The Government has published updated guidance for businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses and employees https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees. We would recommend that all clients take the time to read both of these and contact us if they have any further queries.
The guidance has provided clarity on a number of points from the Government’s press conference of 20 March:
- The support for employee wages is only in regard to “furloughed workers”, meaning those not able to work because of the Coronavirus crisis, and details of furloughed workers will need to be disclosed to HMRC if the support is to be claimed. Employers should note that designating an employee as an furloughed worker is a change in the employee’s legal employment status and so care must be taken not to disadvantage either employer or employee in the longer term.
- The deferral of VAT liabilities relates to any VAT payments originally due to be paid to HMRC between 20 March and 30 June. These amounts will be deferred to the end of the 2020/21 tax year, meaning 5 April 2021 at the latest. HMRC has now confirmed that any business wishing to take advantage of the VAT deferral scheme should cancel their direct debit with HMRC well in advance of the payment due date. Failure to do so will likely result in the payment going out.
- There is no need to apply to defer your self-assessment July payment on account. Individuals simply will not be charged penalties or interest for not paying it by the original due date. As it stands, these amounts will now be payable by 31 January 2021.
- In a change to previous advice, businesses that may be eligible for the £25,000 grant do not need to contact their local authority to claim the funds. If your business is eligible, your local authority will write to you in due course.
- If you are self-employed and your business has or will be impacted by the Coronavirus crisis, you should use the Universal Credit programme to claim support: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/
- A new funding support for larger businesses (although all UK businesses are eligible) has been announced, although little information is currently available.
If you have any questions regarding these measures or any of those previously announced, please feel free to contact us.