The government has published a call for evidence on Income Tax Self Assessment registration for the self-employed and landlords. You can find it at: Open consultation overview: Call for evidence: Income Tax Self Assessment registration for the self-employed and landlords – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). This will run for 12 weeks from 30 November 2021, ending on 22 February 2022.
They are keen to hear from a wide range of respondents and are planning a series of themed online discussion workshops in January and February. If you would be interested in attending please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A new scheme is being launched in Cornwall to help renters who are facing eviction to stay in their homes. Cornwall Council has set aside £700,000 to assist landlords and tenants in preventing homelessness, with up to £5,000 available for each instance.
The tenancy sustainment and rescue project will help tenants of privately-owned properties who have fallen behind with their rent and are therefore threatened with being made homeless.
It is hoped that landlords thinking about serving notice due to rent arrears will feel that this is a ‘much needed lifeline’ and get in touch. Citizens’ Advice Cornwall will work with tenants and landlords on a case-by-case basis, looking at the reason for the arrears, and provide advice and assistance. They will also work with landlords to maintain the tenancy for a minimum period of 12 months.
A note from SWLA – most Local Authorities have access to funding to rescue tenancies and prevent homelessness.
If you are evicting your tenant due to rent arrears, contact the tenant’s Local Authority and query if the tenancy can be saved. The tenant can also contact their Local Authority, Shelter and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Article by GoSimpleTax
More than 12m people file a Self Assessment tax return each year, which is almost a fifth of the UK population. They include sole-trader bricklayers, plumbers and plasterers, as well as hairdressers, cake makers and chefs, and self-employed tutors, translators and tattoo artists. People of all occupations, trades and backgrounds work for themselves.
Sole traders are key to the UK economy. They’re the unsung heroes who make up about 59% (3.5m) of the total UK business population of 5.9m and they of course include many freelancers, contractors and agency workers.
Many other people also need to fill out and file a Self Assessment tax return to report taxable income and in recent years, many UK sole traders have received taxable COVID-19 grants and support payments from government and other sources that must also be reported via Self Assessment. This guide provides an overview of who must sign up to Self Assessment and how they should report COVID-19 grants and support payments.
Here’s what we’ll cover
Who must file a Self Assessment tax return?
Self Assessment is the system the UK tax authority HMRC uses to collect Income Tax. You need to register for Self Assessment and file an SA100 tax return if you:
• If you’re still not sure, HMRC provides an online tool that you can use to check whether you need to file a Self Assessment tax return.
Need to know!
How to register for Self Assessment
It’s simple and relatively quick to register online for Self Assessment. When registering you’ll need to give your:
You’ll also be asked for basic information about your new sole trader business, if that what you’re doing. After you’ve completed the questions, HMRC will create an account for you. You’ll then receive a letter with your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number within 10 days (21 if you’re based overseas). You’ll need your UTR to file your Self Assessment tax return. You’ll also then receive another letter with an account activation code. Once activated, you can file your tax return online at any time before the deadline.
Need to know!
Reporting COVID-19 grants and support payments
To help some self-employed people to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic when they couldn’t work, the government introduced a range of business-support measures, including SEISS (the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme), which began in May 2020. Five rounds of SEISS grants were awarded and the application deadline date for the last one was 30 September 2021.
Other COVID-19 grants and support payments included:
As a sole trader or member of an ordinary business partnership, you may have received COVID-19 grant funding and/or support payments, which you now need to tell HMRC about if it is taxable. Thankfully, it’s straightforward.
If you’re self-employed, HMRC has published guidance on reporting COVID-19 grants and support payments (choose from short or full notes). Short and full guidance is also available online for members of ordinary partnerships who need to report COVID-19 grants and support payments via Self Assessment.
Sources of support
Income, expenses and tax submission all in one.
GoSimpleTax will provide you with tips that could save you money on allowances and expenses you might have missed.
The software submits directly to HMRC and is the solution for the self-employed, sole traders and anyone with income outside of PAYE to file their self-assessment giving hints and tips on savings along the way.
GoSimpleTax does all the calculations for you saving you ££’s on an accountant. Available on desktop or mobile application.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in more than three years, in response to calls to tackle surging inflation.
The Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 in favour of the increase to 0.25%.
Rates were cut to a record low of 0.1% in March last year in response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The increase came despite fears that the Omicron variant of Covid could slow the UK economy by causing people to spend less.
The Bank said global asset prices had initially fallen in response to news of the new variant, but had since largely recovered.
The committee also voted unanimously to maintain the Bank’s asset purchase scheme at £875bn.
The last time the Bank raised interest rates was in August 2018, when they reached 0.75%.
They were then cut twice in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
Figures issued on Thursday showed the cost of living surged by 5.1% in the 12 months to November, up from 4.2% the month before, and its highest level since September 2011.
Article from BBC News
Homelessness prevention grants are available, click on the bullet point text below for further information;
Article from BBC News; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-59649129
Ever booked accommodation and turned up to find it’s not exactly what you were sold in the pictures?
Well, that’s just what happened with Jack Simm’s university accommodation, which he described as being like a “building site”.
So, he decided to do what any self-respecting law student would do and took his landlord to court – winning his first ever case with the help of his textbooks.
The 19-year-old was in his first year at the University of East Anglia in September 2020 when he moved into the Velocity Student accommodation in Norwich.
But because he got his university place through clearing he didn’t get a chance to view it beforehand.
“I thought I was going to get what I’d seen on these photos,” he says. “These nice, upmarket student accommodation rooms.”
But when he turned up, it was a different story.
“It was a building site,” he says of the property which was developed by The Freedman Project LLP and managed by Estateducation.
