What can I do to help my business now?
We are committed to leading the way with vital information for businesses and individuals during these difficult times.
As one of Cumbria and South West Scotland’s most proactive and dynamic accountancy firms, we are updating our website regularly to ensure that we provide you with the very latest information.
We have compiled the information of what help is available.
Update: 4 March 2021
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CJRS has been extended to 30 September 2021. The scheme will run in its current form to 30 June 2021, allowing employers to furlough employees and claim 80% of unworked hours as a grant.
From 1 July 2021, employees must still receive 80% of their usual gross wages for unworked hours, however employers must top up the CJRS grant available as follows:
July 2021 70% grant with 10% employer top up
August 2021 60% grant with 20% employer top up
September 2021 60% grant with 20% employer top up
The claims will be made in the usual format using the online portal on your Government Gateway account.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Details surrounding the SEISS grants were released.
Taxpayers who submitted a 2019/20 tax return will now qualify for support, providing that they also meet the remainder of the qualification criteria – a welcome move that is set to assist an additional 600,000 individuals.
The fourth grant will be available soon and will be calculated as 80% of an average of three months trading profits, capped at £7,500.
A newly announced fifth and final grant will also be available in July. The value of this grant will be linked to self-employed turnover as follows:
Turnover has decreased by 30% or more:
80% of an average of three months profits, capped at £7,500
Turnover has not decreased by 30%:
30% of an average of three months profits, capped at £2,850
We are expecting further information regarding both of the grants in due course and will update our website with full details once available.
Business Rates Relief
- Business rates relief of 100% will continue for the first three months of the current tax year, to 30 June 2021, for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
- Thereafter, for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 the relief will be reduced to two thirds (66.67%).
- The current Local Restrictions Support Grants come to an end on 31 March 2021.
- To support businesses re-opening in England, the Government has set aside £5 billion for a new Restart Grant to help them get back up and running.
- A one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 will be available for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 will be available for hospitality, leisure, personal care and gym businesses, dependent on their rateable value.
Recovery Loan Scheme
- The current Bounce Back Loans (BBL) and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) schemes come to an end on 31 March 2021.
- These will be replaced by a new Recovery Loan Scheme where businesses can borrow between £25,000 and £10 million as a term loan or overdraft. There will also be invoice and asset finance available of between £10,000 and £10 million. The Government will guarantee 80% of the finance to the lender.
- To encourage investment by businesses there will be a ‘super deduction’ of 130% of the cost of investment in new equipment for the next two years.
From 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023 companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery will be able to claim 130% capital allowances.
This will cut a company’s tax bill by 25p for every £1 they invest.
- In addition to the above, losses of up to £2,000,000 will be able to be carried back for three years to obtain a tax repayment, as opposed to the current legislation which only allows losses to be carried back for one year. This is a temporary measure and is effective for accounting periods ending between 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022.
Sole trade/partnership businesses
Where an unincorporated business suffers a loss as a result of the pandemic, then a loss which arises in the tax years ended 5 April 2021 and 5 April 2022 can now be carried back for three years instead of just one, thus providing a greater opportunity to reclaim tax paid in previous years.
The Government will extend and increase the payments made to employers in England who hire new apprentices between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021. Under this scheme employers will receive £3,000 per new apprentice compared to the previously announced rate of £1,500.
Tax Credits and Benefits (Universal Credits)
- A six month extension to the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift to September 2021.
- A one-off payment of £500 to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants to provide extra support over the next six months.
- Maintaining the higher surplus earnings threshold of £2,500 for Universal Credits claimants for a further year to April 2022.
- The suspension of the Minimum Income Floor for self-employed Universal Credit claimants is extended to the end of July 2021. It will be gradually reintroduced from August 2021.
- From April 2021, the period over which Universal Credit advances will be recovered will increase to 24 months.
- From April 2021, the maximum rate at which deductions can be made from a Universal Credit award will reduce from 30% to 25% of the standard allowance.
- The Government will continue to treat Working Tax Credit claimants who have been furloughed, or experienced a temporary reduction in their working hours as a result of COVID-19, as working their normal hours for the duration of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This allows these claimants to remain eligible for Working Tax Credit.
- The Government will extend the temporary increase in the residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) nil-rate band to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the nil-rate band will reduce to £250,000 until 30 September 2021, before returning to £125,000 on 1 October 2021.
VAT and Duties
- Any business that took advantage of the original VAT deferral on VAT returns from 20 March through to the end of June 2020 can now opt to use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to pay that deferred VAT in up to eleven equal payments from March 2021, rather than one larger payment due by 31 March 2021, as originally announced.
- The Government will extend the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard 20% rate, a 12.5% rate will apply for the subsequent six months from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
- Employers with fewer than 250 employees will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the Government whilst the Covid pandemic remains. This temporary extension is available from the first day of sickness.