COVID-19 INFORMATION HUB

UNITED TO GET YOU THROUGH COVID 19

Melon Accountants would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the difficult times experienced recently due to COVID-19 and the impact this has had upon all of us. We offer our sincerest condolences to our clients who have sadly lost loved ones during this time and extend our thanks to those who continue to make themselves available to support local and wider community.

We are proud to have been able to provide a non-restricted service, whilst working remotely. We are presently in unprecedented times, and the situation is dynamic and fast-moving. We wish to reassure our clients that we are keeping abreast of all developments in order to keep you appraised with the best possible advice.

The Government has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a series of support schemes for UK businesses. Our team have pulled the relevant information into an easy to follow guide. This page will regularly be updated, summarising the help and support available to businesses and individuals, along with relevant details of eligibility.

Help and support available following the outbreak of COVID-19

To allow employees to continue receiving an income it will be possible to apply for 80% grant to reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs (capped at 2500 per month). You will need to inform the employees that they are furloughed workers and please note that this remains subject to current employment law.

The scheme has been extended until the end of October. However, from 1 August onwards the Government will reduce its support below 80%. Employers will also be allowed to bring staff back part time.

Employers must:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’
  • Inform the employee of their new status
  • Then inform HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings.
  • The grant paid to the employer will be calculated based on the employees regular, contractual pay, such as wages, compulsory commission and past overtime.

The calculation will not include discretionary commission (including tips) payments or bonuses, non-cash payments or benefits in kind.

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19) this scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Eligibility:

  • Earn the majority of their income from self-employment or a partnership.
  • Earn no more than £50,000 trading profit in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • Are adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis – by demonstrating some loss of income (as yet undefined).
  • Already be self-employed and have filed a 2018-19 tax return.

Exclusions:

  • Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme. The newly self-employed will also miss out.

There will be a one-year business rates holiday for all businesses in England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. This will mean lower bills from April 1. This requires no application

Businesses in retail and hospitality will receive a cash grant of up to £25000 per property. If the rateable value of 15000 or under will receive a grant of £10000. If the rateable value is over 15000 the grant received is 25000

Approximately 700,000 of the smallest businesses in England will be entitled to a one-off, non-repayable grant of £10,000.

Any business currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief will qualify. Because the Government is building on existing schemes, these payments could be up and running in April.

The Loan is for SMEs and allows the businesses to access loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. Any company with a turnover of up to £45 million can apply. The government will cover interest payments for 12 months. The government will also provide the lender with a guarantee of 80% to make it easier for you to access the loan. Please note that the information you require to apply for the loan are similar to the information in a normal loan. Please contact your bank/lender to enquire further and apply for these loans.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides financial support to mid-sized and larger UK businesses with annual turnover above £45 million that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Applications will be open from Monday 4 May.

The Bank of England’s direct lending facility for larger businesses, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), is open for applications via banks.

More details

On 27 April the Government announced a fast-track new loan scheme to allow small businesses to borrow up to 25% of turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000.

The loans will be interest-free for the first 12 months, and not subject to business liability tests or complex eligibility criteria. Applications will be made through a simple online form and no payments will be taken during the first year.

Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank for this scheme, Bounce Back Loans target small and micro businesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2k up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50k.

Business registered for VAT can have their VAT liability deferred until June 2020 to help with their cash flow. This is automatic and does not require application.

Self Assessment taxes due on the 31st of July will be deferred until 31st of January 2021. This means that you do not need to make the payment on account next July and make the payment in January instead. This applies if you are self employed. No application is required as this is automatic

All businesses and self-employed individuals with a financial difficulty due to the outbreak can benefit of support in making payments of current or outstanding taxes through the HMRC Time To Pay Service. This is done on case by case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. To access the scheme please call HMRC on 0800 0159 559. Have all your business information, Company number, UTR, VAT reg number ready when you call them

For small and medium businesses, it will be possible to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to Covid- 19. The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

If you have an insurance policy that covers business interruption you may be able to access the insurance policy depending on the damage caused. Please visit your insurance policy for details of contact your insurance broker for more information.

The Government has negotiated with banks for a three-month mortgage holiday for individuals hit by the pandemic. There are no similar measures in view to help those in rented accommodation.

The Business Secretary said the Government will change elements of the insolvency system to help UK companies keep trading. Details have not been given yet, but the main points are expected to be:

  • A suspension of the wrongful trading rules.
  • A moratorium period for struggling companies to put a rescue plan together.
  • Safeguards for creditors and suppliers.

If you have any enquiries regarding COVID 19 business and individual support schemes, you can contact us below