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COVID-19

Download our free Cashflow Forecast here – ACC400 13 Week Cashflow Forecast

 

Accounts Navigator Associates are working around the clock to support all our clients and their Businesses that are affected by COVID-19. This is an undoubtedly challenging time for all business owners as we are currently uncertain about the future.

We would like to assure clients that we are here to help if you are struggling with cashflows or need any additional support in moving forward during and after the effects of COVID-19.

Please book your calls in advance using the link – https://calendly.com/accountsnavigator/15min-informal-accountancy-chat?month=2020-03&back=1

 

Whilst the government have announced the following there have not yet been processes set in place on how to claim all available help. We will however keep you updated as soon as this information is available.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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

Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme – You will need to:

  • 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) Accounts Navigator will keep you informed when HMRC has made this online portal service readily available.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month per employee. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

 

VAT and Income Tax Deferral

Government has announced that HMRC will allow you to defer Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. The deferral period will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Additionally, if you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due on 31 July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

  1. VAT Deferral. All UK businesses registered for VAT are eligible. 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 2020-21 tax year (31 January 2021) to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
  2. Income Tax. For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021. If you are self-employed you are eligible. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Accounts Navigator will remind clients of this in due course so that payments aren’t made by mistake if not necessary.

 

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early week beginning 23 March 2020, to support primarily small and medium-sized 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 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

You are eligible for the scheme if: your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year and your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria.

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all. You can find more information on this by clicking on the following link – https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/for-businesses-and-advisors/

 

Support for businesses paying tax – the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

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.

You are eligible if your business pays tax to the UK government and has outstanding tax liabilities.

 

Grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

You are eligible for the grant if: your business is based in England and your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied premises that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues;
  • for assembly and leisure;
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

There is no action you need to take. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

 

Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of up to £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

You are eligible if: your business is based in England; you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR and you are a business that occupies property.

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

 

Business Rate Holiday

A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England

 

Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs

HMRC are bringing forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 29 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based, small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 29 February 2020.

A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

 

Insurance

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

 

Self-employment

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

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.

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 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

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 3 months.

The grant will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.
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 and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

 

What’s next?

Accounts Navigator Associates will be working to keep clients updated on the pandemic and how we can move forward during this time – below is a list of actions we recommend you take for now:

Cashflow

Accounts Navigator Associates have a simple cash flow forecast available for any clients that may need it. We recommend this so that you are able to review your overheads and cut costs that may not be necessary at this time.

Banking

Contact your bank to discuss your available options such as a new or increased overdraft limit, credit cards and any other forms of temporary finance.

Very prompt, friendly and reliable service. Very competitive prices aswell. Would strongly recommend!

Tom Casey – CTS Landmark