• Eamonn Watson

CRISIS SUPPORT LATEST : - MONDAY, 6TH JULY 07:27

Updated: 5 hours ago


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


For any advice you need, just call 01995 600 600, or

email our dedicated, support team at covid19@tagac.co.uk



Use this online questionnaire, to find out what support is available based on your circumstances


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 large businesses

Universal credit eligibility checker

Guidance for Landlords and Tenants

Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

Support specifically for businesses in Scotland

INTERIM & PENDING :- REMINDERS FOR YOUR DIARY



JULY VAT : - REACTIVATE YOUR DIRECT DEBIT


If you took a VAT payment holiday you have to reinstate direct debits for payments due in July. Arrangements also need to be made to pay the deferred VAT by 31 March 2021; further guidance is awaited from H.M.R.C. on the mechanism.


JULY 1 FLEXI-FURLOUGH:- JOB RETENTION SCHEME RULES CHANGE


JULY 13 FINAL DAY SELF- EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME CLAIM ROUND ONE


COMING SOON


The full details are pending on the following schemes : -


VAT :- delay in domestic reverse charge in construction to March 2021


FCA announces proposals to further support motor finance and high cost credit customers


INTERIM CHANGES


A list of the rules temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working.



RE-OPENING YOUR BUSINESS



UPDATED GUIDANCE ON WORKING SAFELY


  1. 5 steps to working safely

  2. Close contact services

  3. Construction and other outdoor work

  4. Factories, plants and warehouses

  5. Heritage locations

  6. Hotels and other guest accommodation

  7. Labs and research facilities

  8. Offices and contact centres

  9. Other people's homes

  10. Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service

  11. Shops and branches

  12. Vehicle

  13. The visitor economy



Guidance on re-opening safely


Notice to display to show you have made your workplace COVID-secure.


You must not reopen if your business is closed under government rules.


All businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which remain closed in law:

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques

  • Casinos

  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

  • Bowling alleys

  • Indoor skating rinks

  • Indoor play areas including soft-play areas

  • Spas

  • Nail bars and salons and beauty salons

  • Tanning booths and salons

  • Massage parlours

  • Tattoo parlours

  • Body and skin piercing services

  • Indoor fitness and dance studios

  • Indoor gyms and sports courts and facilities

  • Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, including water parks

  • Exhibition halls or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue


Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace


  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés

  • Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks

  • Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors

  • Facilities provided by local authorities, town halls & civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres

  • Places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

Here's how to do it and comply with data protection law.


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



THE JOB RETENTION SCHEME AND FURLOUGH


Use this online service to claim for your employees’ wages.


The scheme changed on 1 July and has been extended to 31 October.


This video gives an overview of the changes to the scheme and more information on:

  • how employers will be affected

  • flexible furloughing

  • key dates

  • support available



If you can't maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for this grant.


The government will reimburse up to 80% of salaries up to £2500 per month, for any employee on a P.A.Y.E. system who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Furlough leave is for a minimum of 3 weeks. To be reviewed every 3 weeks.

The scheme, open to any employer in the country, covers the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and was open from April 20th, 2020.


It will be end on October 31st, and can include any workers who were registered on their employer's P.A.Y.E. system by 19th March 2020, as long as they were placed on furlough before June 10th for the minimum three week period.


CHANGES FACT SHEET


Employees will continue to receive 80% of their monthly wages.


31 July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.


EMPLOYERS CONTRIBUTION TO FURLOUGH

Employers can reclaim a reduced reimbursement of 70 % of furloughed employees wages from September and 60% in October

NATIONAL INSURANCE AND PENSIONS

Employers will be responsible for making the national insurance and pension contributions for all furloughed employees from August 1st.

FLEXI-FURLOUGH


Employers can now agree any working arrangements with previously furloughed employees.


Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.


To enable the introduction of part time furloughing, and support those already furloughed back to work, claims from July onwards will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme and previously furloughed employees.


However, if your employer has previously used the scheme and you are returning from extended maternity or paternity leave, you will still be eligible to join the scheme.


When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week, for grants to be calculated accurately across working patterns.


