We are here to support you and your businesses during these uncertain times. If there is anything we can do to help please get in touch, we’re happy to help if you have financial concerns or simply need to talk to someone about how this might impact your business or personal position.

You can visit HM Government's Business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

VAT Deferral

The VAT payment deferral scheme went live on 23 February 2021.

In order to take advantage of the scheme you need to have deferred VAT payments under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme between March and June 2020. This deferred payment can be paid in 2 to 11 monthly instalments.

You will need to opt-in to the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme and can do so online (by clicking here) from 23 February 2021 until 21 June 2021. Business can easily set payment up through the new payment scheme portal. Unfortunately Gopsall are unable to opt-in to the scheme on your behalf/as your agent. The earlier you opt-in to the scheme the more instalments are available to spread the cost.

Eligible businesses that are unable to use HMRC's online services can ring the HMRC Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 024 1222 to join the scheme until 30 June 2021.

If you do not opt-in to the new VAT deferral scheme you should pay the deferred VAT in full by 31 March 2021. If you do not you will be liable to a 5% penalty for late payment.

Following the government’s announcement on 31 October of a further lockdown period commencing on 5 November, it has been announced that:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS or furlough scheme)

This CJRS will be extended until March 2021.

The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.

As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.

To be eligible, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.

The £1,000 one-off Job Retention Bonus, originally planned to be paid to employers that retained previously-furloughed employees until the end of January 2021, has been withdrawn. It is expected to be replaced with a new employee retention incentive at an appropriate time.

The guidance currently available can be found here.

Self Employed
The Government has announced more generous support to the self-employed.

The extended SEISS is for self-employed individuals and members of partnerships who have been previously eligible for the SIESS first and second grant, although you do not need to have made a claim previously. To qualify you must be able to declare that you intend to continue to trade and are either: currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus or were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The grant will now cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits. The grant is now capped at £7,500 in total.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants will be subject to income tax and National Insurance. The online service to claim the next grant will be available from 30 November 2020 and further details of how to claim are expected to follow shortly.

Bounce Back and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The application deadline for both loan schemes has been extended to the end of January 2021.

Businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25% of their turnover) under the Bounce Back loan scheme will be able to top-up their existing loan. Businesses will be can make use of this option once.

Grant Scheme

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k to £51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two week

Local Authorities in England will also receive one off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months. They will be able to use this funding at their discretion.

Income tax payments
Self-assessment income tax payers can extend the deferment of their tax bill for a further 12 months from January 2021 to January 2022, under the ‘Time to Pay’ self-service facility. This will include 31 July 2020 payments which have been deferred as well as liabilities that fall due 31 January 2021.

Bounce back loans / CBILS / new loans
To give small businesses more time and flexibility Bounce Back Loans will become "Pay as You Grow", so the loan repayment period can be extended from six to ten years. Businesses can move to interest only payments or defer payments if they are ‘in real trouble’ for up to six months. It has been confirmed that this will not impact businesses credit ratings.

The government’s guarantee for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS) will also be extended to 10 years making it easier for lenders to give businesses more time to pay.

As well as extending the application window for current coronavirus loan until the end of November 2020, the Chancellor has also advised there will be a new government backed loan scheme introduced in January 2021. Further details on this are expected to follow nearer the time.

VAT deferred
Businesses who deferred their VAT bill earlier this year will no longer have to pay it back in a lump sum in March 2021. Instead business will be able to pay this, interest free, over an 11 month period during the financial year 2021-22.

VAT in hospitality and tourism
The 5% rate of VAT will remain in place for hospitality and tourism until the end of March 2021, it will not go back up to 20% in January 2021 as previously planned.

Previous announcements:

