COVID-19 Summary for Businesses and Next Steps
TC Group has posted a very useful summary of the key government responses toCOVID-19 so far, concerning businesses, as well as advice for things to prioritise by the start of April. TC Group is a business services firm specialising in accountancy, tax, legal, HR and financial planning services, and can offer support and advice at various stages of this process.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)has been made available to offer some relief to businesses.
Furthermore, many high street banks have dropped Personal Guarantee (PG) requests on loans under £250,000.
With the Government releasing guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), whereby they will cover 80% of retained staff wages, it is time to plan your HR strategy.
There is an option for outstanding tax liabilities(excluding VAT) can be paid in instalments.
Rent Payment Plans and Holidays
Commercial tenants are protected from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent. It is worth contacting landlords to negotiate a payment plan or holiday from paying rent.
Business Rate Payment Holidays
If your business is not eligible for an automatic grant, you should speak to your local authority to enquire about any flexibility they can offer.
Apply for Three Month Personal and Corporate Mortgage Holidays
To ease some of your personal financial burden, mortgage holidays are available for residential or Buy to Let mortgages, as well as landlords with affected tenants. Applications can be submitted online with many lenders.
Several automatic measures have also been announced:
Small Business Rate Relief
Businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)are receiving one-off grants of £10,000. Your local authority will be in contact in early April – if you haven’t received a cheque by the end of the first week in April, you may wish to contact them, as some companies are already starting to receive their cheques.
Deferred VAT Payment
VAT payments between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 can be deferred until April 2021. All UK businesses are eligible and no applications are required. You just need to cancel your VAT direct debit.
Deferred Self-employed Tax Payment
This can be deferred until 31st January 2021.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will receive cash grants of up to £25,000 per property, along with a business rates holiday until April 2021. Support will also be provided to nursery businesses that are subject to business rates.
Before April, you will need to prioritise the following tasks:
Implementing Your HR Strategy
You will need to have received written consent from anystaff who are being furloughed, then inform them in writing of the situation and your decision.
You will also need to consider wage reduction for any staff who will continue to work and begin a consultation process to prepare them for what to expect. Again, you will need to have received written consent from staff and confirm their position and the company’s stance in writing.
Prepare for the complex payroll plan for retained and furloughed staff.
Research & Development
Research & Development (R&D) tax relief is available to UK limited companies that look to advance knowledge or capability in various areas. R&D tax credits can provide a quick injection of cash by being backdated for previous years, while reducing tax liability.
Fraudsters are taking advantage of the uncertain situation to target individuals and businesses. Wherever possible, send documents electronically via a secure system,rather than in the post. Ensure your cyber security is up-to-date and follow the government’s advice against scams: VIEW HERE
These guidelines have been provided by business services firm TC Group and shared with you in goodwill. Please note that the above points do not constitute recommendations from Classic Folios, and you should always adhere to government advice and consult appropriate services teams, such as TC Group, for more specific information and support.