Covid – 19 Small Business Advice – Help
Covid – 19 Small Business Advice has been announced by the Government.
Theyhave announced various schemes for assisting businesses who are facing financial difficulties due to the current pandemic. In a bid to be helpful, we have summarised the information current as at 09:00 23 March 2020.
Covid-19 and the self employed
Self-employed: currently, the only assistance available to self-employed traders who do not occupy business premises and are not registered for VAT, is to make a claim for Universal credit.
This scheme is to enable individuals who have financial hardship to claim for assistance in paying rent, living expenses and in some cases mortgage interest (although building societies have allowed a three-month payment holiday).
To apply, on-line, go to www.gov.uk/universalcredit/howtoclaim.
HMRC have also announced that payments of income tax due as second instalment 31 July 2020 are suspended and payment does not have to be made until 31 January 2021.
It is anticipated that the Government may introduce additional assistance for self-employed.
To keep up to date check the Government website www.gov.uk/Coronavirus.
Small Business, Ltd Company’s, VAT registered traders and occupiers of business premises
A number of measures’ announced to assist this sector as scheduled below
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme:
The government has made available to Banks and other lending institutions a large amount of credit (currently £3 Billion) to provide Government guaranteed overdrafts to business to cover their overheads during the period of the pandemic.
These overdrafts will be free of interest for the first 12 months and thereafter a charge of 1%. Applications should be made on-line to your current business bank, and are available to all businesses when the banks normal criteria for underwriting do not apply
COVID-19 Small Business Advice –The Job Retention Scheme:
Under this scheme, all UK employers will be able to reclaim 80% of their wages, up to a maximum of £2500 per month, for all staff that are on furlough due to the virus. This is subject to the provision that no staff are released from employment and no deductions in employee pay are made. HMRC are currently putting together the means for making the claim, expected first week of April and will back date claims to 1 March. We will continually monitor the situation and will assist our PAYE clients in registering their claims if required.
VAT payments that fall due for payment between 20 March and 20 June will be deferred and traders will be given until 5 April 2021 to pay. No applications are required for this scheme as it will be in place automatically.
Returns however still need to be produced and it is quite likely that most traders will end up with a repayment. All our staff are now working from home so whenever possible we suggest VAT clients e-mail their records to us in order that we may assist in complying with the deadlines.
We can arrange currently for work to be collected but feel that a complete lock down is imminent and therefore e-mail or post will be the only way to transfer documents.
Employers with staff on self-isolation or absent due to infection:
The Government intends to shortly legislate to allow small, and medium sized business to re-claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for a two-week period from the first day of absence.
To qualify, employers have to employ less than 250 staff as at 28 February, records must be kept and although doctors’ fitness to work certificates are not required, employees with symptoms and those on self-quarantine should obtain a NHS111 form from NHS website.
The Government intends to publish methods of reimbursemnet shortly
Retail, hospitality and leisure industry- Business Rates:
A business rates holiday is to be introduced for all businesses falling in these categories, for the 2020/21 tax year and local authorities will shortly be re-issuing their business rates demand.
Eligibility depends upon the business premises being located in England and include Shops, restaurants, cafes, public houses, cinemas, live music venues and self-catering accommodation.
Businesses in this sector will also receive a cash grant of £10,000 if their premises rateable value is below £15,000 or £25,000 if rateable value is between £15001 – £25,000. Grants will automatically be issued by the local authority
For those traders currently paying business rates no charge will be made in 2020/2021, provided premises are located in England, occupied by Ofsted’s Early Years Register and whose premises are mainly used for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Small Business Grant scheme:
Business that occupy property that no business rates are payable due to Small Business Rate Relief (SMRR) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR) will receive a one-off grant of £10,000 payable by the local authority.
No applications are required, as Local authorities will issue payments direct.
Eligibility is all businesses occupying premises in England receiving SMRR or RRR.
Time to Pay:
Small business and traders who have outstanding tax liabilities and are experiencing financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic may apply for a payment plan that suits their current financial situation and their liabilities. Applications should be made to the HMRC dedicated help line 0800 0159559
All businesses should check their commercial insurance policy to see if they are covered for either pandemics or Government ordered closures and make their claims accordingly
We have produced this document to assist our clients in the very many questions that have arisen due to the current pandemic.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided clients should continue to monitor the Government web sites for any alterations or additions to these details.
We will continue to monitor on a regular basis and will update on both here on our web site Facebook
Do not hesitate to call us if you have any queries or if we can assist in any other way.Follow us on Social Media