call and not being able to connect due to a technical glitch. Before you set up your virtual meeting, check with the attendees that they are comfortable (and able) to use your platform of choice. If possible, use a system that allows users to join via a web browser - most platforms such as Skype, Teams, Zoom, WebEx, etc. allow this.


A virtual meeting is still a meeting, so make sure you give it your full attention. Ask all attendees to use video - this makes it harder for them to do something else during the virtual meeting as they will be on everyone’s screen. In addition, seeing people on screen can help those who have been working from home during COVID-19 to feel more connected.

Jump into the content

Don’t waste time (yours or other people’s) during a virtual meeting. Keep it short and get straight into the agenda. Aim to follow up within 24 hours of the meeting with any relevant action points as it keeps people’s attention. By sending the notes around 2 weeks after a meeting, momentum on any actions may be lost.

New Appointment

We are delighted to welcome a new Client Manager to the firm. Daniel Earl has been working in Accountancy for 13 years achieving a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance and achieved his ACA qualification in 2014 to become a Chartered Accountant. Daniel will be working for Partners Andrew Robinson and Lewis Hampton managing their wide portfolio of business clients. Daniel lives locally with his young family and enjoys watching movies in his spare time.

Exam Success

We are pleased to announce that Richard Cloake has passed the final exam to become a fully qualified Accounting Technician (AAT). Richard joined the firm in 2017 and works for Partner Ian Simpson in our Hove office, assisting with his wide portfolio of business and healthcare clients.

We are delighted to have yet more exam success within the firm and congratulate Richard on all his hard work in achieving this qualification.