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Where are we now and what’s out there to help you and your business? 

With the COVID-19 situation evolving daily and new support being put in place by central government at an unprecedented rate, we felt it may be helpful put all the information we currently know in one place....

What we know so far (updated 21st March 2020)

The government are doing an amazing job to ensure there is something to help everyone and we highly suspect there will be more

to come. The speed at which these measures have been drawn up is staggering, so we will forgive the fact that there is some further clarification needed in places.

The Government has announced that if we strictly follow the measures to help slow the spread, the tide could be turned within 12 weeks.

Remember

Avoid unnecessary social contact. Keep physically apart.

Wash your hands, properly and frequently.

Stay at home for 7 days if you have symptoms

Stay at home for 14 days if anyone in your household has symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include - Continuous cough. High temperature.

Most importantly, BE KIND, HELP EACH OTHER.

WHICH BUSINESSES ARE CURRENTLY AFFECTED BY FORCED CLOSURE?

Cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have now been forced to close for the foreseeable future. Food outlets can offer takeaways and the licensing requirements for this have been significantly relaxed to help these businesses transform the way they provide food.

These restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis and relaxed as soon as realistic.

If we follow this advice now, the country should see a faster medical and economic recovery.

 

BUT I AM ALREADY STRUGGLING. MY BUSINESS IS ALREADY SUFFERING. WHAT CAN I DO?

Individuals 

  • Home owners - talk to your lender to take advantage of the three month mortgage holiday

  • Renters – increased housing benefit being made available from April.

  • Universal credit standard allowance and working tax credit basic entitlement increased by £1k for the next 12 months

  • Self employed individuals affected can now access universal credits in full, with no minimum income floor

  • For those under self assessment - July payments on account have been deferred until January 2021

Businesses 

  • Check your insurance policy – are you covered for pandemics?

  • No business rates are payable for 12 months for any business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. Grant funding of up to £25k available for businesses in these sectors with properties with rateable value between £15k and £51k

  • All businesses in receipt of small business rates, or rural rates relief will be eligible for a cash grant of £10k

  • All SMEs suffering disruption can take advantage of government backed loans to be made available from Monday via banks. They will be interest free for 12 months. Up to £5m.

  • The government will refund up to 2 week’s SSP to employers with less than 250 employees where an employee is off due to Covid-19. This includes directors of limited companies

  • VAT registered businesses – no VAT payments due during the period 20th March – 30th June 2020. Liabilities ordinarily due during this period will not be payable until March 2021.

  • For those with employees – if you’re considering making redundancies, WAIT! The Coronavirus job retention scheme enables access to funding for employees ‘furloughed’ who would otherwise have been laid off. HMRC will reimburse 80% of wage costs for these employees up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

 

If you are in financial distress, take advantage of the HMRC time to pay service and call 0800 0159 559

 

The 5th April, end of the tax year, is just around the corner – we suggest:

  • For those under self assessment, it is more important than ever to prepare your tax return ASAP. If you are due a refund or have made a loss, you can accelerate any repayment due. In other cases, you can ensure you have a clear idea of your future tax payments.

  • If you’re working from home more, ensure you claim the appropriate reliefs

 

IR35 

This week has also seen the delay of the off pay-roll working (IR35) changes for one year, which were to be implemented from 6th April

 

For more detail -

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

www.orleighfox.co.uk

If you require any help navigating your way through this all then please do get in touch, we are here to help. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is intended to be a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. No action should be taken on the basis of information contained herein without obtaining the necessary advice. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damages occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the material contained herein.

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Orleigh Fox is the trading name of Orleigh Fox Accounting Limited registered in England and Wales company number 11433079,

regulated by The Institute of Chartered Accountants. Registered office: Orleigh, Tennis Court Road, Paulton, Bristol BS39 7LU

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