COVID-19

Coronavirus update

Whilst we are still in the grip of the pandemic, the following has been done to ensure the safety of our staff and clients:

  • installed a protective screen and a hand sanitising station in reception
  • had the whole building treated by Enviro-Safe 28. For more information about this scientifically proven 28-day antimicrobial protective shield visit www.enviro-safe28.co.uk
  • enhanced our regular cleaning
  • provided hand sanitiser for visitors and staff throughout the office
  • enforced staff members who are sick to stay home until cleared by a medical doctor
  • limited the number of people allowed in our waiting areas in compliance with social distancing recommendations
  • monitored updates from local and national health agencies to ensure health and safety protocols are diligently followed

We ask for client cooperation regarding the following:

If you need to visit our office, you will be required to wear a mask, observe social distancing measures and use our hand sanitising station on arrival.

Support for Businesses

Business interruption loans are available from your bank or 40 government approved lenders. Your business has to be UK based with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year.

Grants of £10,000 to businesses which pay little or no business rates are managed through local authorities and they will contact you if you qualify.

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000. Your business must be in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. Your local authority will contact you if you are eligible.

Deferred VAT Payments

For VAT, this is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020/2021 tax year to pay any liabilities which have accumulated during the deferral period. Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the payroll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and has now been extended to 31st October. New flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost the economy.

Here’s the latest update from HMRC for those of you waiting for further information with regards to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like us to use when we pay your claim.
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).
  • The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.
  • The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

For more detailed advice, and to keep up to date with the latest Government support, please visit gov.uk. This guidance is being regularly updated, so please review it frequently.

Eligibility:

All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

Self-Employed

Income Tax Deferral, for income tax self-assessment, payments due on the 31st July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31st July. This is an automatic offer with no application required. No penalties or interest will be charged on payments deferred until January 2021.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

How much you’ll get:

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable) and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months.

We’ll pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply

This scheme is being extended. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

After you’ve applied

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, we will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits, you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

If you are still experiencing financial hardship:

Contact anybody you have finance from and ask for a three-month payment holiday.

This can include the following:

  • Mortgages
  • Personal Loans
  • Other Miscellaneous Finance

Please be aware that the above scheme is evolving – please visit gov.uk for the most up to date information.

Get in Touch

Are you interested in learning more about our services? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. We look forward to hearing from you.