CONTENT OVERVIEW


WHO CAN CLAIM


EMPLOYEES YOU CAN CLAIM FOR


AGREEING TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES


WHEN YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE ON FURLOUGH


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

HOW TO CLAIM


AFTER YOU'VE CLAIMED


CONTACTING H.M.R.C.


THE TAPER TIMELINE

AUGUST

The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

SEPTEMBER

The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

OCTOBER

The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.



EXAMPLES TO HELP YOU CALCULATE WAGES


PAY CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME GRANTS BACK


Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you've overclaimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.


STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO CLAIMING YOUR EMPLOYEES WAGES THROUGH THE JOB RETENTION SCHEME

To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:

  1. Check if you can claim.

  2. Check which employees you can put on furlough

  3. Check if you can claim for your employees' wages

  4. Calculate how much you can claim.

  5. Claim for your employees’ wages.

  6. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information

Alternatively, employers can reduce working days/hours if they are struggling.

  • Staff can be laid off without pay but employers might have to pay guaranteed pay

  • This is £29 per day payable for 5 days over a 3-month period.

  • Employees can ask for redundancy pay if the layoff continues for more than 4 weeks.

  • Staff are eligible for redundancy after 2 years employment, based on age and weeks’ pay


FURLOUGH RE-IMBURSEMENT VIA H.M.R.C.


Weekly or monthly claims can be submitted 14 days ahead of payroll date.

The monies will be paid, four to six working days post-payroll, after H.M.R.C validation is carried out.


CLAIM NOW


Online services may be slow during busy times.

Check if there are any problems with this service.



CAN T+G SORT OUT MY FURLOUGH PAYROLL?


If Towers + Gornall manage your payroll, we are happy to fully manage your online J.R.S. furlough claims. The payroll department will be in touch with each client individually.


If you are unsure who is your dedicated contact and you need to prepare any furlough adjustments to your payroll wages ahead of time, simply email Joan Dennett, who heads up the Payroll Team using this email joand@tagac.co.uk


If you want an agent to act for you


Please note:

  • agents authorised to act for you on P.A.Y.E. matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password

  • you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.


If you are not an existing payroll client, but are concerned about the complexities of the process and would like discuss whether T&G could manage the J.R.S. payroll for you, then please call 01995 600 600.


GUIDANCE FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED



THE SELF EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME


Use this scheme if you're a sole trader, or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to Covid 19.

You must then meet two more conditions to be eligible :-

a) Annual trading profits of no more than £50,000

b) Make more than 50% of income from self-employment


The scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.


CUT OFF DATE FOR THE FIRST GRANT


If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected you must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020.



THE SECOND SEISS GRANT IN AUGUST


In August a second grant will be available, 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.


If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020 you’ll be able to make a claim in August 2020.


You can claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.

Find out more about the extension to the scheme.

The online service for the second and final grant is not available yet and no closing date for applications has been made, so the option exists to claim later if and when your business is affected after applications open in August.


Do not contact HMRC as they will update this guidance when this service is available.


Sign up for email alerts for any changes to the HMRC SEISS page.


CHECK ELIGIBILITY NOW FOR THE FIRST GRANT


You’ll need your : -

Online

Claim a grant or check eligibility


Please be aware you will not be able to process a claim for SEISS, unless each individual, or partner, has a unique and current Government Gateway ID.

Webchat

Speak to an adviser online (quicker than phone)

Phone

0800 024 1222

Mon.to Fri: 8am to 4pm

Closed on bank holidays.

Find out about call charges

HOW DOES IT WORK? :-

FULL CONTENTS

  1. How the grant works

  2. Who can claim

  3. Check if you’re eligible to claim

  4. How much you’ll get

  5. How to claim

  6. Find out about the extension to the scheme

  7. Other help you can get

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.


The grant does not need to be repaid but will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance.


HMRC will work out if you’re eligible and how much grant you may get. But you can follow these steps to help you understand how we will do this and what you can do now.


WHO CAN CLAIM?


