Information Updated Regularly In Line With Government Announcements
We are providing as much help and support as we can to our clients and anyone else that needs us. We have summarised the Government support available to small businesses and self-employed which is the area of bookkeeping we specialise in. There is also advice on what steps you can take to ensure you see this unprecedented situation through such as accounting software reports and Excel budget spreadsheets.
Please note that the information is being announced, updated and tweaked at an unprecedented rate which we are doing our best to update. If you plan to make an important decision about your business, contact us first to ensure you have considered all available options.
If you plan to make an important decision about your business, contact us first to ensure you have considered all available options.
The Furlough Scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Is Changing
From the 1st of July the CJRS is changing and allowing flexible working, it will also start to taper off the support offered over the coming months. For more information read our blog here.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
This scheme will be available from 13th May. It is recommended you check your eligibility on HMRC (click here) as you can add your contact details for HMRC to contact you, if you are eligible, to advise the date you can make your claim from.
You will need:
- Your UTR number (if you don’t know your UTR, find it on your self-assessment tax return or https://www.gov.uk/find-lost-utr-number)
- Your National Insurance number (if you don’t know it, find it on your self-assessment tax return or https://www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number)
Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 can be deferred to help businesses manage their cash flow but if you pay by direct debit you need to cancel it.
Home Workers Can Claim £6 Per Week From HMRC
If you are required to work from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) or for business needs, you are entitled to claim £6 per week to help with household costs incurred through working from home. See our blog for more information here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Details (Furlough)
If you cannot maintain your current workforce because of Coronavirus (COVID 19) you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month. It is a temporary scheme in that covers from 1st March and it was announced on 12th May that the scheme will continue until end of October.
Furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Details (Furlough) Continued.
Deferring Self-Assessment Income Tax Payments
Self-assessment income tax - payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021 for tax returns, no penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period. Click here for more information.
Bucks Business First Grants for Businesses in Buckinghamshire
Funds has been made available to support businesses in Buckinghamshire. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to support businesses who do not qualify for government support or to provide the difference in value where national support can be provided. Click here for further information.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sick Pay
Small-and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. Find out more here.
Collection of Direct Earning Attachment Orders (DEAs) Issued by Department of Work and Pension (DWP) Suspended?
We have been made aware that some employees have been contacted by DWP and have been told to suspend all DEAs processed via their payroll that have been issued by them. More details here.
Support for Businesses Through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Government are supporting lenders with loans to help businesses where Coronavirus (COVID-19) has interrupted operations. More information here
Businesses Paying Tax "Time to Pay" and Business Rates
Any 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.
Any business that pays business rates may be eligible for a grant. See here for information.
UK Insolvency Framework Restructure and Wrongful Trading Provisions Temporarily Suspended
New restructuring tools to the existing UK insolvency framework and temporarily suspended the wrongful trading provisions retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for three months. More information available here.
Making Tax Digital (MTD) Digital Link Rules Delayed by COVID-19
HMRC announced a one-year delay to its enforcement of rules specifying the digital transmission of MTD for VAT data. Further information here
Budgeting - think strategically about the future of your business. Review and update your budgets and forecasts. Xero offers a great budgeting facility or you could try Fluidly who provide an intuitive cashflow management powered by artificial intelligence, they recently released a free lite version of the software, click here to sign up. Click here for their Fluidly Webinar for Business.
If your accounting software if not working for you or you don't have any accounting software, we recommend Xero. It is easy to use, flexible and the reporting options are great. Cashtrak have many years experience setting up and using Xero so we would be happy to help you with the set up or using it, please ask.
Review overheads - the first thing you need to do is categorise expenditure on a personal and business level in to 'essential' and 'nice to have' once this has been completed you are in a better position to evaluate your situation. Xero has a wide variety of reports to assist with this, if you are unsure please ask us.
Ensure homeworking works for managers and staff, see our blog with tips and suggestions www.cashtrak.co.uk/blog/post/10334/How-To-Make-Homeworking-Work-For-Businesses/
If you think you will benefit from additional funding, you should contact your bank in the first instance to see if there is anything they can do to help you. Other potential funding sources (this does not form a recommendation by Cashtrak):
Choice Loans - Sharon Cook and Sean O’Farrell of Choice Loans are based in the High Wycombe area and we have had dealings with them before www.choicebusinessloans.co.uk
Capitalise - https://capitalise.com/
Swoop Funding - https://swoopfunding.com/
MarketFinance - https://marketfinance.com/
Funding Circle - https://www.fundingcircle.com/uk/
Am I entitled to tax benefits if I work from home?
Yes, please see our blog here for more details.
I have always worked from home so I don't pay business rates but I have seen a dramatic downturn in business, do I qualify for a grant or any other support?
Our understanding so far is that small limited companies working remotely before the virus are not entitled to anything at this stage as far as Government support but the bank may be able to help with extending over drafts and loans etc. This is relevant to a lot of our clients so we shall be looking in to this and posting any updates.
What is a furloughed worker and is this something I should do as an employer?
A furloughed worker is a worker employed by the company but not working, it allows an employer to keep a member of staff when there is not the work for them and/ or the employer can't afford to pay their wages. The Government are supporting employers during the Covid-19 outbreak by paying up to 80% of a furloughed worker's wage. See our blog for more details here.
I want to take advantage of the VAT deferment, do I need to do anything?
Yes. Guidelines keep changing but the latest instruction is that if you pay your VAT liability by direct debit then you need to cancel your direct debit as soon as possible otherwise the payment will be taken as normal. Please note that the deferment applies to payments due between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 and VAT returns need to be submitted as normal.
Is the Government grant for 80% through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme net or gross wage?
It is calculated on the gross pay, and then capped at £2,500.
I have been told that pre schools and nurseries may be eligible for further grants, is this true?
We have heard similar from governing bodies and finance organisations however the Government have not confirmed this.
I am a director, can I furlough myself?
Yes, but you are not able to undertake any work on behalf of the company EXCEPT your directorial responsibilities. See our blog here.
Is my business covered for any losses through insurance?
Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim.
Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms.