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The topic of annual allowance has always been a complicated one and in light of the healthcare crisis we have recorded a new webinar which explains the changes to the Annual Allowance from 6 April 2020. We also touch upon the announcements made by NHS England and NHS Scotland in 2019/20 together with a recap on the basics of the Annual Allowance and Tapering.

As many of you will know we have spent many years understanding how the growth arises in the NHS Pension Scheme for Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance purposes. In a number of cases we have identified incorrect Annual Allowance statements which have then been rectified following our intervention to avoid erroneous tax liabilities that were either too high or not due at all.

If you require any assistance with your Annual Allowance reviews or Scheme Pays Elections then please get in touch.

Job Retention Scheme

Following on from the Government public announcement of the grant available for staff that are furloughed more details were published yesterday and can be found by clicking the link below:

Read the latest Job Retention Scheme here 

It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus.

The main point is that furloughed staff cannot undertake any work for you. This includes provision of services or generation of income.

If an employee is on reduced hours or reduced pay they will not be eligible for the 80% grant.

The scheme applies to any type of contract including:

  • Full time
  • Part-time
  • Employees on agency contracts
  • Employees of flexible or zero-hour contracts

You must write to your employee to explain that they have been furloughed and keep a record of communication.

Any employee hired after 28 February is not eligible.

The grant will be based on actual salary before tax as of 28 February 2020. Fees, commissions and bonuses are not included.

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Financial update

From the partners and staff at Sandison Easson & Co we owe you all a debt of gratitude during this period.

All of us have family and friends that work in various sectors of the NHS and appreciate the task that will lie ahead.

What we can do to help, as we always have, is with your financial affairs. We understand that your normal working day will be altered and as such the partners and associates will be available night or day to deal with any queries you may have.

All of us are in this together.

We will still be attending to deadlines of tax returns and accounts which will be even more important as financial planning will be on your minds and you will want to focus on dealing with patients.

The Revenue will have some flexibility with regards to tax payments. These are explained below.

Coronavirus job retention scheme

Due to the speed at which this scheme has been rolled out, there remains many areas to clarify but at the time of writing we know the following:

  • All of our clients are eligible for the scheme where they employ staff through a PAYE scheme.
  • Workers are given a special status of being ‘Furloughed’ (see further information below).
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wage cost subject to a maximum of £2,500 per month. 
  • Effective from 1 March 2020 if you have already had to take steps with your employees.
  • HMRC are working on their systems to facilitate the above.

We understand that one of the eligibility criteria will be that a PAYE scheme has to be in place for your employee(s).  Many clients pay salaries below the level required to maintain a PAYE scheme and at the time of writing we do not believe that anyone in that position will be eligible for the scheme.  Additionally, anyone engaging the services of as secretary on a self-employed basis cannot use the scheme but one would expect your secretary payments to be reduced following a reduction in activity.

Where eligible, HMRC will provide funds to support the worker’s wages and prevent the need to make them redundant.

Furloughed worker    

Where a business does not have sufficient work to retain the services of an employee they can designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’.  They remain an employee and the terms and conditions of their employment are still enforceable. 

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Contact Details

During the special measures period, the partners and team at Sandison Easson will largely be working from home. We do have certain members of the team in isolation and unable to work which is a dynamic situation and therefore we suggest that any queries that require an urgent response are directed to the partner or associate that is responsible for your affairs.  Their contact details are:

Finally, we thank you for everything you are doing for us and our families.