You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and all of the following apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020

  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021

  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus

Your business could be adversely affected by coronavirus if, for example:

  • you’re unable to work because you:

  • are shielding

  • are self-isolating

  • are on sick leave because of coronavirus

  • have caring responsibilities because of coronavirus

Or you’ve had to scale down or temporarily stop trading because:

  • your supply chain has been interrupted

  • you have fewer or no customers or clients

  • your staff are unable to come in to work

Find examples of when the ‘adversely affected’ criteria will be met.

You should not claim the grant if you’re a limited company or operating a trade through a trust.


To work out your eligibility we will first look at your 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return.

Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income.


If you’re not eligible based on the 2018 to 2019 Self Assessment tax return, we will then look at the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.


Find out how we will work out your eligibility including if we have to use other years.

Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.


You must make the claim yourself.


Your tax agent or adviser must not claim on your behalf as this will trigger a fraud alert, and you will have to contact HMRC.


This will cause a significant delay to you receiving your payment.


How different circumstances affect the scheme


Check if your circumstances affect your eligibility for the following:

  1. If your tax return is late, amended or under enquiry

  2. If you’re a member of a partnership

  3. If you’re on or took parental leave

  4. If you have loans covered by the loan charge and have not agreed a settlement with HMRC before 20 December 2019

  5. If you claim averaging relief

  6. State aid

  7. If you’re non-resident or chose the remittance basis

  8. Adversely affected examples


HOW MUCH YOU'LL GET


You’ll get a taxable grant based on your average trading profit over the 3 tax years:

  • 2016 to 2017

  • 2017 to 2018

  • 2018 to 2019

We will work out your average trading profit by adding together your total trading profits or losses for the 3 tax years, then we will divide by 3.


The first grant will be worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total. The online service will tell you how we’ve worked your grant out.


The grant amount we work out for you will be paid directly into your bank account, in one instalment.


Find out how we will work out your average trading profits including if you have not traded for all 3 years.


HOW TO CLAIM VIDEO



OTHER HELP YOU CAN GET


You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant.


The grant may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get, but will not affect claims for earlier periods.


Making a claim for Universal Credit may affect other benefits so you should check how tax credits and other benefits affect each other, and find out what to do if you’re already getting benefits.


Businesses that apply for the Discretionary Grant Scheme can still apply for coronavirus-related loans if they’re eligible.

The government is also providing the following help for the self-employed:

If you have other employment as a director or employee paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE


We have used the information you or your tax agent or adviser sent us on your Self Assessment tax returns to work out your eligibility.


If you submitted your returns between 26 March 2020 and 23 April 2020 check your eligibility again as the online service has been updated.


If you think you are eligible, you should first check who can claim or contact your tax agent or adviser for help.


If you still think you should be able to claim you can ask HMRC to review your eligibility.

Find other help and support you can get.

BUSINESSES WHO NEED BREATHING SPACE


The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill received royal assent on 25 June and is now an Act.


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.


DISCRETIONARY GRANTS


Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs, that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund, or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme.


Contents

  1. What you get

  2. Eligibility

  3. How to apply

  4. What happens next

WHAT YOU GET


You can get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000.


ELIGIBILITY


You’re eligible if your business:

  • is based in England

  • has fewer than 50 employees

  • has fixed building costs such as rent

  • was trading on 11 March 2020

  • has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

Central Government has asked local councils to prioritise businesses such as:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces, such as units in industrial parks or incubators

  • regular market traders

  • bed and breakfasts paying council tax instead of business rates

  • charity properties getting charitable business rates relief, which are not eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief


Who cannot apply?


You cannot apply if your business:

  • pays business rates

  • is in administration, insolvent or has received a striking-off notice


If you’re already claiming funding


You cannot apply if you’re already claiming under another government grant scheme, such as:

  • Small Business Grant Fund

  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant

  • Fisheries Response Fund

  • Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme

  • Zoos Support Fund

  • Dairy Hardship Fund


You’re still eligible if you’ve applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

HOW TO APPLY


Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply:

Find the website for your local council.


What happens next?

Your local council will run an application process and decide whether to offer you a grant.


The Discretionary Grants Fund counts towards state aid.

