The furlough scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021.
Claim for a percentage of your employee’s wages, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
From 1st July 2021, employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff. The amount of employer contribution will increase in August and September.
The Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS) is to extend.
A fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021.
Additional support for businesses are available including.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
Deferral of Self Assessment payment on account due on 31st July and 31st January 2021 to January 2022
A reduction to the VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sectors
Deferral of VAT payments.
Coronavirus Restart Grant
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
A temporary increase to the nil-rate band of residential Stamp Duty Land Tax
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.
For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021.
For periods ending on or before 30 June 2021 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages.
From 1 July 2021, the UK Government will pay 70% of employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.
Employers will need to pay the 10% difference in July, and 20% in August and September, so that they can continue to pay their furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Employers can still choose to top up their employees' wages above the 80% level or cap for each month if they wish, at their own expense.
More information and the latest Government guidance can be accessed here.
The Job Retention Bonus
The proposed scheme was announced in July 2020 as:
a one-off payment to employers of £1,000, for every employee for whom the employer has made a valid claim under the CJRS and who remains continuously employed after its closure (planned for 31 October 2020) through to 31 January 2021.
In an announcement on 10 November 2020, the government stated that the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) would no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be still available at that time. An alternative retention incentive may be put in place at the appropriate time but no details are available.
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was set up to support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
There will then be a fifth and final grant to cover May, to September, likely to be available in late July.
The amount of the fifth grant will be determined by a turnover test, which details how much your your turnover has reduced in the 2020-21 tax year compared to pre-coronavirus trading.
You do not need to have submitted your 2020-21 Self Assessment tax return to be able to calculate your turnover to claim the fifth SEISS grant. However, you may want to ensure your records are up to date so that turnover for the year April 2020 to April 2021 is readily available.
If your turnover reduced by 30% or more, you will receive a grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits (capped at £7,500). If your turnover reduced by less than 30%, you will receive a grant worth 30% of three months’ average trading profits (capped at £2,850).
Eligibility for the fifth grant
To be eligible, self-employed people (including members of partnerships) must:
declare that you intend to continue to trade and are either:
declare that you have a reasonable belief that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits between May and September 2021 due to reduced business activity, capacity, demand or inability to trade due to coronavirus.
If you previously heard from HMRC that you were not eligible for the fourth grant, you will not be eligible for the fifth grant either. This is because the same tax returns have been used to determine eligibility for both grants.
To claim you’ll need your:
Warning. Do not give your bank account details to any callers, text or e-mails pretending to be from HMRC, if you are unsure please check with us before completing the online information
More information and the latest Government guidance can be accessed here.
On 26 May2020 the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme(CSSPRS) was launched, enabling certain employers to recover up to two weeks SSP for eligible employees who have been off work because of COVID-19 since 13 March 2020 (16 April 2020 for those who are shielding). HMRC have updated their guidance for “Get Ready to Claim” and this can be found here.
The COVID-19 Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) officially launched on 6th April 2021, aimed at supporting small businesses as they recover from the disruption caused by the various coronavirus restrictions.
The RLS is the latest addition to the range of financial help and support offered by the UK government to help sole traders and limited companies through the pandemic, following on from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which are both now closed to new applications.
The Recovery Loan Scheme is to help businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.
Up to £10 million is available per business. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders.
The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.
The scheme is open until 31 December 2021, subject to review.
Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
You need to show that your business:
Business that received support under the earlier COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes are still eligible to access finance under this scheme if they meet all other eligibility criteria.
Businesses from any sector can apply, except:
What can you get?
No personal guarantees will be taken on facilities up to £250,000, and a borrower’s principal private residence cannot be taken as security.
The maximum length of the facility depends on the type of finance you apply for and will be:
You can pay your tax by instalments if you were unable to pay in full by 31 January 2021. If you have not filed your 2019 to 2020 Self Assessment return, you will need to file it as soon as possible.
If you owe up to £30,000 you can do this online up to 60 days after 31 January without having to contact HMRC directly.
Late payment penalties are charged when tax remains unpaid for 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the payment due dates. You can avoid the penalties if you enter into a Time to Pay arrangement before they become due and you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.
For Self Assessment payments that were due on 31 January 2021, you will avoid the first late payment penalty if you set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 2 March 2021. The 6 month and 12 month penalties can be avoided if you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.
You should contact HMRC as soon as you can if you are unable to pay your Self Assessment tax. We are determined to help all customers as much as possible. That help may mean setting up a Time to Pay instalment arrangement with you.
If you already have a Time to Pay arrangement in place and you are finding it difficult paying the agreed instalments you should also contact HMRC.
The government announced on 8 July 2020 that it intended to legislate to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions.
The reduced rate was initially introduced to last for a temporary period between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021. This period was subsequently extended to 31 March 2021.
The government announced at Budget 2021 that the temporary reduced rate will be extended for a further six-month period at 5% until 30 September 2021.
A new reduced rate of 12.5% will then be introduced which will end on 31 March 2022. The scope of the relief will remain unchanged.
Full details can be found at the following website
The temporary increase to the nil rate band for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), which is the rate before you start paying SDLT on residential property has been extended.
Rather than ending on 31 March 2021, the temporary nil rate band of £500,000 will be in place until 30 June 2021. Then from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 the nil rate band will be £250,000. The nil rate band will return to the standard amount of £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
The rate of SDLT which applies to your purchase depends on the date that you complete your property purchase and not the date that you exchanged contracts.
From 8 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 the special rules for first time buyers are replaced by the reduced rates above.
Use the SDLT calculator to work out how much tax you’ll pay.
The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail sector may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 from their local council.
Eligible businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £18,000 from their local council.
Local councils will use their discretion to determine whether businesses meet the eligibility criteria for this grant scheme and you can find their website via the below link.
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support businesses that are severely impacted by restrictions, and that may or may not be in the business rates system.
Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to help businesses that are severely impacted by the restrictions.
Local councils are encouraged to support:
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply and you can find their website via the below link.
Insolvency measures supporting businesses during the pandemic and helping them recover, have been extended till the end of June 2021.
The measures were introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act in March 2020, including protecting businesses from aggressive creditor enforcement and removing personal liability on company directors, and have been previously extended on a number of occasions.
The measures being extended till the end of June 2021:
As further information becomes available, we will continue to keep you updated but you can find useful information at the following government websites.
This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the legislation and regulations in force, and due to come into force, at the date of publication and is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of all changes relevant to all clients. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore, no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or Sussex Professional Services.