Important Information

Visit our important information page regularly to ensure you get the very latest important information from the Government during the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

We will update this page as soon as we get clarity from the Government concerning all accounting matters: VAT, Income Tax, Business Rates etc.

LW Accountants are still contactable via our Email info@lwaccountants.co.uk.


If the information on this page doesn't change regularly on your browser either press the "Refresh" button in your browser or press the CTRL button and the F5 key together to force an refresh.

Whilst we are hoping to keep our office open, this will be subject to Government advice.

We will be not be meeting with clients and have organised a 'drop off' arrangement for books and records at the entrance to the office, so far this has worked well for those of you that have used it.

We will continue to update this information as regularly as possible, this is a summary of the advice from HMRC

Self Employed

The Chancellor announced the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.  You will be paid a taxable grant of 80% of your average taxable profits over (up to) the last 3 years, to a maximum of £2,500 per month.  You must have submitted at least your 2019 Tax Return to qualify.  It is not anticipated that the payments will be made until mid May 2020 and it will be paid as one payment to cover the 3 month period.  The grant will be initially payable for 3 months, but the scheme could be extended.

This is a link to the current criteria HMRC have set for the grant.  You are allowed to continue to work and still make a claim.  You can also make a claim for Universal Credit if you are experiencing a reduction in your income.

HMRC will be contacting you directly if you qualify and you will need to complete an online form and supply them with your bank details.  Again the exact details have not been published.

If your annual average profits are over £50,000, you will not qualify for the grant.  Nor will you qualify if you have not yet submitted a Tax Return, because you commenced self employment after 6th April 2019.  Under these circumstances the current options are to claim
 Universal Credit and/or Employment and Support Allowance

Employers

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as 'furloughed workers'. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The details as to how the calculations are to be made have now been published and can be found here.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is open for 4 months (until the end of June 2020), but will be extended if necessary. HMRC will set out more details shortly.  Employees shoud not be working during their furlough status period.

HMRC will repay up to 2 weeks' SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

The portal for making claims to HMRC for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant is now open and for those clients where we prepare the payroll, we will be making claims to be repaid to you as soon as possible.  Future claims can only be made every 3 weeks (to coincide with the minimum furlough period for a claim)

It is possible to unfurlough your staff for a period of time and then refurlough them again.  But each time they need to be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks for you to be able to make a grant claim.  For example, they are furloughed for 3 weeks, you re-employ them for a week (at their normal rate) then refurlough them for 3 weeks, before you re-employ them again for a week.  This would allow a successful grant claim.

VAT payments

You must still complete and submit your VAT Return by the usual relevant date.  However, some payments may now be deferred.  This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during the period 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. Taxpayers will be given until 31 March 2021 to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Income Tax payments

Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021. You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment. The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July 2020, you should do so.

PAYE and Corporation Tax payments

There currently are no deferral payment periods for either of these taxes.  Payments are still expected on the normal due dates.  If you know you will be unable to make a payment at the correct time, you will need to contact HMRC (see below for details).

Business Rates

The government will provide 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 (SBRR), 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.

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority should contact you if you are eligible for this grant, but our experience is that you should look at your Local Authority's website for ways to make the claim. 

On 1st May 2020 The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund was announced, which allowed the Authority to make grant payments to bsuinesses who rented a property, but did not have their own business rates bill (for example market traders or those in shared/flexible work spaces) - details are to follow.

Business loans

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

From 4th May 2020 you can apply for a Business Bounce Bank loan, which can be between £2,000 up to £50,000 (or 25% of your turnover if that is lower.  It is 100% backed by the Government, the first year is interest and repayment free and repayments start on month 13 for up to 5 years.  The interest rate is fixed at 2.5% for the term of the loan and therre are no early repayment penalties or set up fees.

Time to pay

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. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC's dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559

 

 

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