ADDITIONAL COVID SUPPORT ROUND UP

Updated: 4 days ago

If you were looking for the headline support policies like Local Authority Grants, Furlough, Self - Employed Income Support Scheme and Furlough they are covered here in our Covid Support Hub.


Here we focus on some of the less high profile support measures including :-


PAYING TAXES AND TIME TO PAY SERVICE


WORKING SAFELY AND TRACK AND TRACE


BUSINESSES WHO NEED BREATHING SPACE


RENTERS AND COMMERCIAL TENANCIES


RATES HOLIDAY FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY & LEISURE


STATUTORY SICK PAY


UP TO 10K FINE FOR FIRMS WHO STOP SELF-ISOLATION


£500 SELF ISOLATION PAYMENT FOR THOSE ON LOW INCOME


HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT AND PAY DURING COVID19


CORONAVIRUS AND CLAIMING BENEFITS


INSURANCE AND COVID 19


LINKS TO GOV.UK FOR ALL FORMS OF BUSINESS SUPPORT


PAYING TAX: TIME TO PAY SERVICE :



If you’re struggling to pay your tax bill on time, or you’re experiencing financial difficulties you can contact HMRC’s Time to Pay service


V.A.T. :-


RETAIL & HOSPITALITY VAT CUT EXTENSION


Extension on the temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors ends on March 31 2021

VAT DEFERRAL AND REPAYMENTS


Contents

  1. Pay your deferred VAT

  2. If you want to join the new scheme

  3. Before you join the scheme

  4. Correcting errors on VAT returns for the VAT deferral period

  5. If you’re not able to pay your deferred VAT


If you deferred VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021

  • join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021

  • contact HMRC on Telephone: 0800 024 1222 by 30 June if you need extra help to pay


You may be charged interest or a penalty if you do not:

  • pay the deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021

  • opt into the new payment scheme by 21 June 2021

  • agree extra help to pay with HMRC by 30 June 2021



PAY YOUR DEFERRED VAT

You can pay your deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021. You do not need to contact HMRC.

If you want to join the new scheme

The VAT deferral new payment scheme will be open from 23 February up to and including 21 June 2021.

If you’re on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you’ll be invited to join the new payment scheme later in March 2021.

The new scheme lets you:

  • pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free

  • choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join)

To use the online service, you must:

  • join the scheme yourself, your agent cannot do this for you

  • still have deferred VAT to pay

  • be up to date with your VAT returns

  • join by 21 June 2021

  • pay the first instalment when you join

  • pay your instalments by Direct Debit (if want to use the scheme but cannot pay by Direct Debit, there’s an alternative entry route for you)

JOIN THE SCHEME HERE


If you join the scheme, you can still have a Time to Pay arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.

Instalment options available to you

The month you decide to join the scheme will determine the maximum number of instalments that are available to you. If you join the scheme in March, you’ll be able to pay your deferred VAT in 11 instalments or fewer.

The table below sets out the monthly joining deadlines (to allow for Direct Debit processing) and the corresponding number of maximum instalments (including the first payment):


Number of instalments available to you:


If you join by:


19 March 2021 11

21 April 2021 10

19 May 2021 9

21 June 2021 8


Before you join the scheme

Before joining, you must:

  • create your own Government Gateway account (if you do not already have one)

  • submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years – otherwise you’ll not be able to join the scheme

  • correct errors on your VAT returns as soon as possible

  • make sure you know how much you owe, including the amount you originally deferred and how much you may have already paid

If you cannot use the online service There may be circumstances where you cannot use the online service, for example if you:

  • do not have a UK bank account

  • cannot pay by Direct Debit

  • have dual signatories on your account

If you want to join the new payment scheme, but cannot use the online service, contact the COVID-19 helpline when the scheme opens on Telephone: 0800 024 1222. An adviser will help you join.

