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Covid 19

During these very worrying times, we are trying to get information out to everyone as quick as we can to try and help businesses survive and save as many jobs as possible. The easiest way for us to get this to as many people at once is via our Facebook so if you havenít already, please follow us and you will then get the up to date information on the financial implications of the virus as soon as I get them and post them. https://www.facebook.com/MSAccountancy

As a valued client of MS Accountancy, you also have access to our HR helpline with Peninsula on 0844 892 2807

An update on the main points we know so far:

 

  1. All businesses who operate from premises and currently qualify for Small Business Rates Relief will automatically qualify for a grant of £10,000. The scheme is now live and if you have not already been contacted, you should look on the website for your local council as most have an online claim form (Erewash do for certain). You will also not have to pay business rates for the next year. If you are in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry, you will qualify for a different grant (if your rateable value is under £15,000, you will receive £10,000 and if your rateable value is £15,000 - £51,000, you will receive £25,000.
  2. VAT payments between now and 30/6/20 are to be deferred. This means that if you are due to pay VAT bill before 30/6/20, you will not need to pay it but it is only deferred and not cancelled. This will need to be repaid before 5/4/21. UPDATE 25/3/20 if you pay by direct debit, you will need to cancel this with your bank to avoid HMRC systems taking it automatically. Filing deadlines have not been extended so your returns will have to be in on time. If you have issues preventing you from submitting on time, you should contact HMRC as soon as possible.
  3. Government backed "Bounce-back" loans are available from Monday 4/5/20. The idea here is that you will be able to approach your bank for an emergency loan to keep your business going and the government will guarantee 100% of the loan so if the worst happens and your business fails before repaying the loan, the Government will pay the outstanding balance. During the first 12 months, there are no repayments or interest and charges.. You should speak to your business bank about this.
  4. If you have a Self-Assessment payment due by the end of July 2020, this has now been deferred until January 2021. As it stands, this will help short term but you will have to pay that bill and the amount due in January together
  5. If you are struggling to pay any tax bill because of the virus, HMRC have setup a dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 and they should hopefully be more generous than normal in giving time to pay
  6. Staff who have to self-isolate should be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day 1 as opposed to the normal day 4. Under normal circumstances, SSP is the responsibility of the employer but 2 weeks of SSP paid to employees for Coronavirus can be recovered from HMRC. The system is not set up to facilitate this reclaim yet but it will be online and separate to everything else, weíll post more when it is announced
  7. If your business has closed / lost work and you are considering laying off staff, the government will pay 80% of "furloughed" staff salaries to ensure that their jobs are retained. This is done via an online portal found within the PAYE section of your business Government Gateway. You must get an agreement signed by your employees accepting furlough otherwise you will not qualify for the scheme. You must your furlough records for 5 years as HMRC will check at some point in the future and will demand any money back if the proper records are not kept. This includes directors but only covers the basic salary that goes through PAYE and does not include dividends. You will need to provide your employee's name, NI number, the dates of furlough and the amounts claimed.
  8. Self-employed people will be entitled to claim a taxable grant of 80% of the average of the profits declared on their last 3 tax returns (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month). The scheme will be in place for 3 months (may be extended if necessary). You will be allowed to claim and carry on trading (although no details on how trading will affect the amount you receive yet). There are quite a few restrictions on this scheme though. You will not qualify if your profits are higher than £50,000. You will not qualify if you started self-employment on or after 6/4/19. You will only qualify if the majority of your income comes from self-employment. If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, you will receive 4 weeks in which to file that to qualify for this scheme. It is likely that the system for delivering these payments will not be ready until early June. When the scheme is ready, HMRC will contact anyone who qualifies and ask you to complete a form to confirm that your circumstances haven't changed. In his speech, the Chancellor said that when this is all over, it is likely that it would only be fair for them to take measures to ensure that people in all employment statuses would pay similar levels of tax, given that they all received similar treatment during this crisis. A bit cryptic but this probably means that self-employment people will face a hike in tax and NI in the future. UPDATE 4/5/20 you must claim via your own online Gateway as agents / accountants will not be allowed to do this for you. Here is a link to a tool that checks whether you are eligible https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.
  9. At the minute, there is no other help for people who trade through a Limited Company, taking a minimum salary topped up by dividends. You will only qualify for 80% of your basic salary (nothing towards dividends).
  10. If you fall through the cracks and do not receive any of the above help, you may be able to claim Housing Benefit and / or Universal Credit. You can check your entitlement and claim online here https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Coronavirus_help

 

Our office is now closed. All of the accounts and payroll staff have direct mobile numbers now if you need to speak to them but in the meantime, please help us by sending queries by email to the relevant staff member:

 

Gemma Broddell [email protected]           }

Jack Wainwright [email protected]                  }               Accounts production

 

Natalie Payne [email protected]                  }               VAT / bookkeeping

Dawn Whawell [email protected]                  }

 

Tracey Ashwood [email protected]                      Payroll

 

               If you are not sure who to contact, email [email protected] and Iíll pass your query on to the relevant person.

                Hereís hoping you and yours are OK and we all come through this together and please follow our Facebook page to stay up to date with the information. https://www.facebook.com/MSAccountancy