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23 March, 2020
On Friday, the Chancellor’s announcements on Coronavirus business support went significantly further than in the history of this country, with a series of unprecedented announcements in the Government’s support of businesses, employees and individuals.
The range of measures for UK businesses is significant and now includes the following:
Each of these items is now explained in more detail below.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
Eligibility: All UK businesses are eligible.
How to access the scheme – You will need to:
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month per employee. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
Government has announced that HMRC will allow you to defer Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. The deferral period will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Additionally, if you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
HMRC are bringing forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based, small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.
A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.
Support for businesses that pay business rates
Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020-21 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
You are eligible for the business rates holiday if: your business is based in England and your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied premises that are wholly or mainly being used:
There is no action that you need to take. The relief will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
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.
For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
You are eligible for the grant if: your business is based in England and your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.
There is no action you need to take. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
We may need to wait to know the full details of the various Coronavirus business support schemes but will do all we can to send information as it becomes available.
Blog post by: Ian Marlow