COVID-19: A Summary Of The Government's Announcements So Far

Last week was incredible with fast-changing announcements, new rules and support measures for small businesses ...

In light of this, I thought it would be an idea to send out a short, simple summary of how things stand so far. I would caveat that things may well change further over the course of this coming week and If that happens I will update you as best I can.

- Sick Pay

If you have people off sick because of Covid 19 or are self-isolating because of a family member with it then you can claim SSP for them from day one instead of day four. A fit note is not required.

- Support for Businesses through Job Retention Scheme

All UK companies will be able to access these funds for staff who have been laid off because of this virus. You will need to:

- designate affected staff as 'furloughed workers' and notify them of this change - submit information about these workers through a new online portal. HMRC will set out further information required for this HMRC will then reimburse 80% of this income but systems are not yet in place to facilitate this.

- Support for Businesses through Business Interruption Loans

These will launch early this week. The British Business Bank will give a list of accredited providers. You will need to talk to one of them and discuss your business plan with them. They will then be able to act quickly to put things in place. The government will guarantee 80% of the loan and it will be interest-free for the first year.

- Support for Businesses deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments

- VAT will be deferred for three months from 20th March - 30th June. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment through this period. Taxpayers will be given until 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period
- Self-assessment payments due on 31st July will be deferred until 31st January 2021. No action is required
- If you have missed or are likely to miss a tax payment due to COVID-19 you can call dedicated helpline 0800 0159 559 to discuss Time To Pay arrangements

- Support for businesses that pay Business Rates

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive a business rates holiday for 20/21 tax year if based in England.

For this sector there are also cash grants of up to £25,000.00 available. Your local authority will write to you about this grant. Guidance will be issued to them shortly and any queries relating to it should be directed to your local authority.

For businesses that pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief, rural rate relief or tapered relief, grants are up to £10,000.00. To be eligible, your business must be based in England, you are a small business and it occupies property. This relief should be automatic but if any queries they should be directed to your local authority.

- Self Employed

On 26th March a package was announced paying 80% of profits to self-employed. More details of this will follow shortly

Remember, things may well change further over the course of this coming week and if that happens I will update you as best I can.

If anything I've written here resonates with you, call me on 01604 420057 and let's see how we can help you.