Help with Coronavirus COVID-19

Below is the latest government support during the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.

Remember to speak to us about predicting your financial future with our financial or cashflow forecasting service, click here to read more

My main comment is that everyone has to treat every penny as a prisoner until this is over. Click here for some further planning considerations.

Links within this page….

1. Cash grants and possible actions for the self employed

2. Cash grants and possible actions for businesses

3. Job Retention/Furlough 80% The Government have now announced the proposed date for opening up the JRS portal to make the claims which is to be 20th April. However I do think there are things which need to be done now to ensure that a timely claim is made. CLICK HERE to see your URGENT ACTION POINTS.

4. Tax Deferrals

5. Business Loan Schemes

6. Guidance for Landlords and Letting Agents

7. See actions points for individuals by clicking here

8. For information on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (CSSP) Rebate Scheme by clicking here

Cash Grants and possible actions for the self employed

Cash Grants and possible actions for the self employed

Important update – 18th June 2020…
SELF EMPLOYED INCOME SUPPORT extension for another 3 months click here

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.

You must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020.

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months capped at £7,500.

The SEISS Portal link

I have been made aware that many self-employed individuals have been waiting to receive their received their letters from HMRC which have not materialised. It is important to those clients to go through the eligibility checker rather than wait for correspondence which might never turn up. Please also note that the checker itself might not be right. In a small number of cases it has stated that the person concerned is eligible when they are not. For example the person has incorporated their business in 2019/20. In some cases they are stating they are not eligible when both the client and the accountant think they are. If that is the case ensure that the client insists on a review which can be accessed through the checker.

1. During the application process the individual should be presented with a calculation of the grant amount.
2. There is no option to claim a reduced or increased amount.
3. If the individual disagrees with the amount shown there will be a ‘review’ link to request that HMRC should review the figure to see if it should be higher or lower.
4. The SIESS helpline number will be 0800 024 1222. This can be used for SEISS queries or with issues of not being able to make the claim through the Gateway portal. You will not be surprised to hear that you can expect delays when calling this number.
5. There is also an online webchat available as well to try to assist individuals with their queries and the application process. Again expect delays. The link is shown below:

6. Most individuals will want to make a claim as soon as possible, but those who are claiming universal credit may find that they are better off delaying the claim so that the receipt falls into a later monthly assessment period.

Important update – 6th May 2020…

Important update – 5th May 2020…
It’s very important to note that the Agent cannot make the claim for the individual they can only assist the client in doing so. The agent won’t be able to access the SEIS claim portal through your Agents connections. The client must have a Government Gateway ID and password. If they do not they will not be able to make a claim. You need to check this with your client.
If they do not have a Government Gateway ID then they can obtain one through the Eligibility tool which HMRC have set up:

When your client clicks on the link it will ask for his/her UTR and then National Insurance number. Once that is put in, the online tool should advise whether or not HMRC think the individual is eligible for the scheme. If they are, HMRC ask the person to add their contact details as they will use this to tell then when to claim and what they need to do beforehand.. When your client clicks through at that point, the online tool ask for their Gateway ID and password. If they haven’t got it then via the online tool they can request a Gateway ID. Failure to have a Gateway ID will delay the ability for the individual to make a claim.
As a footnote, people have been notified that the online portal and claims can be made at 8am on 13th May 2020. It was interesting to note on the online tool it was saying the portal will be open at 8am on 14th May 2020. I think prepare for the 13th.

See an important update 2nd May 2020 from us by clicking here

You can apply if…

–  you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and
–  you have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year to 5 April 2019
–  traded in the tax year 5 April 2020
–  are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
–  intend to continue to trade in the tax year 5 April 2021
–  have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
–  your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and
–  more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:
1.  having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 5 April 2019 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
2.  having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period.

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year to 5th April 2019, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

HMRC will use data on 5th April 2019 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

How much you’ll get…

You’ll get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):
2016 to 2017
2017 to 2018
2018 to 2019

To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.We’ll pay the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply…

–  You cannot apply for this scheme yet.
–  HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
–  Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now and doing so will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

See more information from the government by clicking here

See possible actions for the self employed by clicking here

See a summary from us by clicking here

See more information by clicking here

Cash grants and possible actions for businesses

Cash Grants and possible actions for businesses

For information on the Government convertible loan scheme click here

Small businesses, with rateable values of under £18,001 (£15,001 in England) and within the Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief, should get a grant of £10,000 for each property. Special rules in Scotland apply.

Larger businesses with rateable value between £18,001 (£15,001 in England) and £51,000, businesses should receive a grant of £25,000.

In Scotland you have to apply through your local council…

@ click here for Glasgow city

@ click here for Edinburgh city

@ click here to find other Scottish local council form

You will need your rates reference for your commercial property.

In England your local authority should write to eligible businesses.

The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can also apply for a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

See possible actions for companies by clicking here

See a summary from us by clicking here

See more information by clicking here

Job Retention/ Furlough 80%

Job Retention /Furlough 80%

Click here to access the HMRC JRS portal to make the claims.

Click here to view the the CJRS employer bonus payable in February 2021.

Important update – Extension for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension for the period 1st July 2020 to 31st October 2020

Summary click here

Detail click here

Examples click here


Important update – 29th May 2020…
Details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension for another 3 months click here

CLICK HERE to download a return to work letter template.


