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Open letter from HMRC

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Published: 18 May 2021 Update History

Jo Rowland, Director General for Transformation, has written the open letter to share her thanks to ICAEW, AAT, ATT, CIOT, ICAS and their members for the part they have played in HMRC's response to the pandemic.

Dear all, 

I wanted to take this opportunity to write an open letter to you, as part of the tax agent community, including members of the Institute of Chartered Accounts England and Wales - ICAEW and readers of icaew.com/insights to say thank you. Thank you for your support in the last year as we reach the anniversary of the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Your support has made a real difference, and I would like to pay tribute to both ICAEW, and you, ICAEW members. Your help in designing and delivering what has been an unprecedented level of financial support across the United Kingdom has been greatly appreciated. I would also like to take time and reflect on the challenges we have faced together.

ICAEW, along with other stakeholders, has been really involved with the economic support schemes, whether advising us on aspects of scheme deliverability, helping us to hone and improve our scheme guidance, or supporting clients.  There is no doubt the pandemic has resulted in HMRC working more closely with our trusted partners and stakeholders such as ICAEW, - allowing us to build on our longstanding relationships which we hope will continue well into the future.   

Thanks to you and your members’ continued support - whether you’ve been submitting CJRS claims on behalf of employers or advising your clients on SEISS grants – you’ve made a real difference and have allowed us to pay out the relevant grants to support individuals and employers and protect jobs. I know it’s not been easy, with many of your members often juggling challenging circumstances at home and work as a result of the pandemic, but I hope you agree it’s worth it; to date, over £61bn has been paid through CJRS to 1.3m employers, and over £19bn as part of SEISS to 2.7 individuals.

And there’s still more to do, now that extensions to the CJRS and SEISS have been put in place until the end of September 2021.

For the CJRS, until the end of June 2021, the UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

Similarly, for SEISS, the UK Government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single payment and capped at £7,500 in total. The value of the grant is based on an average of trading profits for up to four tax years from 2016/17 to 2019/20.

We’ve been contacting self-employed people with their personal claim dates to confirms the earliest date they can claim. The online claim service is open, and all claims must be made by 11:59 on 1 June 2021.

I’m extremely proud of the way my colleagues in HMRC have risen to the challenge of delivering the schemes, and hugely grateful ICAEW members, who I hope are also proud of the contribution you have made. There is still much work for us all to do yet, and we value our strong working relationship with ICAEW. We will continue to consult closely with you as we do all we can to support our customers.

Thanks once again,

Joanna Rowland
Director General for Transformation, HMRC