As of the 24th March our office will be closed. We have systems already in place to ensure staff can work remotely from home and all staff can be contacted via phone or email as they would before. Please bare in mind that replies to calls or emails may take a little longer than usual. We will do our best to provide you with the same great service you are used to from AW Accountants.
As you will be aware the UK Government has been announcing various measures to support businesses through these difficult times. We are still waiting on details from the Government on how these schemes will work and the timescale, however we will do our best to keep you updated with issues relevant to you.
An overview of the latest support is listed below.
Self-employed Income Support Scheme
- Claimants receive 80% of profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- Profits derived from monthly average over the past three years.
- People with only 1 or 2 years of accounts will have whatever period is available used.
- Must be registered as self-employed and have filed a 2019 tax return.
- There is now a 4 week period for those who missed the 2019 tax return filing deadline to file their return.
- People who are newly self-employed but have not yet filed a return will not be eligible.
- Applies to self-employed individuals with trading profits up to £50,000 per year whose majority of income comes from being self-employed.
- Money is expected be paid in June 2020.
- HMRC will contact taxpayers, providing them with a simple online form to complete. The grant will then be paid directly into their bank account.
Coronavirus Job Retention scheme
- Employers may claim a grant of up to 80% of salaries of employees who have been laid off during this crisis. This is subject to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- Employers must designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify the employees of this change.
- To qualify for this scheme: workers should not undertake work while furloughed.
- Employers submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal.
- HMRC have set up a system for submission and are currently accepting and processing submissions.
- The processing should take about 6 days.
Small Business Micro-loan Scheme
The Government is providing a 100% guarantee to banks to enable small businesses easier access to emergency finance. These will be between £2,000 and £50,000, or 25% of business turnover, with the government paying the interest for the first 12 months. This scheme will be available from 9am on Monday 4th May. If you need to take up this scheme then contact your bank.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Government is backing loans in order to make them accessible to all small businesses. The government will cover the interest for the first 12 months, making them essentials 12 months interest free. The loans are being delivered through commercial lenders, so if you want to use this scheme it would be best to contact your bank. It is worth noting that the government guarantee is only for the banks, you will still be liable for the full loan.
100% Business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
The government has temporarily suspended business rates for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. These businesses should receive an updated rates letter from their local councils shortly.
Cash Grants – administered by local authorities
Grant of £10,000 for small businesses that are eligible for small business rates relief.
£25k Grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a business rates rateable value between £15k and £51k
Businesses who are eligible should not need to take any steps to access this, the local authorities are sending the grants out to the registered rates payer.
Deferral of VAT payments due between now and 30th June until March 2021.
VAT payments are to be deferred for 3 months, essentially meaning no VAT return payment will be due until after 30th June 2020. This is automatic with nothing required on the businesses end. It is worth noting that VAT returns will still be due for filing. The amount deferred will need to be paid by the end of the 20/21 tax year (5th April 2021).
Deferral of any July 2020 personal tax payments until January 2021
The July 2020 payments on account which would have been due are now no longer due. The full amount of tax due will be payable on 31st January 2021 along with the first payment on account for the following year.
Time to pay
HMRC have announced that they are relaxing the criteria for obtaining a time to pay agreement for tax liabilities. This will make it easier to pay business taxes in instalments without late payment penalties, however they may still charge interest. If you think you will need to use this then you will need to call HMRC in order to setup a payment agreement. This is not an automatic scheme, and paying in instalments without first discussing it with HMRC may result in penalties being charged.
Lower Universal Credit income limits for self-employed
HMRC have removed the income floor for self-employed people. This will make it easier for them to access Universal Credit for this period.
Useful links to the latest information and guidance
- Dedicated HMRC Covid-19 helpline for businesses and self-employed 0800 015 9559
- Support for businesses
- Guidance for employees
- Government COVID-19 main page
Let’s stay safe and look after each other. We’ll get through this together.
The team at AW Accountants