During the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak many small businesses are going to be understandably concerned about their cash flow.
We’ve put together some help that will get you through the toughest times.
We’ll keep content updated as more information becomes available.
Speak to your mortgage company and ask to defer payments
Many mortgage companies are offering payment holidays for mortgages during this time. As your mortgage is often one of your largest outgoings, this is the first place to start when you look at preserving cash.
Speak to your bank
Many banks are offering emergency loans to small businesses, loan repayments breaks, increased credit limits and waiving penalty charges if people need to access fixed savings early. Many credit card companies are also offering relief on payments for businesses and individuals.
The Department of Work and Pensions announced additional support for individuals, employees, self-employed and employers. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay for employees unable to work because of coronavirus. This refund will be for up to 2 weeks per employee. If we do your payroll then we will handle this for you.
There is full advice around the support the government has put in place for small businesses which covers rates, SSP and paying your tax bills. You can read the full advice here.
A new temporary 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) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finances to SMEs. The government has pledged not to charge businesses or banks for this guarantee and the scheme will support loans of up to £1.2m in value.
Cash up front
Where possible see if you can take deposits for future bookings and work and make full use of your supplier credit terms. Companies like Morrisons have announced that they will be paying their small business suppliers immediately – see who you supply and if they can accelerate your payments.
Delay tax payments to HMRC
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
If we are handling your accounts and tax affairs, we can let you know any potential future liabilities so that you can effectively budget for your cash flow in the future.
Apply for a three month extension for filing accounts
Companies can apply for a three month extension to file accounts during COVID-19. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete. Those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.
Companies that have already changed their filing deadline may not be eligible.
Support other Small Businesses
It’s really easy to cut payments to businesses during this time – your local takeaway, local shops and cafes, smaller suppliers or memberships and subscriptions to services from other businesses. Remember that if you want those businesses to survive after this, you need to support them through it. They have staff and bills to pay too – if you pay it forward by helping them then it will come full circle back to you.
Our hope is that the advice we have supplied here will allow you to seek emergency support from government and banks before you need to look inside the small business community.
Support for self employed
A new grant of up to 80% of trading profits, capped at £2,500 per month, will be available for the self employed who’s trading profits are under £50K. The trading profits calculation will be taken as an average over the last 3 years. These measures are expected to cover 95% of self-employed businesses and partnerships.
The HMRC will contact all eligible businesses who have submitted a self assessment for 2018/19. If you have not yet completed a self assessment you have 4 weeks to submit it.
The HMRC will make the payments directly into bank accounts and is expected to make payments by June.
Owner/directors of LTDs are not covered by the scheme
Most owner/managed businesses take a low salary and higher dividends as the most tax efficient way to run the business. The only support currently available is that 80% of salary will be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is clearly going to be problematic.
Talk to us
For us, it is business as usual – we’re constantly in touch with HMRC and our clients to make sure that everything is filed on time and without penalty – the last thing anyone needs right now is HMRC to send a scary letter!
We have clients to support, taxes to file and bills to pay. Our team will do all that they can to not let you down at this difficult time for us all.
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