As we await the Budget, still scheduled for 3 March 2021, speculation continues in the press as to whether it will bring a rise in tax and in particular Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
CGT is currently paid at a rate of 20% by higher rate taxpayers on most gains but can be reduced by various reliefs such as Entrepreneurs Relief (which allows business owners to take the first £1 million of gains at a CGT rate of 10%). A recent Treasury report recommended aligning the CGT rates with the Income Tax rates including top rates of 40-45%, a shift that would take us back to the position in early 2000s when the rates were much more closely aligned.
The latest Insolvency statistics
The latest insolvency stats have just been released by the Insolvency Service and it comes as no surprise to see the figures for the past nine months have been historically low- about 40% lower than normal- as companies continue to benefit from the Government support measures and the temporary restrictions on the ability to issue statutory demands and winding up petitions.
The rise in corporate (but not personal) insolvencies in the month of December 2020 did come as a bit of a surprise. There were a total of 1,228 registered company insolvencies, which comprised of:
On Friday 15 January 2021 the Supreme Court delivered its eagerly awaited judgment in the test case between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and various insurers. The FCA was acting on behalf of policyholder businesses disrupted by COVID-19.
To the relief of SMEs awaiting the decision, the court found heavily in favour of the policyholders.
It is estimated that 370,000 policyholders could be directly affected.
Alissa Marsh (pictured below), joined Bermans in January 2017 as a solicitor working across both of our Asset Finance and Invoice Finance departments.
L-R Martin March, Phil Farrelly and James Whittaker
As we head into 2021 and the inevitable restructure of the economy as we (hopefully) return to some sort of normality, we thought it would be useful to share details about the depth of experience in our Insolvency team and to share some of their experiences during the lockdown.
Partner and Head of Insolvency, Phil Farrelly, will be known to many of you and has been with Bermans since 2005. He is a familiar face on the North West legal scene and has extensive experience of acting for insolvency practitioners, ABL and other lenders and directors in all aspects of corporate insolvency.
The team has recently been strengthened with the arrival of two experienced insolvency solicitors.
Bermans, commercial law firm in Liverpool and Manchester, is delighted to announce that it has promoted 6 individuals to more senior roles at the firm.
Andrew Henderson (left) joined Bermans in 1985 and has developed an expertise in asset finance litigation. He has been made a Partner and joins Alex Chapman, David Gledhill and Jonathan Berkson as partners in the specialist Asset Based Lending team that is ranked in the Legal 500 London Asset Finance Lending rankings.
He deals with matters such as fraud, freezing orders, title claims, delivery up claims, guarantee/indemnity claims, shortfalls and general debt recovery for a wide range of asset based lenders.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance has now been updated with an important change in relation to claiming for notice pay:-
Under the updated rules, an employer cannot claim for any days on or after 1 December 2020 during which the employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer (this includes people serving notice following a resignation).
It is never too late to sort things out. First published in 2018, this note, now updated, addresses how you may protect your business through your contracts, where border issues cause delays or prices need to be adjusted, and explains the new UKCA Mark.
Some questions you may ask yourself:
- What happens if the borders are clogged up and I cannot deliver or receive goods
- Who will be liable for tariffs in the event of a hard Brexit
- Should I look at amending existing contracts or terminating contracts with a view to issuing new contracts
- Will you have to register with a UK authority in place of an EU one?
10 tips for reviewing and implementing your credit control procedures: Revisited
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses continues to be severe, as recent statistics show.
In the UK as a whole the most recent ONS statistics show that nearly 30% of businesses, which have not closed permanently, continue to regard themselves as at moderate or severe risk of insolvency.
Following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on 5th of November that the CJRS will be extended until 31st March 2021, HMRC has now published updated guidance on the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).