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Posted 10 November 2020

 

Last week the Chancellor has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until the end of March‌‌‌ 2021 for all parts of the UK. For claim periods running to 31‌‌‌ January 2021, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The UK Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.

It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.

 

Please contact Alec, our payroll manager if you require assistance.

 

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS, and how they affect you, are available to book online – go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'.

Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19 the government is implementing short term support of businesses.

 

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

 

 

  • A 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 employers are eligible.

 

How to access the scheme

You will need to give us the following information:

 

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

we will then 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 employee. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

 

If you operate your own payroll scheme and require advice please contact us

 

 

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

 

VAT

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

 

Eligibility

All UK businesses are eligible.

 

How to access the scheme

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 end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

 

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.

 

 

  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs

 

HMRC will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

 

The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

 

this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020

employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19

employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website

eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force

the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

 

your business is UK based

your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

 

 

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England

 

HMRC will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

 

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

 

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:

 

shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues

for assembly and leisure

hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

 

 

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

 

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

 

 

  • Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

 

HMRC will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

 

your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be:

 

occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register

wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

 

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

 

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

 

 

  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

 

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible if:

 

your business is based in England

you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR

you are a business that occupies property

 

 

How to access the scheme

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

 

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

 

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

 

 

  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

 

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.

 

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

 

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the grant 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 hereditaments 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 scheme

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

 

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

 

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

 

 

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank

 

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

 

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

 

your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year

your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

 

How to access the scheme

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.

 

You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) 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.

 

The scheme will be available from early next week commencing 23 March.

 

  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

 

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

 

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible if your business:

 

pays tax to the UK government

has outstanding tax liabilities

 

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

 

If you’re worried about a future payment, please contact HMRC closer to the time.

 

 

All this information is continually updated and the most up to date version can be found here:

 

 

 

Support for the Self Employed

 

As you previously had self-employment on your prior tax Return you could be eligible to access the recently revealed Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

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 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 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 risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the 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 the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

We’ll 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 you have been contacted by HMRC to say you can make the claim and require assistance please contact us.

After you’ve applied

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, we 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.

•    The money, backdated to March, will arrive directly into people's banks accounts from HMRC, but not until June.
•    The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022.
•    Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered.


Those who are recently self-employed and do not have a full year of accounts will not receive any help under this scheme.

 

Other support available 

Employment Support Allowance 

 

Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self isolating will be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. This is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth. Eligible claimants under 25 will be entitled to £57.90 per week, and over 25s £73.10 per week. 

 

VAT Deferral 

All UK VAT registered businesses, including charities, can defer VAT payments due with their VAT returns between 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. No UK VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment alongside their VAT return to HMRC in that period. Normal VAT payment due during this period are 7 April, 7 May or 7 June 2020 or the monthly payments due on each of these dates. 

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 end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal. 

The deferral is only for the VAT payment, businesses are supposed to file the VAT returns by normal due dates. 

Smaller companies with direct debits to pay VAT to HMRC will also need to cancel these immediately otherwise the money will be deducted automatically. The Treasury said it could not cancel them unilaterally. 

Income tax deferral 

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