COVID-19

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

2 April 2020

The Highland Council yesterday provided an update regarding the small business grants, read this here

1 April 2020

Martin Lewis, in his latest weekly email, has provided a simple and clear round up of some of the assistance measures being offered by the government, together with some other useful information.  To read this click here

31 March 2020

Phishing Scams

HMRC has noted a phishing scam where they are being impersonated and ‘informing people that as a precautionary measure against the illness, they are offering a tax rebate’. This is taking the form of emails, SMS, phone calls, and social media. For businesses and individuals alike, this can be a tempting offer which can lead to a shortage of funds in a critical time.  Please do not respond to these, delete any messages or hang up the phone.

Temporary Deferral of VAT payments

If you plan to do this and pay via Direct Debit and you do not want HMRC to take the VAT from your account, please cancel your direct debit as soon as you can to avoid this.

26 March 2020

Self employed help up to 80% of profits based on  average of monthly profits over last three years to maximum of £2500 per month.  More information can be found here

25 March 2020

The latest information is detailed below.

Business Grants

For details on The Business Support fund which will offer grants to business please read the page below –

Business Grants information – click here

Businesses are being asked to go to the Councils COVID-19 Business Grant page on its website and complete the Application Form and return it to COVID-19grants@highland.gov.uk

Further information on this can be found here –

Highland Council – Business Grants – click here

The application that you need to complete by 31 March 2021 can be found here –

Application form – click here

Please note if you are not based in the Highland Council region, please check your own local authorities site

Non-Domestic Rates

For the latest updates on help with non-domestic rates in Scotland please read the following page –

Non-domestic rates – click here

24 March 2020

Coronavirus Current Situation Regarding Financial Assistance for Businesses and Individuals

A raft of initiatives have been proposed by the government to ease the financial burdens of Covid 19.

These are best detailed in the publication issued by Gov.UK a copy of which is attached below.

The main items can be summarised as:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employers need to change the status of employees to become “furloughed workers” i.e. those employees although not working will remain on the payroll and HMRC will reimburse 80% of the furloughed workers wage costs up to a cap of £2500 per month per employee. This is being done on the basis that workers are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak.

The details of the working of this scheme have still to be finalised.

A new online portal will be set up by HMRC for submission of employees details etc.

Deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments

As we understand it, VAT Returns have still to be completed and submitted. However any payments of VAT due in the period 20 March to 30 June 2020 can be deferred until the end of the 2020/21 tax year.

The Income Tax self-assessment payment due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021.

As yet we have seen no details regarding referring Corporation Tax payments however application can still be made to the Time to Pay Service to arrange deferral or payment by instalments. Telephone number 0800 0159 559.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for Employees

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be able to claim a refund of up to 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of the virus. SSP will be payable from day one of the absence.

Support for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses Paying Business Rates

There is a mix of a business rates holiday and a grant based on the businesses rateable value. Please refer to the Gov.UK publication, the link is below. Although this publication refers to England the Scottish Government is mirroring this assistance.

Small Business Grants

There will be a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. A Business is eligible if it occupies a property and qualifies for Small Business Bonus Scheme Rates Relief or Rural Relief. This grant will be administered by the Local Authority.

Summary

  • A delay in the next quarter’s VAT payment, not payable until March 2021
  • A cancellation of the July 2020 payment on account for income tax, now payable January 2021
  • A grant support system for temporary staff lay-offs
  • Further reliefs and grants linked to the business rates system
  • 12 month interest free loans to businesses (as opposed to 6 months previously announced)
  • A temporary increase in the level of certain state benefits

Websites referred to –

Government Advice

Highland Council Advice

 

Please note this is our interpretation of the guidelines that have been published, please also do your own research before applying for any of the assistance packages.