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Government Coronavirus Support Measures for Business

General Measures for Business

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Summary

HMRC will reimburse 80% of “furloughed workers” wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Who is Eligible?

All UK businesses

How to access this?

You will need to:

designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
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.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Tax Deferments (VAT)

Summary

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Who is Eligible?

All UK businesses

How to access this?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Time to Pay Service

Summary

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.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities
How to access this?

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.

Tax deferments (Income Tax Self-Assessment)

Summary

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Who is Eligible?

Self-employed

How to access this?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Summary

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
How to access this?

Contact a bank that is on this list

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (large firms only)

Summary

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Who is Eligible?

All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible

How to access this?

Apply here

For Businesses who are paying Sick Pay to Employees

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) reimbursed to employers

Summary

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be met by the Government in full for up to 14 days per employee. Not yet operational. See more information on the proof employees are expected to provide their employer.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access this?

Apply here

For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday

Summary

business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure 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.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
How to access this?

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-business-rates

Cash grants

Summary

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
How to access this?

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Hounslow Council contact page

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

For nursery businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday

Summary

Business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage
How to access this?

There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

For businesses that pay little/no business rates due to Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Cash grants

Summary

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.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property
How to access this?

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

For anyone who is unemployed or has been recently made unemployed

Claiming welfare benefits

If you are not eligible for Statotory Sick Pay you should claim ‘New Style’ Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC).

Council financial support package

If you are urgently in need with your bills the Council has announced some further financial support you may be eligible for.

for self-employed workers

Scaling up HMRC Time To Pay service

allowing businesses and the self-employed to defer tax payments over an agreed period of time.

Tax deferments

on both self-assessment tax returns and the quarterly tax return for 20 March-30 June.

New announcement on this expected in the next few days