COVID-19 ASSISTANCE – CORONAVIRUS ASSITANCE
This email has been designed to condense the information publicly available for people to aid them in claiming what assistance is available at this time.
ALL DETAILS CORRECT AS OF 8AM 01/04/2020
1) COVID-19 Business Grant Scheme
There are two grants available:
- Small Business Grant Fund– available to all businesses in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR). Businesses must have been in receipt of SBRR or RRR on the 11th March 2020 and only one grant per hereditament is available. Eligible businesses will qualify for a grant payment of £10,000.
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund – available to businesses who are eligible for the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value (RV) of less than £51,000. Businesses must have been eligible for a discount under the Business Rates Expended Retail Discount Scheme on the 11th March 2020 (had the scheme been in force at that point) and only one grant per hereditament is available. Eligible businesses will qualify for a grant payment of: £10,000 (for businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000) &£25,000 (for businesses with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000)
I have found the following council’s have links to online forms:
Tameside and Manchester City Council do have the scheme in place but are stating on their websites that they will contact you over the coming days. You can keep checking this using the following links:
If you are not in the above 4 councils (as most of our clients are) then please google your council name and add “coronavirus business grant” this should give you the information you require.
ALL DETAILS CORRECT AS OF 9AM 27/03/2020
Self Employment Income Support scheme
It saddens me to write this; despite the desperate need for assistance from the Government for the 5 Million Self Employed people in the UK the announcement and details now released is not the help we in the financial profession were hoping for.
If you are in any of the following categories then unfortunately you are not entitled to any assistance:
- Director with Dividend income (you can claim 80% of your submitted PAYE earnings through the job retention scheme – this is usually your personal allowance of £12,500 so you will be able to claim £833.33 per month)
- Trading profits over £50,000
- Began trading between September 2018 to date (this will mean that your trading profit submitted on 2018/19 is potentially below the stated “majority” that is needed to make you eligible)
- If you haven’t yet registered under self employment
The only advice I can give is check your entitlement to benefits, call your bank and ask for an overdraft or loan facility and postpone mortgage and loan payments where possible.
Here is the link to check your entitlement:
If you are lucky enough to be eligible:
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
If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.
You can not apply for this scheme – HMRC will identify you and will invite you to apply online.
HMRC have announced that they expect to be making payments no earlier than June 2020.
ALL DETAILS CORRECT AS OF 9AM 26/03/2020
1) Self Employed income package
Boris announced yesterday that we will hear the package being made available for self employed and freelance workers in todays announcement.
We are hoping that this is going to be sufficient to keep all of our wonderful, family, friends and clients above water over the coming trying times in isolation.
Stay safe and well.
2) The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: furlough guidance
Overall objective is to keep people at home while enabling employers to retain staff who will be needed when they begin to rebuild their businesses in the future. This will enable work to begin again with a critical core who have the necessary knowledge.
Rules outlined so far are:
- Furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough.
- Furlough is from 1 March 2020, so is to be backdated. It will last for at least 3 months and will be extended if necessary. Note that while the scheme is backdated to the beginning of March as it is intended to support all those employed then, a firm will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with their staff and staff have stopped working for the employer. This will of course be subject to employment law in the usual way.
- It is available to employees on the payroll at 28 February 2020.
- All UK businesses are eligible, ‘any employer on the country, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ to use the Chancellor’s words.
- The scheme pays a grant (not a loan) to the employer.
- The grant will be paid to the employer through a new online system which is being built for this purpose.
- The employer will pay the employee through payroll, using the Real Time Information (RTI) system as usual, as required by the employment contract. This contract may be renegotiated but that is a matter for employment law. So RTI system reporting of payroll will continue as normal.
- Scheme will be administered by HMRC:
• Relevant employees must be designated as furloughed employees.
• Employers will submit information to HMRC through a new online portal.
• As this will take time to build, businesses should look to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support cash flow in the meantime. The narrative used in the information released so far says ‘if your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19 they may be able to access support…’. This is a conditional phrase which may relate to existing funds available to the employer. We do not yet know how these might be determined, nor whether there is a bar of some description.
- Maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:
• 80% of ‘wages’. The notes published so far, use the phrase ‘wage for all employment costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month’. It is our understanding that this includes employers’ NIC and pension contributions. Wages will be determined by reference to a defined period (yet to be announced).
• £2,500 per month.
X Ltd employs Mr A at an annual salary of £24,000, so £2,000 per month. Mr A has opted out of auto enrolment.
