Written by Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner
After a tough start, 2021 has not yet brought the relief that many business owners hoped for. There are, however, some very real reasons to hold on to the positivity and proactivity that have kept us all going through the pandemic so far.
For us at Champion, 2021 is very significant. This year we celebrate an astonishing 50 years in business, and we have high hopes for joyful celebrations. For our 50th anniversary, we have pledged to raise £50,000 for charities close to our hearts. Our fundraising may be socially distanced, but I have no doubt that our collective ingenuity and determination will see us through. From sponsored walks to virtual raffles and – we hope – a charity dinner late in the year, we will gather all our resources and optimism to take on the challenge. Some of our longstanding clients may remember that we set ourselves up for this task a decade ago when we raised £40,000 for our 40th anniversary. This year will be bigger and better – watch this space as more details are revealed.
We also have a little over a month to wait until the Chancellor sets out his Budget for the year. In the run up to this, we expect to gain insight into further Government support that will help those sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. The road to recovery may well feel underway by March, with the potential reopening of schools, further vaccinations, and a new package of financial support and economy-boosting initiatives, but ensure you are also maximising what is available now.
The end of March also marks the deadline for VAT payments that were deferred in 2020. For those businesses that cannot pay in full, instalment plans are available. These are interest free and can be spread out over 11 equal monthly payments. To qualify, businesses must still have VAT to pay, be up to date with your VAT returns, opt in when the scheme opens and before the end of March 2021, and pay the first instalment when you opt in.
Meanwhile, the deadline for filing self-assessments has been extended to the end of February. However, it is crucial to note that the payment deadline remains unchanged [31st January], and interest on outstanding payments begins on 1st February.
Admittedly, changes due to Brexit will add an extra level of complexity to the year. There is advice available at gov.uk/transition, and – of course – we at Champion will be here to coach our clients through the transition.
I should add that, despite the challenges of the last 12 months, our clients have laid claim to countless victories, big and small. Recently and notably, we steered Quadra Claims Services, our client of seven years, towards a successful acquisition. Despite the backdrop of the pandemic, the acquisition process was very smooth and has resulted in an outcome that all parties are satisfied with. We wish continued good fortune and a prosperous, harmonious future for all involved.
And so, I hope that you will join us in striding forward with positivity, as we leave behind a somewhat bleak January and look forward to brighter days ahead.