COVID-19 Summary Of Business Support Measures

Posted 04/04/2020
Written by Robert Parkin
Category COVID-19 HELP

COVID-19: Summary Of Help Available

  1. Business Rates
  2. Statutory Sick Pay
  3. Time to pay helpline for HMRC liabilities (PAYE, corporation tax, personal tax due etc)
  4. VAT and Income Tax Deferral
  5. Job Retention Scheme (Covers 80% of eligible wages) - Includes people trading as limited companies and who are on the payroll
  6. Government backed loans – To keep cash flow moving until the grants, job retention scheme is up and running
  7. Self employed Universal Credit Claim
  8. Self employed support scheme - Sole traders and partnerships
  9. Mortgage holidays

1/ BUSINESS RATES HELP: COVID-19 HELP & GUIDANCE

 
Support for Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (In England)

·         Business rates holiday from 2020 to 2021
·         Covers: Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

There is no action for you, this will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020
 
 
CASH GRANTS For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (In England)

·         Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000
·         Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 they will receive a grant of £25,000

Nothing to do at present, the local authority will write to you if eligible for this grant.  More guidance will follow.
 
 
Support for other businesses that pay little or no business rates (In England)

·         If your business receives small business rates relief and occupy the property you will receive a one-off grant of £10,000

Nothing to do at present, the local authority will write to you if eligible for this grant.  More guidance will follow.
 
 
To find your local authority please search https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

-          Rotherham Council: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus

-          Sheffield Council: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/coronavirus

-          Barnsley Council: https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus-advice-and-guidance/

Chesterfield Council: https://www.chesterfield.gov.uk/home/latest-news/coronavirus-outbreak-chesterfield-borough-council-services-update-20-march.aspx

2/ STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP) COVID-19 HELP & GUIDANCE

 
To qualify for SSP the employee must:
 
  • Earn an average of £118 per week based on an 8-week period
  • If worked for less than 8 weeks calculate on what has been paid up to date of sickness
  • Must not be getting SMP, Maternity allowance
 
Those who follow advise to stay at home, who cannot work and qualify above will be eligible to SSP: £94.25 a week from day 1.  (Usually the employee stands the first 3 days)
 
SSP REFUNDS
 
The government will refund up to 2 weeks per employee of SSP for people who have been off sick as a result of COVID-19 for employers with less than 250 employees.
 
The mechanism for this will come out in the following weeks.
 
Certifying absence from work
 
  • Medical evidence is not required by law for the first 7 days however please keep a record of the date and details of communications between employer and employee for this first 7 days.
  • Beyond 7 days the employee will need to gain an isolation note from https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.  Please then keep this.
  • Record all payments of SSP during this time that relate to Covid-19
 
Once the mechanism to claim is there from HMRC we will require the above to enable us to claim the refund.
 
Employee needs time off to look after someone (Kids etc)
 
  • The employee has the right to take time off for Covid-19 reasons but is not entitled to pay.
 
Employee not entitled to SSP (earning less than £118, Self-employed)
 
Please advise them to visit the Universal Credit Webpage to claim:
 
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

3/ HMRC TIME TO PAY ARRANGEMENTS: COVID 19 HELP & GUIDANCE

 
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to support through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service
 
If you have missed or might miss a tax payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRCs dedicated helpline:
 
0800 0159 559
 
There are delays in getting through so please be patient.

4/ VAT AND INCOME TAX DEFERRAL: COVID 19 HELP AND GUIDANCE

 
VAT
 
  • The deferral will apply 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 and be given until 31/03/2021 to pay any liabilities that have been accumulated during the deferral period.
  • VAT Refunds and reclaims will be paid as normal
 
VAT returns will still be completed and filed and will benefit a lot of business who can reclaim VAT on costs incurred when their business is closed.
 
 
INCOME TAX
 
  • Any self-assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021
  • All self-employed are eligible
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 
  • No penalties or interest will be charged on the deferral
 

5/ CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME: COVID-19 HELP AND GUIDANCE

 
UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis.
 
This is available for all UK employers.
 
How to access the scheme?
 
Parkins will help you through everything as part of the payroll preparation.
 
Employers will need to:
 
  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – This remains subject to existing employment law and may be subject to negotiation.
 
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal – Parkins Accountants will do this as part of the payroll preparation.
 
 
What you get as an employer:
 
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
 
HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. 
 
As soon as we know further details, we will implement for everyone as quickly as possible.
 
 
Businesses that need short term cash – Financing options
 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
 
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan and will support loans of up to £5 million in value.  The loan is interest free for the first 12 months of the loan as the government pays this.
 
Full rules and list of accredited banks at www.british-business-bank.co.uk.
 
Direct coronavirus page: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

6/ GOVERNMENT BACKED LOANS: COVID-19 HELP AND GUIDANCE

 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
 
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan and will support loans of up to £5 million in value.  The loan is interest free for the first 12 months of the loan as the government pays this.
 
Full rules and list of accredited banks at www.british-business-bank.co.uk.
 
Direct coronavirus page: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

7/ UNIVERSAL CREDIT FOR SELF EMPLOYED: COVID-19 HELP AND GUIDANCE

 
As at Saturday 21st March 2020 there is no specific measure for self-employed and contractors, but the rumours are this is coming the following week.
 
Now HMRC are pointing people to Universal Credit:
 
https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
 
Please visit this and you can apply via the website.
 

8/ SELF-EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME: COVID-19 HELP AND GUIDANCE – Not paid until June at the earliest


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
 
Applicable to self-employed or a member of a partnership who have lost income due to coronavirus
 
This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
  • have submitted your Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 & traded in 2019/20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • Profits must be less than £50,000
  • Self-employed profits must be more than half of your total income in the last 3 years
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19 – BUT YOU CAN CONTINUE TO WORK AND STILL GET THIS GRANT
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 – get in touch ASAP if this is the case.

Who CANNOT Apply?
  • Registered for self-employment after 06/04/2019
  • People trading as a limited company (Job Retention Scheme may Apply)
How much you’ll get – This will be paid at the beginning of June at the earliest

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable) up to a maximum of £2500 per month for 3 months:

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years; 05/04/17 to 05/04/19 then divide by 3 and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

HMRC pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

After application

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, HMRC will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits, you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.
 

9/ MORTGAGE AND RENT HOLDAY: COVID-19 HELP AND GUIDANCE
 

Mortgage Payments
 
Mortgage borrowers can apply for a three-month payment holiday from their lender.  Both residential and buy to let mortgages are eligible for the holiday.
 
Important: You will still owe the amounts that is not paid as the payment holiday and interest will continue to be charged on the amount owed.
 
 
Rent Payments
 
No one can be evicted from their home or have their home repossess over the next three months (To June 2020)

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