This weekend has seen a number of announcements and important developments from the government and HMRC, including claims information for schemes, grants and loans as follows:

  • Self Employed Income Support Scheme – We still are awaiting letters from HM Revenue & Customs, which will arrive around the middle of May. However, the Government have updated information on how to make a claim:
    • It is apparent that we, as your tax Agents, will not be able to make the claim on your behalf. We are surprised at this stance and will be making representations to try and get this changed. Very unlikely this will get changed soon!
    • Those eligible will need to make their own claims:
      • You can check eligibility at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference
        • You will need you Unique Tax Reference (UTR) Number and Your National Insurance (NI) number to check your eligibility
      • You will then be told if you are eligible or ineligible
        • If you are eligible it will give the date and time you can make a claim from and it will also take you to the next important stage, to set up your own Government Gateway ID. You must have this ID to make a claim. You will need various personal information to apply for this ID including
          • Email address
          • Passport details / other personal details to validate application
        • If you are ineligible it will not give you a specific reason. It will give you the option to ask HM Revenue & Customs to review your eligibility
      • A recap of the eligibility criteria for the Self Employed Income Support Scheme
        • The Self Employed will receive support, at the same level as employed staff – 80% of average taxable profit, up to £2,500
        • This will be paid via a taxable income support grant
        • HM Revenue & Customs will calculate the monthly sum based upon the tax returns submitted for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19
        • Those with taxable profits exceeding £50,000 will not receive the grant
        • In addition, the majority of income should come from self employment
        • Company owners who pay via dividends are not covered by this scheme
      • We would prefer to be able to help and submit claims where required, but this is not possible.  Instead, we are available to offer help and support, and so please call or email should you need assistance
    • Business Rates Grants – The Government announced and extension to this scheme on Saturday. Local Authorities are being provided with an additional 5% uplift to funding which is aimed at supporting small businesses with ongoing fixed property related costs. It is a discretionary fund and the Government is asking Local Authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax rather than Business Rates i.e. those who are not eligible for the current scheme. Local Authorities can also choose to make payments to other businesses based upon economic need
      • If you have fixed property related costs and do not qualify for the existing grants, contact your Local Authority.
    • Coronavirus Business Bounce Back Loans (BBL) – Applications for these loans are being accepted from today. This looks an extremely good scheme and an update to the headline details are:
      • Online, easy, applications. We made an application for a loan today and it was amazingly easy!
      • Loans paid out in days
      • Loans available between £2,000 and £50,000, up to a maximum of 25% of turnover
      • The Government is guaranteeing 100% of the loan
      • No interest in the first 12 months. Low interest rate of 2.5%!
      • No repayments within the first 12 months
      • Loan terms of up to 6 years
      • No early repayment penalty
      • There are some eligibility criteria
        • Business has been negatively affected by Coronavirus
        • Business was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019. There is a form to complete to answer this question
        • Those already claiming funding under CBILS will not be eligible
      • CBILS of up to £50,000 will be transferable to this scheme

At Smarter Accounting, although the Offices are closed, we remain open for business and are fully operational. If you want to discuss any issues, or have queries, please don’t hesitate to call, or email us.

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Best wishes and stay safe, from all of the Smarter Team.