Coronavirus – Summary of financial support on offer

Coronavirus tax measures
Posted 2020 by Chris Davies

Covid-19 Government Support Package

The Chancellor has announced a package of temporary measures to support businesses and individuals through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Below we have provided a summary of these measures as they currently stand, these are continuing to evolve and we will share further updates and details on how to access the financial support offered as this becomes available.

Support for businesses

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will provide companies who are struggling to retain staff a grant to cover up to 80% of an employee’s salary to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month.

VAT holiday until 30 June 2020, no businesses will be required to pay VAT until after 30 June 2020. Businesses will have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any deferred liabilities to HMRC and VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid as normal.

12-month business rate holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. There is no action for you to take. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Statutory Sick Pay relief, all companies with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020) will be able to reclaim SSP expenditure up to a maximum of two weeks per employee where the worker has been off work because 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.

The government has announced they will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers.

Small business grant of up to £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

Grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. For businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000 and for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be delivered via the British Business Bank to support SME businesses. The government will guarantee 80% on each loan (subject to a per lender cap on claims) to give confidence to lenders. The Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. The loans can be applied for from 23 March 2020.

Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.

The COVID Corporate Financing Facility available through the Bank of England. Businesses will need to issue special 1 year corporate bonds which the Bank of England will purchase to give businesses liquidity.

Further announcements will be made by the Chancellor in the week commencing 23 March.

HMRC time to pay scheme for those struggling to pay their taxes on time due to COVID-19. A special helpline has been created and any individual or business struggling to make payments should call 0800 0159 559 as soon as possible to agree a payment plan.

Support for the Self-employed

Employment Support Allowance will be paidfrom Day 1 for those required to self-isolate.

Universal Credit minimum income floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have COVID-19 or are required to self-isolate.

31 July tax payment deferred until 31 January 2021 with no interest or penalties charged during the deferral period.

Support for employees

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4. Employees who are caring for someone who is self-isolating will also be able to claim SSP on this basis.

Support for individuals

3-month mortgage holiday, with some banks offering payment holidays on loan and credit cards.

Protection from eviction for tenants for at least 3 months. Any landlord suffering financial difficulties because of the measures will be able to apply for a mortgage holiday as above.

Beware of the Coronavirus scams

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified a number of Coronavirus related fraud with victims’ losses exceeding £950,000.

These scams have taken may forms including, but not limited to; fraudsters ‘selling’ protective masks that are never delivered and emails and text messages claiming to be from research organisations linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

The website, which encourages victims to share their bank card number and personal details, claims that as a precaution against coronavirus, the government has set up a new tax refund programme.

In need of help?

Don’t forget, if you need help, we are here for you

You may also like to read related articles on:

The Job Retention Scheme

The Self-employed Income Support Scheme

Small business grants

Universal Credit explained

VAT deferral scheme and Time to Pay arrangements

Mortgage payment holidays