Coronavirus Update

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced further initiatives to assist businesses to continue operating despite the Coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The scheme will mean any employer in the country, irrespective of size, including charitable organisations and not for profit organisations, will be eligible to apply. Employers can contact HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of the salary of retained workers - those who are not working but are retained on payroll, rather than being laid off. This will extend up to £2,500 per month, per employee. Employers can top salaries beyond £2,500 if they so choose.

The Scheme will be backdated to 1st March 2020, and will be available for at least three months, with the Chancellor confirming that this period will be extended if required, and that unlimited funding will be made available. He advised that the first grants will be paid within a matter of weeks, and at the very latest before the end of April.

Deferment of next VAT quarter payment

Businesses will not be required to pay their next VAT bill from now until 30 June 2020. The amount of VAT due will need to be paid by the end of 2020/21 financial year.

Payments on account of Income Tax due 31 July 2020

Self-employed individuals will not have to make their second payment on account which is due on 31 July 2020. The balance of income tax due will be paid on 31 January 2021

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

The “Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme” whereby the Government will guarantee up to 80% of the value of loans introduced up to a maximum of £5m, will now be interest free for 12 months and will be available from Monday.

The Chancellor advised that more measures would be announced during week commencing 23rd March to ensure that medium and larger businesses can also access CBILS.

Self Employed

The self-employed will be able to access universal credit to access statutory sick pay.

Other measures

Further support for renters was announced by increasing the housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of markets rents. The Universal Credit standard allowance was also increased by £1,000 for the next 12 months. These measures are in addition to the measures announced in the Budget, including the business rates and other measures announced last week.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information. We eagerly await details of the Guaranteed Loan Scheme no details are available at this time.