Each month, Mr A currently receives net pay of £1,665 which is after deducting PAYE of £191 and employees NIC of £144. On this salary, the employer pays employers’ NIC of £174.
The available grant for the employer is the lower of
(a) 80% of (£2,000 + £174), and
So a grant of £1,739.
The cash required by X Ltd to furlough based on maintaining the existing salary is £435 per month. It is a matter for employment law whether the employer is required to pay this top up. Discussions with employees may have agreed that the employee has agreed to a different arrangement during their furlough.
ALL DETAILS CORRECT AS OF 9AM 24/03/2020
Business Interruption Loan
There has been a shift overnight in the loans and overdrafts available for businesses. There is some criteria and eligibility that has been released but on a whole it is looking positive.
The applications are being taken over the phone at this moment so expect delays in getting through – we are expecting online forms to become available in the next few days.
The following link is the official list of providers. They each offer different types of funding (select term loan on the left for a simple loan facility).
Once more information becomes available we will update you.
Employers Paying staff through payroll:
There has been minimal information released. HMRC have openly stated that there is no system in place that can enable the processing or reclaim of the 80% announced help.
HMRC have to build a new platform, release the KPI’s to software providers, who then in turn need to design the software to plug in to HMRC’s platform to enable submission. This usually takes months! We are not expecting it before mid April so please bear with us.
Some guidance has been put into place by the Government with regards to Furloughed workers and how the scheme will operate but it will take some time for the finer details to be agreed.
At the moment, we know the following details:
- The scheme is available to all UK businesses
- You will need to designate affected employees as ‘Furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change
- You will need to submit these employee details to HMRC via a new online portal (details on how to do this are yet to be released)
- HMRC will reimburse employers 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month. There is currently no system in place to make these reimbursements but HMRC have said that they are looking at this as a matter of urgency
- Furloughed workers cannot undertake any work for you during the time they are classed as Furloughed workers
- An individual cannot trigger becoming a Furloughed worker, this has to be determined by the employer
- The employer can top up the employee’s wage with the 20% balance, but they are not obliged to
- The Chancellor has announced it will be backdated to 1 March and is currently scheduled to run for at least 3 months, but this will be extended if required
- A new IT system needs to be put into place to run the scheme, but the Chancellor has said this will run into April before it is completed
Details where further clarity is required but is not yet available:
- Does the £2,500 salary cap include employer’s national insurance, pension contributions? Benefits in kind, holiday pay etc.?
- What is it 80% of?
- Does it mean that you can receive £2,500 per employee or is it 80% of £2,500 therefore £2,000?
- Does it just cover employees, or does it also cover workers?
- Can directors/shareholders make use of this scheme?
- Can the ‘Furloughed workers’ work for someone else?
Even though the Government are putting steps in place to help those affected, there are still gaps in the information being received. We will be closely monitoring this, and we will be in touch as soon as further updates are made available.
We are going to continue to process the payroll as normal as HMRC have indicated that there will be a back dating option.
Construction Workers tax returns (refunds)
NOTHING HAS CHANGED!
Please email or WhatsApp all information over to us for the full year (6th April 2019 to 5th April 2020) to:
We understand this is a frustrating time for everyone, we are going above and beyond for all of our clients but if there is ANY abusive language or cross words spoken to any of our amazing staff then we will disengage immediately.
Any new clients need to provide some personal details and e-sign our engagement letter so please contact us on the number above to get this in place before you send over any information.
Loan Providers help
If you are struggling to keep up o date with loan repayment, the following providers have offered assistance:
|Lender||Waiving fees for missed payments?||Offering reduced payments?||Offering payment holidays?|
|Bank of Scotland||Yes||Yet to respond||Yes|
|Barclays||N/A – Barclays does not charge for late payments||No||No|
|Halifax||Yes||Yet to respond||Yes|
|Lloyds||Yes||Yet to respond||Yes|
|Nationwide||Yet to respond||Yet to respond||No|
|NatWest||No||No||Yes, for up to 3mths|
|RBS||No||No||Yes, for up to 3mths|
|Santander||Yet to respond||Yes||Yes|
Please contact your provider directly to request the assistance. If your provider is not on the list above, they may still help – it’s worth a call!
Credit card help
Credit card rates are mostly unaffected by the UK rate change, as they’re so much higher than the base rate anyway. There is some forbearance here too – most banks and card firms told us they will allow emergency credit limit increases (but be careful), while some will offer repayment holidays and a few will waive fees for missed payments.
