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Coronavirus update – June 1st

Coronavirus (COVID-19) brings with it a great deal of uncertainty to our health & wellbeing as well as placing enormous pressure on our economy. As we all try to find a way through this challenging time, we at Centora can help you by keeping in regular contact and providing you with as much information as possible.

"What do I need to do right now?"  Cashflow and communication should be the two highest priorities for every small business.

Please call us on 01276 300103 and we will do our best to help.

You can check the Government website dedicated to COVID-19:     GOV.UK

Business Support information is available here:     Business Support GOV.UK

A fact sheet is available for individuals and small businesses:      HM Treasury

  • Have you enough cash to meet your commitments for the rest of the month?
  • Do you have adequate credit control measures in place?
  • Action point: Centora can provide a cashflow template to guide you. ✅
  • Action point: Make an appointment with us to build a plan for your business. ✅

  • 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.
  • Telephone: 0800 024 1222
  • Opening times: Mon-Fri 0800-1600

  • Loans are available up to maximum amount of 25% of business turnover, and will be available from May 4th
  • The upper limit which can be borrowed is £50,000 (subject to turnover)
  • The Government pays the interest for the first twelve months. No repayment of capital occurs during the first year.
  • They are a "simple, quick, easy solution for those in need of smaller loans", with funds being made available within 24 hours.
  • All of these loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government to pursuade lenders to make funds available without delay.
  • A simple two-page online self-certification form is the only requirement
  •   GOV.UK - Further Information
  •   GOV.UK - How to apply (Guidance notes)

"How do I get the 80% government funding for my staff?"

  • This initiative is designed to help preserve jobs and has been extended to 31st October 2020.
  • From the start of August, Employers will be asked to start paying the National Insurance & Statutory Pension contributions for furloughed staff, previously paid by the Government.
  • From the start of September, Employers will be asked to start paying 10% of a furloughed employee's salary.
  • From the start of October, the Employer contribution will rise to 20% of a furloughed employee's salary.
  • Companies affected by Coronavirus will be able to claim 80% of salary (up to £2,500) for employees who would have otherwise been let go.
  • "Furlough" refers to an employee (who has been asked to stop working) being kept on the company pay roll.
  • The minimum duration for which an employee can be furloughed is three weeks.
  • It is possible to furlough an employee multiple times, provided the minimum period is met each time.
  • From HMRC: "you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020"
    • i.e. Employed at of 19th March 2020 and included on the electronic Payroll ("RTI") submission to HMRC.
  • From HMRC: "employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough."
    • i.e. Employed as of 28th February 2020, but made redundant before 19th March 2020, can be re-employed and placed on furlough.
  •   Click here to start a claim
  •   GOV.UK Guidance for Employers
  •   GOV.UK Guidance for Employees
  •   A handy guide for Small Businesses using Xero Payroll
  • Action point: Discuss with relevant employees a change of employment status to 'furloughed'. ✅
  • Action point: Mark workers as furloughed on payroll software. ✅
  • Action point: When available, use the HMRC Portal to make a claim (This will be available from April 20th 2020) ✅
  • Action point: We can help you set this up and backdate claims to 1st March 2020. ✅
  • All businesses are eligible!
  • Deferral of VAT is automatic (You do not have to apply)
  • VAT refunds will be processed as normal. Payments will be made to businesses in the usual timescale.
  • VAT deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. No payments need to be made during this period.
  • Deferral is also possible for Corporation Tax, PAYE, and CIS.
  • For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.
  • Action point: Cancel Direct Debit mandates so that payments are not automatically collected! (Recommendation from HMRC) ✅
  • Action point: We can negotiate with HMRC on your behalf.  Contact us for specific advice. ✅
  • Action point: Ask us if you qualify for Self Assessment payment on account deferment. ✅
  • This scheme enables access to financing of up to £5 million for up to six years.
  • The Government will cover the cost of arranging the finance.
  • The Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
  • View the Loan Scheme FAQs from the British Business Bank.
  • View the Eligibility Checklist for SMEs here.
  • Action point: We can advise if your business is eligible. ✅
  • Action point: Speak to your bank or any of the accredited finance providers as soon as possible. ✅

We found the blog from Mike Brown of Crystal Clear Financial Services Ltd very useful.
Please check his website for these useful tips:   Mortgage Payment Holidays – Covid-19

Rishi Sunak announced today, 26th March, that self-employed people will be able to have 80% of their monthly wages covered by the Government.

