Coronavirus

(Covid-19)

Latest information about the Coronavirus grants and support available to businesses, employers and the self-employed from the UK Goverment.

Our T4 Coronavirus news is intended to guide you through the latest news of the economic and financial support available from the impact of Coronavirus.

We have included some practical advice about coping with the financial impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic to help get through the challenging financial time for many.

We update this page daily or more frequently as the Guidance and regulations surrounding Coronavirus are changing fast.

Last updated: Tuesday 26 March 2020 at 21:30pm (GMT)

 

T4 Coronavirus Update & Information

T4, Practical, Accounting, Tax & Business Solutions

About

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Our T4 Page with some of the main links to where to find HMRC & Government Guildance & Regulations.

UK Gov Message: Stay at Home – Help Protect the NHS & Save Lives.

UK Government Announcement Monday 23 March 2020 at 8.30pm

You must stay at home apart from essential travel or you may be fined“.. and

All non-essential shops are to close“.

Under the new three week lockdown, members of the public must not leave their house except to :

Shop for essentials, as infrequently as possible

Exercise outdoors once per day, alone or with household members

Receive medical treatment or provide care

Travel to and from work if impossible to work from home

Failure to comply could lead to being fined £30 for meeting outside in groups of more than two people.

Can My Business Remain Open?

Government advice, and now enforceable regulations, are changing daily at present and at a very rapid pace.

Above is a Gov.uk link to the Full “List of Businesses that must close”.

Compliance: “Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines”.

Follow the following links in this section for Government instructions regarding other businesses.

As at 24 March 2020: 4am the Government link immediately below included the following statements.

Final paragraph of point 2. Closing non-essential shops and public spaces, says: “Businesses and other venues not on this list may remain open“.

Final bullet point of 1. Staying at home, says: “Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.”

However, Government guidance and regulations are changing fast and business owners and employers need to consider the guidance and rules on a daily basis.

The links we are providing to Government pages and updates should enable business and employers to find the latest updates and changes.

As an employer you have a duty to keep your staff, customers and suppliers safe and to operate within UK Law.

Employers not on the enforced closure list therefore need to consider the broad principles of the policy of “staying at home“, “staying away from others” and how these can be effectively  achieved and enforced in the work place to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

What are T4 doing about Coronavirus?

At T4 we are doing our best to help our clients through the Coronavirus pandemic as best as possible and we as a firm are also doing what we can to try and stop its spread.

All our staff are working from home.

All meetings & contact are being conducted via telephone, video chat or screen sharing, email, and WhatsApp.

We are encouraging people to remain calm, considerate to others and to do what they can to protect & support those in our society that are more at risk of serious illness, i.e. the elderly or others with immune systems or health issues less able to cope with the virus.

We are doing our best to support clients through the Coronavirus pandemic such as no extra charges for Cononavirus related issues. In tough times we don’t want to make it tougher.

If we all work together, focus on beating this virus, focus on a calm sensible business, social and economic planning even in such difficult times we are sure we can all come out the other side stronger, wiser and more determined to achieve our goals.

 

It can be very frustrating trying to find the right information and also trying to get through to organisations such as HMRC, local councils, GP Surgeries, and others. Please always try to remember that we are all in the same boat one way or other and “You catch more flies with honey“. Always try to be polite, patient and understanding that the person you are speaking to is likely to have a host of Coronavirus problems they are also trying to juggle themselves. 

General Government Coronavirus Advice

At present the Government is making announcements as approximately 5pm each day to update UK citizens about the latest Coronavirus Guidance and Regulations. You can see the updates live on news channels such as BBC News and Sky News

Tax & Covid-19 - Having Trouble Paying Taxes?

If you are having trouble paying Income Tax, Corporation Tax, VAT or HMRC collected taxes HMRC has a dedicated Coronavirus helpline:

0800 015 9559

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm

Also if you cannot pay your Self Assessment tax bill and owe less than £10,000 you might be able to arrange to pay by instalments via an online application form.

You do not need to contact HMRC if you have set up a payment plan online.

Call the helpline if you’ve missed your payment date or you cannot use the online service.

To apply online you will need to login to your Gov Gateway account.

If you don’t have a Gov Gateway account you can apply for one using the “create sign in details” link within the “Sign In” link below:

 

Council Tax & Business Rates

Contact your local council for help and advice about business rates and council tax:

COVID-19: Support for Businesses

Gov Update: 20 March 2020

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

COVID-19: Support for Employers

Gov Update: 20 March 2020

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • Plus rates relief & grants under “businesses” above

The following link is a new website for businesses.

Covid-19 Support for Employees

The Government is implementing support and reliefs available to employees for situations where employers are struggling continue employment roles and other financial difficulties caused by the Coronavirus.

Follow the link at the end of this list for the latest Government Guidance for employees about:

Staying at home

Sick pay

SSP (statutory sick pack) start date

Proof of sickness

If your Self-Employed and not eligible for SSP

Furloughed workers

Claiming benefits

If you have Covid-19 (or are staying at home)

Support for rent costs

We will add more information and links for employees where information becomes clear.

However if you are renting seen “Landlords & Tenants” below and you may want to take a look at the employers sections as to how they affect you as the employee.

