HMRC & Coronavirus updates

HMRC & Coronavirus updates

HMRC financial measures and guidance for employees, employers and businesses

At the time of writing, there are already a number of measures in place for many businesses and employees to gain financial support from the government. Below is a quick rundown of those currently available and these will be updated as anything new is added, especially for the 5m self employed people that seem to have been missed presently with only access to universal credit available to them - we understand that this may be tackled by the Chancellor this afternoon, so watch this space. We will go into these in more depth over the coming days and weeks, but for today these are:

For businesses:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • AVAILABLE FROM YOUR BANK MONDAY 24th MARCH 2020 - the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • Insurance - check that business interruption clauses include pandemics
  • Self Employment Income Support Scheme

For employees:

  • Enhanced sick pay (SSP) for those employees staying at home due to COVID-19
  • Quicker access to Universal Credit for employees not earning more than £118 per week or those that are self employed in order to assist with regular payments including rent
  • Grants for employers in order to pay at least 80% of wages up to £2500 per month per employee

More details from the government are available here:

HMRC: COVID-19 guidance for employers and businesses

HMRC: COVID-19 guidance for employees

Other advice:

  • Apply for grants and funding even if you don't use it; you can save the money and payback once things go back to normal
  • If you're desperate for cash and are considering drawing from a credit card, don't! Use Neteller.com, where cash transfers are free, and pay for this with your credit card, the interest will be cheaper ad they'll be no cash advance fees
  • Engage with banks, landlords and local authorities as quickly as possible, take payment holidays regardless of whether or not you feel you need to, keep as much cash in your business as you can by saving it and paying back only when necessary
  • Consider if there are any non essential services that you can stop for the time being, software you're not using, TV and music services, etc
  • Make sure you have policies in place, especially for those with onsite services so that everyone knows the situation. This will apply up until lockdown and continue afterwards for a short while
  • Consider how you could promote your business to your wider network, could you up your online presence? Could you offer subscription services? Things that take a little time, but could still earn you some revenue 
  • Just remember, whatever measures are put into place for businesses financially you will still all be expected to comply with all other regulations. This means that we will all still need to undertake work connected with company bookkeeping and VAT, payroll and company year ends and corporation tax. You will receive automatic deferments for VAT and self assessment payments but submissions must be made as normal.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash


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