Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
For any employee who is furloughed (has no work provided to them by their employer) due to Coronavirus, the Government will pay the employer 80% of their gross salary up to a maximum of £2,500 for the month, and for 3 months. Application has to be made to the HMRC for this Grant through a new portal for employees furloughed. The statement from the Chancellor does not make clear whether for cases of sickness or government-imposed isolation, whether this scheme applies in addition to the SSP scheme. We will wait for the legislation to come out and clarify this further.
The Government will pay £94.25 per week SSP from the first day of sickness for two weeks. This amount can then be recovered in full by the Employer by way of deduction from their monthly PAYE liability. Although HMRC are working on a scheme whereby this can be recovered direct.
Time to Pay
If any business is unable to pay any of its liabilities to HMRC, then they can apply to HMRC for time to pay.
VAT liabilities for the periods ending March, April, or May will not have to be paid until the end of the calendar year. This is an automatic offer and no applications are required. If you qualify for VAT refunds and reclaims, these will be paid by the Government as usual. The VAT Returns themselves still need to be filed, it is only the payments that can be delayed.
Personal Income Tax payments
Anyone due to pay a Self-Assessment liability in July will no longer have to pay it, but instead can wait until January 2021 to pay. No Interest and penalties will be charged, this is automatic and no applications are required.
The Banks have been instructed to offer a three-month mortgage holiday to anyone unable to pay due to the Coronavirus. Before rushing into this option, please remember that by opting for this offer the capital repayments and interest will be added and compounded onto future repayments. So, this option will save you cashflow but lose you money. The Banks have been inundated with calls on this and most are setting up an on-line application facility.
Local Authority Councils have been instructed by the Government to make a £10,000 grant available to any small business who qualifies for Rural Rates Relief or SBRR (Small Business Rates Relief). This SBRR is normally provided to businesses with premises with a Rateable value of £15,000 or less. The council should be in contact with you in April if you qualify for this. We advise you to make a diary note to contact them if you haven’t heard anything by the end of April. If you work from home or pay Business Rates then you will probably not qualify for this. Then Grants of £25,000 for those in Leisure, Hospitality and Retail with premises with rateable values of between £15,000 and £51,000.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This is administered by your business Bank, so discuss this with them. No interest is payable for the first year. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments, you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cashflow.
Business Interruption Insurance
Check your business Insurance Policy to see if it covers you for Business Interruptions like Coronavirus, then contact your Insurance company or Broker to see how they can help you in your particular exigency.
Rates Relief for twelve months
No Rates to be paid by businesses in the Hospitality, Retail, Leisure, and Nursery businesses. You do need to apply for this, and it will then be applied by the Council in your April 2020 bill automatically.
No Landlord will be allowed to start proceedings to evict a Tenant until after the space of time of three months.