Correcting errors on VAT returns for the VAT deferral period

The VAT deferral period covered accounting periods for:

  • February 2020

  • March 2020

  • April 2020

  • May 2020 - for payment on account customers and certain non-standard tax periods only, in addition to the above periods

If you notice an error on a VAT return which relates to a period covered by the scheme, you should:

  1. Fill in form VAT652.

  2. Send it to the VAT Error Correction Team.

Deferring extra payments resulting from error corrections

If you want to defer extra payments resulting from error corrections, contact the COVID-19 helpline (Telephone: 0800 024 1222) after both of the following have happened:

  • HMRC have processed your error correction

  • you’ve received a statement of account confirming the balance

You can then either:

  • include the payments in your deferred balance and pay in full by 31 March 2021

  • include the payments in your deferred balance and join the new payment scheme while it is open

  • contact HMRC if you need more help to pay on Telephone: 0800 024 1222

You cannot include extra payments after you’ve joined the scheme. Any error correction relating to the deferral period that is notified to HMRC after 31 March 2021, cannot be deferred.

You may be contacted by HMRC if we’ve carried out a VAT compliance check and found that extra payments are due for the deferral period. You must also contact our COVID-19 helpline (Telephone: 0800 024 1222) if you want to defer these payments.

If you’re not able to pay your deferred VAT

If you’re still unable to pay and need more time, find out what to do if you cannot pay your tax bill on time.  To find what other support is available, use the Get help and support for your business guide.

INCOME TAX


Credit: Images Money/CC BY 2.0


Enhanced Time to Pay for Self-Assessment taxpayers - September 24 2020 announcement


The government will give the self-employed and other taxpayers more time to pay taxes due in January 2021, building on the Self-Assessment deferral provided in July 2020.


Taxpayers with up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities due will be able to use HMRC’s self-service Time to Pay facility to secure a plan to pay over an additional 12 months.


This means that Self-Assessment liabilities due in July 2020 will not need to be paid in full until January 2022.


Any Self-Assessment taxpayer not able to pay their tax bill on time, including those who cannot use the online service, can continue to use HMRC’s Time to Pay Self-Assessment helpline to agree a payment plan.


Self Assessment customers can now apply online to spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments without the need to call HMRC. The online self-serve 'Time to Pay' service, has been increased to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Once you've completed your tax return for the 2019-20 tax year, you can use the online self-serve 'Time to Pay' service through GOV.UK to set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.


If you wish to set up your own self-serve 'Time to Pay', you must meet the following requirements:

  • no outstanding tax returns

  • no other tax debts

  • no other HMRC payments set up

  • your Self Assessment tax bill is between £32 and £30,000

  • it is no more than 60 days since the tax was due for payment.

If you do not meet these requirements, you might still qualify for Time to Pay, but you will need to call us to set this up.


If you set up a 'Time to Pay' arrangement, you will have to pay interest on the tax paid late. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.



If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to 31 January 2021.


You have the option to defer your second payment on account if you’re:

  • registered in the UK for Self Assessment and

  • finding it difficult to make your second payment on account by 31 July 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus

You can still make the payment by 31 July 2020 as normal if you’re able to do so.


Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.


HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

  1. If you choose to defer

  2. After the deferral ends

  3. How to get help

The June 2020 Self Assessment statements showed 31 January 2021 as the due date for paying the July 2020 Payment on Account.


This is because HMRC updated their IT systems to prevent customers incurring late payment interest on any July 2020 Payment on Account paid between 1st August 2020 and 31 January 2021.


The deferment has not been applied for all customers by HMRC and it remains optional.

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount of the deferred payment on account, provided it’s paid on or before 31 January 2021.

You will still need to submit your Self Assessment tax return to HMRC on time



P.A.Y.E. - NATIONAL INSURANCE - CORPORATION TAX


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.These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.


Eligibility

You are eligible if your business: pays tax to the UK government or has outstanding tax liabilities


How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call H.M.R.C.’s dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222 (Mon- Fri 8:00a.m- 4:00p.m.)

