Here’s what we know (and what we don’t know) currently (25 March)
£10K grant for all businesses with premises with rateable value under £15K
East Riding Council sent letters out to qualifying businesses on Thursday 19 March. Their website has a section for businesses to input their bank account details in order to receive the grant ( www.eastriding.gov.uk/business-rates-grants ). We have seen an e mail from someone senior in Hull City Council stating their letters will be going out mid April. This seems to be the case with every other local authority too.
£25K grant for businesses with premises with rateable value between £15K and £51K in hospitality, retail and leisure
We now know it is a £25K grant (not up to £25K) – we presume it’s a similar process to £10K grant above. In meantime check rates bills and check correctly classified as retail etc.
2020 / 21 Business Rates Holidays for those in leisure, retail or hospitality
Should be automatic but same advice, check rates bills to ensure correctly classified.
What if I’m not entitled to a business rates holiday but all my staff are working from home
We believe you will qualify for empty building rates relief (ie 100% for 3m – indefinite if listed) if all furniture, equipment etc has been removed. We are unsure what the council’s view would be if only partially removed – worth trying we’d have thought.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further info on the above.
Humber LEP grant for IT hardware , software and consultancy required to enable home working
40% of spend between £2,500 and £25,000 – www.humberlep.org for further info
Government Backed Funding – Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Govt will guarantee 80% of funding needed to support a business that was viable pre Corona Virus and can demonstrate it will be in the future. Banks seem to be going down overdraft route. Interest free loan of up to £5m. Borrowings to be repaid within 6 years. Available to companies and some sole traders / partnerships. 40 lenders have signed up to the scheme. Up to date accounts, management accounts and cash flow forecast required. There are Humber LEP grants available for ‘crisis management assistance’ which may cover some of this work. Businesses in other regions should check locally.
Contact email@example.com for further info on the above.
80% grant to cover wages of furloughed employees
This was only announced on Friday 20 March so there are still many unanswered questions. This is making the processing of March payrolls extremely difficult, particularly where employers have already furloughed employees. What we do know is:
There is a maximum grant of £2500 per employee per month.
Employer puts employee into furloughed status (ie told to stay at home and not work) – some template documents / letters have been produced by various trade organisations – our recommendation is to take legal / HR advice.
Employer may , if they wish, top up some or all of the 20%.
HMRC are building a website whereby employers can input details of furloughed workers and company bank account details in order to receive the grant.
Anyone who was in the company’s employment on 29 Feb can be furloughed – even those that have subsequently been made redundant or laid off.
Employers must pay wages then wait for the grant – what if can’t afford to pay the wages and loans / other grants don’t arrive in time?
What we don’t know:
How to treat furloughed employees on payroll, pay slips, Real Time Information submissions (software will need to be updated).
When the HMRC website will be ready.
How quickly the grants will be paid.
Whether directors will qualify.
Impact on zero hour contract workers.
What if there are a pool of workers – how do you decide who is furloughed?
What anti abuse rules will be in place – checking turnover, asking employees to confirm not working, fines / prison or does the government just want businesses to survive?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further info on the above.
HMRC Corona Virus Time To Pay Helpline
0800 0159 559
Unfortunately the above helpline is overwhelmed and HMRC are also short staffed due to the virus. We have given up trying to contact it. Instead we are recommending that clients write to HMRC with details of the liabilities they wish to delay, a proposal of when they can afford to make the payments, an explanation that they have tried to contact the helpline but couldn’t get through and a number for HMRC to contact them on to set up a direct debit.
On the occasions people have successfully got through HMRC has been extremely receptive (unlike in previous downturns) and not asked for proof of attempts to raise finance elsewhere, personal savings etc and very helpful instalment periods.
Any VAT payable for the next 3 months (20 March to 30 June) will be deferred until Apr 2021. We now know you must cancel your direct debit.
Self assessment tax due 31 July 2020
This has been deferred until 31 Jan 2021 for ALL taxpayers.
Contact email@example.com for further info on the above.
Self employed (ie sole traders and partnerships)
Very little so far although we understand an announcement is imminent that will mean their income is guaranteed somehow along the lines of the 80% wage grant above.
Will be given 3 month mortgage holiday when it can be proved their tenants are unable to pay their rent due to Corona Virus.
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