Covid 19 Updates

This is a quick summary of the latest advice and guidance from Government for individuals and businesses on its coronavirus pages.

We will do our best to update  and keep you and your business informed.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – last update 19 April

Under the new Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, government grants will cover 80% of the salary of PAYE employees who would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and will be open before the end of April. It will continue for at least three months and can include workers who were in employment on 19 March.

To claim under the scheme employers will need to:

  1. designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’,
  2. notify employees of this change.
  3. submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal.

Note that changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation;

  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

HMRC further details and a system for reimbursement are visible here. In the business that need short-term cash flow support may benefit also from the VAT deferral (see below) from a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (see below).

Income Tax payments

Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. No applications are required, there are no penalties or interest for late payment in the deferral period.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

  • Directors of a limited company with less than 250 employees, can pay themselves two weeks of SSP if they need to self-isolate subject to meeting the minimum payroll requirement for SSP.
  • The government will refund £94 per week, maximum £188, to the company.

It will also refund SSP for staff of businesses with less than 250 employees for up to two weeks

HMRC Time to Pay Scheme

HMRC’s enable firms and individuals in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 to delay payment of outstanding tax liabilities with this Scheme.

VAT payments

The next quarter of VAT payments will be deferred automatically. Businesses do not need to apply for it.

Businesses will not need to make VAT payments until the end of June 2020. and will have until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to settle VAT liabilities accumulated during the deferral period.

Refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Universal credit

Full universal credit is granted to self-employed people at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay.

Business Rates holidays and cash grants

  • No Business rates payable for the 2020-2021 tax year for any business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors.
  • \Businesses in those sectors, with a rateable value between £15K and £51k, will also receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
  • Any business which gets small business rates relief, including those in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors, will receive a cash grant of £10,000 (increased from £3,000 announced in the 11 March Budget).
  • The rates holiday and cash grants will be administered by local authorities and should be delivered automatically, without businesses needing to claim.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • The Scheme should be available from Monday 23 March. All the banks that partner with the British Business Bank will be the lenders,
  • They are foreseen for UK-based businesses with turnover of no more than £45 million and can provide for a facility up to £5 million.
  • No interest will be charged for the first 12 months.
  • The borrower remains liable for 100% of the debt.
  • The lender receives a guarantee of 80% of the loan amount from the government

COVID-19 corporate financing facility

The Bank of England has set up a scheme that will operate for at least 12 finance working capital by purchasing commercial paper from larger business.

Applicants do not need to have previously issued commercial paper in order to participate.

Mortgage and rent holiday

Mortgage borrowers can apply for a three- month payment holiday from their lender. Both residential and buy-to-let mortgages are eligible for the holiday. It is important to remember that borrowers still owe the amounts that they don’t pay as a result of the payment holiday. Interest will continue to be charged on the amount they owe.

Tenants can apply for a three-month payment holiday from their landlord. No one can be evicted from their home or have their home repossessed over the next three months.

Insurance claims

Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered. The advice to avoid pubs, theatres, etc., is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met. Businesses should check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

Ecco un breve riassunto in Italiano dei provvedimenti presi dal Governo Britannico a seguito della pandemia Covid19 – coronavirus. Volta Pagina per leggerlo in Italiano

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