Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – April 5th, 2021

Ihelm Enterprises Covid19 Updates April 5, 2021

During the press conference held by the Prime Minister this evening, England is now moving to Step 2 of the roadmap that was outlined on February 23rd.

This is just a brief summary of the roadmap and you can read more about the press conference here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-at-coronavirus-press-conference-5-april-2021

From Monday April 12th, 2021, the following will be able to happen:

– all non-essential retail can open
– all close-contact service business can open
– public buildings – including libraries and community centres can open
– indoor leisure facilities such as gyms can re-open but ONLY for use by people in their own household groups
– most outdoor attractions and settings (zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas) can open
– self-contained accommodation – campsites, holiday lets – where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can open and people within the same household can take a holiday in England
– hospitality venues can open and serve to people outdoors – people will not need to order a substantial meal with alcohol and the curfew will be lifted – only table service will be allowed, and the wider social contact rules are still going to be in place to prevent indoor mixing between households
– 15 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events
– children can attend indoor children’s activities and indoor sports
– parent and child groups can happen for up to 15 people indoors (children under the age of 5 don’t count)
– outdoor gatherings are still limited to 6 people or two households – there is not to be any indoor socialising with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
– those in care homes can have up to 2 visitors
– people must continue to work from home
– minimise domestic travel
– no international holidays

The government also announced that from Friday, April 9, 2021, everyone will be able to get lateral flow tests and be able to test twice weekly. These tests will be able to be picked up for FREE from pharmacies, designated pickup points and on the government website (https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests).

They have also shared their Roadmap Review Update with the public which covers a number of things including Covid-Status Certificates, Global Travel, re-opening of large events, and social distancing. You can read the whole report here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021-reviews-terms-of-reference/roadmap-reviews-update

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Paper Receipts and what to do with them

Paper Receipts

The March 2021 Facebook live talked about Paper Receipts and I wanted to add the information into a blog post for you.

How long do I need to keep my receipts for?

If you are a sole trader, you need to keep your receipts for 5 years.  If you are a limited company, you need to keep them for 6 years.

It is important to note that the date you need to keep your receipts from is not the date your financial year ends, but it is actually January 31st after the tax year ends.  This takes into consideration that the end of year tax return must be filed by January 31st of the next year.  For example, for the 2019-2020 tax year, your tax return doesn’t need to be filed until 31/01/2021.  In that instance, you would then be required to keep your records for 5 or 6 years from 31/01/2021.

You might need to keep your receipts for a longer period of time if you filed your return late, have been investigated before by HMRC or are currently under investigation.

There is no guarantee that HMRC won’t ask to see records that go back further as they can investigate any time period over the previous 2 decades – so you may want to store the receipts for a longer period of time.

Do I need to keep paper receipts, or can I digitise them?

It is relatively new that HMRC are now accepting digitised receipts for most items, which means you won’t need to store the paper copies as long as you have got a digitised copy.

With the various cloud-based software, and in line with Making Tax Digital, you can attach the digital copies of all receipts and invoices to the transactions in the accounts meaning that all of your digitised receipts are in one place.

In line with MTD, there are some special items that must be stored digitally in compatible software, but there are some items that HMRC say must still be stored in paper format and they include links like your C79 (Import VAT certificate).

You can read about the rules around MTD and digital record-keeping by reading VAT Notice 700/22 which you can find here. The relevant section you are looking for is section 4 and more specifically section 4.3. However, this does just relate to keeping records in terms of VAT and digital record keeping. As more information is released about MTD for Self-Assessment Income Tax, I will share that information as well.

When do I have to follow MTD?

Currently, in terms of MTD, only those who have had to register for VAT due to reaching the VAT threshold need to follow MTD, but from April 2022 all VAT registered businesses will be required to follow MTD with those businesses who are self employed or landlords that meet the requirements from April 6, 2023.

It would be a good idea to start getting into the habit now in regard to attaching your receipts in a digital format so that by the time you are required to follow MTD you already have all of your processes in place.

You can refer to an earlier blog post I wrote in July 2020 about the updates on Making Tax Digital here.

What else do I need to know?

There are different ways you can digitise your receipts and attach them to your accounts, especially if you are using cloud-based accounts software.  Some software, like QuickBooks Online, has in-built receipt capture software but I do find it quite basic and not as efficient.

