Mel’s COVID-19 Update: 4th December 2020
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 (4th December 2020).
1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Guidance has been updated to reflect that 30 November claims deadline has now passed. There is a new section on holiday pay updated with further clarity on when employees can be furloughed.
Please talk to us about helping your business make a Furlough claim, we have much experience on doing this over the last 10 months.
2. Claim a Grant Through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
The third grant for SEISS is now open. To make a claim for the grant, your business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020. You can make a claim for the third grant if you are eligible, even if you did not make a claim for the first or second.
What you will need to make your claim
You will need your:
- Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- National Insurance number
- Government Gateway user ID and password
- UK bank details including account number, sort code, name on the account and address linked to the account
You may also need to answer questions about your passport, driving licence or information held on your credit file.
You must make your claim between 30 November 2020 and 29 January 2021 using the government website below.
3. Government Announces £1,000 Christmas Grant for 'Wet-Led Pubs' - England
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3, who will miss out on turnover during the busy Christmas period.
Pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food, have been asked to make sacrifices over the festive season and will be eligible for a one-off £1,000 to help make ends meet.
The payment will be a one-off for December and will be paid on top of the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses. This will cover those in tiers 2 and 3 forced to reduce their operations as a result of the latest regional measures put in place to contain transmission of the virus.
4. Business Interruption Loan Scheme
117 lenders have now signed up for the scheme.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months. The scheme is open until 31 January 2021.
5. Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
29 lenders have now signed up for the scheme.
BBL enables smaller businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.
The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months, the interest rate will be 2.5% a year. The scheme is open to applications until 31 January 2021. If you already have a Bounce Back Loan but borrowed less than you were entitled to, you can top up your existing loan to your maximum amount. You must request the top-up by 31 January 2021.
6. VAT Deferred Due To Coronavirus
If you deferred VAT 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
- opt into the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021
- contact HMRC if you need more help to pay
You can pay your deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021.
You cannot opt in yet. The online opt in process will be available in early 2021. You must opt in yourself; we cannot do this for you. We will advise you on how to make the claim and instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022.
Please talk to us if you deferred VAT.
7. VAT: Reduced Rate for Hospitality, Holiday Accommodation and Attractions
Guidance has been updated to reflect the extension of the VAT reduced rate for tourism and hospitality from 12 January to 31 March 2021.
The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:
- hotel and holiday accommodation
- admissions to certain attractions
The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.
8. England - Local Restriction Support Grant (for Open Businesses)
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions.
Businesses that have not had to close, but which have been severely impacted due to local tier 2 or tier 3 restrictions, may be eligible for LRSG (Open).
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period under local restrictions.
Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme. They will use their discretion in identifying the right businesses to receive this funding, based on their application process.