COVID-19 Update Page
IF YOU HAVE HAD TO CLOSE TEMPORARILY OR HAVE NO WORK FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The Government are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers. They are hoping to have this in place by the end of April and will back pay any eligible wages from the beginning of March for a period of 3 months.
CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME
A new temporary Loan Scheme will launch early this week to support small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts if they qualify for the Scheme.
Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free.
You should talk to your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
We are being advised that the scheme will be available from early week commencing 23 March, but no specific details are available yet.
GRANTS AND COUNCIL RATES
You will get one-year business rates relief in 2020 to 2021. This will be administered through the business rates system. You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will contact you.
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 and £51,000 will get a grant of £25,000.
All businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief will get a grant of £10,000.
You do not need to do anything to apply for the grant. This will be administered through the business rates system. You do not need to contact your local authority. They will contact you.
Welsh businesses may be able to apply for a new business grant. Details about how to apply will be available shortly.
The government has agreed a deferral of any VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the 5th April 2021 to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
SELF EMPLOYED TAX
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
If you are self-employed you are eligible.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
CORPORATION TAX or PAYE
HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer for firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have any other outstanding tax liabilities.
STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP)
The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible.
We are also still trying to get more clarification on how to process SSP for employees who are told to self-isolate for 12 weeks to care for vulnerable relatives.
Please check with your insurance provider if you are covered. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.