Coronavirus business reliefs from the Government

Do you run your own medically related business or any other business?

With the current lockdown, a lot of business are beginning to the feel the bite with most business activities (even online ones) grinding to a screeching halt.

But did you that there are a range of packages the government has rolled out to support business ride through this trying times?

Here what we think you need to know:

1. STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP) RELIEF PACKAGE FOR SMEs

The government has announced that it will pay up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. If you employ people in your business and anyone is off sick or in isolation due to coronavirus, please ask them to get an isolation note from the NHS. This can be obtained online at https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

2. BUSINESS RATES RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The government will also provide funding to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Please note that Business Rates related grants are only available to businesses that have a business premises that has been registered with the local council for the purpose of Business Rates.

If your business meets the above mentioned criteria, then please contact your local council directly in order to apply for the Business Rates Grant.

3. CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN (CBIL)

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, has been launched to support small and medium sized businesses to access bank loans and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan. The Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

Please contact your Bank directly in order to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL).

4. HMRC’s TIME TO PAY TAX SERVICE

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 unable to pay any of your tax liabilities as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, you can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 to request for the payments to be spread out over a period of time.

5. VAT PAYMENT DEFFERMENT

If you’re a VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to delay any VAT payment due within this period. The VAT payment deferred will be payable by 31 March 2021.

Please note that you will still be required to file the VAT returns as usual.

Any VAT payments that become due for payment after 30 June 2020 cannot be deferred and will have to be paid as normal.

6. CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and had a PAYE payroll scheme in place as at 28 February 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, including the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. The claim will need to be submitted through an online portal which is expected to open by the end of April 2020.

For salaried employees, the employee’s actual gross salary as of 28 February 2020 will be used to calculate the 80% grant payable by the government.

If you are a PAYE employee who has been classified as a ‘Furloughed employee’ by your employer then you should still receive 80% of your salary. Please contact your employer to clarify this if you are not sure.

If you are a company director and take salary from your company, then you may be able to claim 80% of your monthly wages from HMRC.

7. CORONAVIRUS SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME

This scheme will allow self-employed individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

Please note that this scheme is only available to individuals who are self-employed i.e. people who trade in their own individual name. If you work as a contractor through a limited company, then this scheme is not applicable to you.

The eligibility criteria for this scheme is as follows:

  • You should have submitted the tax return for 2018-19 as a self-employed sole trader/partnership.
  • You should have traded during the tax year 2019-20
  • You intend to continue to trade in 2020-21 tax year
  • You have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
  • Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000
  • If you have multiple sources of income then half of all your income should come from self-employment

You do not need to do anything right now to apply for this scheme. HMRC will contact you by end of May 2020 if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. Once HMRC has received your claim, they will contact you to tell you how much you will get.

8. COMPANY DIRECTORS EARNING SALARY & DIVIDENDS

If you are a company director earning salary & dividends from your company then you have the following support available:

  • You can apply for Business Rates Relief if your business qualifies subject to the criteria in point number 2 mentioned above.
  • You can apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan as mentioned in point number 3 above.
  • You can delay payment of Taxes as mentioned in point number 4 & 5 above.
  • You may be able to claim 80% of your monthly salary as mentioned in point number 6 above.
  • You cannot claim any grant under the self-employment income support scheme mentioned in point 7 above since you are classed as a Director & Shareholder of a Limited Company which is not the same as a self-employed.

Credits: AACSL Accountants

Source: http://www.gov.uk

Find out more about support for employers and businesses by following this link to Government official page.