COVID-19 Update – 20 March 2020


Shefford Accountancy Services Ltd
Special Measures Announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 20 March 2020 to Support Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit – will be eligible for this scheme. Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 per person per month.  
The scheme will be backdated to 1 March 2020, and will last for a period of up to 3 months. This scheme is likely to be accessed via a new online HMRC portal. However, we have no details yet about the criteria which will be used, but employees will have to be registered as furloughed on the portal. (Definition of Furloughed – grant leave of absence to, usually for a temporary period)

VAT Payments Deferral
The Chancellor is deferring the next quarter of VAT payments. This means no business will pay any VAT from now until the end of June (i.e. VAT payments due on 7 April, 7 May, 7 June 2020). These VAT debts will have to be settled by 31 December 2020. However, we feel that this deferral may be extended, and whenever the due date will be, we believe HMRC will be very lenient with regards to any payment plan that may be needed.

Self-Assessment Payments Deferral
The next self-assessment payments which are due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021. This is an automatic deferral and no further action is needed.
We feel that these payments could be deferred for even longer, as we expect that the economy will take years to recover. Therefore, there is likely to be even more leniency by the Government in order to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods.

PAYE/NIC, Corporation Tax and Other Taxation
There have been no announcements regarding these taxes, and we are not able to supply any information or guidance for these. However, we will keep you updated of any changes.

Financial Support for Hospitality Businesses
As mentioned in our previous advice bulletin; all hospitality sector businesses will pay no business rates for 12 months. Each business will receive a new rates bill from their local authority.
These businesses can also access an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business. We are still waiting for details as to how these grants can be accessed.
Please find below a link to UK Government Advice for Businesses and Employers:-
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

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