Payments of £10,000 or less count towards the total de minimis state aid you’re allowed to get over a 3 year period - €200,000. If you have reached that threshold, you may still be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework.


Payments of £25,000 count as state aid under the COVID-19 Temporary Framework.

The limit for the framework is €800,000. Your local council will ask you to complete a declaration confirming that:

  • you will not exceed the relevant state aid threshold

  • you were not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019. This applies only to the COVID-19 Temporary Framework

You do not have to pay the grant back but it will be taxable. Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.


HELP WITH YOUR MORTGAGE


Guidance for Landlords and Tenants


Ban on evictions extended to August 23 for tenants


Read our guidance to find out more about:



The FCA has confirmed:


If you can afford to repay your mortgage, it is in your interest to do so, as interest will build during that period and you will need to pay back more later. Your monthly repayments after a payment holiday may also be higher, or your mortgage may take longer to repay.


However, if you are struggling to make your mortgage repayments because of coronavirus, we have confirmed new measures to help you.


From 4 June 2020, these measures will:


  • Ensure that if you have not yet had a payment holiday, but need one, you can still have one


  • Customers that have not yet had a payment holiday and who experience financial difficulty have until 31 October 2020 to request one.


  • The current ban on lender repossessions of homes will be continued to 31 October 2020.

  • Firms will communicate with customers regarding what happens when their payment holiday ends. They should offer a range of options for how the missed payments will be repaid, if they are able to resume payments.


  • Lenders will continue to support customers who have already had a payment holiday where they need further help. Firms should contact their customers to find out what they can re-pay and, for those who remain in temporary financial difficulty, offer further support, which will include the option of a further three-month full or part payment holiday.


  • Payment holidays offered under this guidance will not have a negative impact on credit files. However, consumers should remember that lenders may use information obtained from other sources, such as bank account information, in their lending decisions.


This guidance only applies to mortgages. It does not apply to consumer credit products which are covered by separate guidance which will be updated in due course by the FCA.


Mortgage providers are ready to support customers who are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19, including giving the option of a payment holiday.


If you are concerned about making your mortgage payments during this time, you should contact your provider at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss the options available.


Your mortgage provider can offer you a payment holiday of up to three months without the need to assess your circumstances. With a payment holiday you will not have to make your normal monthly mortgage payments.

Your lender can also offer you more tailored support according to your individual situation if you wish to go through a full assessment of your circumstances.


KEY POINTS

  • A payment holiday will be available to all customers who are up to date on their mortgage payments.

  • Customers will still owe the money where a payment holiday has been granted and interest will still accrue, so if you are able to make part of your normal mortgage payment to reduce the money you owe or your interest charges then you should consider doing so.

  • Firms will make every effort to ensure that the payment holiday does not negatively impact on your credit file.

  • If you are already in arrears, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. Lenders will review any change to your circumstances to ensure that payments remain sustainable.

  • If you are already experiencing financial difficulty, lenders have also agreed a moratorium on residential and buy-to-let possession action (to Oct 31 2020), meaning that no homes will be repossessed at this difficult time.

How do I apply?

If you are concerned about making your mortgage payments during this time you should contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible. You don’t need to provide any documentation; you will just need to self-certify that your income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19.

If you are a buy-to-let landlord, you will need to self-certify that your tenant’s income has been impacted by Covid-19. Landlords are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants to ensure that they are supported during this time.

At the end of the payment holiday your provider will contact you to assess your circumstances and agree a manageable way for you repay the interest charges incurred and make up the deferred payments. Each lender will have a range of options available to help you do this.


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.


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


  • have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms

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


You can claim for periods of sickness starting 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


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.

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.



THE BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME



Businesses can borrow from £2,000 - £50,000


Capped at 25% of turnover.


Rapid online application and approval


Funds 24 hours after approval


Interest and repayment free for 12 months


Loan terms up to 6 years at a maximum of 2.5%


No personal guarantee


For sole traders or small partnerships, who often risk their personal assets when borrowing, the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme means no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or a primary personal vehicle.


Any customer with a CBILS loan, or overdraft of £50,000 or less, will be able to switch that facility to a BBLS loan should they choose to do so over the next few months.




