The government has announced several measures to help businesses and individuals affected by Coronavirus, but many are still confused about what they might be entitled to. Things are changing rapidly and we may not be able to update everything as quickly as possible, so please always seek for the current government publications. But at the time of writing (22-3-2020) the following is applicable:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- The Government will cover 80% of salaries of staffs who would otherwise have been laid off because of the impact of the Coronavirus
- The maximum payment is £2500 per month
- The affected employees have to be assessed and classed as ‘furloughed’ employees, they can not work at the same time for you while they are furloughed.
What to do: make a list of the affected employees. The HMRC is currently working on a system, where these informations have to be submitted and the support can be claimed
Businesses with premises and Small Business Rate relief
- A grant up to £10,000 will be available for businesses with premises who are entitled to the Small Business Rate relief.
What to do: nothing, you will be contacted directly by the local Council in April 2020.
Tax payment in general
If your business struggling with any Tax payment, you can call the HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559
Please DO NOT call for VAT payments due until 30 June 2020 or Self-assessment payments due on the 31st July 2020, because these have been automatically deferred as follows.
What to do: call the number above if you need help with any other tax liability. The best time to contact them is early morning or late afternoon.
All VAT payment is deferred from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.
What to do: This is an automatic offer and no application required. VAT returns have to be submitted as usual. The VAT liability has to be paid until 05 April 2021. VAT refunds will be paid by the government as normal.
Income tax payment
Payments on account due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021
What to do: this is an automatic offer and no application is required. No late payment penalty or interest will be charged during this period.
Statutory Sick Pay
- Can be reclaimed from the Government for a period up to 14 days
- It is payable from day 1.
- You must have less than 250 employees
- The illness must be a result of Covid-19 or self-isolation because of the virus
What to do: HMRC has not announced yet how to pay this back, but it will go through the payroll software as soon as the software providers update their product
Interruption Business Loan
- There are going to be government backed loans available from 23rd March 2020.
- These are available from most major UK banks
- Government will cover 12 months interest
- However this is still a loan, and you have to make sure you will be able to pay it back
What to do: contact your bank, most major banks have already announced the steps
The self-employed will have access to be able to claim an amount equivalent to SSP which is £94.25 per week at the moment.
If you are self-employed (or not eligible for SSP because your earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week) and you have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate, you can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) or new style Employment and Support Allowance.
What to do: Please visit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
- These businesses will pay no Business Rates. This will automatically be implemented in their nex Business Rate bill issued in April 2020 by the local Councils.
- They will also get a grant up to £25,000 if the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000
What to do: nothing, your local Council will contact you directly in April 2020
- You might be able to claim benefits if you’re lost your job or self-employed and can’t get work. Check the following gov links:
- If you can not pay your rent: the government has announced a ban on eviction for at least 3 months. You still need to pay your rent later. Contact your Landlord to make any payment arrangements.
- If you can’t pay the mortgage because of coronavirus you can ask for a 3-month payment holiday. Get in touch with your mortgage provider
- If you can’t pay your utility bills, speak to your energy and water supplier as soon as you can. You might be able to set up a payment plan to spread the costs for a later time.
- If you are still employed but have been furloughed, the government covers the 80% of your salary so the Employer will not send you away.
As soon as we have the detailed, technical guidance on the above subjects, we come back with fresh information.