You can just scan/photograph your invoices and receipts and attach them to each transaction manually or you could use 3rd party software like AutoEntry or Receipt Bank to capture your receipts and send them to your accounts software.  My personal favourite is AutoEntry, and I use this with all of my VAT clients.  It makes capturing the various purchase invoices and receipts and getting them entered into the accounts software more efficient.  Especially the auto scrape feature which can be used to automatically retrieve invoices from many different suppliers.

If you have any questions about what to do with your receipts or about your accounts, feel free to e-mail me and I will get back to you!

Budget 2021 Update

Ihelm Enterprises Budget 2021 Update

On Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor for the UK unveiled the budget for this year. Continued support for businesses dealing with the effects of Covid was the main focus, with plans for the recovery of the economy. I won’t be going through every aspect of the budget but will highlight some of the key points that affect businesses. As always, as further information is related I will provide more updates both on the blog and the Ihelm Enterprises FB Page.

1) Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

The Job Retention Scheme that has helped employers throughout the pandemic is being extended to Sept 30, 2021 and employees will continue to receive 80% of their unworked wages (up to £2,500) but the amount employers must contribute will change.

From July 1st, 2021 the amount the scheme covers will be reduced and the amount employers contribute will increase.

July 2021 – 70% of wages (up to £2187.50) covered
– employers must pay 10% (up to £312.50) of hours not worked

August and Sept 2021 – 60% of wages (up to £1875) covered
– employers must pay 20% (up to £625) of hours not worked

Employees will continue to receive 80% of the wages for hours not worked until the end of the scheme.

Any employees that were employed and on your payroll as of March 2nd, 2021 (ie you have made an RTI Submission for them between March 20, 2020 and March 2nd, 2021) can be included in any claims from May 1st, 2021 onwards.

Read here for changes to the scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

This is the main page for the JRS: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

2) Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Further information about the fourth grant has now been published as well as news of a fifth grant being made available, bringing the support inline with the Job Retention Scheme.

The fourth grant will pay out 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits up to £7,500. The grant will also take into consideration the 2019/2020 tax return, meaning those who became self-employed during the 2019/2020 tax year are now eligible for this grant! The rest of the eligibility criteria is still the same.

This means that HMRC will now include your 2019/2020 tax return when calculating your average trading profits, so if you received the other grants it could mean you receive a different amount compared to before.

You will need to have traded in both the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 tax years and submitted your 2019/2020 tax return by March 2nd, 2021. The grant will be available from late April 2021 to May 31, 2021 and if you are eligible, HMRC will contact you in mid-April.

The fifth grant will cover the period May 2021 to September 2021 and it will be based on how much your turnover has reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021. It will be worth 80% of 3 months average trading profits up to £7,500 for any business with a reduction in turnover of 30% or more and 30% of 3 months average trading profits up to £2,850 for those with a turnover reduction of less than 30%.

For more information read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

3) New Restart Grant

A scheme that will help businesses to restart after being in lockdown has been announced. It will be a one-off grant of up to £18,000 and only available to those businesses that have not been allowed to trade normally due to lockdown restrictions. This includes non-essential retail shops, restaurants, hotels, personal care businesses, the leisure sector and other businesses that were forced to close.

Non-essential retailers will receive up to £6,000 while those in the hospitality, personal care and leisure sectors will receive up to £18,000.

The grant will be provided by local authorities. The new scheme replaces two other local support schemes that had been set up and that close at the end of March 2021.

At the time of writing, I haven’t been able to find any additional information about these grants on the UK Government website, but I will share it as soon as I do.

4) Recovery Loan Scheme

This is a new loan scheme that will be accessible to any business within the UK, no matter their size. The loans will be for between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million. The new loan scheme will launch in April 2021 and replace the current BBL and CBIL schemes. Further details are supposed to be released in the next few weeks and as this information is made available I will share it.

5) VAT Cut Extended

The VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions will now continue until the end of September 2021. The rate will then be increased to 12.5% until March 31, 2022.

6) Business Rate Relief

The business rates relief has been extended until the end of June 2021. At that point in time, rates will be discounted to 1/3 of the normal charge for a further 6 months up to a value of £2 million for all businesses that have been forced to close this year.

