Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – April 28th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 28

Last night the Chancellor announced a new loan to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by Covid-19.

This new loan is called a Bounce Back Loan and will be available on 04/05/2020. It will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

There aren’t many details available yet, but the Chancellor has promised that the government will guarantee 100% of the loan and the business will not have to pay any fees or interest for the first 12 months. The loan will be for a duration of 6 years and repayments won’t need to be made during the first 12 months.

To be eligible for the loan you must be a UK business, have been negatively affected by Covid-19 and you weren’t an “undertaking in difficulty” on 31/12/2019. The government hasn’t yet clarified what they mean by an “undertaking in difficulty” but from what I have read online, it seems to mean any companies that were facing insolvency or has had significant losses, or has higher bad debt than equity.

There are some businesses that won’t be able to apply: banks, insurers and reinsurers, public-sector bodies, futher-education establishments if grant funded, and state-funded primary and secondary schools.

The claim process will open on 04/05/2020 and will be fast-tracked meaning businesses will have their money within a few days.

As more information is released about this new loan I will update it on the blog.

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 – April 21st, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 21

Last night the Chancellor announced that £12.5 billion is being made available to support innovative start-up companies that cannot access any of the other existing schemes for help with coronavirus. The government has said that they will match up to £250 million of private investment and add £550 million to existing loans and grant schemes for smaller firms that focus on research and development.

In order to be eligible for this new scheme, the company must have raised £250,000 privately in the last five years and any money the government puts in must be matched by private investors.

This isn’t a grant, but a loan, and if it isn’t re-paid the government will take an ownership stake in the company.

The scheme isn’t available as of yet and as more information is released I will update it on the blog.

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 – April 17th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 17th

The Chancellor has announced that the Job Retention Scheme has now been extended to June 30, 2020.

The guidance on the Government page about the scheme has also been updated to include information on fraud, claims for employees you made redundant or who stopped working for you, fixed-term contracts, agency workers and retaining records. Please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme to familiarise yourself with all of the updated information on the scheme.

The other article to read is: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme which now has information on how to report fraud, or abuse of the scheme by your employer, fixed-term contracts, holiday pay, the process for returning from family-related statutory leave, sick pay and agency workers.

As more information is released, I will blog about it and share it on the FB page.

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 – April 15th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 15

Today’s blog covers a couple of things – mainly further information about the self-employed grant that is available.

1) Self-employed Grant

HMRC have published information about how they will work out the total income and trading profits when it comes to the Self-Employment Grant. They will use the figures on your submitted tax returns and calculate your trading profits by taking the total trading income (turnover) and subtracting any allowable business expenses and capital expenditure.

They will not deduct any losses carried forward from previous years or your personal allowance.

If you have more than one self-employment business in the same tax year, they will add together all of the profits and losses for all of the trades to work out your trading profit.

If you have worked for more than one year, HMRC will add together all profits and losses for the tax years you’ve had continuous trade (they won’t go back any further then the 2016-2017 tax year) and divide the figure by the number of years (maximum of 3).

This article covers what HMRC class as allowable expenses and provides some examples of how they will work out your trading profit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-hmrc-works-out-total-income-and-trading-profits-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

2) Job Retention Scheme

The Job Retention Scheme is now going through beta testing with a few chosen employers and the government has announced it will be operational for April 20th.

So that you can use the portal, you need to make sure that you have the following information:
– employer PAYE reference number
– number of employees being furloughed
– National Insurance Number for the employees being furloughed
– Names of the employees being furloughed
– Payroll/works number for the employees being furloughed
– your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Payer Reference or Company Registration Number
– the claim period (start and end date)
– amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
– your bank account number and sort code
– your contact name
– your phone number
– your government gateway login details

If you use an agent who acts for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf. However, if you use a file only agent (they only file your RTI return but doesn’t act for you on any other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim on your behalf – they can only assist you in obtaining the information you need to claim.

As more information is released, I will blog about it and share it on the FB page.

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 – April 9th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 9

Yesterday, the chancellor announced financial support for charities.

Included in the financial support package is £750 million pounds for frontline charities across the UK – including hospices and those supporting domestic abuse victims, £360 million direct from government departments, £370 million for smaller charities which includes a grant through the National Lottery Community Fund, and the government has promised to match all donations to the National Emergencies Trust that are raised through BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser that will take place on 23/04/2020. They have pledged a minimum of £20 million!

The funding for charities will allow them to continue to provide the vital support to those in need during the coronavirus outbreak. The £360 million that will be allocated by government departments will help to support charities like hospices, St Johns Ambulance, victims charities, vulnerable children charities and Citizens Advice. The various departments will work quickly to identify priority recipients so that the money can start to be received by charities in the coming weeks.

The £370 million grant for the small and medium-sized charities will be providing much needed funding to the charities that are run in local communities. This will allow them to be able to continue services like delivery food, essential medications and providing financial advice.

The grant from the National Lottery Community Fund will need to be applied for and the system for doing that will be operational in a few weeks.

