COVID-19 GOVERNMENT HELP

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SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME

If you have lost income due to the coronavirus then the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be claimable.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme


Like the employment government help scheme, it will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months till the 13th July. You will be able to make a second claim in August.

Eligibility

You must have been trading as self-employed in 18/19 and 19/20 and intend to keep trading in 20/21. You must have submitted an 18/19 tax return.

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must come from self-employment. HMRC will look at the average of your last three years of total trading profits up to and including 18/19.


Make a claim:

The scheme is now live.  You need to make the claim your accountant is unable to do this for you.  To make a claim go to Grant claim https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#check

The information you will need is:-

  • Self Assessment UTR 

  • National Insurance number 

  • Government Gateway user ID

  • Government Gateway password

  • bank account number and sort code you want them to pay the grant into (only provide bank account details where a Bacs payment can be accepted)

After you’ve claimed

Once you’ve submitted your claim, you will be told straight away if your grant is approved. They will pay the grant into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must keep a copy of all records in line with normal self-employment record keeping requirements, including:

  • the amount claimed

  • the claim reference number for your records

  • evidence that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, i.e your sales record book showing no sales for the period.

You will need to report the grant on your Self Assessment tax return.

Second claim

The second claim in August will be 70% of your average monthly trading profits,  covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, up to £6,570 also taxable and should be included in your accounts.

Update September 2020

This is now extended to April 2021.  You need to claim it in the same way as before.  It will be in two further payments one from November to  January 2021 covering three months.  The payment will be 20% of your average monthly trading profits capped at £1,875.  As before claimed amounts will have tax and NI payable on them. The second payment will be in April more information to come on this.

Update 5th November 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today the Self-employed income support grant will continue for another 5 months with a review in January 2021.  It will also increase from the 55% of average profits back to the 80% originally given to a maximum of £7,500.  To be claimed as before.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-extends-furlough-to-march-and-increases-self-employed-support

March 2021 Update

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday in the budget the Self-employed income support grant will continue with a fourth grant of 80% of average profits to a maximum of £7,500 at the end of April 2021 covering February to April and a firth grant covering May to September available from late July for either 80% of 3 months average profits to £7,500 with those who have a reduced turnover of 30% or more or 30% of 3 months average trading profits up to £2,850 for those with a reduced turnover of 30% or less.  The 2019/2020 tax return figures will be included in working out the average profits for these calculations.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme#howmuch

People who have lost income because of COVID-19 and need immediate support should be able to access the following support in the meantime:

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

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JOB RETENTION SCHEME AND FURLOUGHED WORKERS

The Coronavirus has meant many businesses may not be able to meet employee costs.  To help you avoid redundancies the government has introduced the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. The scheme means an employer can claim 80% of a furloughed employees normal monthly wages up to £2,500 a month.  This is in addition to associated Employer National Insurance contribution and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on the wage.


If the employer is able, they could make up the employees’ wages by the 20% but they do not have to.   To qualify the employee must be furloughed for at least 3 weeks, must not undertake work for this employer whilst on furlough however they can work for a different employer and must have been employed from 28th February 2020.  While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.

Employees you can claim for

Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020 or before 19th March 2020, and can including:

  • Full-time employees

  • Part-time employees

  • Employees on agency contracts

  • Employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

Directors Salary

If you are a director and receive a small salary with a dividend top up, you will be able to furlough yourself but the scheme will only cover the 80% salary element of your income it will not extend to dividends.

Eligibility

The company must have been running as PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020 or before 19th March 2020. An employee must be furloughed for at least 3 weeks and you can submit a claim every 3 weeks. Claims will be back dated to 1st March if applicable.

HMRC intends for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least three months.  This will close to new applicants on the 30th June. 

How to access the scheme

The portal is now open to make your claim, make sure you gather all information needed before starting the claim as you only have a set amount of time to process the claim.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Find out more Information here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme


Update May 2020

From 1st July furloughed employees can be bought back to work for any work shift pattern and furloughed for the remainder of their normal work hours.  Non worked hours must be claimed in at least one week blocks. 

Update July 2020

The chancellor has announced that a further 3 months of furlough at 70% of employees wages will be implemented but employers will need to pay NI and pension contributions.  

Update 5th November 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today that the Furlough scheme will continue to 31st March 2021 with a review in January.  Employers can claim 80% of usual salary for hours not worked as the previous scheme did caped at £2,500.   Employers still have to pay PAYE and pension contributions.  To claim as before. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

March 2021 Update

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in the  budget yesterday that the Furlough scheme will continue to 30th September 2021.  Employers can claim 80% of usual salary for hours not worked as the previous scheme did caped at £2,500 for May and June.   Employers still have to pay PAYE and pension contributions.  However from 1st July employers claim reduces to 70% up to £2,187.50 with the employer paying the other 10% up to £312.50 employers still have to pay PAYE and pension contributions.  For August and September the employer can only claim 60% up to £1,875 and the employer has to pay 20% up to £625 a month, employers to pay PAYE and pension contributions. .

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is for employees who have been sick on or after 13 March 2020 at the stator sick pay amount currently at £94.25 a week.   Repayment covers up to 2 weeks for: -

  • Employees with coronavirus

  • Employees self-isolating at home

No doctors fit note is needed, however you do need to keep records of reason for sick pay, dates sick and all payments made to employees.


Eligibility

  • The company must have been running as PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

  • Had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

How to access the scheme

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

This has now been extended to July 2020 and then from August to October it will opperate slightly differently

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OTHER HELP

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.  If a DD is set up you must cancel this for you to be able to take advantage of this.

Eligibility

If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Universal Credit for the self-employed

You can claim for Universal Credit even if you are self-employed and you meet the usual eligibility criteria.

If required you can access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a job centre.  https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This loan scheme should give support to SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.


The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the scheme if:

How to access the scheme

The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.

To apply, you should talk to your bank.