We will add to the top of this page (below these main links) as further information becomes available.
- GOV.UK guidance for the self-employed, employees, employers and businesses
Information and advice direct from Government
- Money Saving Expert‘s Coronavirus financial help & rights
Help & information (in plain English) covering many of the recent updates & initiatives
- HM Government’s Coronavirus Business Support
Direct links to the Government’s information pages on specific financial support packages
26 March 2020
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Direct cash grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profit over the last three years, covering “95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment”.
Initially available for a 3-month period but in one lump-sum payment, payable from the beginning of June.
- HMRC will use the average trading profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant
- Scheme also applies to members of partnerships
- Scheme is open to those with a trading profit of less than £50k in 2018-19, or an average trading profit of less than £50 from 2016-17 to 2018-19
- Those who are recently self-employed and do not have a full year of accounts will not receive any help under this scheme
- Prior to payment of this grant, the self-employed can still access other relevant government support, including more generous universal credit and business continuity loans where they have a business bank account
25 March 2020
VAT direct debit payments
If you are unable to pay your VAT during the COVID-19 crisis and you normally normally pay by direct debit you should cancel the direct debit with your bank NOW.
If you do not allow sufficient time for the cancellation, HM Revenue & Customs may attempt to collect the amount owed on the normal direct debit date (usually the 10th of the month).
Update, 27 March 2020:
24 March 2020
Surrey Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus Hub
A helpful page of content & relevant links compiled by Surrey Chambers, including
- updates from Public Health England
- A business checklist
- Information on the job retention scheme,
- International trade
- Working from home, and much more.
23 March 2020
Companies House filing extension, Business Interruption Loan Scheme open, VAT deferral & SSP queries
- Companies House account filing deadline extensions:
“If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.”
Full details on the .GOV.UK site here
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs (CBILS):
40 banks have now signed up to this scheme, including HSBC, Nat West, Lloyds, Barclays & RBS and it should be open for applications from today.
More information by lender here
- VAT payments can be deferred for three months:
Effective from 20 March to 30 June 2020, this is an automatic offer and no application is necessary.
More information from HM Government’s Coronavirus Business Support guide here
- Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) queries:
Helpful set of Q&As here and details from Government (though these are minimal at time of posting) here
23 March 2020
Working Tax Credits: increased from 6 April
- The government has announced that Working Tax Credits payments will be increased by £20 per week from 6 April – find out what’s happening and who this affects here
22 March 2020
To help you to keep up to date with the latest government announcements that affect both individuals and businesses, we thought it would be useful to refer you to three links below.
Remember, the announcements may change daily, and announcements made “today” will need maybe up to a week for the fine detail to be known and updated in detail on various websites.
The below links will be a very good “go to” place for regularly updated information and all the detail available. Keep an eye on the two links and remember to refresh them in your web browser to make sure you’re seeing the most up to date information. Save them as shortcuts or favourites.
- Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert – this will be a good place to find more interpretation of details and maybe how to apply for and/or obtain things.
- GOV.UK guidance for employees, employers and businesses – lots of clear information and advice direct from Government.
- And you can click here to sign up for email alerts from .gov site as soon as announcements are issued.
We are led to believe that the government backed bank loans will start to be available from Monday 23rd March. So get in touch with your bank as soon as you can if you are desperately short of funds. Be patient and have an attitude of forbearance as helplines and staff etc will be inundated. Your bank may have information on-line on their websites so look there as well.
Grants for small business will be available from local government but will be coming later (date unclear at time of writing, 21st March) – keep an eye on the two above links.
We understand that the government grants to help pay wages will be available later in April (again date not clear at time of writing).
Look after yourself and follow government guidance as best you can.
19 March 2020
COVID-19 – Emergency measures announced by the Government
In the last few days, the Government has made major announcements about help for small businesses and individuals affected by Coronavirus.
Below is a summary of the significant points, although details are awaited as to how some of these schemes may be accessed.
The following measures were announced in the Budget and have not (to date) been updated.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day of absence, not the fourth, where people have the virus or have to self-isolate, or care for such people.
- Support through Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance for self-employed people and others not entitled to SSP.
- Full funding of the cost of two weeks’ SSP for small and medium-sized employers whose workers have claimed SSP as a result of Coronavirus.
- Businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress will be able to negotiate ‘time to pay’ arrangements with HMRC without incurring late payment penalties.
At a press conference on Tuesday 17 March, the following additional measures were announced:
Any business that needs access to cash to pay their rent, salaries, suppliers, or to purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan on “attractive terms” (which have not yet been specified).
- That support will be delivered to small and medium businesses via the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme (announced at the Budget), which will now provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first six months.
- The scheme will be up and running by the start of next week.
Retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
- All businesses (not just those with a rateable value of less than £51,000, as previously announced), will pay no business rates for 2020/21.
- Those businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 will also be eligible for an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 (i.e. cash payment from the government) per business, to help them through this period.
- This means that every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant , etc. will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months and, if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.
- The 700,000 or so small businesses that are already eligible for 100% business rates relief will receive a grant of £10,000 (not £3,000, as previously announced) to help with business costs.
For those individuals in difficulty due to Coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three-month mortgage holiday, so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet.
Separately, speaking in Parliament on Tuesday evening, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “The government is postponing the reforms to the off-payroll working rules, IR35, from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021.”
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, intends to come forward with proposals next week to help those unable to work due to Coronavirus. In some other countries, such support has included the government paying a large proportion (sometimes over 75%) of the person’s normal salary or self-employed earnings for several weeks. We await to see if the UK will go down a similar route.
We hope this goes a small way in helping you keep updated, at a very difficult time for the vast majority of businesses.