The latest on coronavirus financial aid and where to find it

Up to date information on coronavirus financial aid

Guidance about coronavirus financial aid included help with tax and payroll issues continues to develop making it tricky to keep track of. Here are the key facts and where you can find the latest information.

coronavirus financial aid - pounds sterling

Tax – time to pay arrangements (TTP): HMRC has scaled up its TTP arrangements for all firms and individuals in financial distress because of coronavirus. To discuss TTP call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 024 1222. 

VAT deferral: VAT return bills for all UK businesses due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 are automatically deferred. You’ll have until 31 March 2021 to pay the deferred amounts. You don’t have to defer your payments but if you accept the deferral you should cancel your direct debit if that’s how you should cancel your direct debit if that’s how you pay your VAT. 

Self-assessment tax: Self-assessment tax bills payable on 31 July 2020 can be deferred without incurring a financial penalty. The deferment is voluntary but automatic. If you don’t pay in July 2020 the amount due will be added to your bill for 31 January 2021.

Statutory sick pay (SSP) rebate:  Small and medium-sized businesses, and those with no more than 250 employees in the UK, can claim a refund of SSP paid to employees who follow the government’s advice to stay at home and as a result can’t work. 

Coronavirus Job Retention scheme: HMRC will pay UK employers a grant of 80% of an employee’s usual wage up to £2500 per month, plus the associated employers’ NI and minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. The scheme covers the cost of wages backdated to 1 March, initially for three months. The Government’s portal site is now live as of 20 April 2020.

UPDATE: Furlough is to last until October, but employers contribute from August. More details here.

Self-employed Income Support Scheme: The scheme is available to all self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships (including LLPs) in the UK who were in business on 2019/20, who are currently trading (or would be except for coronavirus) and intend to continue to trade. It can only be claimed by those with trading profits of less than £50,000 where more than half their total income is from self-employment. HMRC is working on a means to deliver the scheme and plans to start payments in early June 2020. In the meantime, Universal Credit (UC) may be available. 

UPDATE: Government to pay out second (and final) SEISS grant in August. Useful explainer video and other details from Martin Lewis here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme:  This is a loan arrangement for UK-based businesses with an annual turnover of up to £45 million. If your business would be viable if it weren’t for the coronavirus, you can apply to one of 40 approved lenders for a subsidised loan partly guaranteed by the government. 

Small business grant funding: This is a one-off grant up to £10,000 for businesses in England and receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March 2020. Your local authority should have contacted you but if not you might need to apply to it. There’s an enhanced scheme for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. 

Business rates holiday: Businesses in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, plus nurseries will not have to pay business rates for 2020/21. Again, your local authority will contact you about this.

If you have any questions about financial help for your business, ask our team.

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