FULL DETAILS


FAQs FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: BOUNCE BACK LOANS

What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? Am I eligible? How do I apply? How long is the scheme open? How much can I apply for? How long will it take me to get the funds? What products are available under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? When do I have to start repayments? What fees and interest will I be required to pay? What term can I borrow this over? How much am I meant to repay? Can I repay early? What checks will I be subject to? What protections do I have under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? What can I use the loan for? What happens if I find I’m struggling to repay the loan? Do you support all businesses? Can I apply for a CBILS facility as well as a Bounce Back Loan Scheme facility? What is the difference between CBILS facility and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? What is the difference between Start Up Loans and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme? Is the loan available under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme a personal loan or a business loan? Does this contribute to my State aid allowance? Which businesses meet the “business in difficulty” criteria? What if I want to complain about my loan under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?


HOW TO APPLY & FIND A LENDER

View and select a BBLS via its accredited lenders


APPROACH A LENDER


You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via its website.

In the first instance, you should approach your own provider. You may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you require.

You will need to fill in a short application form online, which self-certifies that your business is eligible for a loan under BBLS.


If your business is eligible, it will be subject to appropriate customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. Some state aid restrictions may apply to your application.


Note: There is high demand for finance through BBLS. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.



THE LENDER MAKES A DECISION


The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.

Under the scheme, lenders are not permitted to:

  • take any form of personal guarantee

  • take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle)


IF THE LENDER TURNS YOU DOWN


If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.

BBLS is designed to be fast for lenders to process and quick and easy for businesses to access. To help achieve this, you will only be required to fill out a short application form online.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE?


Your business must be able to selfdeclare to the lender that it:

  • has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

  • was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)

  • is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020

  • is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility

  • is not in bankruptcy or liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring at the time it submits its application for finance

  • derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)

  • is not in a restricted sector (see below)


Note: The above is not an exhaustive list – see our Frequently asked questions for more information.


Bounce Back Loans are available to businesses in all sectors, except the following:


  • Credit institutions (falling within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive)

  • Insurance companies

  • Public-sector organisations

  • State-funded primary and secondary schools


Interaction between BBLS and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

In order to ensure that businesses have a clear understanding of the support available to them under the loan guarantee schemes, the minimum facility size for term loans and overdrafts under CBILS has increased to £50,001 to avoid any risk of confusion or overlap.


This change to the minimum facility size will not apply to asset finance and invoice finance CBILS facilities.

If you’ve already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4 November 2020.



GRANTS IF YOU PAY LITTLE OR NO BUSINESS RATES


We have written a separate blog on local authority grants. If you are struggling with your application, we have now allocated staff to assisting clients with the process.


Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF)


All businesses in England, who are already in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) .



Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)


Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme.

Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in either of these schemes (as at 11 March 2020). Hereditaments occupied for personal uses are also not eligible.


First check if you’re on the local authorities register and therefore eligible here by

entering your postcode.

The guidance for these schemes is available here and you should take time to read the relevant detail on the two schemes before applying :


Will these grant schemes be subject to tax?


Grant income received by a business is taxable therefore the Small Business Grants, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants will be subject to tax.


Only businesses which make an overall profit once grant income is included will be subject to tax.

Online Applications links below

Wyre Borough Council

Fylde Council

Lancaster Small Business Grant

Lancaster Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant

Preston City Council

South Lakes

South Ribble


RETAIL HOSPITALITY & LEISURE BUSINESS RATES 2020/21


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.



BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME


Now only available for loans of £50,001 or greater up to £5M



Interaction between BBLS and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

· In order to ensure that businesses have a clear understanding of the support available to them under the loan guarantee schemes, the minimum facility size for term loans and overdrafts under CBILS has increased to £50,001 to avoid any risk of confusion or overlap.


· Any customer with a CBILS loan, or overdraft of £50,000 or less, will be able to switch that facility to a BBLS loan should they choose to do so over the next few months.

This change to the minimum facility size will not apply to asset finance and invoice finance CBILS facilities.


Under CBILS, lenders will not take personal guarantees of any form for facilities below £250,000.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 40 accredited lenders across the UK.


