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The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting billions of people and businesses around the world on an unprecedented scale. Over the past few weeks, the Government has announced a series of support packages for businesses and workers who have had their income and daily lives affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

This situation is changing all the time. We will update this page as soon as new information becomes available.

For the most up-to-date advice, we strongly recommend you follow and read the advice from the UK Government here.

As of 9 April 2020, these are the measures the government has announced to help businesses and individuals during the Coronavirus outbreak:

Statutory Sick Pay from day one

Boris Johnson announced that employees will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day one when self-isolating. Rather than having to wait until day four under the normal SSP waiting days rules. However, this change will be a temporary measure to respond to the outbreak and will lapse when it is no longer required.

UK Government will refund Statutory Sick Pay

During the budget on Wednesday 11 March, the Government announced that they will refund the cost for businesses with fewer than 250 employees, for the cost of providing SSP for 14 days. It is hoped that this will provide over £2 billion for up to two million businesses.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Chancellor also announced a new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The scheme will be delivered by the British Business Bank. This will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is a temporary scheme in order to support all UK employers that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employers can claim 80% of ‘furloughed employees’ monthly wage costs, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, including the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

COVID Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme for self-employed workers with a grant of 80% of profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months. This is open for those with profits of less than £50,000. You must have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19 by 23 April 2020 to be eligible.

Business rates holiday 

There will be a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Businesses that pay little or no business rates

There will be one-off grants of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Mortgage payment holiday

Mortgage payment holidays for individuals and landlords for up to 3 months for those who are struggling to pay their mortgage due to loss of income during COVID19.

VAT and Income Tax Deferral

There will be a VAT payment deferral for 3 months. The deferral will apply to VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. If you are due to make a payment on account under Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Support fund for UK Charities

Rishi Sunak announced a £750 million package of support for UK Charities to help them continue to run during the Coronavirus outbreak.

MTD digital links delayed until 2021

HMRC have announced that they will be delaying the digital links deadline for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT by one year. The deadline extension will give businesses more time to focus on managing the challenges of COVID19 rather than implementing new software and processes for their business records.

IR35 delayed until 2021

Pressure from both freelancers and businesses has caused the UK government to delay the IR35 rules by 12 months.

Changes to Insolvency Laws

On Saturday 28 March, the UK government announced two important changes to Insolvency laws designed to support businesses during the Coronavirus.

Universal Credit

Read our guide to Universal Credit here.

HMRC Coronavirus helpline

If you need to speak to HMRC about any outstanding tax liabilities or if you need support with your tax affairs, you can call the dedicated helpline set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress. Businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Get in touch with us

As part of the UK200Group we have access to up-to-the-minute information and can help you get access to the support you need. We’ll be keeping you informed in general terms, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

If you would like help with your Statutory Sick Pay, how to furlough employees, or for any advice on your payroll duties during Coronavirus please contact Chanelle Webb from our expert Payroll team on cwebb@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401 or contact us here.

For advice on your business or personal tax affairs please contact our Tax Partner, Ann Bibby on abibby@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401 or contact us here.  

More information

Follow our Coronavirus blog and visit our dedicated COVI9 Hub for all the latest updates.