Some good news for a change – energy prices are very low at the moment. Renegotiate your energy rates if you have the time. Plus, if you can afford it, fill your oil/gas tank.
Now may be a good time to employ an HR company to guide you through these murky waters. I use Peninsula:
There has been an increase in the scams related to Covid-19. Some examples can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples.
I would advise people NOT to follow links in unexpected emails, or where an email is from a known source but contains only a link.
The dreaded Furlough creates confusion – employers are unsure as to whether holiday accrues daily whilst on Furlough. Employers beware: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
this ruling allows businesses up and down the country to withhold their rent for 3 months without legal action from the landlord
Hopefully some of these thoughts will be of use.
A few things that may be puzzling people, and I can guarantee there’s no mention of 1957’s Spaghetti-trees amongst them!:
Current position on limited company directors – directors are employees of the company and so therefore NOT able to apply for the self-employment grant. However, it currently seems (per ICAEW) that as long as you are not actually earning money for the company, you can apply to furlough.
Vat deferral: VAT returns still need filing, but unless you cancel your direct debit your payment will be taken.
A trap for the Self-employed – good tax planning with Capital Allowances means a low taxable profit is declared. However, your grant is assessed on the profit there is. There is still time to amend your Capital Allowance claim for the 2018/19 tax year with a revision to your tax return.
Running payroll and concerned about the time lag between paying staff and receiving monies from furlough? Beware of putting March and April wages together as it may affect Universal Credit claims for your staff.
Self-employed contractors and CIS declarations – you can get your tax returns in as early as Monday 6th April 2020. The refund you get might tide you over until the self-employment grant is available in June.
Those in the tourism industry can apply for grants of up to £25,000. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
Employees are now able to carry their full holiday entitlement forward for 2 years. This is a significant change as previously only limited holiday days were allowed to carry over.
If you’ve recently changed jobs and missed the 28 February 2020 deadline for furlough entitlement with your new employer? Have a conversation with your previous employer and ask if you can get put back on their payroll so they can furlough you. This has been checked with HMRC and they find it perfectly acceptable.
Check when shops are open
Whilst I have your attention, I have noticed that essential shops are not consistent with their opening times. Before you leave your home, do check that the shop you need will be open and able to serve you. Hexham market is still on for fresh fruit and vegetables, and the local butchers are operating.
Keep well, more tomorrow.
The Government has announced new insolvency measures to support businesses under pressure as a result of Covid-19 by temporarily suspending wrongful trading provisions retrospectively from 1 March 2020 for 3 months. Hope this doesn’t apply to you, but if it does, it could be of help.
For complete clarity for how to comply with going to work, the guidance is this: if work CANNOT be done at home, AND employees can get to work safely, AND can maintain social distancing in a clean environment, they may go to their workplace.
Small Business grants from your Local Authority – check if you need to apply or if your Council will contact eligible businesses directly. Mixed information from LAs on this.
Remember MTD? The Government have pushed back the compulsory start date a year to April 2021. One less thing to have to think about right now!
My thoughts today are a bit thin as I am rather tied up with furlough and business interruption loan applications. I need to keep us going as well as you.
Keep well as usual,
My final thoughts of the week begin with breaking news that the Treasury is making funds more available by the Chancellor announcing today that banks will not require a personal guarantee for a business interruption loan application. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-strengthens-support-on-offer-for-business-as-first-government-backed-loans-reach-firms-in-need
However, a loan is a loan and banks will need to do their own checks which means you could be waiting for 3 weeks or longer to get the promise of funds. This could be too long for some who need it now. It would be very helpful for Government to provide a shortcut on this?
Unexpected lenders are joining the market for the loans. Here’s an example: https://www.skiptonbusinessfinance.co.uk/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme
In other news, Sage have announced a price freeze which is very helpful if you use them for your bookkeeping and/or accounts.
Anyone in the public sector on an IR35 contract is entitled to furlough if there is no work available to do.
Businesses – if you have staff who are working at home, be sure to check that your public liability insurance covers them.
The FCA have announced consultation on a 3 months loan and credit card payment freeze. More information can be found at: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-proposes-temporary-financial-relief-customers-impacted-coronaviruswhy
Stay well and have a safe weekend.