• Strength in Numbers Team

Covid-19 Business Support Summary - Updated 31/03/2020

Updated: Apr 4, 2020



04/04/2020 - Updated Guide from HMRC can be found HERE

Support for Businesses

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. A new online portal is being set up to allow employers to access this assistance if they have ‘furloughed worker.’

This is currently going to be in place for 3 months, after which it will be reviewed. Payments will be backdated to 1 March 2020.

Employers must inform their employees who will be, "furloughed" and an agreement must be signed.

Being able to Furlough staff means you can "lay them off" but continue to pay them and recover the cost. You can choose to top their salary up so that they receive the full 100% of their salary but it is not compulsory.

VAT Deferment

VAT registered businesses have been given until the end of March 2021 to pay any VAT liabilities they have accrued after being given a 3 month deferral.

This means you wont have to start paying any outstanding VAT until 30 June 2020 but you have until 31 March 2021 to pay and you must still submit VAT returns as usual.

Time to Pay

HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline 0800 0159 559 so businesses and self-employed who have outstanding tax liabilities can apply to have their account reviewed and arrange a suitable payment arrangement.

Statutory Sick Pay

All UK employees, with less than 250 employees, will be able to reclaim up to 2 weeks of Statutory Sick Pay payments per employee who has been off work due to Coronavirus

A new portal will be set up by HMRC for this.

IR35 for the Private Sector

The new rules relating to IR35 off-payrol workers has been delayed fro 12 months until April 2021

Business Rates Holiday

A business rates holiday will be introduced by HMRC for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector for the 2020/21 tax year.

Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief are to recieve a grant of £10,000, which will be given by local authorities to eligble businesses early April.

For business in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England with rateable values between £15001 and £51000 the grant will be £25000 and those with a ratable value below £15000 will receive the £10,000 grant.

Full details here Small Business Grant Fund (Version 3 Updated

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The British Business Bank are to launch a scheme to support businesses with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year.

Government will be backing the loans and will provide lenders with an 80% guarantee on each loan. No interest will be charged for 12 months.

Applications are now being made and you will need to talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers listed on the British Business Bank's website

Corporate Financing Facility

The Bank of England has announced plans to buy short term debt from larger companies that are ‘fundamentally strong’. We are currently waiting for a definition of ‘fundamentally strong’. The Bank of England updated their site to set out the eligibility criteria:

Companies House Accounts Submission

If you are not able to file your accounts on time due to Coronavirus, you can apply for an extension here

If you fail to apply for the extension and are late filing your accoutns you will receive a penalty in the normal way so it's imperative to get this in place ahead of time.

Protection for Commercial Tenants

Any commercial tenant who misses a lease payment up until 30 June will not automatically be evicted.  The government may extend this beyond 30 June as and when it becomes necessary.  This is not a rental holiday and all rent payments must ultimately be met as part of the rent agreement.  This will come in to force when the Coronavirus bill receives royal assent.

Support for individuals

Self-employment Income Support Scheme (Updated 27/03/2020 @ 8.44am)

A taxable cash grant worth 80% of trading profits for the self-employed (including partnerships) up to a maximum of £2,500 is available for applicants upon invitation by HMRC to apply. Initially, the scheme will cover March to May 2020 and will be paid in the form of a single lump sum. The government is intending to pay this lump sum payment in June 2020. Eligibility conditions include a requirement that the self-employed individual has submitted a 2018/2019 tax return (by 23 April 2020) and traded in 19/20 as well. Further, they must intend to trade in 2020/2021 and they must have lost profits due to Covid-19. A separate more detailed update is available on our website.

Income Tax – (Updated 26/03/2020 @ 1.26pm)

The 2nd payment on account of tax that is due by 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021.  All Taxpayers are eligible for this deferment.  There is no need to apply for this offer to apply.  No penalties or interest for late payment will apply during this deferral period.

Statutory Sick Pay

Individuals will be eligible for SSP for the first day of absence if the absence is Covid-19 related. The individual will need to visit in order to obtain an isolation note in line with advice issued from Friday 20 March. They will still be entitled to the normal maximum of 28 weeks in any 3-year period with the same employer, however, there is no need to wait for 3 working days before they would be eligible where Covid-19 applies.

The self-employed will be eligible to make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. Self-employed people will receive a rate equivalent to SSP.

Mortgage and rent holiday

Tenants, as well as mortgage borrowers, can apply for a 3 month payment holiday. Interest will continue to be charged on any amount that they owe. The government has announced that they intention is that no one can be evicted from their home over the next 3 months where this applies.

If you require any further assistance please contact us via email at and we will do our best to help

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