Please read our CBILS FAQ for businesses

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

Your business must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity

  • Have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million

  • Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic

  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

View our Quick Eligibility Checklist

HOW TO APPLY

1. FIND A LENDER

View and select a CBILS accredited lender

2. APPROACH A LENDER

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website.

Notes: There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.

WHAT LENDERS WILL NEED FROM YOU

When you apply for a business loan, most lenders will ask you for the following:

Note: For many customers approaching their existing lenders for a smaller facility, the process may be automated and therefore may not require the same level of documentation

DETAILS OF THE LOAN

  • The amount you would like to borrow

  • What the money is for — the lender will check that it’s a suitable business purpose and the right type of finance for your needs

  • The period over which you will make the repayments — the lender will assess whether the loan is affordable for you

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

You will need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the loan. This is likely to include:

  • Management accounts

  • Cash flow forecast

  • Business plan

  • Historic accounts

  • Details of assets

The above requirements will vary from lender to lender.

If you do not have everything listed here, a CBILS loan could still be an option to provide finance to support your business.



CREDIT CARDS OVERDRAFTS AND CAR FINANCE


Banks’ overdraft pricing and plans to support consumers


Information for consumers on personal loans, credit cards, overdrafts, motor finance and other forms of credit


From 14th April until 14th July



Banks must give up to the first £500 of a customer's overdraft interest-free


Banks must ensure that no one pays more for their overdraft than before


Lenders should give three-month payment holidays to credit card and loan customers


You have three months to request a payment holiday


NEW MEASURES ANNOUNCED ON JULY 1 2020


These measures outline the options firms will provide credit card and other revolving credit (store card and catalogue credit) and personal loan customers who are coming to the end of a payment freeze and for customers who have agreed an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500. Customers yet to request a payment freeze or an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500, will have until 31 October 2020 to apply for one.

The FCA has confirmed:

  • If customers can afford to return to regular repayment, or make partial payments, it is in their best interest to do so.


  • Firms should contact customers coming to the end of a first payment freeze to find out if they can resume payments – and if so, agree a plan on how the missed payments could be repaid.

  • For customers still facing temporary payment difficulties as a result of coronavirus, firms will provide them with support, which could include freezing or reducing payments on their credit card and personal loans to a level they can afford for 3 months.

  • Customers who are negatively impacted by coronavirus and who already have an arranged overdraft on their main personal current account can request up to £500 interest-free for a further 3 months. Firms will also provide these customers with further support where it is needed including reducing the cost of borrowing above the interest-free buffer, especially if this cost of borrowing would otherwise increase.


  • Customers that have not yet had a payment freeze or an arranged interest-free overdraft of up to £500 and experience temporary financial difficulty, due to coronavirus, would be able to request one up until 31 October 2020.

  • Any payment freezes or partial payment freezes offered under this guidance should not have a negative impact on credit files. However, consumers should remember that credit files aren’t the only source of information which lenders can use to assess creditworthiness.

The FCA has confirmed that it will not extend the temporary general expectation in relation to overdraft costs. In April, we asked all firms to temporarily ensure all overdraft customers were no worse off on price when compared to the prices they were charged before the recent overdraft rule changes came into force (those changes benefitted most customers).

As was previously the case, firms will be able to set their prices, but, overdraft customers who are financially impacted by coronavirus will continue to be able to request support on any additional borrowing in excess of £500. 

Firms that do choose to increase their charges from this temporary level should give customers impacted by coronavirus an opportunity to seek extra support before any changes take effect.

The FCA will continue to monitor overdraft pricing. In addition to today’s proposals, the FCA has published a statement providing an update following the letter that was sent to firms in January, requesting information on new overdraft pricing.

This guidance comes into force on 3 July 2020 and only applies to credit cards (and other retail revolving credit, such as store cards and catalogue credit), personal loans and overdrafts.

It does not apply to other consumer credit products, such as motor finance, high-cost short-term credit, rent-to-own, pawnbroking and buy-now pay-later, which are covered by separate guidance which will be updated soon.