Covid-19 Support for the Self-Employed

The Government is advising Self-Employed individuals that are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic to claim Universal Credit (UC) and have increased the rate of UC due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Self Employed - Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (CSISS)

The chancellor announced at 5pm on Thursday 26 March 2020 that the new taxable grants under a scheme call Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (CSISS) that will be offered to self-employed from June 2020 (expected date at present) will help 95% of the self-employed who make most of their money from self-employment.

This is how it works:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will use existing information to identify those eligible and will invite applications

 

  • The application will require them to confirm that they meet the eligibility requirements

 

  • It will be paid straight into a bank account, which eligible taxpayers will need to confirm on their application form

 

  • People do not need to contact HMRC now, if they are eligible HMRC will contact them directly

  • Taxable grant of 80% of average profits over the last three years

  • Max of £2500 per month

What help is there?

If they have suffered a loss in income, a taxable grant will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Initially, this will be available for three months in one lump-sum payment, and will start to be paid from the beginning of June.

It will be called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme (CSISS).

It is open to those who:

  • were trading in the last financial year,
  • still trading now, and
  • planning to continue doing so this year.

Who is eligible?

1. More than half income must be from self-employment.

2. Trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19, or

3. An average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

How many people are affected?

There are more than five million self-employed people in the UK, earning an average of £781 a month. The number has risen fast since the financial crash of a decade ago.

Accordingly to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) approximately a fifth are in the construction sector.

Covid-19 - Landlords & Tenants

  • Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
  • No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
  • Landlords will also be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages

.

Other practical things to consider that might help?

The following is a list of outgoings that most people will incur monthly or more frequently and some suggestions as to what to consider doing during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

If your income has dropped or ceased altogether we hope the following suggests will help with ways to possibly reduce outgoings that might help get trhough the Conronavirus pandemic.

Government is struggling with the physical, practical and human resource aspects of actually getting financial support to business and individuals so hopefully some of these ideas or practical measures below might well help get us all through Coronavirus financially and physically as health as possible.

Mortgage, Rent & Other Finance Costs

Tenant evictions have been banned during the three months from 19 March 2020 (date of the announcement) so you should be safe from eviction and many lenders are being flexible about “payment holidays” on mortgage and finance arrangements. 

Remember that deferring a liability does not mean that the debt or liability goes away altogether. In the vast majority of cases you will simply be deferring payment until a later date. This may incur additional interest or other costs in the long run.

Paying some things late may well also still affect your credit rating or lead to other problems later. This is more likely to be the case if you have not made a prior arrangement with your lender, bank,  credit card, car finance company, other finance company or landlord. 

However, as soon as you know you may have trouble paying your rent or mortgage on time speak to your landlord or mortgage lender, or other provider to keep them informed of your financial circumstances in these exceptional times.

Most mortgage lenders are offering “mortgage holidays” for up to three months and Landlords and Tenants may be able to negotiate measures that will either give tenants extra time to pay, e.g. a rent holiday with an increased rent later to catch up with rent over an extended period of time after the “holiday” period. 

Don’t leave it until after a problem in paying has occurred, warn your lender, bank, finance company or landlord as soon as you know you wil have trouble paying due to loss of a job or reduced income due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Council Tax, Gas, Electricity & Water Rates

Suppliers and providers will be aware of Government Guidance and the loss of jobs due to the current virus pandemic and may be more sympathetic about delayed or temporary reduced payments.  Many are facing their own challenges due to the virus. 

Don’t leave it until after a problem in paying has occurred, warn your supplier or provider as soon as you know you will have trouble paying your bills due to loss of your job or reduced income due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It is always better to ask than leave it until the problem is bigger.

Food & Groceries

Don’t panic buy food and groceries be considerate to others and the need of others.

Although there may be ways to delay other financial payments and liabilities paying for basic essentials such as food could be more of a challenge.

Personally, I see the next three months as an opportunity to consider my diet, consider what I eat, and reduce my food intake to use the opportunity as an incentive to lose some of the two stone, or so, that I need to lose!

Some people are using this as an incentive to give up smoking that will save money and also help if they were to get the virus!

We may all end up drinking less or no alcohol, especially as the pubs and restaurants are closed at present.

During the Coronavirus pandemic we all need to keep an eye out, and an ear to the ground, for family, friends & neighbours that maybe have lost jobs or income and are struggling to buy food.

For those with no family , friends or neighbours that can help with food there are a number of UK charities that might be able to help.

If you have income or healthy finances, and can afford it, maybe consider a financial donation to some of the UK charities that help people with food shortage problems? Surely this will help many in desperate need during the current Coronavirus pandemic.

Support the Food Banks

Many people might get to the point that they need the help of a Food Bank so we suggest that anyone who can help the Food Banks in whatever way they can should consider doing that.

We are putting our money where our mouth is today and have donated £50.00 to The Trussell Trust.

We aim to make further donations to try and help everyone get through this.

If you are a UK taxpayer “Gift Aid” your donation asnd that way for each £1.00 you give the charity the charity will receive an extra £0.25 from the Government at no extra cost to you.

If you are a higher rate taxpayer you can claim the Gift Aid donation on your tax return and for each £1.00 donated reduce your higher rate tax bill by £0.25.

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