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We have been receiving a large volume of requests for advice following the announcements by the Chancellor of a number of COVID-19 relief measures. These range from simple information to full-blown loan and grant applications. We are working We will continue to update as and when more news are announced. Our aim is to make available information Hopefully, you can apply for the reliefs yourselves. If you need further help, we would be willing to assist on first come first serve basis. in order to help you come through the difficult times.These are new schemes and HMRC is having to build the systems from scratch and expect to complete before the end of April. Government has promised to launch a major national advertising campaign in the coming days.
Job Retention Scheme
A grant of up to 80% of employee’s salary to a maximum of £2500per month to cover furloughed workers. Employees must have worked completely. It can be backdated to 1st of March. It will be open for “at least three months”. First grant to be paid within weeks.
HMRC is yet to set up a system. May be Payroll software companies will have to set up a system with HMRC. It is not yet clear if Directors without an employment contract would be able to claim?You will need to designate affected employees as “furloughed workers” and notify your employees of this change. Submit information to HMRC through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required as existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers)
Eligible Employees are entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). SSP period starts from the first day of symptoms & not from the 4th day as it would be in other cases. Proof of sickness (sick note) can be requested from the employee. SSP covers people who get the virus or having to self isolate, or care for such people.
Chancellor announced a VAT holiday from now to June. This is automatic offer with no applications required. Tax payer need not pay this until end of the 2020-21 tax year.
If you are in the business of hospitality, retail and leisure sector, your business rates for the year is abolished. Your local council would be informing you. Please contact your local Council if you do not hear within the next few weeks or check Council Notice online.
Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
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 up to £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.However, there is no information available on the Councils websites yet.
Support for Self Employed by way of deferred payment on account
All Self Assessment tax due on 31 July 2020 need not be paid until 31 January 2021. However, this means you may have to pay more in January. All businesses and self-employed people with no outstanding tax liabilities from previously, may be eligible to receive support through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. The agreement is case-by-case. If you have missed a payment or might miss the next payment due to COVID-19, please call 0800-0159-559
Chancellor has removed the minimum income floor for universal credit which means Self Employed workers can access benefits equivalent to SSP for employees. Standard allowance increased by £1000.00 fort the current year.
Coronovirus Business Interruption Loan
Interest free Business interruption loan scheme for twelve months. These should be available from 31 March 2020.Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims). You should apply to your own bank or any other 40 accredited finance providers.If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
Cash Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
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 ratable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a ratable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000
Three months mortgage holiday for those home owners in need. However, interest will still be added while you take a break. Apply to the lender.
Check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to ensure that your policy covers interruption to business due to government-ordered closure or pandemic.