WATCH OUT HMRC audit checks on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) FURLOUGH will undoubtedly happen. I suspect fraudulent, negligent and error ridden claims will have been made, as well as a misunderstanding of the furlough process. HMRC audit reviews I suspect will be rolled out over the next 5 years or so. Whilst everything is fresh in peoples’ minds now is the time to carry out the checks and ensure all the ducks are in order in case an HMRC audit review is carried out on an unsuspecting business. For example this will include retaining full records of the calculations behind the claims and the furlough agreements signed by both the company and the employees.

I have cobbled together an CJRS audit checklist and additional services around the above and if clients want to buy into these do contact me either by email or 07850 979785

As of the 12th May 2020: The EJRS has been extended to 31st October 2020 for all sectors. There will be no change to the nature of the Scheme up to and including 31st July 2020. From August 2020, furloughed staff will be able to return to work part-time with the employer being asked to pay a percentage towards the salary of the furloughed staff.

See an important update 17th April 2020 from us by clicking here

Where an employee has been designated as a ‘furloughed worker’, HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Currently, this will be in place for 3 months and will be backdated to 1 March 2020.

Note RE DIRECTORS SMALL WAGE: Ben Kerry from the Treasury says Directors may be furloughed (link to webinar lasts around 27 mins) providing they are not working and merely undertaking statutory duties. Care is needed until full guidance is issued by the Government. Furloughed should not be backdated and a proper process followed. Further, while on furlough, directors will only be allowed to carry out directorial duties, such as filing documents on Companies House. Any other form of work – even the maintenance of social media accounts, such as tweeting responses to customers or updating company profiles – is not allowed.

The employer suffers the cashflow downside until HMRC reimburse.

Employers must inform particular employees they are ‘furloughed workers’. See the following 2 examples of furlough agreements to be signed by the business and employee.

Example 1 click here

Example 2 by Gillespie MacAndrew Lawyers at the bottom of the following page click here

Example 3 click here

Example 4 click here

Furlough is the equivalent of lay off. So you can lay off staff, continue to pay them 80% to 100% of their wage and recover 80% of that cost up to £2,500 per month.

Current guidance states ‘You will remain employed while furloughed.’

Changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation. Contact our employer helpline through Croner TaxWise to get more HR support 0844 892 2473.

The Government have now announced the proposed date for opening up the JRS portal to make the claims which is to be 20th April. However I do think there are things which need to be done now to ensure that a timely claim is made. CLICK HERE to see your URGENT ACTION POINTS.

See a summary from us by clicking here

See more information by clicking here

See more detailed guidance from HMRC by clicking here

Tax Deferrals

Tax Deferrals

VAT – any VAT payments due between the 20 March 2020 and 30th June 2020 should be automatically deferred by HMRC and businesses will have to the end of 2020/2021 to settle the outstanding VAT.

If you normally pay by Direct Debit you should contact your bank to cancel your Direct Debit as soon as you can, or you can cancel online if you’re registered for online banking.

INCOME TAX – the July 2020 income tax payments will be automatically deferred to 31st January 2021.

Corporation Tax, PAYE, CIS and other TAXES – Any business that pays tax and has outstanding tax liabilities will be able to apply for their case to be reviewed by HMRC with a view to arranging a bespoke time to pay agreement. This applies to all businesses including the self-employed. HMRC has set up a dedicated helpline 0800 0241 222.

Business Loan Schemes

Business Loan Schemes

The Government have announced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. The relevant headline points are:

1) Businesses will be able to apply from 9am on Monday 4th May.
2) Bounce Back loans for 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000. Minimum loan of £2,000.
3) No forward looking test on viability.
4) Quick standard form to complete.
5) No fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
6) No payments to be made in the first 12 months.
7) You can’t claim under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) as well under BBLS.
8) However if you have already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS you have until 4th November 2020 to arrange with the lender to transfer it to the BBLS.
9) The loans will come through the 40 or so accredited lenders.
10) Loans will be up to 6 years.
11) The Government are still in talks with the lenders regarding a low rate of interest to be applied.
12) Loans should arrive within 24 hours of approval.
13) 100% Government backed.
a) Must be a UK based business.
b) Be negatively affected by the coronavirus issue.
c) Was not an undertaking in difficulty as at 31st December 2019.

More details will follow. Watch this space

Also there is the British Business Banks launched scheme to support businesses with a turnover of no more than £45 million per year.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan.

This applies for loans of up to £5m in value and for up to 6 years. No interest will be charged for the first 12 months.

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the …     @ 40 accredited finance providers   … as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. Click here for other information.

Guidance for Landlords and Letting Agents

Guidance for Landlords and Letting Agents

HMG recommend that landlords and tenants engage constructively about access to a property, and that it is only proposed for serious and urgent issues. Follow the Scottish Government’s latest guidance on distancing measures necessary to help stop the spread of the virus.

This means that no one should visit the property to conduct viewings, or anything else which is not urgent and health and safety-related.

HMG also advise that, where possible, moves should be delayed. All parties involved in the move should seek to agree to delay a move.

Where moves cannot be delayed or are unavoidable, for example, if they are needed to prevent overcrowding or because of contractual commitments, then these may need to go ahead. Click here for other information.

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Leo Wagner is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a preferred partner with Xero accounting system.

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