  • The Chancellor has announced details of an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for employers.  The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June (which means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June).  From 1 July 2020 employers have the flexibility to bring already furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis whilst the government continue to pay up to 80% of the wages for any of their usual hours which they do not work.  Finally, the government grant paid for furloughed employees will be reduced from August onwards.  Further details can be found here.
  • The Chancellor has announced details of an extension to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for the self-employed and partners in partnerships.  If you qualify, the grant will be worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, paid out as a lump sum covering a further 3 months. The grant is capped at £6,570 and will be liable to tax.
  • The online service to reclaim Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from 26 May 2020, which will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to the end of October 2020.  Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of salary up to £2,500 per month, but employers will now be asked to contribute towards the salaries.  There will be more flexibility with workers able to return to work part-time.  Further details will be announced before the end of May 2020.
  • The self-employed can confirm their eligibility and find out when a claim can be submitted for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme via HMRC's online tool.  You will need to create a HMRC account to submit a claim and would recommend this is set up as soon as possible.
  • A top-up to the local business grant fund scheme has been announced aimed at businesses with ongoing fixed property related costs.  The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of the local authorities but they will be asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charities and bed and breakfasts.  Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restrictions.  Grants will be up to £25,000.
  • A temporary zero-rating for VAT will apply to the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from 1 May to 31 July 2020.
  • The Chancellor has announced a Bounce Back Loan Scheme offering small and medium sized businesses loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 with the government guaranteeing 100% of the loan.  There are no fees and no interest to pay for the first 12 months.  The scheme will launch on 4 May.
  • The portal through which claims for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are to be made is now live and can be accessed here.  HMRC is advising that payments will be made 6 working days after a claim is submitted.
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) has been extended to 30 June.
  • The cut-off date for the Furlough scheme has been extended to 19 March (previously 28 February).  A payment needs to have been made to an employee and reported to HMRC prior to that date for the employee to qualify.
  • The Chancellor has announced a £750m package to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The deferral of self-assessment payments due on 31 July 2021 now applies to everyone, not just the self-employed.
  • Wrongful Trading provisions are to be suspended from 1 March 2020 for three months for company directors so they can keep their businesses going without the threat of personal liability.  Changes will be made to insolvency legislation to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructure process to continue trading, giving them breathing space that could help them avoid insolvency.
  • Further details in respect of the deferral of VAT payments (businesses should cancel their VAT Direct Debits if they wish to make use of the deferral)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has now launched, the first point of contact is your lender.  Links to the major bank's CBILS webpages are: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Natwest, RBS
  • Support for landlords (3 month mortgage holiday) and tenants (3 month protection from eviction)

The packages of measures to support individuals and business through this period of disruption are shown below.  A number of which are automatic so you do not need to apply for them.

  • HMRC have scaled up their Time To Pay offer to all individuals and businesses who are in financial distress. 
    If you have missed a tax payment or expect to miss an upcoming payment because of COVID-19 please call HMRC directly on 0800 024 1222.
  • A Job Retention Scheme for which all UK businesses are eligible.
    Employers will need to grant a leave of absence to designated employees, notify them of the change and submit information to HMRC about those employees and their earnings via a new online portal.  HMRC will reimburse 80% of the worker's wages cost, up to £2,500 per month. Details of how reimbursement payments will be made are to follow.
  • Most lenders are offering their personal and business customers payment holidays of up to 3 months on loans and mortgages as well as increased facilities on overdrafts and cards. You will need to contact your bank to apply.
  • Deferral of VAT payments for all UK VAT registered businesses from 20 March to 30 June 2020.
    Quite simply businesses do not need to pay over VAT to HMRC during this period.  You will have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay over the deferred liabilities.  This is an automatic provision, you do not need to apply and VAT refunds and reclaims will continue to be paid.
  • Deferral of income tax payments on account.
    Payments on account due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021 without penalties or late payment interest.  This is automatic, you do not need to apply.
  • Refund of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for employers with fewer than 250 employees as at 28 February 2020.
    The refund will cover up to 2 weeks SSP per employee who has been off work due to COVID-19.  You will be required to retain records of staff absences but employees do not need to provide a ‘fit note’.  Details of how reimbursement payments will be made are to follow.
  • Small Business Grant Scheme
    A one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses in England that pay no business rates because of the Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rate Relief and tapered relief.  Your local authority will notify you if you are eligible.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for businesses with a turnover of no more than £45m
    The scheme will launch early week commencing 23rd March to provide access to bank lending and overdraft facilities up to £5m.  The first 12 months will be interest free.  We would be happy to assist you with the application process with your bank or finance provider and in providing any financial information you might need in support your application.  Further details are also available on the British Business Bank website.

The Treasury has also announced that the proposed reforms to IR35 (off-payroll working) will be delayed 12 months to April 2021.

Other useful information can be found at:

HM Government Coronavirus: what you need to do

How to keep you and your employees safe

Guidance for employers and businesses

Support for businesses

Guidance for employees

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Employer Guide

To help prevent the spread of the virus, and to protect our team and clients, we will not be attending face to face meetings in the short term. All meetings will go ahead via telephone or video calls. If you have a meeting in the diary with us and you haven’t heard from us yet we will be in touch shortly.

Should you need to attend our offices, for example to drop off documents, please contact us in advance to arrange a convenient time, one of the team will meet you at the door.

Most of our team will be working remotely from home with a skeleton team in the office. Many of our team regularly work remotely and as such we already have the systems and technology in place to continue operating with minimal disruption to the service you receive from us.  You may also find the following tools useful to assist with meetings and remote working:

Zoom Meetings

Zoho Meetings

Microsoft Teams

Voice over IP telephones

So please contact us as and when you need to, by telephone or e-mail.

From our team to yours, look after yourselves and keep in touch.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)