7) Corporation Tax

An increase of corporation tax up to 25% will be put in place from 2023 and affect businesses with profits of £250,000 or more. Businesses with profits of £50,000 or less will continue to be taxed at 19% while businesses with profits between £50,000 and £250,000 will be taxed using a tapered rate. As more information is released, I will share it with you.

8) Income Tax Personal Allowance

After the increase of the personal allowance in April 2021 to £12,570 per year, the rates will be frozen until April 2026. This will mean that as people’s income increases, more people will move into the higher tax brackets.

The 2021-2022 National Insurance Contributions threshold will increase – the primary threshold/lower profits limit to £9,568 and the upper earnings limit to £50,270. The UEL will then stay the same until April 2026.

There are many other items that have been announced with the budget, but I am not going to cover them. You can read the announcements made yesterday here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2021-what-you-need-to-know.

As more information is released, I will continue to share it within the blog posts and on the Ihelm Social Media platforms.

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – February 23rd, 2021

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Feb 23 2021

Last night the Prime Minister addressed the nation and outlined a roadmap for removing the various restrictions that are currently in place due to Covid 19. It is extremely important to note that the Prime Minister stressed many times throughout the press conference that beyond Step 1, the dates are not set in stone and could be changed – it will depend on the data that is gathered at each step as to whether the next step is able to proceed as planned.

This is just a brief summary of the roadmap and you can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

Step 1

The first step will begin on March 8th, 2021 and see the following happen:
– all schools will re-open with all children returning to face-to-face education
– breakfast and after-school clubs will be able to open, and outdoor after-school sports and activities will also be allowed to restart
– there will be twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – with the tests being done at home after the first 3 tests are administered at school
– students who are on practical courses at Universities in England can return to classes
– people will be able to go outside for recreation and exercise with their household or support bubble, or to meet with one other person from another household in outdoor public spaces like parks
-care home residents can have one regular visit

The second phase of Step 1 will start on March 29th, 2021:
– outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, of either 6 people or two households will be allowed
– outdoor sports facilities (tennis courts, basketball courts etc) and open-air swimming pools can open
– organised adult and children’s sports can resume
– while the “stay at home” rule will end on March 29th, many restrictions will still remain in place such as continuing to work from home where possible, travel abroad will still be prohibited

Step 2

Step 2 will not happen any earlier than April 12th, 2021 – however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 is in place:
– all non-essential retail can open
– all close-contact service business can open
– public buildings – including libraries and community centres can open
– indoor leisure facilities such as gyms can re-open but ONLY for use by people in their own household groups
– most outdoor attractions and settings (zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas) can open
– self-contained accommodation – campsites, holiday lets – where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can open
– hospitality venues can open and serve to people outdoors – people will not need to order a substantial meal with alcohol and the curfew will be lifted – only table service will be allowed, and the wider social contact rules are still going to be in place to prevent indoor mixing between households
– funerals can continue with up to 30 people
– 15 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events

Step 3

Step 3 will not happen any earlier than May 17th, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 and Step 2 are in place:
– rule of six will look to be abolished and replaced with a limit of 30 people outdoors
– the rule of six or two households will still apply to indoor mixing
– indoor hospitability venues can re-open – the curfews and rule about ordering a substantial meal will no longer be in place, but only table service will be allowed
– other indoor entertainment venues – cinemas, children play areas – can re-open
– accommodation sector including hotels, hostels, B&Bs can open
– indoor adult group sport and exercises classes can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity or 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in outdoor venues with a capacity of 10,000 people or a quarter-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
-up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes

Step 4

Step 4 will not happen any earlier than June 21st, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 are in place:
– remaining parts of the economy would be able to open – nightclubs
– restrictions on large events and performances that were in place in Step 3 would start to be eased
– potential for all legal limits on social contact to be removed

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – February 10th, 2021

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Feb 10 2021

It’s been a while since anything important has been announced that was worth a blog post, but in the last week a couple of announcements have been made – though not well publicised, so I thought I would do a blog to summarise them. I expect there will be more updates after the budget on March 3rd, 2021.

