Written evidence submitted by Tracy Bedwell

Introduction to me, my organisation and my reason for submitting evidence

I am Tracy Bedwell a 50-year-old. I am married with a daughter aged 7. I live in Lancashire.

I have run my own business for the past 20 years. It is a Ltd Co – Sales Training International Ltd. We have 2 directors and utilise approx. 20 self employed trainer consultants throughout a normal year (some are Ltd Co’s others sole traders). We give each one between £5,000 - £30,000 worth of business per year. We turn over approx. £400,000.

We have a diverse client base with over 80% of our clients being overseas. Before the pandemic all of our work was face to face. Due to travel restrictions, people working from home, companies having little money and not being able to have groups of people in a room  - all of our business / income has stopped.  I don’t expect it to change much until next year. We have pivoted and picked up a small amount of virtual – this is minute and doesn’t even cover business expenses.

Our payroll is run annually by our accountant – she does a lot of her clients this way – over 100 she has said. This year she filed in on April 16th, last year March 25th – she does them over a month to ensure all are in by the April 19th cut off. I never had reason to question this as it made little difference to us. We take payment twice a year via dividends (April and November) depending on what we can afford. 

Even though the furlough pay would be minuscule and not enough to live off, I was happy about it, as it would at least cover the business overheads.  Imagine my dismay when I realised due to a government rule re dates, I wasn’t even eligible for this!

I can fully understand them wanting to avoid fraud and I am sure some people would add people to their payroll extra, however in doing this they have discriminated against those companies, who perfectly legally file their payroll annually.

On several phone calls to HMRC they have stated is it easy to check. Also, it seems some tier 3 technical advisors are processing some claims manually and not others.

I would like the government to amend the date to 19th April to allow for extra claims from annual PAYE only. This would stop extra monthly claims going through and allow those of us who have fallen through the net to at least claim what they intended us to claim.  This also needs to be backdated.

June 2020