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.



WORKING SAFELY DURING CORONAVIRUS


RAPID TESTING IN THE WORKPLACE


Businesses with more than 50 employees are now able to access lateral flow tests, which can produce results in less than 30 minutes.


Around one in three people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus.


You can register to order tests if:

  • your business is registered in England

  • you employ 50 people or more

  • your employees cannot work from home


REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS FOR RAPID TESTING


Do not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.


COVID-19 Secure guidance for all sectors, available here

  1. Close contact services

  2. Construction and other outdoor work

  3. Factories, plants and warehouses

  4. Heritage locations

  5. Hotels and other guest accommodation

  6. Labs and research facilities

  7. Offices and contact centres

  8. Other people's homes

  9. Performing arts

  10. Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities

  11. Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service

  12. Shops and branches

  13. Vehicle

  14. The visitor economy


TRACK AND TRACE APP & POSTER INSTRUCTIONS


It is now a legal requirement in the following venues to keep customer records for 21 days and failure to do so will be punishable with fines.


Establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, must request contact details from staff, customers and visitors, and display the official NHS QR code poster:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés

  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades

  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors

  • community centres, libraries and village halls

A full list of organisations within scope in these sectors can be found in annex A.


Android App


Apple App


Set up your poster to display on your premises for visitors and customers to check in


Coronavirus track and trace: 7 steps to complying with data protection law

BUSINESSES WHO NEED BREATHING SPACE


Update February 2021


The government announced it intends to extend the power to make temporary amendments or modify the effects of corporate insolvency and governance legislation for an additional year.


The government laid the regulations on 11 February 2021 in Parliament ahead of the power expiring on 30 April 2021.


Update December 2020


On 9 December 2020 the government announced it intends to reinstate the temporary suspension of the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions until 31 March 2021.


On 25 November 2020 the government announced it intends to reinstate the temporary removal of the threat of personal liability for wrongful trading from directors until 30 April 2021.


The government also announced that companies and other qualifying bodies with obligations to hold AGMs will continue to have the flexibility to hold these meetings virtually until 31 March 2021. This means that shareholders can continue to examine company papers and vote on important issues remotely.


The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill received royal assent on 25 June and is now an Act. It was due to expire on 30 September 2020 but has been extended.


On 10th October 2020 measures to suspend compulsory strike off action were lifted.



The temporary measures include:

  • Companies and other qualifying bodies with obligations to hold AGMs will continue to have the flexibility to hold these meetings virtually until 30 December 2020. This means that shareholders can continue to examine company papers and vote on important issues remotely

  • Statutory demands and winding-up petitions will continue to be restricted until 31 December 2020 to protect companies from aggressive creditor enforcement action as a result of coronavirus related debts

  • Termination clauses are still prohibited, stopping suppliers from ceasing their supply or asking for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process. However, small suppliers will remain exempted from the obligation to supply until 30 March 2021 so that they can to protect their business if necessary

  • The modifications to the new moratorium procedure, which relax the entry requirements to it, will also be extended until 30 March 2021. A company may enter into a moratorium if they have been subject to an insolvency procedure in the previous 12 months. Measures will also ease access for companies subject to a winding up petition. The temporary moratorium rules will also be extended to 30 March 2021

The Bill consists of 6 insolvency measures


The insolvency measures will provide vital support to businesses to help them through this period of instability.

  • introducing a new moratorium to give companies breathing space from their creditors while they seek a rescue

  • prohibit termination clauses that engage on insolvency, preventing suppliers from ceasing their supply or asking for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process

  • introducing a new restructuring plan that will bind creditors to it

  • enabling the insolvency regime to flex to meet the demands of the emergency

  • temporarily removing the threat of personal liability for wrongful trading from directors who try to keep their companies afloat through the emergency

  • temporarily prohibiting creditors from filing statutory demands and winding up petitions for coronavirus related debts

And two corporate governance measures.

