Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you are an employer with a PAYE scheme, you should be able to access support to continue paying part of your employees’ salary instead of laying them off.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working because of coronavirus, but are being kept on the payroll. They are known as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will pay 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month.
You must have agreed with your employee to put them on furlough by 10 June 2020. You must claim wages for your furloughed employee by 31 July 2020.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020, see here for full details on the changes being made
If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer payment until 31 March 2021. Click here to see if you are eligible to defer VAT
For self-employed people, Income Tax payment due in July will be deferred until January.
Note: If you normally pay by direct debit you should cancel it with your bank if you’re unable to pay.
Deferring Self Assessment payments on account
If you are due to pay a Self Assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020, you can defer payment up until January 2021. You will not be charged any interest or penalties during the deferral period.
You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.
The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on 31 July, you should do so.
This is an automatic offer. You do not need to apply for the deferral, or tell HMRC. If you normally pay by Direct Debit you should contact your bank to cancel your Direct Debit as soon as you can. You do not need to contact HMRC before doing this.
Statutory Sick Pay rebate
Employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This scheme will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP for every eligible employee.
Employers must maintain records of staff absences and payments for SSP. Employees will not have to provide a GP fit note.
You are eligible if your business meets both of the following requirements. Your business is:
- UK based
- small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020
Discretionary Grant Fund
Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grant Scheme.
You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.
Small Business Grant Funding
You may be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 if you are a small business that already pays little or no business rates because of:
- small business relief (SBBR)
- rural rate relief (RRR)
- tapered relief
You are eligible if:
- your business is based in England
- in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March 2020
- you are a business that occupies a property
Contact your local council if you think you are eligible for a grant but have not yet received it.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
If you are a small to medium-sized business (SME) you may be able to apply for a temporary loan, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to 6 years.
You may also be eligible for Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender fees. The government will give lenders 80% guarantee on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims).
Self-employed people are also eligible for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
You may be eligible for this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria:
- your business is UK-based, with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year
- you have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable by the lender, if not for the current pandemic
- you can self-certify that coronavirus (COVID-19) has adversely impacted your business
Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
If your small to medium-sized business (SME) is affected by coronavirus, you may be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 through a Bounce Back Loan scheme.
The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and for the first 12 months you will not have to pay any fees or interest, or make repayments.
You may be eligible for this scheme if your business:
- has been negatively affected by coronavirus
- was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
This includes self-employed people.
Time To Pay
If you’re a business owner or self-employed person in financial difficulty and have outstanding tax liabilities, you might be able to get support via HMRC’s Time To Pay scheme. The support offered will be aligned to your individual needs and circumstances. Call HMRC on 0800 0159 559 if you’ve missed a payment or think you may miss the next.
Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure companies
For the 2020 to 2021 tax year, the government will implement a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure companies. This will apply to properties being used as the following”
- Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
- Buildings used for assembly and leisure
- Hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
Use this business rates calculator to estimate the charge you won’t have to pay this year.
Cash Grants for retail, hospitality and leisure companies
According to the UK government, cash grants of up to £25,000 per property are to be made available to businesses to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses via their Local Authority. The amount will be based on criteria such as sector and rateable business value.
Local authorities will be writing to businesses that are eligible for a cash grant.
In April, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £1.25 billion coronavirus scheme to support some of the UK’s most innovative firms. The package comprises a £500 million Future Fund for high growth startups that have been affected by the pandemic and £750 million of grants for SMEs focusing on research and development. Click here to find out more.
Specific support for Self Employed
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you are self-employed (either as an individual or in a partnership), you can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, for 3 months. This may be extended.
You may be eligible for this scheme if:
- you’ve lost profits due to coronavirus
- you’ve submitted your Self Assessment tax return for 2018 to 2019 tax year
- you traded in 2019 to 2020 tax year
- you are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
- you intend to continue trading in 2020 to 2021 tax year
- your trading profits have been no more than £50,000 for either 2018 to 2019 tax year, or as an average of last 3 financial years
- your trading profits have been more than half of your total income for either 2018 to 2019 tax year, or as an average of last 3 financial years
Trading profits do not include dividends paid from your own company to yourself.