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COVID-19 Business & Individuals Financial Support Update

General Overview. Healthcare sector specific updates has been issued to our clients.

We have issued sector specific updates to our healthcare clients, this is a general brief overview;

1. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility
All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme and what you need to do
- Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
- submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
- HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers' wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.


2. Support for business owners through deferring self-assessment
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

Eligibility
- If you are self-employed you are eligible or if you're a director of a company

How to access the scheme and what you need to do
- This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
- No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
- 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 Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

3. Support for business owners through deferring VAT

Eligibility
- All UK Businesses are eligible

How to access the scheme and what you need to do
- This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
- No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
- If you usually pay your VAT by Direct Debit you must cancel your Direct Debit Mandate to take advantage of this offer
- Any deferred VAT should be paid to HMRC by the end of the 2020-21 tax year
- You must still submit a VAT Return, any refunds will continue in the normal way

4. Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
Legislation introduced to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

About the scheme
- Refunds will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
- employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible
- employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
- employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus will need an isolation note.
- eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
- the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Eligibility
- your business is UK based
- your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme and what you need to do
- A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course


5. Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
The Government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), 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.

Eligibility
- your business is based in England
- you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
- you are a business that occupies property

How to access the scheme and what you need to do
- You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant


6. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

Eligibility
- 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 to access the scheme and what you need to do
- The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
- We believe that you will need forecasts and cashflow projections as part of the grant/loan application.
- The scheme became available week commencing 23 March 2020.

7. Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay Service
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.

Eligibility
- You are eligible if your business:
- Pays tax to the UK Government
- Has outstanding tax liabilities

 

Rachel Ormston ACCA

Rachel Ormston ACCA

Medical Accounts Manager

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