  • The online service will be available from 13th May 2020.
  • The scheme has been extended, allowing those eligible to claim a "second and final" grant based on 70% of earnings and capped at £6,570. This begins in August, with more guidance available from the 12th June 2020.
  • Agents cannot make claims on behalf of individuals.
  • Information required: 1) Self Assessment UTR, 2) NI Number, 3) Government Gateway log-in details, 4) Bank details.
  • If you do not have an Individual Government Gateway set up, please follow this link. You will need your NI number to create the account.
  • You will not need to do any calculations – HMRC will calculate the amount you will receive.
  • If approved, the money will reach your bank account within 6 working days.
  • All information can be found at the following HMRC webpage: GOV.UK SEISS
  • Action point: If you would like to know who much to expect to receive through this scheme please contact Centora to discuss this service. ✅
  • All business and self-employed people in financial distress may qualify
  • Do you have outstanding liabilities? (If no, you are ineligible)
  • Do you pay tax to the UK government? (If no, you are ineligible)
  • If you have missed a payment or may miss the next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC on 0800 0159 559.
  • Action point: Please call us to discuss your individual circumstances. ✅
  • Changes due on 6 April 2020 will now be implemented from 6 April 2021.
  • This gives businesses a year to make the necessary changes.
  • Existing rule (Private sector): Where work is undertaken for a private sector engager, the worker remains responsible for determining the tax status of the contract and ensuring that the IR35 rules are applied to any payments made to their personal services company (PSC) if the work looks more like an employment contract.
  • Existing rule (Public sector): Where work is undertaken for a public authority, the engager, rather than the worker's PSC, is responsible for determining the tax status of the contract, employed or self employed, and if it looks more like employment, must ensure that any payments made to the worker under that contract are paid through a payroll.
  • Action point: Please call us to discuss any specific IR35 questions. ✅
  • SSP can be claimed from day one for staff suffering from COVID-19.
  • Up to two weeks' SSP per eligible employee can be claimed.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 staff will be eligible.
  • A repayment mechanism is being set-up (details to follow).
  • Action point: Please call us to discuss specific scenarios or to update your Payroll. ✅
  • Primarily for sectors most impacted by COVID-19.
  • Business rate holiday will be automatically applied to your next council tax bill.
  • Your local authority will contact you if your business is eligible.

If the only barrier to your business making an insurance claim was a lack of clarity on whether the government advising people to stay away from businesses, rather than ordering businesses to shut down, was sufficient to make a claim on business interruption insurance:

The government’s medical advice of 16 March is sufficient to enable those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers both pandemics and government ordered closure to make a claim - provided all other terms and conditions in their policy are met.  Businesses should check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers if in doubt.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers pandemic related losses.  As such, any affected businesses should note the government’s full package of support, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and business rates holiday.

How do I pay VAT?   GOV.UK - Pay VAT
How do I pay Self Assessment?   GOV.UK - Pay Self Assessment
How do I pay Corporation Tax?   GOV.UK - Pay Corporation Tax

It is worth pointing out an initiative called Take Five to Stop Fraud.  At a time when many of us are working remotely, perhaps with new processes or procedures in place, and staff performing tasks outside of their usual work, remember to stop and consider whether messages are genuine before parting with your money or information.  Criminals will use the publicity around Coronavirus as a chance to pose as a genuine organisation, including banks, police officers, Government agencies, the World Health Organisation or other health service providers.  Please be vigilant.

We will update this page regularly and we hope you will find it a valuable source of information.

Best wishes from Arnaud and the rest of the Centora team.

Stay safe.

Updated 1st June 2020