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Mel’s COVID-19 Update: 15th February 2021
Bounce back loan borrowers can delay repayments by extra six months
Businesses that took out government-backed Bounce Back Loans to get through Covid-19 will now have greater flexibility to repay their loans.
Bounce Back Loan borrowers will now have the option to tailor payments according to their individual circumstances with the option to delay all repayments for a further six months. Pay as You Grow will be available to over 1.4 million businesses, which collectively took out nearly £45 billion through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information has been added about how to join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021.
Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or get ready to join the VAT deferral new payment scheme.
If you deferred VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, and still have payments to make, you can:
- Pay the deferred VAT in full, on or before 31 March 2021.
- Join the VAT deferral new payment scheme – the online service is open between 23 February and 21 June 2021.
- Contact HMRC on Telephone: 0800 024 1222 by 30 June if you need extra help to pay.
You may be charged interest or a penalty if you do not:
- Pay the deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021.
- Opt into the new payment scheme by 21 June 2021.
- Agree extra help to pay with HMRC by 30 June 2021.
Help to Buy scheme extended – England
The deadline to buy a home under the current Help to Buy scheme in England has been extended to the end of May.
Help to Buy makes new build homes available to all home buyers (not just first-time buyers) who wish to buy a new home but may be constrained in doing so – for example as a result of deposit requirements – but who could otherwise be expected to sustain a mortgage. Up to a maximum of 20% in England and up to 40% in London, of the purchase price is available to the buyer through an equity loan funded by the Government through Homes England. Help to Buy is available in England from house builders registered to offer the scheme. Help to Buy has been available since 2013.
Renters continue to be supported with extension to the ban on bailiff evictions
Renters will continue to be supported during the ongoing national lockdown restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions.
The ban on bailiff evictions - which was introduced at the start of the pandemic - has been extended for another 6 weeks - until 31 March - with measures kept under review in line with the latest public health advice.
Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances that cause the greatest strain on landlords as well as other residents and neighbours, such as illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour and arrears of 6 months’ rent or more.
Landlords are also required to give 6-month notice periods to tenants before starting possession proceedings, except in the most serious circumstances, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in their homes until at least August 2021, with time to find alternative support or accommodation.
During COVID-19 I want to ensure that everyone is as up to date as possible with regards to Government changes and support that impacts businesses. Please note that this update is correct as of date of publishing (15th February 2021).