The situation in the UK is changing daily and we are still waiting for much of the legislation to be provided that backs up the announcements, but this is where we are right now.

Please note that I am updating daily on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/zebraaccountants so please follow me there too.

 

This post covers the following, it’s really important, so please scroll all the way down

  1. Coronavirus job retention scheme
  2. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  3. Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  4. Business Rates
  5. Small Business Rates Support
  6. Cash Grants
  7. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  8. Self Employed
  9. What Should you do Right Now?
  10. What to do if Your UK Visa Expires?

1. CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

What is it?

All businesses are eligible for this scheme. It is designed to enable businesses to keep employees on rather than have to make redundancies.

How to Claim

  • Designate affected employees as furloughed workers and and notify them of this change of status (I found several templates available for this via Google, but I would always recommend getting legal advice when getting these drawn up)
  • Submit furlough details to HMRC – this is not currently available, I have not seen an expected date, but it WILL NOT be this week – (I will let you know when this is available)
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of the salary, up to £2,500 per month

Points to Note

  1. The employee can do NO work for you while they are furloughed
  2. HMRC will pay 80%, you DO NOT have to top up the other 20%, this is going to be up to you to decide
  3. You can find the Employee’s guide here, in case you want to distribute this https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

 

2. STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP)

What is Available?

If you are a small / medium sized employer (i.e less than 250 employees), then you can claim 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee, who has been off work for COVID-19

How to Claim

  • You need to maintain records of time off and payments of SSP (you do not need a GP note). Employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online if they have symptoms, or they can get a note from the NHS website if they are self isolating due to someone else in the household.

Points to Note

  • This is not yet in force as HMRC are still working on it !  (I will let you know when this is available)

 

3. DEFERRING VAT AND INCOME TAX PAYMENTS

VAT

  • Applies to payments due between 20/03/2020 and 30/06/2020
  • ALL UK businesses are eligible
  • Automatic Offer – you will be given automatically until 31/03/2021 to pay outstanding liabilities
  • Refunds will be issued by HMRC as normal

Income Tax

This only applies if you are self employed

  • If you have a payment on account due 31 July 2020, this will now be due by 31 January 2021
  • No interest or penalties will be charged in the deferral period for late payment

Struggling to pay income tax owed?

Dedicated helpline : 0800 0159 559

HMRC will help you set up a ‘time to pay’ arrangement if you are in financial distress due to COVID-19

 

4. BUSINESS RATES

Eligibility Criteria

  • Based in ENGLAND
  • Retail, hospitality or leisure sector ONLY – includes shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, hotels,  self-catering accommodation
  • See also ‘Cash Grants’ further down

How to Claim

  • This will be for the tax year 2020/2021 – so year ended 5 April 2021
  • If you are entitled, you will be rebilled ASAP – NO ACTION REQUIRED – your local authority will contact you

5. SMALL BUSINESS RATES SUPPORT

This will provide support for small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) or tapered relief.  It is a one off grant of £10,000 to help eligible businesses meet their ongoing costs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Based in ENGLAND
  • Small business who already receives SBBR and / or RRR
  • You are a business that occupies property

How to Claim

  • NO ACTION NEEDED – your local authority will contact you

6. CASH GRANTS

You may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property

Eligibility Criteria

  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
  • Based in ENGLAND
  • Rateable value < £15,000, will receive £10,000
  • Rateable value £15,001 – £51,000, will receive £25,000

How to Claim

  • NO ACTION NEEDED – your local authority will write to you

 

7. CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS)

  • Temporary CBILS, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch THIS WEEK to support small and medium businesses, to access bank lending and overdrafts.
  • The government are guaranteeing lenders 80% on each loan – this is to help a ‘no’ become a ‘yes’
  • The borrower remains 100% liable for the debt
  • The first 12 months will be interest free (the government will cover this)

Eligibility Criteria

 

8. SELF EMPLOYED

Currently there is no legislation to assist the self employed. However, there is a proposed bill, so I hope to be able to bring you some good news on this very soon.

 

9. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO RIGHT NOW?

  • Work out your estimated sales (income) and costs (expenditure) over the next 3 months – do a cash flow forecast to calculate your break-even point
  • Speak to your team, ask their ideas on cutting costs and retaining revenue
  • Be tough – remove products / services that are not profitable, get rid of customers that don’t pay, chase invoices as soon as they become due, ask for extended credit terms with suppliers, keep your clients happy !
  • Talk to your bank, if you have loans / overdrafts
  • Apply for Government and Bank support (if necessary)
  • Speak to me !

 

10. WHAT TO DO IF YOUR UK VISA HAS EXPIRED?

HMRC have literally just announced that visitors who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to extend their visa until 31 May.

Details can be found here https://tinyurl.com/qqmny6m

 

GET IN TOUCH 

The next few months are going to be tough for everybody. Each person and each business has it’s own unique hurdles to overcome, so let’s keep talking.

If you read something you don’t understand, if you need help filling in applications or maybe you just need someone to rant at. That’s OK, just get in touch.

I want you to know what I am here for you and I want to help you, and your business, to survive the this.  We are all in this together !

 

 

Main Source : Newsletter from HMRC – you can sign up here https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

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