Budget 2021 included several important announcements from the Chancellor for letting agents and landlords, including the extension to the furlough scheme and support for the self-employed; an extension to the stamp duty holiday; and increased support for businesses.
Furlough scheme and self-employment support extended
The government has confirmed that it will be extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of September 2021 across the UK, however businesses will need to begin contributing to their employees' wages from July. Employees will continue to receive 80% of their wages until the scheme ends, but businesses will be asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September, as the scheme is phased out. Additionally, the government announced an extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, which means that 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
Stamp duty holiday extended
The temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland on properties up to £500,000 has been extended until the end of June 2021. The holiday will continue on properties up to £250,000 until the end of September 2021. The government also announced plans to introduce a new mortgage guarantee scheme, which will enable "all UK homebuyers to secure a mortgage up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit".
New support for businesses
A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme will make loans between £25,001 and £10 million available, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to "help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery". Additionally, 750,000 businesses will benefit from business rates relief. Small and medium-sized employers can also continue to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the government. However, there was confirmation that Corporation Tax would increase from 19% to 25% from April 2023, which could impact both incorporated landlords and letting agents.
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