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UK cab trade debate and advice
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:02 pm 
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Alf Cook wrote:
I am a london taxi driver but havent worked since lockdown. I was told by a friend that if I dont work befor April next year I will have to pay back the grants given to me by HMRC i check with my accountants who comfirem the it is true, came as a surprise to me. Hope you are all staying safe.
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Pity there's no replies to the post(?)

But as it stands I'd say it's irrelevant. Even as things are now the fact that he simply hasn't *worked* doesn't seem relevant. Maybe if the question was whether he was still *trading*, or whatever, then it would be worth questioning, but all he says is that he hasn't worked, and I can't really see the relevance of that in itself.

But it was 29 weeks ago when it was posted, thus back in July, so that would be before the second grant even paid?

Recall that the orginal conditions stated that you had to "intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21".

So that's probably what he was referring to - at that time I think obviously everyone thought things would be more back to normal by the end of the tax year. And I'm guessing his accountant just told him he should intend trading before end of tax year.

However, back then it did say you had to be "trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19".

So I suppose it's slightly different for the current grant, because back then you didn't need to be trading. Now you are supposed to be trading, but precisely what that means for a cab driver I'm not sure :?

I wouldn't worry about it though, since it's surely unreasonable to expect a driver to work at a loss.

And I think the cab driver's comment on MSE was just about a claimant's intention to continue trading before the end of the tax year when it was assumed things would be back to normal by then.

(His comment does seem a bit odd back in July, though (assuming I'm right with the date). Why would he say that? I'm guessing he just thought it was a point worth mentioning, but at that time it wasn't really of any real relevance, except of course if someone had no intention of ever trading again.)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:21 pm 
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The HMRC dog walker analogy is ridiculous.

What about self employed actors and theatre production staff? They have no work, are HMRC saying they should return any grant money? Of course not.

The gov are funding millions of employed staff who can’t work, is anyone seriously thinking the gov are going to go after 100s of 1000s of self employed folks who can’t work despite them desperately wanting/needing to work?

Especially those that are required to shield.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:25 pm 
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Surely you can trade without having an income. Although one couldn’t do that for a long period.

By having bills ie insurance, licensing costs, vehicle repayments etc you are still trading albeit at a loss.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:34 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Surely you can trade without having an income. Although one couldn’t do that for a long period.

By having bills ie insurance, licensing costs, vehicle repayments etc you are still trading albeit at a loss.


Fortunately I don't have any trading costs at the moment as I only rented my cab but I still consider myself as trading just that I'm unable to do so in the current situation without a guaranteed loss if I was to work 'normal' working week hours so does 'have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus' cover my situation?

I think HMRC maybe should make it a bit clearer of what they expect, as I mentioned I haven't worked since the first lockdown because me and my wife were caring for an extremely at risk person who has now died of Covid during the Summer, I still can't work because I was a Night driver and for obvious reasons the night trade is non existent plus all the night drivers that personally own their own cabs with big insurance and finance overheads have gone onto days to try and make ends meet, so that makes the already over saturated day job far less profitable and then on top of that the the lack of customers with places shut.

I'm wondering if any drivers have contacted the Unions for clarification, unfortunately I'm not a member!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:28 pm 
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Will you be putting your book's in for 2020 to 2021 or less

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:58 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Surely you can trade without having an income. Although one couldn’t do that for a long period.

By having bills ie insurance, licensing costs, vehicle repayments etc you are still trading albeit at a loss.



During this pandemic and the restrictions that are in place you can trade without any income.
You can sit on a RANK for an hour a day not picking up a fare which will not be uncommon.
This is still classified as trading and you still have to pay the fixed costs of being licensed which means you automatically make a loss.
All grants you receive have to be recorded in your books/accounts.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:58 pm 
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Quote:
Fortunately I don't have any trading costs at the moment

I'm guessing TfL don't issue free badges? 8-[

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:08 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Fortunately I don't have any trading costs at the moment

I'm guessing TfL don't issue free badges? 8-[


My 3 year badge was paid for in 2019 and fortunately stingy Liverpool council gave us a refund this year of £210 so I'll certainly be including that plus my SEISS grant on my 20/21 self assessment return because it was added as an expense on the previous return.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:31 pm 
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As I've alluded to in previous posts, in my opinion you have nothing to worry about, if for no other reason than there are 10s of 1000s of taxi/PH drivers in exactly the same situation as you.

