Below is an updated summary of the Coronavirus support and advice that has been issued by the government in recent weeks in response to the Coronavirus epidemic.
In summary, the support is comprised of the following measures:
- Statutory Sick Pay – for employees that stay at home but cannot continue their work.
- Rates relief – a year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism.
- Small Business grants
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – for employers to claim 80% of the monthly wages of ‘furloughed’ workers up to £2,500.
- Access to Universal Credit
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – financial support to smaller businesses that are struggling due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Income Tax Deferment
- VAT payment deferment
- Time to Pay Scheme
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – available for self-employed people from June 2020 and will cover the lesser of 80% of average profits in recent years or £2,500.
UK Government Support
Employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if they are staying at home because of Coronavirus. This will start from day 1 rather than day 4.
For those that are out of work or have a reduced income due to Coronavirus, Universal Credit will be available.
Employers will be able to claim 80% of their furloughed workers’ salaries (up to £2,500) through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is to support employers that would otherwise have to lay-off staff as a result of the virus.
VAT registered businesses will also be able to defer VAT payments for 3 months. VAT returns will still have to be submitted on time but you do not need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your payment. If your payment is done usually through Direct Debit, then you must contact your bank to cancel it.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been introduced to help small and medium sized businesses. It gives them access to loans, overdrafts invoice finance and asset finance. It is accessed through 40 accredited lenders, including all major banks.
The self employed with trading profits of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 will be able to access the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. This will offer a grant for 80% of their average monthly trading profits (up to £2,500).
If you cannot pay your Self Assessment bill you may be able to arrange to pay in instalments online.
Scottish Government Support
All non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. This relief effectively reverses the change in poundage for 2020-21. You do not need to apply for this relief and it will be applied to your bill by your local council.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 and up to and including £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.
You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme. Self-catering accommodation and caravans are eligible for a grant if they are a primary source of income for the ratepayer (one third or more), and were let out for 140 days or more in financial year 2019-20
We hope that this summary of the Coronavirus support and advice available is useful and we will keep updating you of any changes or news. Finally, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.