Ascentant Blog
Business help and support through COVID-19

Further to recent developments, we have been contacted by a lot of clients who are looking for consolidated advice in one place or details on how to claim for certain schemes.

General advice can be found on the .GOV website here, covering current restrictions, protecting yourself, employment support, business support, travel advice and public sector information.

A summary of current schemes to support businesses and self employed can be found here.

COVID19 Business Support

Business Support

Claim your employees wages through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

You maybe eligible to cover wages for employees on temporary leave due to COVID-19. This is called a furloughed employee. Key points:

  • The scheme applies backdated to 1st March 2020.
  • Employers can claim 80% of furloughed workers monthly wage cost to a cap of £2,500 plus employer NI and a minimum automatic enrolment contribution.
  • Furloughed means that the employee cannot work during the period of the claim.
  • This scheme cannot be used for employees with reduced hours due to COVID-19.
  • The payroll scheme should have been in operation prior to 28th February 2020.
  • You should apply for an online service which should be available by the end of April 2020.
  • Further details can be found here.

Deferral of VAT payments during COVID-19

If you are a VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, it will be possible to defer the VAT payment to assist with cashflow. Key points:

  • You must file your return as usual on time.
  • If you have a direct debit in place with HMRC, you should cancel it.
  • You do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your VAT payment.
  • You must repay the VAT on or before 31 March 2021.
  • Further details can be found here.

Difficulty paying tax during COVID-19

If you are having difficulty paying PAYE, VAT or Self Assessment, you can apply for a Time To Pay Arrangement (TTPA). Key points:

  • You must apply for a TTPA. You cannot avoid making payment
  • Further details can be found here.

A SSP relief package for small and medium businesses

Employers paying SSP to workers off work due to COVID-19 will be able to claim a 2 week rebate per employee. Key points:

  • This can only be claimed due to COVID-19 absence – No other sickness.
  • This can be claimed if self isolating from COVID-19.
  • Your business employs fewer than 250 employees as at 28th February 2020.
  • The scheme is currently being developed and details are awaited on claiming.
  • Further details can be found here.

A small business grant fund of £10,000 for businesses in receipt of small business rates relief

The government is providing funding to Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rates relief. Key points:

  • If your business is based in England and occupies a property
  • Your business received Small Business Rates Relief
  • Your Local Authority should write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Check your Local Authority Business Rates webpage for further information.
  • Further details can be found here.

Grant funding of £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.

Businesses in this category will receive a cash grant of upto £25,000 per property. Key points:

  • Businesses with a rateable value of upto £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
  • Your Local Authority should write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Check your Local Authority Business Rates webpage for further information.
  • Further details can be found here.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Businesses who need emergency finance can apply for a COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan. Key points:

  • The scheme will provide finance of upto £5m and for upto 6 years.
  • The Government will make Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and lender applied fees.
  • The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.
  • The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders. Contact your bank for further details.
  • Further details can be found here.

Commercial tenant protection from eviction

Commercial tenants who miss rent payments will be protected from eviction. Key points:

  • This is currently in progress through Parliament and awaiting further details.
  • Further details can be found here.

3 month extension to file accounts during COVID-19

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. Key points:

  • Companies will need to apply for the 3 month extension to be granted.
  • The extension must be applied for prior to the filing deadline.
  • There will be no change to the due dates for future accounts.
  • No clarity is provided on filing and payment of a CT600 corporation tax return as yet.
  • Further details can be found here.

Self Employed support

Claim a grant through the COVID-19 Self employment Income Support Scheme

If you are self employed or a member of a partnership, you may be able to apply for a grant through this scheme. Key points:

  • If eligible, you can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to £2500 per month.
  • It is important to clarify that it is trading profits – Not trading income.
  • 50% or more of trading profits should come from self employment (and not other income)
  • You must have submitted a Self assessment tax return for the 18/19 tax year and traded in the tax year 19/20.
  • Are trading when you apply and intend to continue trading in 20/21.
  • Self employed profits must be less than £50,000.
  • Dividend income and property income is excluded from this scheme. Only those with self employed trading profits can apply. This also excludes directors filing a self assessment tax return declaring PAYE income only.
  • The scheme is as at 25th March 2020 not yet open and payments of grants may not be received until June 2020.
  • Further details can be found here.

Deferral of Payments on account for Self Assessment due on 31st July 2020

If you are due to make a payment on account for self assessment on 31st July 2020, this can be deferred until 31st January 2021. Key points:

  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • Payment will be required by 31st January 2021.
  • Further details can be found here.

What if I cannot claim for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme?

If not eligible for this scheme, you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. Key points:

  • Universal Credit can assist in paying living costs.
  • You can claim if you are on a low income or out of work.
  • You can claim if you are over 18 and under State Pension Age.
  • You can claim if you and your partner have less than £16,000 of savings and you live in the UK.
  • You may also be eligible for the Employment Support Allowance. Details can be found here.
  • Further details can be found here.

FAQs

Q. What if I am a Limited Company director?

A. Currently no specific assistance has been provided – However you may be able to furlough and claim through the COVID19 Job Retention Scheme. You should not undertake regular business while doing this, but should be able to undertake statutory duties such as filing accounts. Further guidance is awaited on this.

Q. What if I cannot wait until June for a Self Employed grant?

A. If you cannot wait until the Self Employed grant is provided, you can access the business interruption loan scheme, consider claiming Universal Credit or apply for a mortgage holiday if you own your home.

Q. Can I claim the wages for employees that currently work for me?

A. No. You can only claim for furloughed workers who are not allowed to undertake work for you.

For further assistance, we will update our blog with further updates or feel free to get in touch. Visit here for general Accountancy Queries.