Bounce Back Loans

Last week the government announced that those who took out bounce back loans will have the option to delay all repayments for a further 6 months. The new option is being called “Pay as you Grow” and allows borrowers the flexibility to tailor their repayment schedule to suit their circumstances. They will also be allowed to extend the length of their loans from 6 to 10 years (therefore reducing the monthly repayments by almost half), make interest-only repayments for 6 months (this option can be used up to 3 times throughout the loan), or even pause repayments for up to 6 months (this option can only be used once). The option to pause repayments has been changed so that it will now be available to everyone from their first repayment, instead of after the first 6 repayments have been made. These new options are in addition to the government paying the interest for the first year of the loan. Lenders should reach out to borrowers to provide information on the repayment schedules and how to access the new flexible repayment options – this should be done 3 months before the first repayment is due. You can read the full news article here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-eases-burden-on-more-than-a-million-businesses-through-pay-as-you-grow-flexible-repayment-options

VAT Deferral Scheme

The new VAT deferral scheme opening date has now been announced. People will be able to join the new scheme between 23/02/2021 and 21/06/2021. The purpose of this scheme is to allow those have already deferred their VAT payments through the earlier deferral scheme, to extend the length of time they have to make that payment. There are 3 options available to those businesses who have deferred their VAT payments:
1) Pay the deferred VAT in full by 31/03/2021;
2) Joint the new payment scheme before 21/06/2021; or
3) agree extra help to pay HMRC by 30/06/2021.

If one of the options isn’t taking, interest or penalties may be charged on the deferred VAT that is owed. Anyone who is on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme will be invited to join the new payment scheme later in March 2021.

Businesses will be able to use the online services to join the new deferral scheme. However, there are certain eligibility criteria that must be followed:
– you must join the scheme yourself; your agent or accountant cannot do this for you
– you must still have deferred VAT to pay
– you must be up to date with the rest of your VAT returns
– you must join by 21/06/2021
– you must pay the first instalment due on the deferred VAT when you join
– you must pay instalments by direct debit

You will still be able to have a Time to Pay agreement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax, even if you join this scheme.

The number of instalments you will pay will depend on the date that you join the scheme. You can read the full article published by the Government which goes into further details about the new VAT deferral scheme here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Understanding VAT

This blog post is going to talk about VAT – what the threshold is, the basics of it and how it affects your tax returns. It won’t cover how to use the different VAT codes, go into detail about the different VAT schemes or how to file your VAT return.

What is VAT?

It is value-added tax and it’s charged on pretty much everything you buy within the UK.  Most prices will be displayed including VAT, or it will state whether it is excluding VAT.  Different products/services can have different rates of VAT.  For the consumer, it will only affect you in terms of the price you pay.  However, if you are a business, you might have to register for VAT, track the VAT you charge and pay, submit your returns to HMRC on a regular basis, and then pay them the VAT that is owed.  The VAT that is charged on your sales does not belong to you – it is a tax that you are collecting on behalf of HMRC.

When do I need to register for VAT?

For the majority of businesses, you won’t need to register for VAT unless your income (your sales) reaches the threshold set by HMRC.  The current threshold as of 31/01/2021 is £85,000.  It is calculated on a rolling 12-month period, so you need to be aware of what value your sales are at continuously so you can register if you need to.  Once you reach the threshold, you will have 30 days after the end of the month in which you reached that threshold, to register with HMRC.

What happens once I register?

As I mentioned in the introduction, there are several different schemes, but the main ones are the Accrual scheme where you would record the VAT for all your sales and purchases as of the invoice date, the Cash VAT scheme where you would record the VAT for all of your sales and purchases as of the date they were paid, and the Flat Rate Scheme which is where the amount of VAT a business pays is a fixed rate and is only based on your sales.

After you are registered, you will receive your VAT registration number from HMRC and you must display this on all your invoices and sales receipts that you issue to your customers, record the VAT on your sales and purchases, add VAT to your prices, file your VAT returns as instructed and pay any VAT due to HMRC, keep digital VAT records and a VAT account.

The amount of VAT you will pay to HMRC each time you submit your VAT return will depend on which scheme you are using and whether you charged more VAT on your sales than you reclaimed on your purchases.

