Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – March 26th, 2020

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 were a couple of announcements and additional information provided yesterday for businesses.

1) Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments

HMRC updated the information late yesterday to say that customers who normally pay their VAT via direct debit should cancel the direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Customers are advised to do this in sufficient time so that HMRC doesn’t attempt to automatically collect the payment when the VAT return is received.

2) Businesses who file accounts with Companies House

Businesses that need to file their accounts with Companies House will be able to apply for a 3-month extension to do so. This will allow businesses to prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus. Even though the company will have to apply, any company that cites issues around Covid-19 (including health issues) will automatically and immediately be granted an extension. The applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will only take 15 minutes to complete. If a company has already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting period, they may be ineligible for an extension. As with other policies, the government and Companies House will continue to review and change things as necessary. You can read more about how to do it here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts

3) Job Retention Scheme

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales have created a document about the Job Retention Scheme and how they understand it. It may not be 100% correct but it is based on the information that has been published and shared: https://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/insights/coronavirus/the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-the-furlough-scheme.ashx

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.

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/