outlined the key points from sections of the stimulus package apart from those
specifically related to the hospitality, leisure and nursery business sectors
and for businesses that pay little or no business rates. These packages are specific to businesses
based in England. Further details are
outlined in the link above.
There is now a Scottish government helpline number for businesses to call that have been affected by Covid-19.
The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
VAT payments deferred: applies to all
businesses. If you pay via direct debit,
you should cancel your direct debit if you wish to take the opportunity to
For VAT, the deferral will apply to VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until 31 March 2021 to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020
will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
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
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.
Support for businesses paying tax: Time to
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
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 HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
If you’re worried about a future payment, please call HMRC
nearer the time.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
All UK businesses are eligible.
You will need to:
designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation (see definition of furlough below)
submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
An employee furlough is a mandatory
suspension from work without pay. It can be as brief or as long as the employer
wants. Furloughs can take place in both public and private institutions. An
organization will furlough employees as a cost-saving measure when it doesn’t
want to lay off staff but lacks the resources to continue paying them.
If you need to contact HMRC about the job retention scheme, it may be possible to do this through the HMRC employer helpline number: 0300 056 0631
Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to
The government will bring forward legislation to allow small-and
medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid
for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme
will be as follows:
this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has
been off work because of COVID-19
employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of
an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28
employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has
claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP,
but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
You are eligible for the scheme if:
your business is UK based
your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than
250 employees as of 28 February 2020
How to access the scheme
A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be
provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The government will provide lenders with a
guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give
lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government
will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will
support loans of up to £5 million in value.
The full rules of the Scheme and
the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will
offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the
British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with
them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has
launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to
ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
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