It is advisable that when you register for VAT, you set up a business savings account so that you are holding back 10-15% of the amount you are paid for sales, and you will then be able to pay any VAT you owe to HMRC.  This is because the amount of VAT you are paid by your customers doesn’t belong to you, it is money that is owed to HMRC that you are collecting on their behalf.  Normally, you would charge your customers 20% VAT which is the standard rate, but you would also have purchases that you have paid VAT on, so by setting aside 10-15% of the amount you are paid for sales, you won’t then be scrambling at the end of each quarter to find the money to pay HMRC as you will have saved at least some of what you may owe to them.

How often you have to file your VAT return and when by will depend upon the scheme you are using and when you registered, usually it is once every quarter and you will have 1 month plus 7 days to file and pay your return.  For example, if you had to file a VAT return that covered April to June, you would have until August 7th to file the return and pay any amount due to HMRC.

How do I record the VAT on sales and purchases?

The easiest way to record your VAT and to be able to submit your returns is to use MTD compliant software like QuickBooks Online to help you to track the amount of VAT you owe to HMRC and to submit the return.  All VAT returns must be submitted online using MTD compliant software.  This will also help you with recording your transactions digitally as you will be able to attach proof of what each transaction is for.  You can do this within QBO or use third-party software like AutoEntry to help with entering the information into QBO and storing your digital receipts.

How does VAT affect my self-assessment and corporation tax returns?

As VAT is money you are collecting on behalf of HMRC and it is owed to them, if you are VAT registered the VAT portion of your sales and purchases are not included within your tax returns and are not included in the calculations of how much tax you owe.  These figures are actually shown on the balance sheet as money owed to a creditor.

What else do I need to know?

The majority of products and services will have the standard VAT rate charged, but there are also items that are zero-rated or even exempt, which you will need to be aware of.  You will also need to be aware of how to record any items that are bought or sold to people who live outside of the UK, as the way they are treated is different – especially now that Brexit has happened.  HMRC have many pages about the different VAT rates and how to treat items, so you can read about the different rules on there. However, if you are VAT registered, it is a good idea to have an accountant who can help you to know how to deal with anything that does not follow the standard VAT rules, especially if you are dealing with importing/exporting products with the EU.

While I am a bookkeeper and understand the fundamentals of VAT and how it is to be dealt with, some areas like dealing with importing/exporting products with the EU are quite specialist areas, so I always work closely with a client’s accountant to make sure we are recording the information within the accounts correctly.

If you would like further information on VAT and whether you need to register, feel free to e-mail me.

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – December 21st, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Dec 21

On Saturday, the Prime Minister announced that a new tier – Tier 4 – had been created and due to the sharp rise in cases, the following areas have been moved to Tier 4:
– all 32 boroughs of London plus the City of London
– South East: Kent and Medway, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire), Surrey (excluding Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth
– East of England: Hertfordshire, Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester), Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton and Peterborough

All areas covered by Tier 4 have been issued with a “Stay At Home” notice which means people cannot travel out of this tier unless it’s for work or education. You also cannot meet anyone outside of your household indoors, including over Christmas and you can only meet one person from another household outdoors. These rules take effect from December 20th, 2020 until at least December 30th, 2020 when the rules will be reviewed.

This came as quite a shock for a lot of people and it now means that many businesses have had to close as they are not considered essential and everyone should be working from home, unless their job means they can’t (construction, manufacturing, health care worker).

Businesses that need to close in all Tier 4 areas include:

  • all non-essential retail (clothing stores, homeware stores, vehicle showrooms, betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses, market stalls selling non-essential goods. These stores can continue to operate click-and-collect and delivery services – but they cannot be open for the general public to just walk in.
  • hospitality venues – cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs – unless they are providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • accommodation – hotels, hostels, guest houses, campsites – unless for specific circumstances like being someone’s main residence, to provide support to the homeless or if someone has to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities – leisure centres, indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness/dance studios, indoor riding centres and indoor climbing walls
  • entertainment venues – theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, indoor play and soft play centres, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
  • indoor attractions at venues like botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks
  • personal care facilities – hair/beauty/tanning/nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body/skin piercing services – these services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls – except for a limited number of exempt activities, libraries can remain open to provide access to IT and digital services and for click-and-collect services

Other businesses can stay open as long as they are following Covid-19 Secure guidelines, and providing essential goods and services – food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licenses, market stalls selling essential goods, businesses providing repair services, petrol stations, automatic car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi and vehicle hire businesses.

