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.
Job Support Scheme
Is to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees in the workforce. The scheme opens on 1st November 2020 for 6 months.
The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.
Job Support Scheme Continued...
The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third. Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.
In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension
The grant is limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.
The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
The first grant will cover 3 months’ worth of profits from the start of November until the end of January. It will be worth 20% of average monthly profits and will capped at £1,875 in total.
Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.
Second Stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Opens On 17th August For Applications
Self-employed who have been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14th July can claim a second payment from 17th August, those eligible will receive a government grant worth up to £6,570. Anyone whose self-employed business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July is eligible for the scheme.
If eligible, you will receive a second and final grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, the money will be available within 6 working days of the claim. The scheme closes on 19 October 2020.
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.
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.
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)
Mental Health Is More Important Than Ever - Rehab 4 Addiction Have Created An Guide
The Community Outreach team at Rehab 4 Addiction have asked if we could link to their mental health guide as a valuable resource for visitors. Their hope is that this informational guide can be one of many stepping stones for those struggling and their loved ones to better understand their situation and lead them to find a safe and supportive environment, especially during the pandemic. They offer a referral service for people seeking treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, behavioural addiction, and eating disorders and an online resource to individuals and families dealing with substance abuse. Click here for the guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homeworkers Tax Relief
If you are now working from home you may be eligible for tax relief on additional household costs incurred as a result of working from home. See our blog for more information.
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.