If your debts aren’t on credit cards it’s still worth speaking to all lenders and asking what help they can give you – far better that than to miss payments without permission.
|Lender||Waiving fees for missed payments?||Offering credit limit increases?||Offering payment holidays?|
|Bank of Scotland||Yes||Yet to respond||Yes|
|First Direct||No||Yes||Yes – tailored to individual need|
|Nationwide||No – but customers in financial difficulty could have interest charges removed||Yet to respond||No|
|Santander||Yet to respond||Yes||Yet to respond|
Help for Renters
If you’ll struggle to pay rent during the coronavirus outbreak you should speak to your landlord as soon as possible to let them know your situation and work out a repayment plan.
It’s also worth checking whether you’re receiving all the financial help with housing you’re entitled to, which could come from benefits such as universal credit. The Government also announced on 20 March that it would be increasing universal credit and housing benefit so that the local housing allowance would cover at least 30% of market rents in the recipient’s area.
The Government has also now announced that landlords won’t be able to start eviction proceedings for at least the next three months, protecting private and social tenants (and private landlords can be given a three-month payment holiday on their buy-to-let mortgages if their tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus). It’s introducing emergency legislation for this, though it’s not yet clear when this will come into force. (It’s worth noting though that this change won’t affect eviction proceedings already underway.)
ALL DETAILS CORRECT AS OF 10AM 23/03/2020
Derbyshire Business emergency relief fund (COVID19)
The Business Emergency Relief Fund is a discretionary grant designed to provide immediate financial support up to a maximum of £500 for eligible micro businesses with 9 or less employees. Closing date for applications 12 noon 17th April 2020.
Upon completion of this form you will be required to provide a copy of a bank statement – electronic will be accepted. This should be sent to email@example.com (please include the reference number you are given).
Self employed and out of work
If you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week – and you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can now claim benefits. This is available for those with AND without dependents. Use the following calculator to find out what you are entitled to and apply as soon as possible. You will need to fill out the calculator based on your new, out of work details (so no hours working and no income).
Universal credit application link:
Employers paying staff through payroll:
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers. We will get the information about how to process and reclaim the funds as soon as it is made public.
We will automatically process this for our payroll clients. If you run your own payroll then you will need to contact your payroll system provider to gain details as we can only advise on the system we use.
SSP: HMRC will bring 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 28 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.
As result of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK has delayed the introduction of the new IR35 regime until April 2021.
VAT & Self Assessment tax liabilities
HMRC have deferred VAT payments for the next 3 months (no payments due until at least June 2020) and have deferred the July self assessment payment on account until January 2021.
Please note that the payments will still be due but they will not be chased by HMRC.
You do not need to claim or contact them – this will automatically be applied to everyone concerned.
For all those subcontractors that are reclaiming overpaid tax – the tax return and refund HAVE NOT been delayed – this will be processed and reclaimed as normal after the tax year has closed on the 5th April 2020.
Please note however due to the current situation, people are out of work, HMRC are running on skeleton staff and they have a lot more work in different areas going on so this may delay the receipt of your monies by a couple of weeks.
Business Rates and cash grants for Retail, hospitality, leisure and Nursery businesses
HMRC will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible
There is no need to contact your local authority as they will be making contact with you as soon as possible.
Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
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 £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
There is no need to contact your local authority as they will be making contact with you as soon as possible
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week 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.
12 month Interest free loan choose from 40+ approved lenders:
This lending facility is not yet live – we will send links as soon as this is available.
Mortgage and rent holiday
Mortgage borrowers can apply for a three- month payment holiday from their lender. Both residential and buy-to-let mortgages are eligible for the holiday. It is important to remember that borrowers still owe the amounts that they don’t pay as a result of the payment holiday. Interest will continue to be charged on the amount they owe.
Tenants can apply for a three-month payment holiday from their landlord. No one can be evicted from their home or have their home repossessed over the next three months.
Loan providers may enable you to defer 3 months of your loan repayments during this time. This is solely down to each provider and you will need to contact your providers directly to arrange this.
HMRC Time to pay (tax liabilities you have or will miss due to COVID-19)
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 have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. We will not be able to contact HMRC on behalf of clients at this time but we can provide you with the contact numbers and reference numbers you will require
If you feel that there is anything missing or you would like further details or assistance please reply to this email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Thank you for your patience and loyalty.
Harrison Hinchliffe & Co Team x