In the March Budget it was announced that the normal one year carry back for trading losses would be extended to three years. This means that many businesses that have made losses during the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to obtain a repayment of tax paid in that three-year period. This enhanced carry back applies to unincorporated businesses as well as limited companies and the details are set out in the latest Finance Bill.
For corporation tax purposes the loss-making accounting period must end between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022 to qualify for the three year carry back. For unincorporated businesses, the trading loss must be incurred in 2020/21 or 2021/22.
For example, if Albion Ltd incurred trading losses of £200,000 in year ended 31 December 2020 having made profits of £50,000 in year ended 31 December 2019 it would normally only be possible to relieve £50,000 of the losses.
The new temporary carry back rules would permit losses to be set against trading profits made in the years ended 31 December 2018 and then 31 December 2017 as well. If profits in those years were £150,000 or more then the company would be entitled to a £38,000 corporation tax refund (19% of £200,000).