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 will update this page as we get asked questions and the Government provides updates. Please contact us info@cashtrak.co.uk if there is anything you need that is not on here or you want to understand what it means to your specific situation. 

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.

Remember, we are here for you.

BREAKING NEWS!

The Chancellor has announced financial support for self-employed individuals. If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

  • direct cash grant of 80% of their profits, up to £2,500 per month
  • scheme open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • only those who are already in self-employment 
  • grants pain in one lump sum covering 3 months
  • payments will start from June
  • HMRC will check eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational

See our blog for full details here.

Deferring VAT and Self-Assessment Income Tax Payments

VAT

The VAT payment deferral will apply from 20th March 2020 until 30th June 2020. HMRC are assuming all businesses will take this deferment therefore if you have a direct debit set up then no payment will be taken for this period. If you do want to pay the VAT for this period then you will need to make a manual payment. Click on this link for information on how to pay.

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.


Government Set To Pay Employees Wages Rather Than Face Mass Job Losses

Small-and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

  • covers up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible, the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of Coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Cashtrak Clients Advice

Due to the high volume of e mails we are receiving, if your want to discuss your specific business options in light of the current Coronavirus uncertainty then please call us in the first instance so we can understand your needs. If we are unable to answer we will contact HMRC on your behalf and get back to you.

Information on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The Government have not yet advised how we will be able to get the money to you from Government, but with everything moving so fast we know it will come, just not when, please be assured we will do whatever is necessary as soon as we know.

  • employers MUST keep a record of staff absences and employees will not have to produce a Dr note
  • employers with less than 250 employees (as at 28/2/20) will be eligible for cover of up to two weeks SSP per eligible employee who is off work due to Corona virus
  • regulations to The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 have been amended to include "isolating himself from other people in such a manner as to prevent infection or contamination with Corona virus disease"

Businesses Paying Sick Pay to Employees

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. Further details to be released.

Support for Businesses Through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. Further details to be released.

Businesses Paying Tax "Time to Pay"

 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.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Business Rates

Business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England have been introduced for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR) will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

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.

Contact us for help and advice, stay in touch - let us know your questions and concerns

Keep data flowing - with the uncertainty this situation has brought, knowing what tax bills are around the corner is even more important. The earlier we can get your accounts information to you the better but this relies on your assistance to ensure we get the data regularly and in a timely manner

Carry on - please remember that your business must give the impression that it is carrying on where at all possible. You may be tempted to reduce marketing, this might not be the right time as consistency is the key to recovery

Look ahead - yes, we are in the middle of changing times for business and society, but it is an opportunity. An opportunity for business owners to reflect on how they can change the way their business works when this is over. Consider what this crisis has changed for you and taught you

What Else?

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, visit https://fluidly.com/sign-up/.

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. Xero offer a 30 day free trial or if you sign up before 27th March, they are offering 4 months at 50% discount. Cashtrak has 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/

Funding Options

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/


FAQs

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.



 

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