Coronavirus and Your Business
18th March 2020
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Gary Perrens of TaxAssist Sudbury and Colchester look at how the budget is helping businesses and the Coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus outbreak featured heavily in the Budget, delivered on 11 March.

As the government response continues to develop, we know that clients will be facing several potentially significant challenges to which they need to respond rapidly.

There are also several practical issues which the government needs to clarify in terms of their promised support.

As this is an evolving situation, we will keep you updated of all relevant changes and we will be producing client facing materials to explain the various business support initiatives.

We will be providing greater clarification regards all the main business support measures and we’ve summarised below the main points we feel will be of interest to clients:

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
The government will bring forward legislation to allow small businesses and employers to reclaim paid for sickness absence due to Coronavirus.

Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR)
Where a business already qualifies for SBBR, the government will release funding to provide a one-off grant of £3,000.

Business Rates
The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors, and increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief (which provides full relief for businesses using a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less), an estimated 900,000 properties, or 45% of all properties in England, will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020 to 2021:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. This new guarantee will initially support up to £1 billion of lending on top of current support offered through the British Business Bank.

Time To Pay
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. These businesses can contact HMRC’s new dedicated Coronavirus helpline from 11 March 2020 for advice and support. To ensure ongoing support, HMRC have made a further 2,000 experienced call handlers available to support firms and individuals when needed.

Where there is concern about being able to pay your tax due to Coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559

If you have any tax or business related questions or if you're concerned how this could affect your business, please get in touch with Gary and his team here.

About the Author

Penny W

Member since: 17th March 2014

Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens

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