COVID-19 Business Support

Business Support Information

Up To Date Information For Businesses Effected By Coronavirus.

Support For The Self Employed

A Grant Is Available Through The Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus you may be eligible to claim under this scheme.

How To Apply

HMRC began contacting self-employed taxpayers whom they believe are eligible for the scheme on 04.05.2020 inviting them to apply online when the scheme will be opens for applications on the 13th of May

If HMRC contact you this doesn’t mean that you are definitely eligible for the grant. HMRC will use the information which they have about your profits for the years to 2018/19. However, to You  You must also have traded in 2019/20 AND be intending to trade in 2020/21. You can check your eligibility online here

How Much You’ll Get

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from three tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for three tax years and divide by three (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

The grant is available up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months and will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

Who Can Apply?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment.

This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

Find Out More Here

Information updated 11.05.2020

Support For Small Business Owners

Small Business Grant Scheme.

This scheme is for businesses that pay little or no business rates. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

The government have advised that they will provide this funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

Who Is Eligibile?

Your business is eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a business that occupies property
  • you are receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March

How To Access The Scheme

You do not need to do anything as your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority. You can find your local authority Here.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for this grant.

Who Is Eligible?

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector
  • your business has a rateable value of under £51,000

Properties that can benefit from the relief are occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

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

How To Access The Grant

Similarly to the small business grant scheme you do not need to do anything.

Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to your local authority.

You can find your local authority Here.

Business Rates Holiday For Retail, Hospitality And Leisure Businesses.

The government have announced support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates in England by introducing a payment holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

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

More information on eligibility is set out in the expanded retail discount guidance.

How to access the scheme

There is no action required from you for you, however, local authorities may need to reissue your bill to provide this support. This will be done as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge using the business rates calculator.

Find more information about the grant funding schemes, including the small business grant fund and retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund here.

Information updated 01.04.2020

Support For Employers & Employees

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Furloughed Workers.

The government have advised that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be accessible to employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020.

By accessing this scheme, employers will be able to use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

The scheme is available online and can be accessed here. Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including:

  • businesses
  • charities
  • recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE)
  • public authorities

Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

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

To find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme click here

We have also created a:

Furlough Policy Template which can be downloaded here.

Furloughed Employee Letter Template which can be downloaded here.

Information updated 29.04.2020

Coronavirus VAT Deferment

Support For Businesses By Deferring VAT Payments

Temporary changes to VAT payments due between the 20th of March 2020 and the 30th of June 2020 are now in place.

To help businesses affected by the coronavirus a three-month VAT payment deferment was announced on the 20th March. This means that over two million businesses can defer any VAT payments which were due to be paid between the 20th of March and 30th of June 2020.

There will be no interest or default surcharges due on deferred VAT and any payments which are deferred must be paid on or before 31 March 2021.

All VAT credits and refunds will be paid as normal during the period.

The deferral also applies to annual accounting advanced payments and payments on account, normally due on the last day of the second and third months in any VAT quarter for affected businesses. Consequently, payments on accounts that are due to be paid 31st March, 30th April, 31st May and 30th June can be deferred.

There is also help available to business whom are unable to pay their VAT from previous periods due to COVID-19. HMRC’s Time To Pay system has been enhanced and a dedicated helpline is available.

If you cannot pay your tax bill because of coronavirus then contact the HMRC coronavirus helpline on 0800 024 1222 as soon as possible.

Who Is Eligible?

Almost all UK businesses that pay VAT are eligible for the scheme. This includes foreign businesses with a UK VAT registration.

However, any businesses filing for B2C electronic services sales or using mini one-stop-shop returns (MOSS) are not included in the scheme. They will have to pay the VAT due as normal.

How To Access The Scheme

The VAT tax holiday will be automatic and taxpayers do not have to notify HMRC if they intend to take advantage of the payment deferment scheme. However, despite payments being deferred, VAT returns must still be submitted as normal on the date which they are due.

Direct Debit Payments

Despite the deferment scheme being automatic, businesses whom currently pay their VAT via direct debit must take action now.

HMRC have advised that they are unable to stop existing direct debit payments from going ahead.

Businesses must take immediate action and contact their banks to cancel the facility or can cancel it via on line banking if registered, otherwise the VAT will automatically be withdrawn.

MTD For VAT

HMRC has now postponed phase two of Making Tax Digital for VAT. This means that the new rules on maintaining digital links from original transaction to tax return will not be enforced until 1 April 2021. Businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.

However, the regular VAT penalty regime for missing any Making Tax Digital  obligations will still come into play on the 1st of April 2020 when the one-year soft-landing phase of MTD ended.

Information updated 07.04.2020

Business Loans

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

This temporary scheme aims to support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to 6 years.

The government has advised that they will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees. This will mean that smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

“The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.”

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

How To Access The Scheme

The scheme is now open for applications.

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan.

You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Information updated 26.03.2020

Support For Larger Firms

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

Support is available for larger firms via the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

Under the new scheme, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support any larger company which has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow them to finance their short-term liabilities.

Eligibility

All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible.

These criteria include:

“Companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a material contribution to the UK economy.”

The Bank Of England advise that “firms that meet this requirement would normally be: UK incorporated companies, including those with foreign-incorporated parents and with a genuine business in the UK; companies with significant employment in the UK; firms with their headquarters in the UK. We will also consider whether the company generates significant revenues in the UK, serves a large number of customers in the UK or has a number of operating sites in the UK.

How To Access The Scheme

The scheme is now available for applications, and more information is available from the Bank of England.

Information updated 26.03.2020

Our services

We offer preparation of accounts, personal and company tax and business planning.

Our services also include secretarial support, payroll/CIS services, bookkeeping, VAT and company auditing.