With further reference to the Chancellor’s Statement on Friday evening.

Firstly, please note we are now operating on a skeleton staff in the office on a rota basis, with most staff now operating from home.  However outwardly we should be operating as normal and will continue to prepare where relevant your VAT Returns, payroll, accounts etc etc in a timely manner.  We are here to help.

The Government announced further support for business as follows:-

·         Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme.

·         VAT and income tax payments deferral.

·         Statutory Sick Pay for employees who become sick due to Corona Virus.

·         Support for retail hospitality and leisure business that pay business rates.

·         Support for nurseries that pay business rates.

·         Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates. 

·         The Corona Virus business interruption loan scheme.

·         The time to pay service.

These are the main Covid-19 – support for businesses that will potentially affect you.

Please note the following link for more details:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

I say more detail at the moment but largely we, like you, have listened to what the Chancellor and the Prime Minister has said, but little detail has come out of Government right now as to how we access the support.

In terms of advice from us, I believe the following are the steps you should take as an effective emergency action plan:-

1.       Stay healthy, follow the Government guidelines for you, your family, co-workers, employees and the community.  Work from home where you can manage administration.

2.       Work out how you think that the Corona Virus situation will affect your business over the next three to six months.

3.       If point 2 shows that there will be financial shortfall or loss to you, even after the various Government support packages (above), then I believe you should make some headway toward using the Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to apply for finance to cover the shortfall.  It is going to be extremely difficult as we do not know how long this is going to last. I think you should calculate the shortfall over six months rather than three.  I may be wrong and indeed hope that I am!

4.       Please note your first point of contact to apply for the Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be your Bank.  If you do not get any joy there, we are making arrangements with Capitalise who can approach many different Banks for support, whether or not you bank with them.  In turn they will assess the requirement and potentially promote it to the Government Scheme.

5.       Please note that your VAT and income tax payments are automatically deferred.  You do not have to apply for that.  Obviously at some stage in the future and we do not know when, HM Revenue and Customs will expect it to be paid either towards the end of 2020 or indeed 2021.  I am assuming there will be a payment plan implemented when that time comes.

6.       Assess which employees are likely to be laid off and you can then treat them as furloughed and apply the Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme, which will cover up to 80% of their salaries of a maximum of £2,500 per month.  This will be dealt with through your PAYE Scheme.  In the event that we calculate your payroll, please would you kindly attempt to identify which employees are affected and from when as soon as possible and let us know.  Unfortunately where as it will be dealt with through your payroll/PAYE Scheme, we do not at this stage have any information from the Government as to how it will be activated.  As soon as we have this information we will inform you. 

7.       In the event that you have any employees that become sick as a result of the Corona Virus, then these need to be identified and any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) incurred for up to 14 days (with no waiting days) will be refunded by the Government.  This will be through the normal PAYE Scheme. 

8.       Please note that any effect on your business rates should happen automatically and are dealt with by the Local Council.  There will be a business rates holidays for the retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, together with nurseries for the 2020/2021 tax year.  As I say this should happen automatically.

9.       In the event that your business does not pay any rates at all as you qualify for the small business rate relief, or the rural rate relief, then the Local Authority should provide you with a one off grant of £10,000.  We do not know when they will make that grant at this stage.

10.   In the event that you are having difficulty paying other tax liabilities such as corporation tax or PAYE, then you should contact the Corona Virus – Time to Pay Service on 0800 0159 559.  That is if you have missed a payment, or you might miss a payment, or are worried about a future payments. 

11.   On a personal basis, if you have a mortgage I would suggest that you apply for a three month deferral of mortgage repayments sooner rather than later, just to protect yourself, to try and reduce your outgoings as much as possible. We would anticipate that Building Societies will under the circumstances readily agree to this.

The staff at Parker & Co are here to help you!

We are all in this together.

Parker & Co

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