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Business Update 9 - Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Our latest update below covers the following:  

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: HMRC portal  
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Owner Directors 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme : Personal Guarantees 
  • Time to Pay: PAYE 
  • Auto-Enrolment: Pensions Regulator Employer Guidance 
  • VAT direct debits - REMINDER 

 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS): HMRC Portal 


We understand that the HMRC portal will be launched on 20 April. Demand will be very high. 
Note: HMRC have explicitly said that claims should not be made by phone. 
Businesses and agents (such as ourselves) that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim. 
We are already working with a number of our clients to assist with formulating and filing a claim under the CJRS. If you are still contemplating making a claim please call us if you need any help. 


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Owner Directors


Still no new news regarding the extension of the CJRS to include dividends paid as part of the typical overall remuneration mix received by an Owner/Director. 
That said, it is possible for an Owner/Director to be furloughed but he/she can only make a claim based on their basic salary, i.e. excluding dividends. 
There is also a further catch because based on current HMRC guidelines, a furloughed director cannot undertake any work other than his/her statutory duties - see extract from ICAEW guidance below: 


“The HMRC guidance confirms our understanding that directors, including those who are directors of their own personal service company, can be furloughed. The HMRC guidance reminds companies that: 
‘company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.’ 
‘Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.’” 


Please contact us for help if you think your circumstances are such that you may be eligible to make a claim. It may be the case that where there is more than one director, it would make sense to furlough others provided they are able to meet the “not working” criteria outlined above. 

We continue to keep a close eye on this. 


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: Personal Guarantees


There is no requirement to provide any form of personal guarantee in respect of loans up to £250,000.


Time to Pay: PAYE


A number of us will have our 2019/20 Month 12 PAYE payments falling due shortly.  
Don’t forget, if you need to that there is a possibility to reschedule payments under the Coronavirus Time to Pay arrangements. The number to call at HMRC is 0800 024 1222.  
Please let us know if you would like any help with this. 


Auto-Enrolment: Pensions Regulator Employer Guidance


This link will take you to the Pensions Regulator website where you will find some additional guidance for Employers in the context of Covid 19. 


VAT direct debits - REMINDER


With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to overlook things, so just a reminder to cancel any existing direct debit arrangement you may have in place if you want to defer your upcoming VAT payment and haven’t already done so.

“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

"Our business was growing and our old accountants just weren’t able to offer the timely and proactive advice that we needed. Paul and Martin came highly recommended so we moved to Ashton Allsop. The difference was night and day and they had an immediate impact, they spotted issues not seen before and identified allowances we should have used from HMRC. We speak regularly, we work with them through Xero and other tools they make available and everything is made clear and understandable. We were so impressed that we’ve moved our bookkeeping and payroll and they now complete our R&D applications. They provide a fantastic service and have saved us so much time and money, whilst reducing our total accounting costs. We consider them an extension of our company and couldn’t work without them."


Stephen Hickey, CEO Digital Control Rooms 

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