Government resources for businesses and the self-employed

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

You can advise clients that businesses can apply for a temporary loan, overdraft, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5m, for up to 6 years.

Apply for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) will provide funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms making a material contribution to the UK economy. It will help businesses across a range of sectors to pay wages and suppliers, even while experiencing severe disruption to cashflows. This scheme will operate for at least 12 months and as long as is needed to relieve cash flow pressures on eligible firms. 

Information for those seeking to participate in the CCFF scheme 

Deferred VAT payments

You can advise clients that a UK VAT registered business that has a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, may choose to:

  • defer the payment until a later date; or
  • pay the VAT due as normal.

HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred.

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Future Fund

Launching on 20 May, the Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-registered companies ranging from £125,000 to £5m, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes.

Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund

HMRC’s Time to Pay service

You can advise that if a business cannot pay their business tax bill on time because of COVID-19, they may be able to delay it without penalty.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

Job Retention Scheme

You can register employees who are eligible to receive this funding on behalf of your clients.

Note:

  • Clients’ can ask their employees to stop working but keep them on their payroll with the help of the Scheme (up to £2,500 per month).
  • The employer can, if they wish, make up the remaining 20% but are not required to.
  • For June and July the scheme will remain the same with 80% contribution from government.
  • The employer can, if they wish, make up the remaining 20% but are not required to.
  • For June and July the scheme will remain the same with 80% contribution from 
  • From August, the government will pay 80% of salary but will ask the employer to pay NI and pension contributions
  • From September, the government will pay 70% with employers having to pay 10%
  • From October, the government will pay 60% with employers paying 20%
  • The scheme will close at the end of October.
  • HMRC have added a 'save and return' option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.
  • The funds should be paid within six working days after an application has been submitted, provided your claim matches records that HMRC hold for your PAYE scheme. It is therefore imperative that you ensure all information submitted is correct including complete National Insurance numbers to avoid delays.
  • HMRC also recently published two of our recorded webinars about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on our YouTube channel, which provide an overview of the scheme, and a detailed explanation about how to make a claim.

Claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Self-assessment payments

You can help and support clients by advising them that self-assessment payments have been deferred until January 2021 with no interest or penalties being charged.

Pay your self-assessment tax bill

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

As accountants do not have access to SEISS, you can support your clients by helping them to:

  • understand the eligibility criteria; and
  • apply for, or informing them of, the Government Gateway.

Clients can apply for a Government Gateway account in time  

Note:

There is no requirement for your clients to wait for any pins or codes to be sent to them through the post to register for a Government Gateway account, or the SEISS grant service.

  • Clients will be able to verify their identity using details such as their passport or driving licence.
  • It should take a minimum of 10 working days from application to issuing Government Gateway access

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

SMEs in administration and liability to pay furloughed staff

A interesting article for a number of SMEs and those you have been furloughed. Administrators are liable to pay employees of in-distress companies even if they are furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Furloughed staff considered ‘super-priority’ creditors during administration

Small Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme

You can advise clients that if required they can apply for this fast-track finance scheme providing loans.

Note:

  • Small businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
  • Businesses can access cash within days.
  • Loans are interest free for the first 12 months.
  • Businesses can apply online by completing a short and simple form.
  • Loans have 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

Apply for a coronavirus bounce back loan

Statutory Sick Pay

You can help and support clients by advising that as employers they can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay rebate paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Self-Employed and Freelancers

There is support for self-employed and freelancers who are eligible to receive a grant worth 80% of their average monthly income over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month.

Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Tax-free childcare and 30 hours free childcare

HMRC published new guidance for parents applying for, or already receiving, tax-free childcare and/or 30 hours free childcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • To help make sure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work, even if their circumstances have changed during coronavirus, HMRC has made some temporary changes.
  • The guidance explains how the changes may affect parents who are: on furlough; not able to work or are working less; self-employed and critical workers earning more.

Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Tax rules on waiving your income or donating to charity

HMRC advice for people choosing to give up their income to support their business or donate to charity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Check the tax rules on waiving your income or donating to charity  

Workplace testing – guidance for employers relating to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) issues from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

To compliment government guidance on returning to the workplace the ICO have published separate guidance to help UK employers to operate in compliance with GDPR requirements.

The guidance is broken down into question and answers, with ten Q & A’s in total. It sets out practical steps for businesses focused on the following points:

  • Legal considerations for testing employees in the workplace
  • How to demonstrate compliance
  • Record retention in relation to covid-19 testing
  • Ensuring employees are able to exercise their information rights.

Workplace testing – guidance for employers

Other useful resources 

A dedicated HMRC helpline for businesses and self-employed individuals who have difficulty with paying their tax due to COVID-19 promised at Budget 2020 is now in operation. The number of the helpline is 0800 0159 559. 

The helpline can assist with:  

  • setting up a time to pay arrangement,   
  • suspending debt collection proceedings, and  
  • cancelling late payment penalties and (unusually) interest.   

Helpline for Scottish business

COVID-19 helpline for Scottish businesses
The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am to 5.30pm. Advisers across Scotland will answer questions from businesses related to COVID-19. The helpline will also help the Scottish Government identify the current challenges facing businesses.