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Help for your business during the Coronavirus pandemic

Support Summary

At Budget 2020 on Wednesday 11 March the Chancellor has set out a package of £320b temporary, timely & targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

On the 27th April the government announced Coronavirus Bounce Back Loans to become available on the 4th May. This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

More details on the ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme' are found on the below link.

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

Further guidance on the support measures for business can be found on the gov.uk website;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all 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 this crisis.

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,' and notify your employees of this change -changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation. Workers designated as "furloughed workers" must not undertake any work for the business during the period of furlough.

Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required) 

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. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Unlike business interruption loans, furlough reimbursements will be a non-repayable grant.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

VAT

The VAT payments deferral scheme ended on 30 June 2020 as previously set out.

If you're a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment
  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time
  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021. For more information see Pay your VAT bill.

What you need to do

If you have cancelled your Direct Debit to HMRC to take advantage of the deferral, you will need to set up a new Direct Debit arrangement in time for the first payment after 30 June.

Payments due after 30 June must be paid in full as normal and you must continue to file your VAT return on time.

Paying the tax that you have deferred

If you chose to defer your VAT payment as a result of coronavirus, you must pay the VAT on or before 31 March 2021.

You can pay or make payments towards your deferred VAT now or at any time up to 31 March 2021.

How to get help

If you need more help to pay your VAT, you may be eligible to get support with your tax affairs through HMRC's Time To Pay (TTP) service. This allows you to pay off your debt by instalments over a period of time.

Get more information if you cannot pay your tax bill on time.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

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