Our Team at Crowthers Chartered Accountants are busy working from home and in these unprecedented times, we have been receiving a high volume of calls from our clients asking for advice. As a result, we have put together a guide to update everyone with the latest Government news and guidelines. Below we have provided a brief overview of some of the schemes available in the hope that it will be helpful to many businesses.

To read our full Blog please visit https://www.crowther.co.uk/2020/05/covid-19-business-guidance/

We are trying to provide information to our clients as these new schemes are being announced and so we hope the below library will provide a good starting point.

We shall endeavor to update these links as new detailed provisions emerge.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

A new scheme was announced Thursday 26 March to help the self -employed. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The claims service will open 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. The claims process will be very simple and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May or within six working days of completing a claim. HMRC will contact those who are eligible.

For more information about eligibility please click on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/self-employed-invited-to-get-ready-to-make-their-claims-for-coronavirus-covid-19-support

Please note the following:

  • The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions
  • You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant, but once you receive the grant it may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get
  • You must have submitted a 2019 Tax Return
  • You have lost trading profits due to coronavirus
  • Your trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either the tax year 2018 to 2019 or the average of the 2019, 2018 and 2017 tax years

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

This scheme was introduced to help small and medium sized businesses with loans of up to £50,000.

Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and the government will guarantee 100% of the loan. There will be no fees or interest for 12 months and loan term will be up to 6 years.

You can apply for a loan if your business satisfies the following criteria:

  • Is in the UK
  • Has been affected by coronavirus
  • Was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019
  • You are not claiming under the Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The government has agreed with lenders that a flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. Small business owners can apply online with a short and simple form.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This is a temporary scheme set up to support businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance for up to 6 years. The government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme including all the major banks. It is important your business meets the eligibility criteria. The link is as follows:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – for Businesses and Advisors

To apply you should talk to your bank as soon as possible to discuss your business plan. There may also be the option to ask for a repayment holiday with exiting loans.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC have released a simple step by step guide on how to make your claim online. Please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

It is important to have all your information and calculations ready before you begin your application and you should retain all records and calculations. The online claim service was launched on GOV.UK on Monday 20th April 2020. Please note written consent should be obtained if you furlough employees, but this could simply be a response to the letter via email.

Please note there is a change to the scheme regarding employee eligibility:

  • You can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date.
  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

How to claim:

  • The claim is online, and the service should be simple to use with help calculating the amount you can claim
  • You or your agent can make a claim
  • Claims will be paid within 6 working days, but please do not contact HMRC unless necessary

Information you will need to make a claim:

  • A Government Gateway (GG) ID and password
  • Be enrolled for PAYE online
  • The following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:

1. Name.

2. National Insurance number

3. Claim period and claim amount

4. PAYE/employee number (optional).

  • If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
  • If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

Grants for Ambitious Technologies to build UK resilience following Coronavirus outbreak

There is government funding of £20 million available to businesses who develop new ways of working and help build the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research focussed businesses to develop new ways of working that help to build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

This could include the following:

  • new technology allowing retailers to respond better to sudden spikes of consumer demand and improve deliveries across the UK
  • new services for families to connect with and remotely monitor their elderly or vulnerable relatives, giving people peace of mind that their loved ones are receiving the services they require such as food deliveries, doctors’ appointments and paying bills
  • creating education tools which seamlessly integrate the classroom with children at home, allowing teachers to remotely set tasks and support vulnerable children.


HMRC have agreed to defer Value Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months and all UK businesses are eligible. The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 and this is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. Please note HMRC will still expect you to submit your VAT returns to them on time but will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred as a result of the Chancellor’s announcement.

Income Tax

All Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Please note the following:

  • No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.
  • HMRC have also scaled up their ‘Time to Pay’ offer to individuals who have outstanding tax liabilities.

If you need to speak to HMRC regarding a tax payment, we recommend that you call HMRC direct on 0800 015 9559. If you prefer to pay regularly throughout the year, HMRC can offer a budget payment plan.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

On 4 May additional funding was announced for those not covered by existing local authority grants so that more businesses are covered.

Please see the following link for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme

For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses there have been various measures introduced:

Business Rates Holiday

This will be introduced for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. You are eligible if your business is based in England and your business is in this sector. There is no action needed by you as this will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. There is a business rates calculator online that you can use to estate the business rate charge you are no longer expected to pay.

Please see the following link:


Please note local authorities may be in the process of reissuing bills.

Cash grants

Please note the following:

  • Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.
  • You do not need to do anything, and your local authority will write to you if you are eligible, but any queries should be directed to your local authority
  • Please follow this link to find your local authority:


Companies House and Filing Deadlines

You should, if you are able, continue to file your accounts online, but if your accounts will be later because of COVID-19 you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3-month extension to file your accounts.

Please note you must apply before your filing deadline date.

You can do this online by following the below link: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/extensions?_ga=2.146329780.1639197876.1585129996-1637025097.1577738477

Furlough Payroll Guidance

The Team at Crowthers Chartered Accountants have now assisted several clients with their Furlough Payroll Claims and have devised instructions on how to complete this. We have a dedicated Payroll Manager who is on hand with any support you might need at this time.

If you require any further information, or assistance with any of the schemes detailed above, please feel free to visit our website www.crowther.co.uk and ready our Blog in full. We are here to help!

All information on these schemes will be regularly updated in line with Government advice as it is published.

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