“There were skips everywhere, tradesmen everywhere, hammering the ceiling, hammering the walls. The place was covered in dust from sanding.
“It was almost ironic and funny that people were moving into this place because it looked awful. It was just a bit of a dire state really.”
After a week Jack moved out and stopped paying his rent. Despite being threatened with recovery action by a debt collector, he turned to his textbooks and started building his case.
He collected witness statements, put together the case law and statute law surrounding contract representation, and sued for breach of contract and misrepresentation.
“It was quite easy to be honest,” says Jack, who is originally from Newcastle.
“I studied contract law at the time. To me it was quite an easy case of opening my contract law textbook and looking through some of the relevant law and applied it to the situation.”
He adds: “We sued for our money back our deposit our first month’s rent. They sued for the entire tenancy agreement – around £7,000.”
At an online hearing at Newcastle County Court on 2 November, his dad spoke for him in court, and Jack won what he had paid them plus court fees, totalling £999. The counterclaim was dismissed.
He said it was “great winning” and “really just instilled in me that young people need to back themselves”.
“You just can’t let these landlords win,” he added. “[You’ve] got to take them to court if this happens. Change will happen. The culture needs to change.”
Estateducation declined to comment when approached by the BBC.
Please see the following advice and information to share with your tenants, especially those in shared houses.
The following letter from the Housing Minister is addressed to all landlords, please read to keep you and your tenants informed and updated on ways to keep as safe as possible from catching and spreading COVID-19.
Tenants facing eviction in England are to be protected from losing their homes during the Christmas and New Year period, HM Courts and Tribunal has confirmed.
Between 13 December 2021 and 10 January 2022 no evictions should be scheduled by a bailiff or executed by a bailiff, although if landlords have an urgent eviction they need to book-in following the court process ‘around these times’ then they can alert the bailiff manager of the court in question.
The precise dates around the UK appear to vary slightly.
This is similar to last year, when bailiffs were asked that they should not enforce other than in the ‘most serious circumstances’.
The festive amnesty occurs every year but was controversial last year because it came at the end of an extended blanket ban on bailiff evictions brought in during the worst months of the pandemic. Also, at the time Boris Johnson suggested that it should be extended.
This year’s announcement in England has been rolled out informally through the courts, although officially the normal procedure is for the Lord Chancellor to inform the High Court Enforcements Officers Association which then informs its members.
Article abridged from LandlordZone
Vulnerable renters struggling due to the impact of the pandemic will be helped by a £65 million support package announced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
The funding has been given to councils in England to support low-income earners in rent arrears – helping to prevent homelessness and support families get back on their feet.
Renters across the country have been protected throughout the pandemic because of government action, including a ban on evictions and a £400 billion support package for the economy.
The extra funding comes on top of the £500 million Household Support Fund, which was announced by the government in September 2021 which is helping vulnerable households across the country with the cost of food, energy, water and other essentials.
Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes MP said:
‘We have taken action throughout the pandemic to support the most vulnerable families, and it is vital we continue to provide support as we enter the winter months. This new funding will support families that are struggling and help to get them back on their feet as we begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The £65 million will be available through the winter months and households at risk of eviction or homelessness should contact their local council if they require support. The fund recognises the impact the pandemic has had on households in the private rented sector with the lowest income. The government has already provided £310 million to councils this year through the Homelessness Prevention Grant and this funding will increase that grant by a further £65 million this year. £140 million is also available through Discretionary Housing Payments, which can also be used to prevent evictions and help people find a new home. The £500 million Household Support Fund provides £421 million to help vulnerable people in England, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million. The funding is primarily being used to support households with the cost of essentials, although councils have flexibility to best address local needs. At least 50% of the funding is reserved for households with children. It is for councils to determine the best way to support each household on a case-by-case basis. Any payment is likely to be paid directly to the existing landlord, or a new landlord if the money is being used to support a household to find a new home. The government is grateful to landlords for their support and the funding will mean more of them will be able to reach agreements with existing tenants.
For more information, see the gov.uk website or contact your Local Authority
The government intends to bring forward these changes as soon as practicable:
As soon as parliamentary time allows, the government will amend the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure and will need to be approved in both Houses of Parliament before they can be made. They will also amend the statutory guidance (Approved Document J) supporting Part J of the Building Regulations. They intend the new requirements to come into force as soon as practicable after the regulations are made. To avoid any confusion, both sets of requirements will come into effect at the same time.
The other recommendations in the consultation paper were concerned with updating the guidance documents on the placement of alarms and type of alarms to use. There was a high level of support in consultation responses for all these measures. They will update the government guidance documents to this effect and the refreshed documents will be published alongside the new legislation.
Article by gov.uk
The housing market can remain open. All planned moves and viewings can continue and tradespeople can continue to work in other people’s homes, unless self-isolation restricts access to a property. Everyone involved in the process of letting out a property (letting agents, landlords, prospective tenants) is advised to keep up good hygiene practices, with hand washing and sanitising.
Letting agents and landlords are encouraged to follow the ‘working safely during coronavirus guidance;
When in the office, letting agents are required to wear masks. There are no limits on the number of people that can view a property, but virtual viewings are recommended before progressing to an in-person viewing if required, where masks should be encouraged. Thorough cleaning of properties and showing a property when vacant where possible are also advised, to reduce the risk of infection.
Flexibility is encouraged around anyone who may need to self-isolate.
To view the latest COVID rules, please see;
On 30th November 2021 the guidance was updated to reflect changes to the court process for possession introduced by the judiciary relating to COVID-19 case marking, review appointments and priority cases.
We recommend that any landlord who is serving notice to their tenant and applying to court for possession, read the guidance in full and carry out all actions listed in the guidance.