The support announced by the Chancellor is in addition to the other support services that Charities can already access such as deferring VAT payments, paying no business rates for their shops and furloughing staff.

As more information is released, I will blog about it and share it on the FB page.

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 – April 7th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update April 7th

Yesterday, some further guidelines for the Job Retention Scheme were released. These relate to what employees can be furloughed.

Employers can now furlough staff who need to shield inline with public health guidance, or if they need to stay home with someone who is shielding, and they are unable to work from home.

Parents who have to stay at home to care for children due to the coronavirus regulations can also now be furloughed.

Employers can now also re-hire staff that were made redundant or stopped working for the business on or after 28/02/2020. They can re-employ the staff and furlough them. There aren’t any specific guidelines on the HMRC website that say how a business does this, but I did find this article by the ICAEW that talks about how it can be done: https://www.icaew.com/insights/tax-news/2020/apr-2020/covid19-act-fast-to-reinstate-workers-for-the-furlough-grant. I would advise that you speak to the person who does your payroll, or if you are the one who does the payroll, speak to your payroll software provider to find out how you can re-employ your staff as each software is going to be different.

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 – April 4th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 April 4

We haven’t had any really big announcements in the last few days – but I am keeping a close eye on the news briefings and the information that is being released, and I will keep doing updates as and when new or updated information becomes available

1) Statutory Sick Pay

Further guidance has been made available about how employers can claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees due to Covid-19. The online system for claiming back the SSP isn’t available just yet, but HMRC will announce once it is. This scheme is only for current or former employees who had periods of sickness starting on or after 13/03/2020 and employers will be able to claim back the current rate of SSP. It will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness if an employee is unable to work because they either have coronavirus or cannot work due to having to self-isolate at home.

Employers can only access the scheme if they are claiming for an employee who is eligible for SSP due to coronavirus, had a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28/02/2020 and had fewer than 250 employers on 28/02/2020. It covers all employment contracts including full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts. There is currently no end-date for this scheme but HMRC will announce when it will end.

Charities and companies that are connected can also access this scheme if their total combined number of PAYE employees were fewer than 250 on or before 28/02/2020.

In order to claim back the SSP, you will need to keep specific records for at least 3 years following your claim which includes:
– why the employee could not work
– details of each period when an employee could not work (including start and end dates)
– details of the SSP qualifying days when an employee could not work
– NI numbers of all employees who you have paid SSP to

2) Job Retention Scheme

The online system for submitting information about your furloughed employees should be available by the end of April 2020.

The grant will cover 80% of the usual monthly wage for a furloughed employee, up to £2,500/month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage

In order for employers to claim, they must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28/02/2020, enrolled for PAYE online (this can take up to 10 days) and a UK bank account. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply for this scheme (businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities).

There is a lot of information contained within the document on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and some of it is pretty comprehensive so I won’t be going through every individual bit in the blog post. I will be touching on some of the most important bits though. One of those things is the question about the rules for directors of companies and how this scheme works for them. They have also made it very clear about what you can and cannot ask employees to do while they are furloughed and what their rights are.

Further information has now been released in regards to eligible individuals who are not employees (so directors of companies). If the director has been paid via PAYE and they are office holders, salaried members of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLPs), agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies) and limb (b) workers. There are very specific considerations for these types of situations where the individual is paid via PAYE but is not necessarily an employee in regards to Employment Law. Unless explicitly set out in the scheme, all other guidance is applicable to these cases and should be followed.

Office Holders: they can be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. The payment will need to be agreed between the office holder and the party who operates PAYE on the income they receive for holding their office. If the office holder is a company director or member of an LLP, the furlough arrangements should be adopted formally as a decision of the company or LLP.

Company Directors: salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed through this scheme. During the time period the director is furloughed, they can carry out their statutory duties to the company as outlined in the Companies Act 2006, but they cannot do more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose (ie they should not carry out work they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commerce revenue or provide services to or on behalf of their company). This also applies to individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC). Basically, a company director can be furloughed but they cannot do anything for the business that would be seen as generating any income for it – no promotion of the business, cannot provide service to customers, cannot respond to e-mails or issue invoices to customers, they can only do the jobs that are their legal statutory duties for the position they hold in their company (filing accounts with Companies House, filing the corporation tax return).

3) Business Interruption Loans

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme so that more businesses are able to access this support. Various banks and lenders have been putting their own roadblocks up to restrict what sort of products a business is able to access – and this has caused a lot of problems for small businesses who have tried to access support to help with short-term cashflow issues while they wait for the government schemes to start working. This scheme has now been expanded to include all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those who are unable to secure regular commercial financing. The government has also announced that lenders are not allowed to request personal guarantees for loans under £250,000. The government has also said ” For loans over £250,000, personal guarantees will be limited to just 20% of any amount outstanding on the CBILS lending after any other recoveries from business assets. Lenders were already prohibited from asking business owners to put their house on the line, but today’s changes will provide further reassurance regarding personal assets during this difficult time.” All of the new changes will apply to finance already offered under the scheme.