  • temporarily easing burdens on businesses by enabling them to hold closed Annual General Meetings (AGMs), conduct business and communicate with members electronically, and by extending filing deadlines

  • allowing for the temporary measures to be retrospective so as to be as effective as possible

How to apply for breathing space to consider a rescue plan for your company, under measures to support companies and other types of business in financial difficulty.


How the measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act will affect your filings at Companies House.


RENTING - PRIVATE AND SOCIAL


From 29 August 2020, with the exception of the most serious cases, landlords are not able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants 6 months’ notice.



  • Renters protected with ban on bailiff enforced evictions extended until 31 March

  • Exemptions in place for the most serious cases

  • Part of a wider package of support for renters during the pandemic

The ban on bailiff evictions - which was introduced at the start of the pandemic - has been extended for another 6 weeks - until 31 March - with measures kept under review in line with the latest public health advice.


Landlords are also required to give 6-month notice periods to tenants before starting possession proceedings, except in the most serious circumstances, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in their homes until at least August 2021, with time to find alternative support or accommodation.


For those renters who require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to distribute to support renters with housing costs.


Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances that cause the greatest strain on landlords as well as other residents and neighbours, such as illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour and arrears of 6 months’ rent or more.


The only exceptions to this are for the most egregious cases – anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation, death of a tenant where the property is unoccupied, fraud, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing and rent arrears equivalent to at least 6 months’ rent.


The government has also launched a new free mediation pilot to support landlords and tenants to resolve disputes before a formal court hearing takes place. This will help tenants at an early stage of the possession process, mitigating the risk of tenants becoming homeless and helping to sustain tenancies where possible.


Guidance to support landlords and tenants in the social and private rented sectors understand the possession action process and new rules within the court system in England and Wales is available.


We have published new guidance for landlords and tenants on the possession action process through the courts.



COMMERCIAL TENANCIES


Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.


This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants 3 months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.


Further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants will also be published shortly.


Additional guidance published early next year will sit alongside the government’s Code of Practice, published in June, to encourage all parties to work together to protect viable businesses and ensure a swift economic recovery.


The government will also extend insolvency measures on restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions until the end of March.


The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent will also automatically extend to the end of March, in line with the moratorium’s expiry date. This allows businesses sufficient breathing space to pay rent owed.


The guidance is clear both landlords and tenants should continue to work together to agree rent payment options if businesses are struggling. In June, the government published a Code of Practice to support these discussions.


Further information


Contact form


General enquiries: If you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000


RATES HOLIDAY FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY & LEISURE


Clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries that pay business rates will not have to pay these rates in the 2020/21 tax year. Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls have now been added to this category.

STATUTORY SICK PAY


The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live.


Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to your employees due to coronavirus


You can now claim for employees who are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus




The scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.


Contents

  1. Who can use the scheme

  2. Get ready to claim

  3. Records you must keep

  4. Other help you can get


To use the online service you will need the Government Gateway user ID you got when you registered for PAYE Online.


If you did not register online you will need to enrol for the PAYE Online service.

Find your lost Government Gateway user ID if you do not have it.


If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.


The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.


What you can claim


The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks SSP starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • have coronavirus symptoms

  • are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms

  • are self-isolating because they’ve been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus

  • are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks

  • have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery for up to 14 days

You can make more than one claim per employee, but you cannot claim for more than 2 weeks in total.


You can claim from the first qualifying day your employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:

  • 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms

  • 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus

  • 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus

  • 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery

Most people are asked to self-isolate for 3 days before surgery. In this case, the day of surgery will be the 4th day of their period of incapacity for work. You cannot claim repayment of SSP for the day of surgery or any other days when the absence is not due to coronavirus.


A ‘qualifying day’ is a day an employee usually works on. The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.