If anyone has any issues with their accountants I suggest they do what I do, they self assess as it costs diddly squat and takes about 20/30 minutes once you have added up all your expenses.

And I guessing for you, in respect of the 20/21 return, it shouldn't take too much adding up.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:52 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Surely you can trade without having an income. Although one couldn’t do that for a long period.

By having bills ie insurance, licensing costs, vehicle repayments etc you are still trading albeit at a loss.

There are plenty who are trading with no income, doing free rides to vaccine centres.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:35 am 
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Sussex wrote:
The HMRC dog walker analogy is ridiculous.

Kind of, but I think it's basically trying to deter anyone who has simply given up and has no intention of returning to their former trade - suspect there's a few of those around here who were on the taxis, particularly those part-time or semi-retired.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:06 am 
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Don't know if it adds anything to what was said earlier, or how many noticed this (which I didn't initially).

But, as stated yesterday, the original conditions included that you: "intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21."

That was drawn up towards the end of March, thus while we were still in the 2019-2020 tax year.

So the condition just said that you intend trading sometime in the *next* tax year 2020-21, therefore at some time before April 2021.

So that's entirely consistent with the taxi driver's accountant telling him a few months later in mid-2020 that he had to work/trade before April next year, which was April 2021:

In July 2020 a London taxi driver wrote:
I am a london taxi driver but havent worked since lockdown. I was told by a friend that if I dont work befor April next year I will have to pay back the grants given to me by HMRC i check with my accountants who comfirem the it is true...

Of course, that was before even the second grant was paid, and all bets are now off in that regard.

But as regards what's happening now, the driver's statement has zero relevance.

At that time none of us really thought it was relevant that we had to intend trading before April 2021, because we just assumed it would happen.

Unless, of course, anyone had decided not to bother going back after first lockdown, which was obviously the people that HMRC didn't want to claim the grant at that time.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:45 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Don't know if it adds anything to what was said earlier, or how many noticed this (which I didn't initially).

But, as stated yesterday, the original conditions included that you: "intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21."

That was drawn up towards the end of March, thus while we were still in the 2019-2020 tax year.

So the condition just said that you intend trading sometime in the *next* tax year 2020-21, therefore at some time before April 2021.

So that's entirely consistent with the taxi driver's accountant telling him a few months later in mid-2020 that he had to work/trade before April next year, which was April 2021:

In July 2020 a London taxi driver wrote:
I am a london taxi driver but havent worked since lockdown. I was told by a friend that if I dont work befor April next year I will have to pay back the grants given to me by HMRC i check with my accountants who comfirem the it is true...

Of course, that was before even the second grant was paid, and all bets are now off in that regard.

But as regards what's happening now, the driver's statement has zero relevance.

At that time none of us really thought it was relevant that we had to intend trading before April 2021, because we just assumed it would happen.

Unless, of course, anyone had decided not to bother going back after first lockdown, which was obviously the people that HMRC didn't want to claim the grant at that time.



Quote:
"intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21."


The words "INTEND to trade" is not a promise, a lot can happen between declaring your intentions and the realities of todays situation. I'm not sure they could pursue you for the Seiss money if your business became unviable even with the grants.

I read somewhere that when it comes to the BBL scheme they estimate that up to 60% of that money will never be repaid and I can't see how the Government can chase up all those who defaulted on that debt, especially when they are broke and no longer trading.

My guess is that much of the broken Seiss Grant terms and BBL will be written off by the government as money not worth pursuing through the courts.....the legal actions would cost more than the money owed.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:37 pm 
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My guess is that much of the broken Seiss Grant terms and BBL will be written off by the government as money not worth pursuing through the courts.....the legal actions would cost more than the money owed.

100% certain that's going to happen.

But defaulting on a bank loan will not do you much good if at sometime in the future you will require a further loan.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 8:19 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
My guess is that much of the broken Seiss Grant terms and BBL will be written off by the government as money not worth pursuing through the courts.....the legal actions would cost more than the money owed.

100% certain that's going to happen.

But defaulting on a bank loan will not do you much good if at sometime in the future you will require a further loan.


A lot of people don't look that far down the road, others may be nearing retirement so the threat of not obtaining a future loan may be of little or no concern to them.


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