The Chancellor also announced an additional scheme for large businesses who have a turnover of between £45 million and £500 million. They will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million. All loans backed by a guarantee under Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details will be released later this month.

More providers of the CBILS are continuing to be accredited and added to the scheme to aid businesses in being able to access it.

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 – March 31st, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 March 31

I want to try and keep the information as clear and as simple as I possibly can for everyone, so I won’t be writing out everything again, I will just be writing out the highlights.

There weren’t any big announcements yesterday to do with businesses and the support available, but I have been going through some of the schemes already released and just wanted to update everyone on what I have found out.

1) Job Retention Scheme

There has been clarification on how this scheme works. If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you must remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks. Your employer can place you on furlough more than once, and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open.

While an employee is on furlough, they are able to undertake training or volunteer but the employee cannot make money for their employer or provide services to their employer.

We don’t know yet exactly how an employer notifies HMRC that their staff have been furloughed, or un-furloughed – but as soon as the system has been designed and is open we will share that information.

If your employer asks you go to on furlough and you refuse, you could be at risk of redundancy or termination of employment, depending on the circumstances of your employer. The employer will need to follow the normal redundancy rules and protections.

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 – March 30th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update March 30

I want to try and keep the information as clear and as simple as I possibly can for everyone, so I won’t be writing out everything again, I will just be writing out the highlights.

It was a fairly quiet weekend in regards to announcements for businesses – I think they are keeping the business-related items to during the week.

They did announce at the briefing yesterday that things may need to continue for much longer than expected, but that the plans are being reviewed every 3 weeks.

There was an announcement late on Saturday about the government is going to be relaxing the rules around insolvency for businesses affected by Covid-19. Businesses that are undergoing a rescue or restructure process will be allowed to continue trading, which will give them breathing space that could potentially help them to avoid insolvency. There hasn’t been any clear information yet on what this actually means, but here is a link to the press release: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulations-temporarily-suspended-to-fast-track-supplies-of-ppe-to-nhs-staff-and-protect-companies-hit-by-covid-19

I will be doing some fb lives next week on the self-employed support scheme, the job retention scheme, as well as a more general one to cover all of the support available to businesses, so keep an eye out for those on the FaceBook page. I will also be putting together some fact sheets about each of the schemes available so that all of the information is in one place.

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 – March 28th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update March 28

I want to try and keep the information as clear and as simple as I possibly can for everyone, so I won’t be writing out everything again, I will just be writing out the highlights.

1) HMRC have provided additional guidance on what expenses are taxable if your employee is working from home due to Covid-19. Employees who are affected are those who are working from home because your workplace has closed or they are self-isolating due to the advice from the government. Furloughed Workers who are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not eligible. There are actually quite a lot of restrictions as to what can be claimed and what can’t be claimed:

– if the employee already has a broadband connection at home and pays for it then they cannot claim this as a taxable expense, however, if the connection doesn’t exist already and is needed for the employee to work from home, the fee can be reimbursed by you and is non-taxable; any private use must be limited
– laptop/tablets/computers/office supplies – if these are mainly used for business purposes and not significant private use, these are non-taxable.
– if the employee has to buy office equipment in order to be able to do their job from home these are taxable and should be reported on your PAYE settlement agreements
– electricity/heating/broadband – payments or reimbursements to your employees of up to £4.00/week (£6.00/week from 06/04/2020) is non-taxable for the addional household expenses incurred; if the claim is above this amount, the employee needs to check with you beforehand to see if you will make the payments and keep the receipts
– if your employee needs to self-isolate but can’t do that in their home, you can reimburse them for hotel expenses and subsistence costs which are taxable
– use of employees own vehicle for business can be reimbursed at the approved mileage allowance rates free of tax and NI; if you don’t pay mileage allowance the employee can claim tax relief through their Personal Tax Account
– you don’t have to keep detailed records of every instance of private use to prove your claim for exemption
To read more about the rules around significant personal use and how to report the information to HMRC, you can read about the specific guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

2) HMRC have relaxed the rules on carrying over annual leave due to Covid-19

The government is going to amend the regulations to allow annual leave for all employees affected by Covid-19 to be carried over into the next 2 years. The new regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused annual leave to be carried over and used over the next 2 years, making it easier for businesses to meet the requirements of ensuring workers take the statutory amount of annual leave in any year. This will amend the Working Time Regulations which apply to almost all workers including agency workers, those who work irregular hours, and workers on zero-hour contracts. The full article can be seen here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rules-on-carrying-over-annual-leave-to-be-relaxed-to-support-key-industries-during-covid-19

3) Self-employed scheme

For those who have not yet submitted their Income Tax Self-Assessment Tax Returns for the 2018/2019 tax year, you must do this by 23/04/2020 in order to be eligible for the scheme.

If you claim tax credits, you will need to include the grant in your claim as income.

I will be doing some fb lives next week on the self-employed support scheme, the job retention scheme, as well as a more general one to cover all of the support available to businesses, so keep an eye out for those on the FaceBook page. I will also be putting together some fact sheets about each of the schemes available so that all of the information is in one place.

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/