If an employee has returned to the UK


From 8 June 2020, some people entering or returning to the UK will be required to quarantine for 14 days. If an employee is unable to work during this period, they will not qualify for SSP unless they also meet one of the above criteria.


The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of SSP you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.



Use the SSP calculator to work out the actual amount.

UP TO 10K FINE FOR FIRMS WHO STOP SELF-ISOLATION


Business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work can be fined up to £10,000 from 28 September.



People will be required by law to self-isolate from 28 September, supported by payment of £500, for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.


There will be fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 – bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel - but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.


Steps will be taken to make sure that people are complying with the rules, these include:

  • NHS Test and Trace call handlers making regular contact with those self-isolating, with the ability to escalate any suspicion of non-compliance to Local Authorities and local police;

  • Using police resources to check compliance in highest incidence areas and in high-risk groups, based on local intelligence;

  • Investigating and prosecuting high-profile and egregious cases of non-compliance; and

  • Acting on instances where third parties have identified others who have tested positive, but are not self-isolating.



£500 SELF ISOLATION PAYMENT


If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.


Eligibility


If you have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you’re under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you live in England and meet all the following criteria:

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

  • you’re employed or self-employed

  • you’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

  • you’re currently receiving at least one of the following:

  • Universal Credit

  • Working Tax Credit

  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Housing Benefit

  • Pension Credit


If you do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you live in England and meet the following criteria:

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

  • you are employed or self-employed

  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

  • you are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

  • you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

If you’re eligible for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment, you will receive the £500 payment on top of any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay that you currently receive.


HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT AND PAY DURING COVID19



Contents

  1. Holiday entitlement

  2. Taking holiday

  3. Holiday pay

  4. Carrying annual leave into future leave years

  5. Furloughed agency workers

  6. More information


This guidance outlines how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who:


This guidance should not be treated as legal advice. Employers and workers should always check individual contracts and if necessary seek independent legal advice.


OPTION TO TAX LAND AND BUILDINGS


Check above for the temporary changes to the time limit and rules for notifying an option to tax land and buildings.

CORONAVIRUS AND CLAIMING BENEFITS


Redundancy :- finding work and benefits

Universal credit eligibility checker

New Style Employment and Support Allowance: detailed guide



TAX CREDITS,CHILD BENEFIT & GUARDIAN'S ALLOWANCE


Reduced income? Check if you could get child benefit


The Government has confirmed that people who are unable to work their normal hours because of coronavirus (COVID-19) will still receive their usual tax credits payments.


Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.


Further information can be found here.


The Government is uprating Child Benefit, other tax credits rates and thresholds, and Guardian’s Allowance by 1.7% with effect from 6 April 2020. Child Benefit rises to £21.05 per week (from £20.70 per week) for the eldest/only child, and to £13.95 (from £13.70) for other children.


The government has announced that Working Tax Credits (WTC) payments will be increased from 6 April 2020, WTC payments will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021.


NEW RATES AND CALCULATORS


The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week.


Due to COVID-19, there are new temporary guidelines in place if your circumstances change as a direct result of COVID-19.


· If your working hours have been temporarily impacted due to these exceptional circumstances and are expected to last 8 weeks or more, you do not have to contact the Tax Credit Office and your payments will continue as normal.


· Further guidance will be provided by the Tax Credit Office after 8 weeks.


· However, it is important to know that if you have any change in circumstances that have not been a direct impact of COVID-19 then you must as normal contact the Tax Credit Office and notify them within the 30 days of the change.


Help Line 0345 300 3900


The normal guidance when receiving W.T.C. is that you must notify the Tax Credit Office within 30 days if you have a change in circumstance such as:


Losing a job

Having a child

Start working less than 16 hours a week


INSURANCE AND COVID 19


BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE


Use the FCA policy checker and policyholder frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find out if your insurance policy may cover business interruption losses caused by coronavirus (Covid-19) as a result of the FCA’s test case and what you can do next.



