Please note: this article was correct at the time of writing and publication. However, please bear in mind that advice and guidance may change at short notice due to the nature of this unprecedented situation. We are doing our utmost to provide up to date information, as and when it happens.
For the latest, please visit www.ncass.org.uk/coronavirus
1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: the government will cover up to 80% of an employee’s salary (up to a maximum of £2500 a month). This will enable businesses to furlough staff who might otherwise be made redundant at this time. Payments will be backdated to 1st March 2020.
2. SSP Refund: The government will refund employers up to 14 days SSP per employee if they have been unwell or self-isolating. The payments are eligible from the first day the employee is unable to work, as opposed to the fourth day, as was the rule previously.
3. Small Business Grant (£10,000) The government will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses who are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRF) or Rural Rate Relief (RRR)
4. Small Business Grant (£25,000): The government will provide cash grants for retail, leisure and hospitality sector businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 with a cash grant of £25,000.
5. Coronavirus Businesses Interruption Loan Scheme: The British Business Bank will provide a guarantee of up 80% on loans of up to £5m in value, which will be interest free for the first 12 months; enabling businesses to access lending at favourable rates.
6. Covid Corporate Financing Facility: The Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies to allow companies to finance short-term liabilities.
7. Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Businesses: The government will provide English businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with 100% business rates relief for the 20/21 tax year.
8. VAT Deferment: The government will defer VAT payments between 20th March and 30th June for all UK business. Businesses will be given until the end of the current tax year to repay any accumulated liabilities.
9. Time to Pay: HMRC’s Time to Pay service offers both businesses and the self-employed in financial distress, the support to rearrange payments and organise their tax.
10. Self-Assessed Income Tax Payments: The government are deferring those income tax payments due in July 2020 under the self-assessment system to January 2021 with no penalties or interest for late payment.
11. Universal Credit: The government has confirmed that the self-employed will be able to access the equivalent of SSP via Universal Credit. As of 6th April, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor will be relaxed on a temporary basis.
How do I access the support?
1. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available to all businesses, irrespective of size and sector. Employers will be asked to submit the relevant details (details tbc as of 26.3.2020) to a HMRC portal.
2. The Statutory Sick Pay Refund scheme is available for businesses and charities with under 250 employees. Employers will be able to the refunds via HMRC. The details on how to access the scheme have not yet been revealed.
3. If you are in receipt of the relevant reliefs, then your Local Authority will contact you directly soon with further details.
4. Again, your LA will contact you directly about this scheme if your sector and rateable value are eligible. Businesses in these sectors will be eligible for the above £10,000 grant.
5. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available for UK based businesses with a turnover of under £45m. The loans have been available as of 23/3/2020. Contact your bank or chosen lender to determine eligibility.
6. You can access the Covid Corporate Financing Facility via The Bank of England. You can access this facility as of 23/3/2020.
7. Business Rates Holiday is available to businesses of all sizes in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. The relevant LA will automatically apply the 100% rates relief to your 2020 tax bill. This support is already being applied, with those companies who have already received a 20/21 rates bill will soon receive a new bill.
8. VAT Deferment is available for business of all sizes and sectors in the UK. The deferment will be applied automatically. This facility is already being applied.
9. Time to Pay is available to all businesses and those who are self-employed who pay tax to the UK government. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. You can apply by calling HMRC on 0800 0159 559.
10. The changes to Self-Assessed Income Tax Payments are available for self-employed individuals. HMRC will apply the extension automatically.
11. UC will be available to all self-employed individuals who are sick or self-isolating. Applications can be made via the DWP here www.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/postcode-checker
To discuss any of the above points or if you have any questions, please contact your NCASS Account Manager on 0300 124 6866 Monday -Thursday 9-5:30pm and Friday 9am – 5pm.