The Government continues to release measures to help businesses, the latest being contained in the link and includes the following:

Coronavirus job retention scheme
Subject to certain criteria, the Government will pay 80% of qualifying employee wages. Further details and how to apply have yet to be released but it is likely to be something the individual businesses will have to apply for themselves, rather than AFS as Agent on your behalf.

Deferring VAT payments
A poorly worded and unclear announcement in the above link but we have spoken to HMRC this morning and while the advisor wasn’t certain himself, the message appears to be that VAT returns have to be filed by the usual due dates but any payments due to be paid between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 can be deferred by three months. So a VAT quarter end of 31 March will have to be filed by 7 May as usual but the payment due by 7 May can be deferred by three months to 7 August. If a business already has overdue VAT before 20 March and you will have difficulties paying and VAT post the deferral period, then you should speak to HMRC as soon as possible to agree a payment plan. Please check our website for guidance if the above assumption changes.

Deferring income tax payments
The payments on account due by 31 July 2020 have been deferred until 31 January 2021. This means that any tax due further to the first payment on account already paid by 31 January 2020 will be calculated through the tax return process and settled in one payment by 31 January 2021. Nothing has to be done to apply for the deferral, it is automatic.

Statutory sick pay
The Government will cover two weeks of SSP resulting from absence due to the coronavirus. There will be box to select on the monthly RTI submission to HMRC to reclaim the SSP. If we process your payroll, please ensure you tell us if you wish to claim the SSP and are eligible.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
There is a one-off grant of £10,000 available to businesses to help meet ongoing business costs. The local authority will write to you if you are eligible.

Business rates holiday
There is a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 year. The local authority will send amended bills to reflect this.

Business interruption loan scheme
The Government will guarantee 80% of loans subject to certain qualifications. The below link gives more details and there is a dedicated phone number of 0300 456 3565

Self employed
The Government appear to be struggling to address how self employed people will be supported. The guidance to date can be found in the following link.

Support for paying tax
HMRC have set up a time to pay service for businesses struggling to pay tax as a result of the coronavirus which can be accessed by calling 0800 0159 559

AFS opening hours
Being a non essential business, to comply with the Governments guidance of self distancing we will be closing the office soon. If you need to drop off records please contact us to arrange. Small packages can be posted through the letter box and we will be accessing the office from time to time to collect these and the post. We will be working from home so emails will be responded to.