THE SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT


On 15 January 2021, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment on the issues on appeal from the High Court. Its judgment relates to the High Court’s interpretation of common clauses in 13 out of the 21 business interruption policies in the representative sample. The judgment also considers whether the prevalence of coronavirus in or near the business was the effective ‘cause’ of losses.


The Supreme Court judgment is complex, runs to 112 pages and deals with many issues. A summary of the key points is below. Our legal team at Herbert Smith Freehills have published a bulletin summarising the judgment on their website, which may be referred to for further detail.


The FCA argued for policyholders that the ‘disease’ and ‘prevention of access’ clauses in the representative sample of 21 policy types provide cover in the circumstances of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and that the trigger for cover caused policyholders’ losses.

The High Court’s judgment last September said that most of the disease clauses and certain prevention of access clauses (12 policy types from the sample of 21, issued by six insurers) provide cover and that the pandemic and the Government and public response caused the business interruption losses. The six insurers appealed those conclusions for 11 of the policy types, but the Supreme Court has dismissed those appeals, for different reasons from those of the High Court.


On the FCA’s appeal, the Supreme Court ruled that cover may be available for partial closure of premises (as well as full closure) and for mandatory closure orders that were not legally binding; that valid claims should not be reduced because the loss would have resulted in any event from the pandemic; and that two additional policy types from insurer QBE provide cover. This will mean that more policyholders will have valid claims and some pay-outs will be higher.

The judgment is legally binding on the eight insurers that agreed to be parties to the test case. Those insurers are:

  • Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd

  • Argenta Syndicate Management Ltd

  • Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc

  • MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd

  • Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd

  • QBE UK Ltd

  • Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc

  • Zurich Insurance Plc

The judgment also provides authoritative guidance for the interpretation of similar policy wordings and claims. It can be taken into account in other court cases, including in Scotland and Northern Ireland, by the Financial Ombudsman and by the FCA in looking at whether insurers are handling claims fairly. The judgment does not determine how much is payable under individual policies, but provides the basis for doing so.


THE HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT


The High Court handed down its judgement on 15 September 2020. Large parts of the High Court’s judgment (and the associated declarations) are superseded by the judgment of the Supreme Court. But certain parts of the High Court’s judgment were not appealed and therefore have a status similar to that of the Supreme Court’s judgment as described above.


FCA GUIDANCE


We have published the following guidance and statements of particular importance to policyholders:

  • Draft guidance for policyholders on how to prove the presence of coronavirus, which is a condition in certain types of policy. We will issue finalised guidance as soon as possible once the consultation period ends.

  • A list of policies with claims that may be affected by the test case (last updated 15 July 2020 – this does not reflect the outcomes of the test case).

  • Statements on considerations that should be taken into account when applying deductions of government support received by policyholders (see under the heading 'Government support' in the FCA's Dear CEO letter dated 18 September 2020).

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

Sign up to receive email updates on BI insurance and the test case.



TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE BACKDATED TO APRIL 1 2020


Trade Credit Insurance, which provides essential cover to hundreds of thousands of business-to-business transactions, will receive up to £10 billion of government guarantees.

  • measures will support thousands of businesses by protecting against customer defaults or payment delays

  • scheme is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020, and available insurers operating in the UK market

  • to protect businesses that the private credit market cannot insure,export credit insurance is also available from UK Export Finance to cover UK exports to 180 countries.

The guarantees will support supply chains and help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to trade with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected if a customer defaults or delays on payment.

OTHER GOV.UK LINKS


Gov.uk Content


Paying your employees

Paying sick pay

Paying tax

Business rates relief

Business support grant funds

Support for the self-employed

Support for small and medium-sized businesses

Support for businesses during local lockdowns

(COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

Support for large businesses

Redundancy:- finding work and benefits

Universal credit eligibility checker



We're here to help you through this together, so the T+G support blog is updated every day.


For further guidance call 01995 600 600, or email our support team at covid19@tagac.co.uk

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