Kennedy Legg
Kennedy Legg
Kennedy Legg
Kennedy Legg

Managing the impact of COVID-19

When it comes to keeping your business up and running, knowing the right questions to ask and where to find the information you need can make all the difference. You can find useful information on government support for businesses and individuals as well as a wide range of practical advice as you scroll down this page.

Flexible furlough scheme opens on 1 July

30 June: Employers will be able to make claims for grants under the flexible furlough scheme (CJRS V2) from 1 July 2020. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty highlights key points and updates its guidance. 

The first version of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), whereby employees had to be furloughed full time, ends on Tuesday 30 June 2020 and the deadline for claims is 31 July 2020. 

Before HMRC published its full guidance there were suggestions that employers would have to make a CJRS V1 claim by 30 June 2020 to qualify to receive CJRS V2 grants. This is not the case; all businesses have until 31 July to claim CJRS V1 grants.

The key changes for CJRS V2 are:

  • CJRS V2 is only available to employers that have made claims for grants under CJRS V1.

  • CJRS V2 is only available for employees that were furloughed under CJRS V1, with some exceptions for employees returning to work after parental leave and military reservists.

  • For CJRS V2 there is a new limit to the number of employees who can be included in a single claim. This is set at the maximum number ever claimed for in a single claim for that payroll in CJRS V1.

  • ICAEW has clarified guidance which some members had misinterpreted as meaning that this cap applies from 1 July to clarify that the cap applies to CJRS V2 claims.

  • Employees can be flexibly furloughed, enabling part-time working.

  • There is no minimum furlough period.

  • Furlough claims must contain details of usual hours and actual hours worked. Furloughed hours is the difference between these. Unfortunately HMRC has not yet responded to requests for clarification of how usual hours should be calculated

  • Each claim made by an employer must be for a week or more unless the claims for an ‘orphan period’ at the beginning or end of a month.

  • No claim period can extend across a calendar month end which in some cases will mean that pay periods will have to be split with separate claims for different parts of the pay period.

  • 30 November 2020 is expected to be the final date for submitting claims under CJRS V2. 

On 25 June, the Chancellor made a further Treasury Direction under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to give effect to the extension to the scheme to 31 October and the changes to the terms of the scheme.

New guidance launched to help get Brits safely back to work

Government publishes guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.

New ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines are available to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.

This follows the Prime Minister setting out steps to beat the virus and restart the economy, so we can protect jobs, restore people’s livelihoods and fund the country’s vital public services.

The government has consulted approximately 250 stakeholders in preparing the guidance. It has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to develop best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.

The new guidance covers 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. Full details here: Return to Work Guidelines.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

SEISS Accountants can’t claim for clients

Today on 4th May HMRC have announced that the Self-employed cannot ask their Accountant to make the claim on their behalf. 

To make the claim the client has to have a government gateway account full details are here: SEISS Guidance

How to claim

The online service you’ll use to claim is not available yet. HMRC will aim to contact you by mid-May 2020 if you’re eligible, to invite you to claim using the GOV.UK online service. Payment will be made by early June 2020 if your claim is approved.

If you’re unable to claim online an alternative way to claim will be available. We will update this page with more information soon.

You do not need to contact HMRC now, as this will only delay the urgent work being undertaken to introduce the scheme.

  • If you receive texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or a tax refund and asking you to click on a link or to give personal information, it is a scam. You should email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

The Chancellor announced a VAT payments deferral on 20 March to support businesses with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means that all businesses with a UK VAT registration have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March and 3‌0‌‌ June. You therefore have until 3‌1‌‌ March 2021 to pay any VAT deferred as a result of this announcement.

You do not need to inform HMRC if you wish to defer payment. You can opt in to the deferral simply by not making VAT payments due in this period. If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.

For more information please go to GOV.UK.

Chancellor announces additional measures to help businesses and the self-employed impacted by COVID-19

The Chancellor announced a major package of support for the self-employed:

  • HMG will pay the self-employed a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years up to £2500 per month
  • This will be available for three months. Will be extended if necessary
  • People can claim these grants and continue to do business
  • Covers self-employed same as those furlong

To ensure the funds reaches the people most in need:

  • Open to anyone of trading profits of up to £50,000
  • Available to people who i) make the majority of their income being self-employed, ii) Have a self-employed tax return for 2019

How to access

  • HMRC will contact you directly and you’ll have to fill out a form
  • HMRC will pay the grant directly to bank accounts.
  • Aim is to pay at the beginning of June (3 months backdated). Hoping to be quicker than that but recognition HMRC are now having to design two new systems
  • Anyone who missed the Jan filing deadline has an extra 4 weeks from today to submit their tax return

Further Details can be found at - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals

Support businesses experiencing increases in costs or financial disruptions

  • The refund of up to 14 days SSP for those diagnosed with COVID-19 and will be payable from day 1 instead of day 4
  • Business rates retail discount of 100% for 2020/21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value
  • Dedicated helpline to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities. They will need to call 0800 0159 559 as this will be done on a business by business basis

Guidance for employees, employers and business Click Here

Support for those affected by COVID-19 Click Here

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Find out if you’re eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they put you on temporary leave ('furlough') because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.

Your employer could pay 80% of your regular wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme forms part of a collective national effort to protect people’s jobs. You can play a vital role by reporting fraudulent claims to HMRC. Fraudulent claims risk the provision of public services and the protection of livelihoods.

If you’re concerned that your employer is abusing the scheme you should report them. This could include your employer claiming on your behalf and not paying you what you’re entitled to, being asked to work whilst on furlough, or making a backdated claim that includes times when you were working.

Guidance for employees, Click Here
 

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