In these uncertain times and the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to continue to reach out to all our clients to let you know we are here to offer support and guidance over the next few months.
We will continue to keep you updated, complete your accounts, VAT, payroll and tax returns in a timely manner. If you and your people are working remotely and/or struggling to keep your records straight then please let us know. We can implement a variety of Cloud based solutions to help and if you can scan and email documents to us we can help in posting them.
If you need anything let us know. Our business depends on your business and we must all pull together during the next few months.
HELP FOR THE SELF EMPLOYED
If you are eligible, HMRC will start accepting applications for Self-Employed Income Support Scheme on May 13, earlier than announced. Payments will then be made by May 25 or 6 working days after a claim is made.
Who can claim under SEISS?
To qualify for a payment under SEISS you will need to be a self-employed individual or a member of a trading partnership and meet the following conditions:
- you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus
- you traded in the tax year 2018-19 and submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
- you traded in the tax year 2019-20
- you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
HMRC have further confirmed that if you are not eligible based on the 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax return, they will then look at the tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will use a risk based approach to compliance. Finally, your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:
- the tax year 2018-19
- the average of the tax years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
You are able to check whether you are eligible on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#eligible
How to claim
Those eligible will receive a letter, email or text message from HMRC with information about how to make an online claim when the SEISS opens on May 13.
The online registration page will also be updated with the steps you can take to make it easier to claim using the GOV.UK online service. You do not need to contact HMRC, as this will only delay the work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.
When you make your claim
You will need your:
- Self Assessment UTR – if you do not have this please let us know.
- National Insurance number – if you do not have this please let us know
- Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online.
- bank account number and sort code you want HMRC to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)
You’ll have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.
There will to be a staggered entry to website from Wednesday onwards and you may go to HMRC website now and check when you will be able to make the claim and get ready to make the claim by setting up your government gateway if required – have your passport handy for this part of the process.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (BILS) AND NEW BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME (BBLS)
There has been considerable commentary in the media about this support initiative as business owners – struggling to cope with the reduction in their cash resources due to the COVID-19 outbreak – are finding it difficult to secure support from their bank.
Readers will be encouraged by the Chancellor’s recent comments when he confirmed that personal guarantees should not be requested for loans under £250,000.
The government’s offer to guarantee 80% of loans taken out and cover all the set-up and interest charges for the first year of the loan remains an attractive solution for businesses that need the additional liquidity.
If you are considering an application you will be required to produce certain evidence to back-up your request. 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.
THE BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME
This is an alternative scheme for micro-sized businesses that is now available. Loans can be obtained between £2,000 and £50,000 but limited to 25% of turnover.
These smaller loans are 100% guaranteed by government and with no fees or interest charges payable for the first year.
COMPANIES HOUSE TO SUPPORT AILING BUSINESSES
The following announcement was recently made by Companies House:
Businesses will be given additional support to help them meet their legal responsibilities under changes announced 16 April 2020.
Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will give businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. In addition, companies issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will have appeals treated sympathetically.
This announcement builds on measures already implemented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which give businesses the ability to apply for a 3-month extension to file accounts with Companies House. As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.
We cannot know how long this Pandemic will last and what the effects will be on business generally, but we suggest considering the following for short term help:
- Universal Credit – Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work. See https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit for further details. Taxpayers will need to include any SEISS grant in their income for tax credit purposes.
- Small business grants – the local authorities are supporting small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief through a Small Business Grant Scheme. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. In addition, 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. See details at;
Harmer Slater Limited