With the current coronavirus situation, have you taken the opportunity to plot and plan for yourself, your families and your business ? It has always been important to look after yourself first before you can then look to help others. A good analogy of this is in an aircraft emergency, they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first !
In the first instance, and to keep up-to-date, I can recommend the following links :
It is worthwhile looking to see which reliefs you or your business may be eligible for, and make the claim(s). However, I do need to forewarn you that you will need to be patient, as it will take some time for the reliefs to be implemented. This is understandable – we are in uncharted waters, and nobody (apart from China ?) could have foreseen how serious and how devastating the coronavirus would be.
For businesses, there seem to be two problems :-
– business has fallen off a cliff ; and/or
– cashflow problems because your customers / clients cannot afford to pay you
To summarise some of the reliefs that seem to be more applicable to SMEs and individuals :-
Furloughing, is where you put your staff on hold rather than sacking them, or making them redundant. It is part of the government’s Job Retention Scheme, and essentially the government pays 80% of wages, up to £2,500 per month.
If you pay business rates, your business may be eligible for a Business Support Grant of £10,000. In my borough, Barnet, they have already made some of these payments automatically where they have the bank details.
Your business may be eligible for a Business Interruption Loan. You need to apply to your own bank. If the application is accepted, the government guarantees 80% of the loan, and covers interest for the first 12 months. You will need to provide accounts and cashflow forecasts.
If you are self-employed, you can claim 80% of your 2019 business profits, up to £2,500 per month (ie it is not dissimilar to the relief for employees). HMRC will contact you.
If you are VAT registered and owe VAT between 20/3/20 and 30/6/20, you can defer payment until 31/3/21. You still need to submit your VAT returns on time. If you pay by direct debit, don’t forget to cancel this with your own bank.
If you owe any self-assessment income tax in July, you can defer payment until 31/1/21.
Update 27/4/20 : The government have now announced the ‘Bounce Back Loan’ for small businesses. It is designed to be quicker and easier to apply for and launches on 4/5/20 : Bounce Back Loan
I have deliberately tried to keep this summary shorty and sweet. I hope it helps, and let’s hope that things return to normal soon. But in conclusion, have you considered taking advantage of some of the lessons learned during this period ? Eg maintaining and improving your ability to work from home / remotely, video-conferencing etc. I also know that the online bookkeeping packages (ie FreeAgent, Xero, Kashflow, QuickBooks etc), have been invaluable in providing up-to-date figures to be able to make claims.