COVID19 Support

YFT has collated information to support businesses and individuals through the current Corona outbreak. We know this is an extremely stressful time for business owners so want to share what we know and offer some practical advice on how to access the support available. We are monitoring conditions closely and will update this page as we know more.

Cashflow Forecasting and FREE cashflow forecast template

We have produced a simple cashflow forecast template for you to look at your companies cash position over the next few months.

We would really recommend that you have this in place and update it as conditions change Please note that the model is suitable for small non vat registered businesses if you require more detailed planning and need our help please get in touch.

Download:  Cashflow Forecast Template (XLSX)

Fraud

Unfortunately, we are seeing more activity from fraudsters trying to take advantage of the current situation.

 

HMRC Fraud

If you get any emails, texts or phone calls  purporting to be from HMRC that are asking you to take action, for example enter your bank details for a refund, please do not respond. If you are in any doubt refer the email to us or contact HMRC directly phishing@hmrc.gov.uk

HMRC will never send notifications by email about tax rebates or refunds. Do not:

  • visit the website
  • open any attachments
  • disclose any personal or payment information

Fraudsters may spoof a genuine email address or change the ‘display name’ to make it appear genuine. If you are unsure delete it.

Xero

Be careful of fake invoices, this is where you receive a fraudulent invoice that looks genuine  – here is the link with details of how these frauds work

https://www.xero.com/blog/2017/03/email-fraud-protect-business/

Job Retention scheme: Furlough Guidance

At the moment full details of this scheme are yet to be published. However, this is what we know so far:

Furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough.

Furlough is from 1 March 2020, so is to be backdated. It will last for at least 3 months and will be extended if necessary. Note that while the scheme is backdated to the beginning of March as it is intended to support all those employed then, a firm will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with their staff and staff have stopped working for the employer. This will of course be subject to employment law in the usual way.

It is available to employees on the payroll at 28 February 2020.

All UK businesses are eligible, ‘any employer on the country, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ to use the Chancellor’s words.

The scheme pays a grant (not a loan) to the employer.

The grant will be paid to the employer through a new online system which is being built for this purpose.

The employer will pay the employee through payroll, using the Real Time Information (RTI) system as usual, as required by the employment contract. This contract may be renegotiated but that is a matter for employment law. So RTI system reporting of payroll will continue as normal.

Scheme will be administered by HMRC:

• Relevant employees must be designated as furloughed employees.
• Employers will submit information to HMRC through a new online portal.
• As this will take time to build, businesses should look to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support cash flow in the meantime. The narrative used in the information released so far says ‘if your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19 they may be able to access support…’. This is a conditional phrase which may relate to existing funds available to the employer. We do not yet know how these might be determined, nor whether there is a bar of some description.

Maximum grant will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:

• 80% of ‘wages’. The notes published so far, use the phrase ‘wage for all employment costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month’. It is our understanding that this includes employers’ NIC and pension contributions. Wages will be determined by reference to a defined period (yet to be announced).

Here is the link to the .GOV site:

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The banks are starting to release details of what they are offering and the terms around these loans. Already there are very different terms being offered so we recommend that you shop around to find good deals. We cannot offer direct advice on which loans to take but if you need help contact us and we can you put you in touch with a brokerage firm that looks at different lenders. If you are looking for high value loans (over £1m) we can also put you in touch with a firm who specialises in finding these.

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Am I eligible?

You are eligible for the scheme if:

your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year

your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

How do I access it?

You should apply via your lender’s website or through one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme (and not the British Business Bank).

Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.

The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website.

Time to Pay – this is a scheme to help you if you cannot afford to pay your current taxes

What is it?

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.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible if:

  1. Your business pays tax to the UK Government
  2. Your business has outstanding tax liabilities

How do I access it?

If you’ve missed, or are worried about missing, your next tax payment due to coronavirus, please contact HMRC. You can also call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 0159 559.

For more information on late payments, check with HMRC

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.

VAT Deferral – this means deferring or postponing your VAT – you will still need to pay it by March 2021

What is it?

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

Am I eligible?

All VAT-registered UK businesses are eligible.

How do I access it?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. UK Registered businesses will not need to make VAT payments normally due with VAT returns during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 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.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

When can I access it?

The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Deferral of Self-Assessment payment - you will still need to pay it by January 2021

What is it?

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.

Am I eligible?

If you are due to pay a self- assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 then you are eligible for the deferment. The deferment is intended to assist self-assessment taxpayers, including those who are self-employed, who are suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus.

The deferment is optional and any persons still able to pay their second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 should still do so.

How do I access it?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment of your July 2020 payment on account until January 2021.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of coronavirus and have outstanding tax liabilities.

When can I access it?

On 31 July 2020 when your self-assessment payment on account, ordinarily due to be paid on that date, may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Small Business Grant Funding – this is for a small business with a business premises

What is it?

The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible if

  1. Your business is based in England* AND
  2. You are a small business and already receive SBRR and/or RRR AND
  3. You are a business that occupies property

How do I access it?

You do not need to do anything. Your Local Authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

When can I access it?

Local Authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant Local Authority. To find your Local Authority, use this search tool.

*Some aspects of business support are devolved. For business support outside of England go to ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

What is it?

The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible if:

  1. Your business is UK based AND
  2. Your business is a small or medium sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

How do I access it?

A rebate scheme is being developed, further details will be provided in due course.

When can I access it?

The Government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

If you are self-employed and want to know if you are eligible for Universal Credit, please visit the gov.uk Universal Credit page

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure and Grant

What is it?

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible if:

  1. Your business is based in England*, AND
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used:
  3. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
    b. for assembly and leisure; or
    c. as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

How do I access it?

  1. There is no action for you. Local authorities will apply the business rates holiday to your bills. For more information please check the guidance on gov.uk.
  2. You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.
  3. You can find your local authority on gov.uk.

When can I access it?

This will apply to your business rates bills for the 2020/2021 tax year. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill. They will do this as soon as possible.

*Some aspects of business support are devolved. For business support outside of England go to ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Grants

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Am I eligible?

You will be eligible if:

  1. Your business is based in England*
  2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  3. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used
Self Employed Grants

This was the main announcement last night. Note: you can still work in your self-employed job if you claim this grant.

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income

having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

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.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

How much you’ll get

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

2016 to 2017

2017 to 2018

2018 to 2019

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

We’ll pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

After you’ve applied

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, we will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you’ll need to include the grant in your claim as income.

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