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Latest Covid 19 Business Updates

Support for businesses and individuals during COVID-19

Information correct as of 07.04.20

All our detailed communications are to be found on our website here

  1. ­Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Open to all UK employers for a period of at least three months – starting from 1 March 2020 – the scheme supports those businesses that have been severely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under the scheme, employers can claim up to 80% of the usual monthly wage cost, up to £2,500 a month, for each furloughed employee – an employee on a leave of absence.

It is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE scheme on 28 February 2020.

  • Deferring VAT payments

VAT registered businesses can defer their VAT payments which are due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 meaning they have until 31 March 2021 to pay the deferred VAT.

Those who pay their VAT by direct debit should cancel this as soon as possible with their bank to prevent HMRC from taking the payment. All VAT Returns must be filed with HMRC as normal, regardless of whether the VAT is being deferred or not.

  • Deferring Self-Assessment payments

Those who are due to make a Self-Assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 can choose to defer this payment until January 2021.

This deferral is optional and those who can still pay their second payment on account on 31 July should do so to prevent an even bigger tax bill in January 2021.

HMRC will not charge any late payment interest or penalties for overdue payments if this is paid by 31 January 2021.

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The SEISS supports those individuals who are self-employed, including members of partnerships, who have lost income due to COVID-19.

Similar to the above Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the SEISS will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

  • Access to Universal Credit for the self-employed

Universal Credit is available in full for the self-employed, at a rate equivalent to employee Statutory Sick Pay. The standard Universal Credit allowance will rise by £1,000 over the next 12 months.

  • Support for businesses paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP for any employees that can’t work due to COVID-19.

The scheme covers eligible periods of sickness absence starting on or after 13 March 2020.

  • Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

A new business rated holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England has been introduced for the 2020/21 tax year.

Eligible properties will be those which are wholly or mainly used:

  • As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • For assembly or leisure
  • For hospitality, as hotels, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

These businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a £10,000 grant, and those with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000 may be able to access a grant of £25,000.

Your local authority will contact you if you are eligible.

  • Support for nurseries that pay business rates

A business rates holiday will apply for the 2020/21 tax year for nurseries in England which are:

  • Occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • Wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

No action is required, and your local authority will contact you if eligible.

  • Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

A Small Business Grant Scheme will provide a one-off £10,000 grant to those businesses in England which occupy a property and are in receipt of small business rate relief, rural rate relief or tapered relief as of 11 March.

Your local authority will contact you if you are eligible.

  1. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The temporary CBILS supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities up a maximum of £5million.

The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees. It will also provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan to provide the continued confidence to lend to SMEs.

The scheme is being delivered through more than 40 commercial lenders, including all the major banks, and is backed by the British Business Bank.

  1. Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

Like the scheme described above, the CLBILS ensures funding is available for to businesses with an annual turnover between £45million and £500million, with loans of up to £25million.

Various eligibility criteria will apply for CLBILS and CBILS.

  1. Corporate Financing Facility

Under this scheme, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from eligible larger companies to help fund their short-term liabilities.

  1. Time to Pay service

Any businesses or self-employed individuals in financial distress and that have outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible for support under HMRC’s Time to Pay service. Tel No: 0300 200 3835.

Arrangements are agreed on a case by case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

  1. Commercial Insurance

Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases such as COVID-19. However, those which do may be eligible to make a claim, subject to their policy’s T&Cs.

Those businesses and venues which have been mandated to close from 21 March onwards, together with those which have had to cancel events as a result of COVID-19, should liaise direct with their insurer or broker to better understand what level of insurance cover is in place and whether a claim can be made.

  1. Eviction protection and rental holidays for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction, ensuring that no business needs to forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they missed a payment up until 30 June.

For more information of any of the schemes and measures detailed above, please contact us on 01254 232521.

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