At the end of an extraordinary week for British businesses, the Chancellor has announced another raft of unprecedented measures to support businesses and employees through the Coronavirus crisis.
A summary of the announcements is as follows:
- Bars; restaurants; cafes; pubs; leisure centres; theatres; and cinemas will be asked to close indefinitely tonight.
- The Government will pay 80% of wages payable to “retained employees”, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month, backdated to 1 March 2020. Businesses of any size and industry will be eligible and the HMRC scheme is expected to be up and running within weeks. This will initially be open for 3 months, but is likely to be reviewed.
- Funding accessed through the Business Interruption Loan scheme will now be interest-free for 12 months, not 6. These loans will now be available from 23 March.
- Payment of VAT liabilities due before 30 June will be deferred until the end of the year.
- 2020/21 self-assessment tax payments on account, originally payable by 31 July 2020, will now not be payable until 31 January 2021.
- Working tax credits will be extended to self-employed individuals.
If you have any questions regarding these measures or any of those previously announced, please feel free to contact us