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COVID-19 Business Update (cropped)

Business Update 5 - Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Our latest update covers the below:  

  • Latest on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Help for the Self Employed
  • VAT deferral
  • HMRC new helpline number

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of us if you would like to schedule a call to talk anything over.


1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

 HMRC published additional guidance on the new rules on 26 March. Again, our good friends at The Legal Partners have produced a very helpful note which you can access here


As we mentioned previously, the communication and documentation of any proposed arrangements is critical. You will see that there are two steps to this:

  • A more general communication setting out the employer’s intentions to furlough identified members of staff.
  • A specific communication to each affected individual confirming their personal position and agreement to the new arrangements (which is effectively a change to the terms of their employment contract).

The note prepared by The Legal Partners also contains a template which can be used for the first communication and contains some helpful Q&As which will help you navigate your way around the Scheme and answer questions that may be asked by your staff. 

For additional detail, please also follow this link to the latest HMRC guidance. 


Once the new HMRC portal is up and running, we will provide you with the necessary support to enter and maintain the data as needed.


2. Help for the Self Employed 

On 26 March, the Chancellor announced additional help for the self-employed. An overview of the announcement can be found at the following link.


In summary, the government will pay self-employed people adversely affected by Coronavirus a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month, for at least three months (in line with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).


The scheme will apply to people who have filed a 2018/19 tax return and late filers will have another four weeks to file (a deadline of 23 April 2020). It will not apply to anyone who started trading in 2019/20 i.e. those that have started a new business in the last 12 months.  

The scheme will be open to those with trading profits of £50,000 or less, who make the majority of their income from self-employment.  

HMRC will contact self-employed people eligible to receive financial support by the beginning of June. Using an online form, it is then necessary to apply directly to HMRC for the grant which will be paid straight into individual bank accounts. 

The Scheme extends to members of a partnership but we remain concerned that that there has been no additional help offered at this stage to those individuals who provide their services through a limited company. 


3. VAT deferral 

A very important point regarding the VAT deferral arrangements" if you have a direct debit arrangement in place do not forget to cancel it as soon as possible. Otherwise any VAT payment due during the period through to 30 June may be automatically taken by HMRC.


4. HMRC Helpline number

HMRC have introduced a new dedicated phone number for the Coronavirus helpline targeted at businesses and the self-employed. The new number is: 0800 024 1222. Opening hours for the helpline will be 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

“We have used Ashton Allsop as initially as our accountants and now effectively as our FD for almost two years now. During this time we have seen a significant step up in our systems, ReceiptBank and Xero for example and now have a much improved grip on the business financials - all delivered in a friendly and cost effective way. We consider Ashton Allsop to be an essential partner in our business.”

Clark Benefit Consulting Limited

Martin’s advice, input and ability to interpret and report data on our fledgling ecommerce business was highly useful enabling us to take further growth steps confident that we were doing so on a sound commercially beneficial basis


Peter Graham, Managing Director of Assured Products Ltd

Let’s talk about how we can help you 
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