The Chancellor has announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses through this period of disruption caused by coronavirus.
Whilst grants and business rate relief will be administered by us, there is a range of other support provided by the Government.
Self Employed Support
The government has announced that it is further extending the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The scheme is for those who are self-employed, currently eligible for SEISS, actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus.
The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875.
An additional second grant will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April. The government may adjust the second grant to respond to changing circumstances.
Job Support Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes on 31 October 2020. It will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, which opens on 1 November 2020 and will run for six months.
The Job Support Scheme will see the government contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer hours than normal due to decreased demand. Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work, at least 33% of their normal hours. For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary, capped at £697.92 per month.
Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.
15% VAT rate cut for tourism and hospitality
The government is extending temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors until the end of March 2021.
In addition, business who deferred their VAT bills will be given the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Rather than paying a lump sum in full at the end March next year, they will be able to make 11 smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year.
Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
Small and medium sized businesses and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee and apply to employers with fewer than 250 employees.
You can find out further information on how to make a claim for SSP.
Coronavirus loan schemes
The government has extended applications for the Coronavirus loan schemes including:
These will now run until 30 November 2020.
CBILS lenders will also have the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years.
You can read further information about the loan that is most relevant to your business.
Corporate Financing Facility
Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.
You can find more information from the Bank of England.
Time to Pay Service
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
The government has announced that self-assessment taxpayers can benefit from an additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the Time to Pay self-service facility. This means if you have deferred payments from July 2020, or payments due in January 2021, you will now not need to pay until January 2022.
If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.