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Government measures to assist businesses, the self-employed and employees

In order to provide support during this uncertain period of disruption we are all experiencing due to COVID-19, the government has set out various measures to assist businesses, the self-employed and employees.

These measures as set out below are correct as at the date of posting but please be aware the government is continuing to review the support they are providing: –

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme HMRC will reimburse 80% of an employee’s wage, up to £2,500 per month, if they have stopped working but are still being kept on the payroll.  These employees are known as furloughed workers.  This may help an employer prevent making employees redundant.  This scheme will be open for 3 months and can be backdated to 1 March 2020.
  • Deferral of VAT payments Businesses with a Value Added Tax payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 can choose to defer such payment for 3 months.
  • Deferring Income Tax payments The government is offering a deferral of income tax payments for Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020.  These payments can be deferred until 31 January 2021.
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme This scheme will allow the self-employed to claim a grant equivalent to 80% of their trading profits (again, up to a maximum amount of £2,500) for the next three months.
  • Sick Pay Employers with fewer than 250 employees can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay that has been paid due to COVID-19.  This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ worth of Statutory Sick Pay. 
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses They are being granted a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.  These businesses can also claim cash grants of varying amounts of up to £25,000.
  • Nursery businesses They are being granted a business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
  • Small Business Grant Scheme Eligible businesses will be provided with a one-off grant of £10,000 to assist with their business costs.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan The government is offering loans to SME’s of up to £5 million for a period of 6 years.  The first 12 months of interest payments will be paid for by the government, along with any lender-levied fees.
  • Corporate Financing Facility The Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies in order to allow businesses to finance their short-term liabilities
  • Time to Pay scheme If a business or self-employed person have missed a tax payment or think they might miss their next tax payment, they can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline 0800 0159 559 for assistance/advice.

Whilst these unprecedented times are worrying for all of us, it is important to know that help is being offered by the government to assist.

For more information on any of the schemes/measures set out above and to check your eligibility, please click here ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#extension-of-business-improvement-districts-bids-arrangements)

If you have any questions, please get in touch with me or anyone else within the Corporate Commercial team on 01256 320555.

Liberty Roberts

Corporate Commercial Solicitor

lroberts@clarkeandson.co.uk

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