The team is now back in the office (with the appropriate distancing and cleaning measures in place, of course!) so please feel free to bring your 2019-20 tax return paperwork in. As the lockdown rules are starting to be eased, we are seeing a return to a more ‘normal’ way of working, for both ourselves and our clients. Less of our time is being spent on Covid-19 related matters and we are able to focus back on the work that we usually do!
Businesses are starting to see increased activity and as a result are bringing employees back from furlough and , in line with the government’s lockdown easing plan, more and more premises will be opening soon. If you are not sure how to go about opening up your office or shop please see some guidance by clicking here. If you need further support, please let us know and we will put you in touch with someone who can help with risk assessment and plan how to implement those steps.
Hopefully you will agree that the government support during the pandemic has been good; below are some reminders of the measures still in place if you are yet to take advantage of them:
The furlough scheme has been further updated by the Chancellor. A major point is that you cannot enter anyone else onto the scheme from 1st July. The following changes will then start from July 2020:
- July – The claim procedure will be the same as June i.e. 80% paid by the government while your employees are completely Furloughed. However, now you can bring employees back to work on a part time basis if you wish. The employer will pay 100% for the days the employees actually worked while the government will continue to pay for the Furloughed days 80%.
- August – Same as July above but from now on, employers will be liable for NIC and pension contributions. The scheme will cover up to 80% of wages, apart from the days you ask them to work, which you must pay them for.
- September – As August but now employers must contribute 10% of the furlough leave. The scheme will cover the other 70% so the employees still get their 80% pay.
- October – Same as above but now employers must contribute 20% of the wages, with the furlough scheme contributing the other 60% so employees still get 80% pay in total.
No further furlough claims are available from 1st November onwards.
Deferral of VAT payments due before 30 June 2020
Those who wish to defer their April quarter VAT payment (due in June 2020) may do so. Simply cancel your Direct Debit with HMRC. Don’t forget that you still need to file the return as usual. Currently the VAT deferral has NOT been extended further than then 30th June 2020.
The self-employment grant has been extended, which is good news for those self-employed people and partnerships who have been adversely affected by Covid-19. The second grant is intended to cover June to August 2020 will be based on 70% of earnings and capped at £6,570. The eligibility criteria have not changed so if your business still suffers as a result of Covid-19 during June – August and you were eligible for the first grant, you should apply again.
The government may not contact you for the second grant so please be proactive and apply online from August; we will remind you nearer the time.
As of 31st May, more than 1 million self-employed businesses are yet to claim their grant. Some may have not suffered any downturn due to the virus and some may no longer be trading as self-employed. However, if you are unsure whether you can claim for the grant please get in touch with the team as we have helped many clients over the last few weeks with their applications. The portal for claiming the first grant will close on 13th July 2020.
Bounce Back Loans
At the end of April the Chancellor announced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme to enable smaller businesses to access borrowing more quickly. Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, depending on their turnover and the loan is fully guaranteed by the government. There are no repayments, fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months and after that the interest rate will be 2.5%. See the following link for the detailed guidance on how to apply: BounceBack
Coronvirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
For larger sums of lending, the CBILS is still available, offering loans of up to £5 million, with an 80% government guarantee and interest and fees paid by the government for the first 12 months. See guidance here: CBILS
Government Discretionary Fund
A new grant has been announced for small businesses with property costs (e.g. rent) who have not been eligible for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants. A grant of up to £25,000 can be claimed.
See the following link for more details of the fund: Click here.
The grant will be administered by the relevant local authority, so it is worth checking on the your local council website.
Extension of mortgage Holidays
Please note that the government has extended the mortgage holiday period until the end of October 2020.
If you have not yet applied for a mortgage holiday and feel like you need to – you can still do so by contacting your lender directly.
If you already had a mortgage holiday arrangement with your lender and wish to extend it due to Covid19 you should be able to do so as well. Please remember that your payments at the end of this arrangement will be adjusted for the increased interest and while this will not affect your credit score, future lenders may have access to this information.
As always, just let us know if you have any questions.