I hope you have all enjoyed the Easter weekend and eaten lots of chocolate? Tomorrow sees the start of a new financial year and as always, that means change for a number of things. Today’s newsletter look at the changes but firstly let’s have a look at the Brexit Support Fund.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. Contact details can be found at the bottom of the newsletter.


Who is it aimed at?

  • It is aimed at SME businesses who incur costs for training or professional advice to deal with their customs excise, import/export VAT or safety and security declarations.

What is the size of the grant?

  • It provides grants of up to £2,000.
  • It could be a training grant or one for profession advice or both. The total grant cannot exceed £2,000

What is the eligibility criteria for a business?

  • It must be established in the UK.
  • It must have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status.
  • The business must not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations.
  • It must have no more than 500 employees and have no more than a £100 million turnover.
  • The business must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • It should complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods or
  • Use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain).
  • Expenditure would have to be evidenced and submitted by the applicant within two calendar months of the grant offer being issued and by 31st August at the latest.

When must applications be made by?

  • It runs until the earlier of 30th June 2021 or when the funds (£20million) allocated to the scheme has been paid out.

How do I make an application?

  • This can be done through an online portal on the link below.

SME Grants Available – Professional Advice — Customs Grant Scheme (customsintermediarygrant.co.uk)



Van Benefit Charge

  • From 6th April 2021, the van benefit charge is reduced to zero for employees provided with vans that produce zero carbon emissions.

Capital allowances from 1st April 2021 – Cars

  • A 100% first year allowance for cars will only be available for electric cars or cars with zero CO2 emissions which have been purchased new and unused.
  • The 18% Writing Down Allowance (WDA) is only available on purchases of cars with CO2 emissions not exceeding 50g/km.
  • Where a car is purchased and has CO2 emissions exceeding 50g/km, WDA will only be available at the special rate of 6%.
  • The reduction in the emissions threshold to 50g/km will also apply to the 15% restriction for leased vehicles.

The Super Deduction

  • Companies investing in qualifying plant and machinery can claim a 130% capital allowance deduction for £1 of qualifying expenditure.

VAT Returns

  • From 9th April, HMRC will no longer accept VAT Returns using software that uses eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) to make the submission.
  • Check with your software supplier.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

  • A 2% SDLT surcharge for the purchase of residential property by non-UK residents, comes into play from 1st April 2021.

Research & Development (R&D)


  • A cap on the amount of the payable R&D tax credit for SMEs comes into force for accounting periods beginning on or after 1st April 2021.


  • The cap limits the amount of R&D tax credit to £20,000 plus 300% of its total PAYE and national insurance contributions.


  • Note – the cap does not apply to those companies who:

a) Have employees creating, preparing to create or, managing intellectual property and

b) Do not spend more than 15% of their qualifying R&D expenditure on subcontracting R&D to, or the provision of externally provided workers by, connected persons.

Optional Remuneration Arrangements (ORA)

  • The transition period ends on 5th April 2021 for ORA made pre 6th April 2017 for cars with CO2 emissions above 75g/km, accommodation and school fees.
  • This means that the modified ‘cash equivalent’ rules apply when calculating benefit in kind for the 2021/22 tax year onwards.

Off Payroll Working (OPW) for the Private Sector

  • OPW for the private sector finally comes into force from 6th April 2021.
  • This can have significant ramifications for:

a) ‘Large’ businesses who deal directly or indirectly (e.g. via an agency) with a Personal Services Company (PSC).

b) The agency/cies between the PSC and the ‘Large’ business.

c) The PSC.

Employing Veterans from the Armed Forces

  • From 6th April 2021, employers of veterans will be entitled to a 12-month exemption from secondary National Insurance Contributions (employers NIC) for the first year of civilian employment.
  • It only applies to earnings between the secondary threshold and the upper secondary threshold.
  • For the 2021/22 tax year it will be a manual retrospective claim at the end of the tax year.
  • Initially this 12-month exemption will be available until 5th April 2024.

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

  • Don’t forget the NMW goes up from 1st April 2021.
Worker 25 years + £8.91 per hour
Worker 21 – 24 £8.36 per hour
Worker 18 – 20 £6.56 per hour
Worker under 18 £4.62 per hour
Apprentice £4.30 per hour


If you are affected by any of the content in this newsletter or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch, we’re here to help!




01273 569088
0114 400 0119

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