WHAT HELP IS AVAILABLE TO THE BUSINESS DURING COVID-19?
On 20th March The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of support businesses during COVID 19. The support package includes the following reliefs and schemes:
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN
CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
HMRC will reimburse employers pay for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month. A furloughed employee is an employee the business is continuing to pay that would have otherwise been laid off due to the impact of COVID-19. It is important to note that furloughed employees cannot be working for the company. If they're working, but on reduced hours or reduced pay the will not be eligible.
The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020. The scheme is available from the 1st March for 3 months.
For more information please visit gov.uk
VAT DEFERAL SCHEME
If businesses are unable to pay their VAT liability that is due between 20 March and end June 2020, you have the option to defer that payment until 31 March 2021. This is in place for all VAT registered businesses including sole traders and partnerships.
You do not need to tell HMRC you're deferring the VAT payment but businesses that have a direct debit mandate in place to pay their VAT will need to contact their bank to cancel that mandate.
Businesses still need to submit their VAT on return on time. Any VAT repayment will continue to be processed as normal.
STATUTORY SICK PAY RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
If an employee is off sick due to COVID-19 you may be able to reclaim statutory sick pay (SSP) you have paid to employees' for a period of up to two weeks.
To be eligible for SSP relief:
Employers must have fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February 2020.
Employers must maintain a record of staff absences as well as any payments of SSP made.
HMRC are currently working to put in place the refund process.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN
The British Business Bank will launch a temporary COVID-19 business interruption loan, for loans of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
Interest payments and any lender-levied fees for businesses will be covered by the government for an initial period of up to 12 months. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each facility to encourage lenders.
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.
SMALL BUSINESS GRANT
If your business pays little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), 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.
You are 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
You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
BUSINESS RATES HOLIDAY FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE BUSINESSES
The government have introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
There is no action for you. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to provide this support. They will do this as soon as possible.
THREE-MONTH EXTENSION PERIOD TO FILE ACCOUNTS
From today the 25 March 2020 businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts with companies house.
If you’re at risk of missing the statutory deadline for filing your annual accounts you should apply online before the deadline date.
If you don’t apply for an extension and your company misses the filing deadline, late filing penalties will still apply.