• Mar 21, 2020
  • News and Updates

Covid-19 Business Support Update 20th March 2020

Wow! The UK Government seems to really be wanting to help businesses in the UK. The reason that they are giving this unprecedented help is that they want to ensure that, once we come out of this C-19 crisis, UK plc will be able bounce back. If everyone is laid off and companies go bust there will be no money in the UK economy to ensure a massive bounce back, let alone resume business as usual.

Below is a summary of what Rishi Sunak announced last night on 20th March 2020 and update on other details. There will be gems for some of you and there will be some of you who will need more help as they may not relate to your business. I do not think this will be the end of the help offered and we will be constantly updating this blog with what we think will be of interest to you and details as they come in.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

UK employers will be able to get support for part of the employees’ salary if they would otherwise have been laid off due to the crisis. All UK businesses are eligible. HMRC will reimburse 80% of the wage cost which will be capped at £2,500 per month. Procedure will be to:

  • Identify “furloughed workers” (suspension from work without pay) and notify your employees of this change, this is subject to current employment law.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the furloughed employees and their earnings through an online portal which still needs to be set up.

VAT payments will not be taken for periods up to 30th June 2020 (defferd payment)

Entitlement to this is AUTOMATIC so you do not need to do anything! HMRC will give until the end of 2020 to 2021 to pay any liable VAT for this deferral period. So you will need to pay it eventually but it is the cheapest loan you will ever get as there is no interest.
VAT refunds will still be paid as usual by HMRC.

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments on account delayed

Those due to make a second payment on account on 31st July 2020 will not need to pay this until 31st January 2021. This gives an extra 6 months and entitlement is AUTOMATIC. If you are not sure if this applies to you contact us.

HMRC are offering everyone more time to pay ANY tax they currently owe HMRC

This is NOT automatic and you will need to call them to arrange this personally with HMRC. If you want to talk to us about this let us know and we can give you the numbers you need to call.

Reclaim of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid sickness absence to COVID-19

Government will be putting in mechanisms for this repayment, but it could take a couple of months. Eligibility criteria are:

  • Refund to cover 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee
  • Employers with fewer 250 employees
  • Employers need to maintain a record od staff absence and payments of SSP, no GP note is needed.

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

For the tax year 6th April 2020 to 5th April 2021. If you receive a retail discount already for 2019/20 tax year you will get a refund AUTOMATICALLY from your local authority. This should happen soon as they are currently working on it. This apples to the following types of premises

  • Shops
  • Restaurants, Cafes,
  • Drinking establishments
  • Cinemas and live music venues for assembly and leisure
  • Hotels
  • Guest & boarding premises
  • Self-catering accommodation.

Cash grants

For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses this is up to £25k per property. For businesses in the premises with rateable value under £15k the grant will be £10k. Where the rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000 you the grant is £25k. If you are eligible your local authority will write to you but there is no current timescale on this.

If you pay no or little business rates because of Small Business Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR) and tapering relief. Then you will be receiving a one-off grant of £10k automatically. Eligibility criteria:

  • Business is based in England
  • Already receiving SBBR and/or RRR
  • Occupy a property

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

These should be availabe through your bank from next week, The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each eligible loan up to £5m. The first 12 months will be interest free with the Government covering this. Eligibility criteria:

  • UK based business with turnover up to £45m per year
  • The business meets the British Business Bank eligibility criteria