To see a full list of businesses that can stay open and activities that can be held in businesses that have had to close, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home#financial-support.

At present, no further guidelines have been provided in terms of any special financial support Tier 4 businesses will receive, but I will keep an eye on things and if anything is announced, I will share it. The same support that is available to all businesses affected is available: furlough scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Bounce Back Loans. You can find a list of all the different support schemes available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 25th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates November 25

The third instalment of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme can be claimed from November 30th, 2020. The government have released further guidance in terms of eligibility for the grant. You will be able to claim the grant up to January 29th, 2021.

This taxable grant will be worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits and paid in one instalment of up to £7,500.

Existing criteria:

  • you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership – you cannot claim this grant if you trade through a limited company or a trust
  • you must have traded in both the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 tax return
  • you must have submitted your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the 2018/2019 tax year on or before 23/04/2020
  • your trading profits for the 2018/2019 tax year must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to your non-trading income
  • if you are not eligible based on the 2018/2019 tax return, the government will also look at 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 tax years.

New criteria:

  • you must either currently be trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus or have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
  • you must intend to continue to trade
  • reasonably believe that there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits – you can read about what the government believes to be considered reduced demand by going here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme
  • your business must have been affected by coronavirus since 01/11/2020 up to 29/01/2021 with your profits having been significantly reduced
  • the grant is subject to income tax and National Insurance and must be reported on your 2020/2021 Self-Assessment Tax Return
  • you must keep evidence of your reduction in profits – your accounts which show a reduction in activity compared to previous years, records of reduced or cancelled contracts/appointments, a record of dates where you had reduced demand or capacity due to government restrictions, a record of dates you had to close due to government restrictions, NHS Test and Trace communications if you’ve had to self-isolate, letter or e-mail from NHS asking you to shield, etc.
  • if your reduction in profits is due to increased costs (for buying facemasks and cleaning supplies for example), this will not be considered as reduced demand

There are some examples of reduced demand on the government website which you can find here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme#examples

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 23rd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Nov 23rd

After announcing his plan to the House of Commons earlier today, the Prime Minister held a press conference this evening to let the public know what the plan is going to be going forwards. From December 3rd, 2020, England will leave the current national lockdown and return to the previous 3-tier system. However, there will be some changes to the system. The government will announce on Thursday which areas will be in which tier.

All Tiers

  • everyone, unless they have an exemption, must wear a face-covering in most indoor public settings
  • follow the rules on meeting each other safely
  • should attend school/college unless self-isolating
  • should walk/cycle where possible and avoid public transport
  • must follow the gathering limits as per their tier except in specific circumstances
  • all businesses/venues that are open must follow Covid-19 secure guidelines other than those that are still required to remain closed by law (ie nightclubs)
  • in all tiers the following businesses can be open:
    • essential and non-essential retail including indoor/outdoor markets and car boot sales
    • some leisure and sporting facilities including gyms, sports courts, leisure centres, fitness/dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to the relevant social contact rules for each tier. In Tier 3, indoor group activities and classes should not take place.
    • personal care/close contact services – hairdressers/barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas/beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons
    • public buildings like libraries, community centres and halls. In Tier 3, they should not host events for private hire like birthday parties.
    • places of worship subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier
  • everyone who can work from home should continue to do so; those who cannot may include people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, public-sector employees working in essential services like education settings.

There are then specific rules for each Tier.

Tier 1:

  • must not social in groups larger than 6 people indoors/outdoors, except where there is a legal exemption
  • hospitality businesses selling food/drink for consumption on their premises must:
    • provide table service only (for premises that serve alcohol)
    • close between 11 pm and 5 am (venues in airports/ports/transport services/motorway services are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10 pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food/drink for consumption off-premises can continue to do so after 10 pm as long as it is only through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure of venues (11 pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, blowing alleys, arcades, theme parks, bingo halls
  • public attendance at outdoor/indoor events, spectator sports and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship can remain open but people must not gather in groups of more than 6
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue if the rule of 6 is followed. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • if you live in Tier 1 and travel to an area in a higher Tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there. You should avoid travel/overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.

