UPDATES – STAMP DUTY, GREEN HOMES GRANT, EATING OUT SCHEME, VAT AND EMPLOYERS BONUS
Currently, the threshold for paying stamp duty on residential properties is £125,000 in England and Northern Ireland, unless you are a first time buyer, where the threshold is £300,000 (only if the property value is under £500,000).
However, as from 8th July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the threshold will be temporarily raised to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.
This change is to help economic growth in ‘boosting’ the property market and the Treasury have said this change will help nine out of 10 people during this period as they will have no stamp duty to pay as a result.
Green Homes Grant Scheme
The Chancellor also announced vouchers up to £5,000 for homeowners making energy efficient improvements to their properties.
The new Green Homes Grant Scheme offers eligible homeowners vouchers to help pay for environmentally friendly improvements. These improvements include the installation of insulation or double glazing within the home.
For low income households, the government will offer vouchers up to £10,000.
This scheme can be applied for from September 2020.
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
As a business, you are required to register for the scheme from 13th July 2020, which enables your business to offer a discount to diners, encouraging them to eat at your restaurant.
The scheme covers the period 3rd to 31st August 2020 and is an all-day scheme Monday to Wednesday only.
The scheme offers a 50% discount up to a maximum of £10 per person on food and non-alcoholic drinks and only applies to customers eating in.
The business is then required to make a claim from the government, with registration closing on 31st August 2020.
A list of all participating restaurants, cafe’s and pubs will be published by the government which can be accessed via their website in due course.
The discount will be automatically added for customers and can be used in conjunction with standard discount vouchers. Standard vouchers will be applied to your bill before the government discount is applied.
Alcohol and service charges are excluded from this scheme.
In addition to the above scheme, the hospitality and tourism sectors will see a reduction in VAT from 20% to 5% as from 15th July. This is a temporary reduction that is due to end on 12th January 2021.
A new Job Retention Bonus is being awarded to firms who retain their furloughed staff. Employers within the UK will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for every furloughed worker who remains continuously employed through to 31st January 2021.
In order for employers to be eligible, employees must earn at least £520 per month on average between the end of the furlough scheme in October 2020 to 31st January 2021.
These bonuses will be paid to employers from February 2021.
Further details regarding the scheme is due to be released by the end of July 2020.