CARS - HIGH COST CREDIT - PAY DAY LOANS


CAR FINANCE


Firms can provide a 3 month payment freeze to customers who are having temporary difficulties meeting finance or leasing payments due to coronavirus.


If customers are experiencing temporary payment difficulties due to coronavirus and need use of the vehicle, firms should not take steps to end the agreement or repossess the vehicle.



COMMERCIAL TENANCIES


The UK government has confirmed the following changes to the existing package of measures for the commercial sector : -


  • We will lay a statutory instrument to amend the coronavirus Act to extend the time period for suspension of the forfeiture of evictions from June 30 to September 30, meaning no business will be forced out of their premises if they a miss a payment in the next three months.


  • We will also lay secondary legislation to prevent landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 189 days of unpaid rent. The time period for which this measure is in force will be extended from June 30 to September 30.


  • An amendment to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has been tabled which will extend the temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus until 30 September.


UK Finance has also confirmed its members’ continued support for commercial landlord customers including amendments to facilities and capital payment holidays.


Further information

View the code of practice.


Contact form


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



PAYING TAX: TIME TO PAY SERVICE :



V.A.T.


Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The VAT payments deferral scheme ended on 30 June 2020 as previously set out. If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:

  • set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment

  • continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time

  • pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June

Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021. For more information see Pay your VAT bill.

What you need to do If you have cancelled your Direct Debit to HMRC to take advantage of the deferral, you will need to set up a new Direct Debit arrangement in time for the first payment after 30 June. Payments due after 30 June must be paid in full as normal and you must continue to file your VAT return on time.

Paying the tax that you have deferred If you chose to defer your VAT payment as a result of coronavirus, you must pay the VAT on or before 31 March 2021.

You can pay or make payments towards your deferred VAT now or at any time up to 31 March 2021.

How to get help If you need more help to pay your VAT, you may be eligible to get support with your tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay (TTP) service. This allows you to pay off your debt by instalments over a period of time.


VAT repayments and returns


HMRC will continue to process VAT reclaims and refunds as normal and most repayments are paid within 5 working days.


Repayments will not be offset against any deferred VAT, but they will be offset against existing debts.


You can apply online to move to monthly returns to improve your cashflow if you’re in a repayment position.


How deferring VAT affects payments on account

If you defer a payment on account between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 but the balancing payment is outside of these dates, the amount you must pay is the balancing payment less any deferred payments. Deferring payments will not create a repayment.

You will still need to submit your VAT returns to HMRC on time.


If you choose to defer paying your VAT

If you choose to defer your VAT payment as a result of coronavirus, you must pay the VAT due on or before 31 March 2021.

You do not need to tell HMRC that you’re deferring your VAT payment.


Payments made by Direct Debit

If you normally pay by Direct Debit you should cancel your Direct Debit through your bank as soon as possible so that HMRC will not automatically collect any VAT due. You can cancel online if you’re registered for online banking.


After the VAT deferral ends

VAT payments that are due after the end of the deferral period will need to be paid as normal.


How to get help

Time to pay arrangements are available to all businesses and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of coronavirus. Time to pay arrangements that started before 20 March 2020 should still be paid.

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.


INCOME TAX


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


Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.


How to access the scheme


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


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.



Notifying an option to tax land and buildings during coronavirus


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

CORONAVIRUS AND CLAIMING BENEFITS- AN OVERVIEW


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


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.


BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE


There is continuing and widespread concern about the lack of a positive response of some of those BI insurance policies, and the basis on which some insurers are making decisions in relation to claims.


FCA TEST CASE LATEST

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered.


The government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres, etc., is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses should check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

IR35 REFORMS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR DELAYED

The government has announced that its planned reforms to IR35 legislation will be delayed for a year. The reforms, which will affect contractors who work in the private sector, were due to be implemented on 6th April this year but will now come into effect in April 2021.


We are also aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If someone gets in touch claiming to be from H.M.R.C., saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond. H.M.R.C. will never contact you out of the blue to ask for these details.


Before you go:- Can you help our local NHS heroes fighting Covid 19 on the front line at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, with spare office supplies that can be re-purposed for PPE?

Find out how you can help here.

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