Tier 2:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble, in any indoor setting (including home and public places)
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside including in a garden or public space
  • pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only (in premises that sell alcohol)
    • close between 11 pm and 5 am (venues in airports/ports/transport services/motorway services are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10 pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food/drink for consumption off-premises can continue to do so after 10 pm as long as it is only through delivery, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure of venues (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, blowing alleys, arcades, theme parks, bingo halls
  • public attendance at outdoor/indoor events, spectator sports and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship can remain open you must not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in Tier 2 you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel/overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey.

Tier 3:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble; includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, public gardens, grounds of a heritage site/castle, sports facilities
  • hospitality settings such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, guest houses must close. There are exemptions such as for those who use these venues as their main residence and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work, education or training.
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close which includes: indoor play centres/areas including trampolining parks and soft plays, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, cinemas, theatres, concert halls etc
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets can stay open). Includes indoor attractions within zoos/safari parks, aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, museums, galleries, botanical gardens, theme parks, circuses, visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites
  • no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place.
  • large outdoor events should not take place with exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household/support bubble
  • weddings with a maximum of 15 people, funerals with a maximum of 30 people and commemorative events with a max of 15 people can go-ahead
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercises classes can continue – but higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercises classes cannot take place. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including overnight stays other than where necessary (work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities). You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.

There is further information about the various exemptions and additional guidance as I didn’t include every single type of business/venue within the different tiers and you can read that here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

The government will be making further announcements on Thursday about what Tier each area will be in, so I will be monitoring that information, as well as any further developments.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 5th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Updates Nov 5

Earlier today the Chancellor made a couple of announcements to the Commons about the support for businesses and some changes that were being made. I have outlined all of the changes to date below:

1) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has now been extended until the end of March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maimum of £2,500/month. Employers will only be asked to ccover National Insurance Contributions and Employer Pension Contributions for the hours not worked.

The scheme can be used for employees for any amount of time and shift patterns, including furloughing full-time.

The scheme will still operate the same as it previously has – businesses will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running their payroll, and they will be able to make claims from 11/11/2020. Any claims for subsequent months should be made by day 14 of the following month.

There is no requirement for employers/employees to have used the scheme before and any employee who was employed and on the payroll on 30/10/2020 and the RTI submission for that employee has been filed on or before 30/10/2020, are eligible to use the scheme.

The Chancellor has also stated that any employee that was on the payroll on 23/09/2020 and were made redundant or stopped working, can be re-employed and can be claimed for on the scheme. They must have been included on an RTI submission from 20/03/2020 to 23/09/2020.

The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021.

The government has said that full guidance will be published on 10/11/2020.

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

2) Self-employed Income Support Scheme

The grant covering the period from November 2020 to January 2021 will now be for 80% of average trading profits for the whole period, up to a maximum of £7,500. The grant will be able to be claimed from 30/11/2020.

There will be a fourth grant which will cover February 2021 to April 2021, but the details will be announced at a later date.

Further Information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

3) Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus scheme that was to be paid to employers in February 2021 for every employee they kept on has been put on hold and it will be reviewed at a later date.

4) Funding for Devolved Administrations

The additional funding for the devolved administrations has been increased from £14 billion to £16 billion.

5) Businesses that have had to close in England

Businesses that have had to close in England will be able to receive up to £3,000/month from their Local Authority. The amount a business receives will depend on the rateable value of their property.

6) Local Authorities in England

Local Authorities are being given an additional £1.1 billion that can be used for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses within their area more broadly.

7) Backdated Cash Grants for Tier 2/3 in England

All businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector, in England that are in Tier 2 or 3 that have suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions that were introduced between 01/08/2020 and 05/11/2020 will receive backdated grants of 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100/month for that period.

The government will make the allocations to Local Authorities later this week with the view for the LAs to be able to start providing funding the following week.

8) Government Backed Loan Schemes

There are plans to extend the application deadline for the government backed loan schemes – which include Bounce Back Loans, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Future Fund, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans – to the end of January 2021.

The rules for the Bounce Back Loans are also going to be adjusted to allow any business that borrowed less than the maximum amount that could be claimed (lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. This option will be available from next week and it can only be used once.

You can read more details about the Financial Support available for Jobs and Businesses here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932977/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_FACTSHEET_5_November.pdf

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

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