Information for clients affected by Coronavirus
As business owners seek to adjust to the impact of coronavirus there has been welcome news that initiatives are being put in place to support businesses during time.In view of the latest Government recommendations we have decided to close our offices with immediate effect, in order to assist in preventing the spread of Covid 19. The health and wellbeing of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us.
As previously reported we have initiated our business continuity plan which facilitates all staff working from home. We wish to assure clients and contacts that we are able, and will continue to offer and provide, our full range of services, to support and assist you and your businesses through these challenging times. We are available on our usual office numbers or mobile numbers which are on our website. Virtual meetings can be arranged via conference calls, Microsoft teams, Skype or FaceTime.
Martin C Armstrong FCCA FABRP FIPA MBA FNARA
Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) — Further Update
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) - Government Update
Bounce Back loans for small businesess
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Answers to the 30 most FAQ's
Guidance on Furloughed Employees
As you would expect, we are currently receiving a high number of calls and email enquiries regarding the various measures implemented by the Government in a bid to support businesses and workers, we will endeavour to get back to everyone as soon as we can.
We have therefore put together the answers to 30 of the most frequently asked questions on the new Coronavirus Job retention Scheme’ (CJRS).
We have also created an example furlough letter which can be found on our recent blog "Guidance on furloughing employees" or click the button below:
We would also like to draw your attention to the following specific site within the UK Government website which may also help:
click for Government covid-19 website
The following link will take you to the webinars that HMRC have created explaining the CJRS and other employee related matters:
click for HMRC webinars
If you have any queries regarding these measures, please contact us on 0208 661 7878 and if we cannot take your call immediately, we will endeavour to return your call as soon as possible alternatively email email@example.com
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
All UK employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month as long as they were on your PAYE payroll on 28 Feb 2020. You will need to make a claim for wage costs through the scheme, once HMRC have received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will pay it via BACS payment to a UK bank account. Click here for the official government guidance page We will endeavour to issue updates as and when we receive them.
Income Tax Payments
The 31 July 2020 payments on accounts towards the 2019/20 income tax liabilities for self-employed individuals are deferred until January 2021. Our current understanding is that this does not apply to company directors, who are not deemed to be “self-employed”.
One aspect of the guidance which has immediate effect is HMRC’s deferral of all VAT payments due between 20th March and 30th June 2020; as noted as the above webpage: “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”.
This measure does not however affect the timing of submission of VAT returns, which still need to be submitted as normal – if tba carry out bookkeeping and VAT services for you we request that you call/email your usual tba contact to arrange provision of your records. The current HMRC guidance lacks any specific advice for businesses whose VAT payments are taken by Direct Debit, though we would advise such businesses wishing to take advantage of this VAT deferral period to contact their banks & arrange suspension/cancellation of such Direct Debits if any fall within this payment period.
Bounce Back Loans
Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders,
- Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.
- Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.
- Loan terms will be up to 6 years.
- No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
- is based in the UK
- has been negatively affected by coronavirus
- was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies
- further-education establishments if they are grant-funded
- state-funded primary and secondary schools
- if you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”)
According to the British Business Bank website, the key feature of this scheme include:
Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fee, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
Security: At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. For facilities above £250,000, the lender must establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply for the full amount of the facility. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, an SME must:
- Be UK-based in its business activity, with annual turnover of no more than £45m
- Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.
Please note: If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
All of the above guidance is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate and up-to-date as at the time of writing, however you will appreciate that the Government are issuing new information on a regular basis, so we would urge all of you to monitor the “gov.uk” website (link above) to ensure you are fully informed of the latest developments.
We will issue further updates as and when appropriate.
Should you have specific queries, please contact us & we will be happy to help where possible.