23rd April 2020

Covid-19 Update 23rd April 2020

Deferring VAT Payments

We have been speaking to a lot of our clients regarding VAT Returns, particularly as March is a popular VAT return period, which is due for payment by 10th May 2020. In my view, one of the biggest problems being caused by the current crisis is that no one knows when this will end and businesses will return to normal trading.

I would repeat my advice from a previous email in that businesses should be looking at all measures to build a "war chest". So even if you can pay your current VAT return I think a sensible approach would be to simply move the amount you would be paying into a business reserve account (away from your normal day to day current account). Then when this over you can simply move the money back and have a day of catching up on payments. Put simply you can't ask HMRC for the money back.

I would also consider this approach with other tax liabilities when looking at HMRC's time to pay, which I understand from clients, is being very well supported by the Government who seem happy to help defer payments for the time being.

HMRC Time to Pay

Business Interruption Loans

I know some of you have had your loans approved, all be it money being released is still taking the time. We have helped when asked with these in terms of putting together forecasts etc. to help submissions. If you haven't applied yet and you need our help then please let me know. The measures announced for COVID-19 were understandably rushed through and are being "tweeked" where necessary. It has now been agreed that loans up to £250,000 will not be asked for personal guarantees and that any loans agreed early on where guarantees were given, the Government has told the banks they will not be allowed to pursue. It seems the approach to lending is varying from one bank to another and so I would suggest if you are struggling with your bank looking at alternative lenders. 
Updated guidance from The British Bank
Again form the British Bank - Accredited Lenders List

Grant Funding Schemes - Small Business Grant / Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

I know lots of you have now received your grants, which is good news. We are still talking to clients about these applications and it seems there is still some confusion, for example, if you have multiple properties. The Grants are per property, I have put a couple of links below for more guidance on this, the charity link also provides useful examples.

Job Retention Scheme

The Portal for claims went live on Monday and I know, where we run your payroll, the team is working hard to get all of your claims through for March 2020. The process of submitting the claim seems very straight forward, even if the calculations are not. Just to clarify, the process is to run the payroll as normal, calculate the amount for furlough claim and then submit using the portal. As part of the process, you are asked for your bank details and then the funds will be paid into your nominated account in 6 days.

We are asking our payroll clients, if they have staff who they have furloughed and they know they will still be furloughed at the end of April, that we process the payroll early and submit the claim to HMRC, therefore trying to get the payment of funds into your accounts as soon as possible. Those of you who run your payroll may wish to look to do the same.

Wishing you all well as always

Very best

Nick Hunt