We know this is a stressful and confusing time for you and your business and we will do all we can to advise you through it. Listed below is some helpful information designed to support you through this time.
The following measures are available from the government to support businesses. There will be links at the bottom of the page where you can find more details on things covered in this letter.
- Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package
- Employers – For those with employees being paid through PAYE – any sick pay paid will be refunded in full by the government for up to 14 days of absence. The relief for this will be able to be refunded through your payroll operator in due course. Sick pay will be available to the employee on day 1 instead of day 4.
- Self Employed – ESA will be claimable from day 1 (instead of day 8). This applies to ‘sick pay’.
- Self Employed – The minimum income floor for Universal Credit is also being temporarily removed. You can apply for this online, using the link below.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of people who are not working due to coronavirus shutdowns, but who haven’t been laid off.
It will cover 80% of the salaries of these retained workers, up to £2,500 per month.
These will be available before the end of April and backdated up to 1st March. More details to come as we get them on this.
- Small Business Grant Funding
Small business grant funding of up to £10,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Rate Relief. You need to contact your local council to apply.
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This will be available in the week beginning 23rd March. A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch next week to support 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. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
- Support for businesses paying tax
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.
If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0241 222.
- Additional VAT and Self Assessment help
From now until June, there will be no VAT to pay by any VAT registered business. After June, you will still have until the end of the financial year to pay VAT from this quarter. Any Payments on Account of Tax due through Self Assessment to be paid in July, will now have until January 2021.
- Mortgage Holidays
Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday for those in financial difficulty due to the outbreak. Listed below are banks who have confirmed they will give their customers this option –
- Lloyds Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Virgin Money
- Clydesdale Bank
- Yorkshire Bank
Those that think they may need this break, should contact their lender as soon as possible.
- For legislation and information on paying employees sick pay and what to do if you need to close your business at any time – https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR1G3Qa4LGt6PUnidw9udFBeW8-uEFiBLlIc5ELGSbGZOr-wAltlFMnaCqE
- HMRC guidance – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses?fbclid=IwAR1EwRTbaunVhyOrxhgFIDDEbIMH_PDZ_cxCpQF5OdSY9dvZl-VRK1mojGY
- For ESA/Universal Credit for those who are self employed – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance
- The following HMRC helpline has been set up and can be used for additional support and advice – 0300 456 3565
- The following Scottish Enterprise helpline is also available – 0300 303 0660